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upgrading from mac os x tiger to leopard had me hanging on a blue screen of death.  i found the following terrific solution on the apple forums, courtesy of chris mccullough.  ultimately, it turned out that an old installation of shapeshifter was causing my problems.  to remove it:

1. Reboot into single-user mode (hold Apple-S while booting machine)
2. Type into the prompt:

$ fsck -fy /
$ /sbin/mount -uw /

3. Remove the following files:

$ rm -rf /Library/Preference Panes/Application Enhancer.prefpane
$ rm -rf /Library/Frameworks/Application Enhancer.framework
$ rm -rf /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/Application Enhancer.bundle
$ rm -rf /Library/Preferences/com.unsanity.ape.plist

4.now, to continue the bootup process:

$ exit

my laptop thankfully booted just fine after that.

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