How a Mac nearly destroyed my weekend


I know, I know - macs don`t crash, only PCs do. However over the past few days if you happened to say something like this to me, you`d probably hear me cuss and curse a lot.
It all started like this. I have this colleague who is always very nervous about anything happening to his PC and who can`t sleep well if his bluetooth device unexpectedly doesn`t connect to his laptop. And last Wednesday he writes me - hey, pal, could you do me a favour and install MS Office on my girlfriend`s MacBook. I`m not a Mac dude my any means, however I thought - installing anything on a Mac is usually easy as pie and why shouldn`t I help this dude. Of course, as you probably know, MS Office for Mac is not the cheapest program in the world, so I got myself a "black" copy of installation (as I`ve already deleted it and you can`t prove that I ever actually had it, you can`t sue me for that Mr.Gates).
Now you`re probably thinking - "What did you expect, dude! You installed some illegal software on a Mac and now are wondering how come it didn`t work properly? Apple is not responsible for your criminal actions!" But I say - hold your horses, I did not install no malfunctioning illegal software anywhere!
I did run the installation, that`s true and it said to me: You need to update your OS - at least 10.4.8 is required, you only have a 10.4.6. So I`m like - ok, let`s update what this Mac says needs to updated. I run the Software Update tool and it says that it would update the OS from 10.4.6 to 10.4.11. I`m like - ok, let`s do it. And I let the OS connect to the web and download the updates. They go on for some thirty minutes, and then suddenly - a restart and a black screen with the friendly message "kernel panic! Unable to find driver for this platform: ACPI". Then I`m like - holy shit! I don`t like it!
I asked N.R. and I asked Google and the best both of them could come up with was that I needed to run the computer from the Mac OS X installation disk and try to either repair the system or reinstall it. First I needed to explain to my colleague that there was some shit. He was like - I don`t care for the system, just don`t let the files get lost, they are very important and I don`t have a backup. So I`m like... oh, shit - how can I guarantee that the files are safe? I know nothing of this shit and I really hope that all ends well, but naturally I didn`t say any of that to my colleague.
So I went home and started the Mac from my Leopard installation disk. Straight after choosing the language of the installation it informed me that this OS could not be installed on this machine. But at least through the terminal I could access the data from the hard drive and transfer those to an external hard that I had luckily bought a couple of days ago. Then I tried to upgrade the dead Tiger to a living Leopard by using an upgrade DVD I had borrowed from one of my friends. The upgrade took 2 hours (on the night from Friday to Saturday) and finally resulted in... nothing. That is, I did not get the ACPI message any more but the system didn`t start either. Then I thought - maybe this machine just doesn`t support Leopard, so I borrowed from the same friend two other installation versions (10.4.8 and 10.4.10 - which came together with his MacBook and iMac respectively). Both of those gave me the same error - can not be installed on this machine (and when I ran the hardware test, it said to me that the hardware test could not run on this hardware).
By this time I was scared shitless, as I had no any what to do further. Ok, all the data was safe but the MacBook was a brick. So I called my colleague and asked him - maybe you still have the original discs that came with the MacBook when your girlfriend bought it. At first he said that most likely there are no discs as she had brought the Mac from the States where she had lived before. Then he called me again that they had looked for the CDs but those had probably got lost when they moved to a different apartment. And then finally he called me again after several hours to inform me that he had found the discs and he would bring me those the very next morning.
To cut the very long story short - the correct installation discs (version 10.4.6) worked fine and the MacBook is functional now again. BUT - I spent lots of hours with this crappy problem, it tested the nerves of at least three people and I still don`t know why on earth this MacBook didn`t support a newer version of Tiger. But I`m pretty sure about one thing now - Macs do crash and when they do it is as unpleasant as when a PC crashes.