8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2012 12:56 PM by Matti Haveri
wotevs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've given my old 12" G3 iBook to a friend for his kid to use, and done a clean OS install today using the original OS X 10.3 CD's - but when connecting to Software Update, I've been getting the message "Server unavailable. Try again later." Problem?

iBook, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • 1. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    Software Update is no longer functioning on the 10.3 Panther OS but you can manually download the Mac OS 10.3.9 update from this link.

    Mac OS X Combined Update 10.3.9

  • 2. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    wotevs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks very much, I'll do that.


    Does this effectively replace every update for all aspects of OS 10.3.0 - 10.3.9, such as all the bundled software?


    It had 10.3.9 installed on it (that had been updated at the time via Software Update), but after Safari constantly crashing and the Airport card apparently not working (WiFi won't connect), I chose to do a clean install. Now I'm regretting it.

  • 3. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    It will update all Apple software, like Mail and Safari as well as the system files, but I am not sure about the iLife applications like iPhoto and iTunes.

    Safari on Panther, is pretty useless by modern internet standards and I recommend using instead tenfourfox. It is a Firefox version specially maintained by enthusiasts for running on the PowerPC Mac. Here's the link,



    You will find that is a lot more stable than Safari.

  • 4. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    wotevs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nice! Downloading now - thanks again.


    Any idea why the iBook does recognise the Airport card (I bought on eBay and installed), but won't connect?

  • 5. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    There are a few variables why the Airport card is not recognised, covered in the below topic.



    From that discussion, updating the latest Airport software was required. The updated version number is listed so you can check it.

    If you need to manually search for updates for it, here is the starting point,


  • 6. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    wotevs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That's great, thanks heaps for all your help.


    I'll let you know how it all goes.

  • 7. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5 (4,680 points)

    Sounds like you need the AirPort SW 4.2, to support WPA, otherwise you're limited to WEP.


    It is available here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL455

  • 8. Re: Software Update - "Server unavailable. Try again later." ???
    Matti Haveri Level 6 Level 6 (8,840 points)



    I have lately used Mac OS X 10.5.8 on my PowerBook G4 15", but a few days ago I decided to try whether other OSs would be any faster.


    First I tried Linux MintPPC 11 which was OK, but I gave up when I couldn't make the wireless work (missing firmware). Wired connection was OK. But there seemed to be more troubleshooting info for novices in Ubuntu so I tried it next because after a few hours Mint was a bit of a disappointment for me. YMMV.


    So I then tried Linux Lubuntu 12.10 and it installed  OK via the live CD. After a while I even got the wireless to work after slapping a few terminal commands googled from the net (sorry, I don't quite know which command made it, so I wouldn't suggest this to a novice...). Ice Weasel web browser was quite snappy although youtube performance was quite poor.


    I liked Lubuntu more than Mint but I didn't feel quite at home with Linux, so my next step was to re-evaluate Mac OS X 10.3 which I had used for a while before going to 10.5.


    I was also disappointed that the Software Update doesn't work anymore for 10.3. Luckily I'm a pack rat so I had the old updates on CDs. But even then it took some trial and error which updates to apply and in which order (is there a list for this?). Anyway, my updates were as follows:


    Mac OS X 10.3 DVD PowerBook G4 Software clean install (wired connection worked OK)

    Mac OS X Update Combo 10.3.9

    AirPort 4.2 10.3.9 (couldn't authenticate to the new AirPort without this)

    Security Update 2007-007 10.3.9

    Java Update for Mac OS X 10.3.9 (I guess I could have omitted Java)

    Java Security Update 4.0

    Java for Mac OS X 10.3 Update 5

    QuickTime 6.4 -> QuickTime 7.2.0 for 10.3.9

    iTunes 4.0.1 -> iTunes 7.7 (iTunes Store won't work, though)


    Mac OS X 10.3.9 is indeed somewhat faster than 10.5.8. But Safari is quite unstable (Google search results page crashes it so I switched to Bing) and renders some pages oddly. A local newspaper behind the paywall ignored the 5 articles per week which was a positive "bug" though.


    But in the end I'm going to restore 10.5.8 from my Carbon Copy Cloner backup because I miss a few apps from it and don't have the time to find out workarounds and working versions of 3rd party apps I'm used to. (The PB's graphics board is failing so it has some artifacts on all OSs so I'm not going to put much time fine-tuning it).


    BTW, on my Mac mini running OS X 10.8 I have planned to break my old habit of downloading updates and archiving them on DVDs because using the software update is so much easier to do.


    But with this experience with the broken Software Update I might keep downloading and archiving the updates because they are more easily accessible in the future when the Software Updates for 10.8 are stopped. And who knows how long the updates are available on Apple's servers anyway?


    - Matti