How to kill a Snow Leopard


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Sony has released new SxS drivers for Snow Leopard – – thanks to Oyvind Stokkan on the board for passing this on! But for the archive, the rest of the post goes thusly…

Somebody has to be first. Somebody brave or stupid. Or somebody with a full backup sitting on a hard disk in the case of moving up to a new operating system, because there be dragons.

On the morning of the 28th August, I was there in my local store with half a dozen fellow MacBraves queueing up to purchase the latest Apple Operating System With A Feline Name – and this one’s Snow Leopard. Probably because ‘it’s like the previous one, Leopard, only cooler’. Indeed it is in many ways. You’ll find lots of interesting and learned information about it elsewhere on the web, so I will refrain.

So I pop the install DVD into my backup machine, previously Time Machined, and just hit the button. Just like any user would do. That’s the way Apple wants us to experience things – shove it in, click the button and go and do something else for an hour. Ping, there’s your ‘new’ Mac, freshly booted, looking the same but strangely different, like it’s had an incredibly expensive haircut that you’re supposed to notice. And yes, the first fifteen minutes are great. Everything works straight out of the box. No awful hangs even when quite serious software opens up.

I will point out, though, that when I shove a Sony SxS card (what my cameras shoot onto), my Snow Leopard machine acts as if Derren Brown hit it with a long hard stare. The screen slowly wipes down a sort of half-tint darkness and a little dark box appears in the middle of the screen, with calm white lettering telling me to shut down the computer by holding the power button and then switching it on again. This is known as a Kernel Panic, and it is a very, very rare thing.

No, it’s not a missing driver, it’s a bug. If you start the machine up with the SxS card in it, the same thing happens BEFORE you get to the blue screen of life (Macs’ screens go blue just before you get to your desktop or choose your log-in, in a sort of antethisis of Windows’ BSoD). So it’s pretty terminal:

The solution, at the moment, is to stick to using my MxR adaptors, which use the same slots but work using USB magic rather than SxS magic. The point is that they work, so the slot is working, and XDCAM Transfer is working, so the drivers it installed are working.

So next step is to reinstall everything and try again. But to be honest, my preferred step is to go back to Time Machine, ditch the Cool Cat and catch some rays before the weather cottons on that it’s a bank holiday weekend.

Well… it’s been interesting being a pioneer striding into the future of computing – albeit a pioneer attached to the past by a nice strong bungie rope. Next time I’ll try this will be in December.

6 thoughts on “How to kill a Snow Leopard

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for How to kill a Snow Leopard « Travelling Matt [] on

  2. Ugh, same result here, Matt. Instant Kernal Panic on the MBP. Tried the same card on my Mac Pro desktop using the Sony SxS card reader (USB reader) and it works fine. Maybe Sony can get a new driver out soon, but it looks like a fresh install of Leopard for me, too.

    • Hi. So snow leopard only panics when the card is inserted directly into an express slot, and not when used via the card reader or through the camera?

      So in essence, its just the macbooks that have the problem?


      • USB works.

        But having cleared that hurdle, be aware that there may be a further problem if you use XDCAM Transfer or Clip Browser. I use XDCAM Transfer, and using USB, the software still cannot cache a thumbnail, o every time you select a clip, you have to hit Return to clear the Complaint Box. Annoying if you have 200 clips on a card.

        I didn’t get round to fully reporting this, but perhaps I should add an addendum to the post above. We are in the hands of Sony to update the software. Word on the wire is that they are fast tracking it, but I am not holding my breath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s