9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2013 3:30 AM by WZZZ Branched to a new discussion.
WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

My procedure for a major OS or Security update


I never run a major update right away. I always wait at least a week or so to see what develops. Most problems I see here are the result either of a specific incompatibility with a third party application or plug-in, or some pre-existing software or hardware issue related to that unique user, which only comes to light due to the stress an update writing many thousands of new files causes. Then, there are occasionally, presumably, as in the instance of font and PDF problems with the 10.6.7 update, bugs in the update itself, which affect the majority of users.


External drives are not that expensive these days. I have two clones on externals and if I'm concerned enough about an update, I can install it on one of these and test it first.


Here's my own updating procedure. Major updates don't come along that often. It's worth going to the trouble to do this.


1. Have a backup, so if something does go wrong you won't be left in big trouble.

2. Verify and if necessary repair the drive from Disk Utility. (To repair, you must be booted from the Install Disc or an external clone.)

3. Disconnect all peripherals except the keyboard and mouse.

4. Download the Combo Update from Apple Downloads. It's generally more reliable to update from the standalone Combo than from Software Update, and the Combo, as it includes all updates from 10.6 onwards, may correct any files that have been corrupted or somehow gone missing.

5. Boot in Safe Boot. Hold the Shift key down at start up. Give it time, it will take longer. (The Safe Boot will also actually check and repair the drive if necessary--and if possible.) Safe Boot loads a stripped down system which may reduce any chance of incompatibility while the update is running. Keep all Applications closed.

6. Repair Permissions from Disk Utility while booted in Safe Boot.

7. Install the update from Safe Boot. Keep all Applications closed.

8. Restart when prompted and give the system up to five minutes to finish the final touches of the update with all Applications closed.

9. Verify the Drive and Repair Permissions again.

10. And then I like to restart again.


One other caution. If you are running updates from Software Update, run them one at a time, never all at once. This gives the system a chance to assimilate each one, especially if restarts are involved, and not choke on them.


I also prefer to get "non-major" updates as standalones from Apple Downloads, rather than from Software Update. I only use Software Update to see what's available.




10.6.8 Combo Update

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

    I'll keep this up on page one a bit longer.

  • brit66 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great info WZZZ. I will try your way in future. Thanks.

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

    Permissions repair steps, above, probably not that necessary. The Installer should set the correct Permissions. A vestige of my Tiger days. Do it anyway for good luck.

  • CMCSK Level 6 (10,717 points)

    Your post should be a User Tip or an FAQ.  Great information.  Thank you.









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  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

    Thanks both.

  • Texasrepublic Level 1 (0 points)

    Saved and printed! thank you-

  • brit66 Level 1 (0 points)

    To whoever is using my account and posted to this thread using it (Brit66) - I am on to you. Not cool. Reported to Apple!




    Great info WZZZ. I will try your way in future. Thanks.

  • Texasrepublic Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi WZZZ, I want to ask you about a new problem that has come up since UNinstalling MacKeeper yesterday. I wasn't having problems except thought that it was slowing Mac down and had also read your posts and others' that MK is bad news. Now....it is just about FUBAR. Letter Opener, which I used over a year ago/free version, is now pop-up containing the name & email address of a past friend whose info I just deleted a few days ago. It won't budge. I tried re-installing the free version thinking that it would override whatever is there from before--same result. If I want to use the free version, which of course I don't, and enter in/out mail conf, supposedly I can open Mail; however, I'm not much up for trusting that either. I can get/use email off my ISP web page, but doing business, that's cumbersome.

    Put all LO I could find into Trash, deleted re-booted, re-booted using Safe Boot---nope--

    I trust your knowledge...

    also, now Time Machine says it can't back up because there is no disk, although it has been intimately involved with my Free Agent for about 4 years now....FA is backing up and can be opened as FA but TM is essentially not working as such. Thanks in advance for any advice-----unsure how to write directly to you, this forum is new to me. I appreciate your help!


    UPDATE---TIME MACHINE LOOKS TO BE BACK, I just tried again---shows "FA on Nancy's computer" as disk, click & heavenly days, IT looks to be fixed-

    now back to email/Letter Opener, obnoxious twerp that it is...



  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,875 points)

    Since this post really doesn't belong here, I'm copying it to your other thread where it may be more appropriate, and replying there. I understand your concern, but I look at the posts in the Snow Leopard forum and there's really no need to try to get my special attention by tacking a question on to an old, completely irrelevant thread. (I'm also not especially qualified to answer this one.)