And precisely what happens when you try to use Software Updates and download and install the updates? Are there error messages? If so what exactly do they say? Have you tried doing this before updating:
Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions
Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.
If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.
The error messages (believe it or not) says that an error occurred and the updates could not be installed. that is all.
I ran the Apple website support program that checks the hardware for problems and no problems were detected on the hardware. I went into Disk Utility and ran repair permissions. No help. It sounds like you are telling me I need to back up my data and reinstall the operating system. I ordered a Mac compatible external hard drive this afternoon which I need before I can proceed. I was hoping someone else who ran into this problem could enlighten me otherwise. I am already being blocked from some calls etc. because my version of Java is not the most current and I can't update it.
Well, before you bite that bullet give this a try:
Fix for Software Update
Delete the following files:
- /Home/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.xxx.plist where "xxx" is a number.
- /Home/Library/Caches/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate/ (delete entire folder)