This tutorial* explains a method that helped me get my PowerPC apps running again after they have started crashing immediately at launch (I am running the latest Leopard upgrade Mac OS X 10.5.2). I thought I’d share it with you to save you from all the trouble I went through lately.
You are on an Intel Mac. PowerPC (that means non-native) apps are always crashing immediately when you try to open one.
Before you proceed, you might want to have a look at the log file of the specific app after the crash. In the crash dialog, click on Report… and then on Problem details above to see what was put into the file. If you see a process called translated you have good chances to get it working again with my method.
If there is nothing like “translated”, please scroll down and try a simpler method from Apple’s support website first (although that didn’t solve my problem).
The problem lies behind the Rosetta application, more precisely, a process called translated. This process is also a file in the system responsible for PowerPC apps to run properly. Somehow, this file must have gotten corrupted. But don’t ask me how, I am not an expert.
1st step: Look for your Leopard Installation DVD (the disc that was delivered with your Mac or the one you bought in-store for upgrade).
2nd step: First finish your work and save it. Then restart your computer. Now put the DVD into the computer.
3rd step: Now, in Finder, click on Go to… and then Go to folder… In the new window type in (case sensitive!):
/Volumes/[OS X disk image name]/usr/libexec/oah/
where OS X disk name stands for the name of the DVD you’ve just inserted (you can see its name on the desktop). Now you should see two files. One should be a folder with the name Shims and the other one our wanted file translate. Now copy ONLY the translate file.
4th step: Open again the Go to folder… dialog. Now type in:
Again, you should be able to see the folder and the file translate. Before you paste the copied file here and replace the other file you may want to backup the existing translate file from here. Do this first if you want to play it safe! (Maybe you have to type in your user password once; this is nothing special for important system files as these)
5th step: Now close all open windows and do not touch any files in the system anymore! Afterwards, restart your computer.
Now everything should be working again as usual. Congrats!
CRASHING OFFICE APPS (PARTIAL SOLUTION): Visit the following Apple support page to see another solution for crashing PPC apps (especially Microsoft Office) but with a different cause: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303677
Additional advice: Please see comments below!