3rd January 2009

Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update Problems

Mac OS X 10.5.6 warningIf you haven’t yet updated to 10.5.6 and are just researching what problems others have had – good for you! – consider this a cautionary tale……..once again I had my laptop (17″ PowerBook G4) BRICKED by an update……..and yes, this time – like my earlier experience with 10.5.2 – MAY have had something to do with the upgraded RAM I installed (or not – I really have no way of being certain)…..

All that being said – I have 3 recommendations for you:

  1. If you have non-Apple-installed RAM, replace it with your original RAM (if possible) before updating
  2. Be SURE that you do a complete backup using the backup mechanism of your choice; and
  3. Consider downloading the 10.5.6 Combo Update instead of using Software Update;

I screwed up and failed to do any of these, having been lulled into a false sense of security by the ease of the last 3 updates (10.5.2,.4, and .5 all went without so much as a hiccup)….and I wound up spending almost two full days getting my computer back to normal operations.

What happened – if you’re interested – is that the update seemed to go fine at first, but when I restarted the laptop as required, I got the message saying that the “update could not be installed and that I should contact the manufacturer”, and after clicking “OK” (really, like you have any other choice but to say Okay?), nothing would actually work – trying to launch ANY app resulted in errors (“The application XX quit unexpectedly”….even the crash reporter wouldn’t work. Repairing the disk and permissions didn’t work. Re-applying the update didn’t work. After more than 24 hours of troubleshooting and research it came down to reinstalling from the original Leopard DVD……aaarrggh!

I managed to get thru an Archive and Reinstall so thankfully I wasn’t forced to erase my old data (which hasn’t been backed up for a couple of weeks due to a problem I’m having with a brand new Airport Extreme fighting with my Time Capsule for superiority). Then I applied the Combo Update, and after verifying that all was working, I reinstalled my newer RAM, so now I’m back to where I was a couple of days ago.

Updating is not supposed to be this difficult, but one of these days I’ll learn to do it the right way. I hope you can benefit from my mistakes…….good luck!

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