sooooo..... This thread has been going on for at least 3 years, and NO ONE has come up with a definite solution?!
I had the game previously installed directly on my Mac laptop, and I eventually got through this by uninstalling-reinstalling the game many, MANY times.
Then, my save games decided to crash.
Any vehicles or creatures that I had made that were linked to these said save games simply disappeared off the face of the earth (I can find the files, but on spore ther is a big, white, box where you would normally be able to see the creation, and when I attempted to edit, it opened a new creation... frustrating), so I deleted everything. I then installed the game on my flash drive because of the annoying amount of "ghost files" created by me when uninstalling-reinstalling the game.
I am now stuck, once again, at the "files have been modified! please re-install!" patch. (hehe.. that's pathetic... I'm recognizing the update by the error message that shows up..
...) I don't want to reinstall the game because I don't want "ghost files" on my flash... ugh.
I believe I may have the solution, but where do you find the updates after spore downloads them, but before it patches? Do they get cached?