FrontRow Enabler 1.3 Kills 10.4.8


Before Apple disabled FrontRow with its Mac OS X 10.4.8 update, I was a happy FrontRow user on an aging PowerBook G4, courtesy of Andrew Escobar’s fine “FrontRow Enabler 1.3”.

If you’re running 10.4.8 do not run FrontRow Enabler 1.3, and if you just did, do not reboot … Or you won’t be able to boot again.

I just ran into this situation and it was less than pleasant. Googling for this issue took me to Andrew’s site, which appears to be down, throwing 404s. The Google Cache gave me all the info I needed though. He recommends re-installing the 10.4.8 combo update on the corrupted hard drive, by mounting it in “Target Disk Mode” from a healthy Mac where you would run the 10.4.8 installer. Or doing an archive-install.

Following part of his instructions, i booted the PowerBook in “Target Disk Mode”, by holding “T” at boot-up. I hooked a firewire cable between the PowerBook and an uncorrupted iBook with the latest OS X 10.4.8. The “sick” PowerBook’s hard drive was now accessible from the iBook.

Note that both machines are PowerPC machines. If one was an Intel Machine, and another was a PowerPC machine, I would have likely downloaded the 10.4.8 combo update.

On the iBook, I opened a terminal window and ran the following:

sudo cp /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BezelServices.framework/Versions/A/BezelServices /Volumes/[powerbookHD]/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BezelServices.framework/Versions/A/BezelServices
sudo cp /System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin/Contents/MacOS/BezelServices /Volumes/[powerbookHD]/System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin/Contents/MacOS/BezelServices

I then “ejected/unmounted” the PowerBook hard drive, unplugged the firewire cable, and rebooted, and everything, so-far, appears to be back to normal.

Those are the two files that Enabler 1.3 patches, and that are incompatible with 10.4.8.


Alica P. Thiele

If you are the Chris Holland I used to talk to on YEBB BBS, then I wish you a happy birthday on 7/7/07, and I hope you are doing well.


I installed Front Row with the enabler, but I sort of didn’t read the rest of the article about not using an Intel Based Mac. Front Row of course didn’t work, but I was able to reboot, and boot back into the machine. I just noticed that the Enabler might have broken my Keyboard Pref. Pane, and the volume keys.


ok ive tryed this loads of times and still no front row i use pacifist install the files run enabler install, then install front row, then reboot run enabler again click patch and everytime im told its been done already (even the first time i tried) i reboot and nothing. any ideas?

Christian Garcia

It is true that you will not be able to log in again. I had to install another copy of tiger, then retrieve my files. Finally I installed tiger again, and deleted everything off my system. In fact, doing this made my computer faster and cleaner.

( iBook G4 1.2GHZ 512RAM 30GB Late 2004 )


#1 is not true. Front Row does not work on all Intel Macs. Front Row still is not available in any way, shape, or form for the Mac Pro. If only Front Row enabler worked, I could pick up a keyspan remote and enjoy movies from bed! I can’t fathom why Apple considers it important for a 13.3″ screen laptop, but figures nobody would want to use it on a dual-link workstation that can support a 30″ display….


Is it possible to get the two BezelServices files without access to an Apple computer? Mounting the MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.8PPC.dmg file with linux doesn’t work…


Would this following process restore a 10.4.7 machine and remove FrontRow Enabler? 1. Do clean install from system disk. 2. Run combo updaters. This is not a solution for a crashed machine. Just for a computer that is in danger of crashing should FrontRow Enabler be installed, and the computer owner wants to update to 10.4.8.


the combo update wouldnt do you any good – there are separate combo updaters for intel and powerpc. combo doesnt mean ‘fat’ or ‘universal’ binary, it just means you can update from any 10.4.x version.


My 2004 G4 powerbook wouldn’t allow me to login after upgrading system to 10.4.8 and THEN installing Front Row and playing with the enabler (note: a first-time installation).
Luckily I had just backed up my HD, so just restored it and all was fine.
IF and only IF people can confirm that using the 1.3.5 version of the enabler would prevent this from happening again, then I may try that… but the whole thing looks a bit flaky to me. ;-)

Chris Holland

Eytan: my point addressed two machines being of separate processor architectures. It’s conceivable for people out there to have a PowerPC machine they might have broken with an older Enabler, and a healthy Intel machine to repair the sick one with. In that instance i would have likely refrained from doing a straight copy of those two files from healthy Intel, to sick PowerPC, because i’m not sure the binary files would have been compatible on different platforms.

Chris Holland

From reading the above, I likely was using an antiquated version of FrontRow Enabler, and at some point he must have released a 1.3.5 version which I couldn’t get my hands on. The VersionTracker page lists “1.3”, not 1.3.5.

Chris Holland

Mm interesting. My specific issue happened when I reapplied the patch after a 10.4.8 update, which i’d gotten from VersionTracker last night. I couldn’t reboot. From Andrew’s site’s google cache:

Problem: You’ve updated to Mac OS X 10.4.8, and lost Front Row. You download Enabler 1.3 which is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.8. You patch 10.4.8 with Enabler 1.3. After restarting, you are unable to login to your Mac.

Cause: One of the two system files Enabler patches to allow Front Row to launch was updated with the release of 10.4.8. When this file is updated, the old system is replaced and you lose the ability to launch Front Row. When you use Enabler 1.3 to patch 10.4.8, Enabler 1.3 corrupts the file and prevents you from login into your Mac.

Solutions: Below are 2 solutions to recover your Mac if you have upgraded to 10.4.8 and then tried using Enabler 1.3.

My system is a 2003 G4 PowerBook, and i experienced the exact symptoms he described.


The instructions to remove FrontRow Enabler are on If it’s down, just google it and use Google’s cache of it.

BTW I upgraded my PB G4 15/1.67 to OS X 10.4.8 without incident even though I had previously installed FrontRow Enabler. The OS X update broke my ability to launch FrontRow — no surprise there. I uninstalled FrontRowEnabler’s patches following Andrew’s instructions, then re-installed FrontRow using FrontRowEnabler 1.35. Everything works fine.


From Andrew’s site:
Manually Uninstalling Front Row:

1. Delete Front Row (/System/Library/CoreServices/Front
2. Download Mac OS X Update 10.4.7 Combo PPC from Apple.
3. Open the disk image
4. Download Pacifist and copy application to the Application folder.
5. Use Pacifist to open the Mac OS X Update Installer package file (which ends in .pkg)
6. Search for “bezel” and install only these two specific files folders:




I’d like to know how to get a fresh OS on a Mac that has FrontRow Enabler installed, but have not yet updated to 10.4.8. FrontRow Enabler is neat, but this information makes me nervous enough that I think I would like to de-install it and bring the OS files back to stock.


10.4.8 stand alone updater broke FrontRow on both my G4 12″ iBook and G4 Power Mac GE, however I was able to re-apply enabler 1.3 on both machines with no problems whatsoever, and front row still works.


I’m sorry, but I’m running 10.4.8 on an iMac G5, and I sucessfully installed Front Row there.

Make sure you have the latest “enabler” (1.3.5).
If you’ve previously installed a patched version of front row, here’s what you need to do.

Update to 10.4.8, as usual.
Download the combo update on apple’s site.
Open the package with pacifist, and search for “bezel”, select both folder found, and install them with pacifist.

Reboot. (repair permissions if you feel like it)

Now download the latest front row on apple’s site.
Mount the DMG, drag the package on the desktop.

Mount “enabler 1.3.5”, select install.


Mount again “enabler”, this time select patch.


You’re done.

tested on both a powerbook and iMac, so I don’t really see why it would absolutely kills your 10.4.8.



If one has not upgraded to 10.4.8, but knows that FrontRow Enabler has been installed, what would the fix be?


“Note that both machines are PowerPC machines. If one was an Intel Machine, and another was a PowerPC machine, I would have likely downloaded the 10.4.8 combo update.”

Note if you were on an Intel Mac, you wouldn’t need Front Row Enabler, since Front Row works on all Intel Macs………

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