Mike Adams

So, you have yourself the fancy new Apple operating system, Snow Leopard, and you also bought yourself a few software titles. You rushed home and installed that shiny new OS on your Mac and it runs like a dream. You even opened up more of your hard drive after the installation! Good thing you just bought some software to fill up that space. So you pop in your Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 to install it, and you are greeted with the message, “Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro can’t be installed on this computer. Make sure your system meets the requirements.” You have a relatively new MacBook Pro so this must be some sort of mistake…

Well, it is…kind of. What might be happening in this case is that you could have your new OS set up to run in 64-bit mode. How is this a mistake? Adobe, and many companies, have programmed their installers to run in 32-bit mode (since before 10.6, this was THE most common method of running your operating system), and again, you might have your OS set to run in 64-bit mode. Adobe has patches for its programs in place for this if you already have your programs installed, you know, so that you can continue to run their programs in 64-bit mode. This really doesn’t help your situation though. So how can you install your program?

Well first, you need to see if this is really the problem. To do this, just:

  1. Head to the Apple Menu located at the top left of your desktop and click on it.
  2. Next click on the option, “About this Mac”.
  3. Now, you should see an option for “More info”, click on this to take you to System Profiler.
  4. Scroll down on the left hand pane until you see “Software”. Click on this and you will see an overview of your System Software. Look for “64-bit Kernel and Extensions” and it should either have “yes” or “no”. If it says “no”, then that means that your OS is already running in 32-bit mode. If it says “yes”, then that means that you are indeed running in 64-bit mode.

If you are running in 64-bit mode, you will have to force your machine to run in 32-bit mode while you install and patch. To do this, you will need to:

  1. Restart the computer and hold down the “3” and “2” keys on boot up. This will send your OS into 32-bit mode until you restart. Double check to make sure that you are indeed in 32-bit mode after this using the steps above.
  2. Once you have verified that you are in 32-bit mode, just install and patch the program.
  3. Restart your computer and your OS should automatically default back to 64-bit mode.