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Question: Macbook 2016 stuck in an update loop

Hello!

As the title says, I received my 2016 macbook pro 15' last week and everything was fine until today when my macbook shut down on its own and attempted to install an update. However, prior to completing the update, I get the following error message:

"A critical software update is required for your Mac, but an error was encountered when installing this update. Your Mac can't be used until this update is installed."

I am given the option to either try again or shut down which leads to the same situation and my laptop is now stuck in this loop. I was hoping someone would be able to assist me with this. Thanks!

MacBook Pro, iOS 10.1.1

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I had the same problem . It was fixed by doing an internet system software installation. Immediately after pressing the start button press option command r together. This caused a completely new system to be installed and it fixed the problem. It also did not delete the user info already transferred and it was nice that that step did not have to be repeated. I called Apple tech support and they set me on this path.

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Jun 22, 2017 9:32 AM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

I SOLVED it with a SMC reset ( MacBook Pro 15" 2016 with touchbar)


1- TURN OFF MAC, REMOVE USB-C POWER SUPPLY CABLE AND ANY PERIPHERAL

2- WAIT 10 SECONDS

3- PRESS SHIFT + CONTROL + OPTION + POWER FOR 10 SECONDS

4- WAIT 5 SECONDS

5- CONNECT USB-C POWER SUPPLY

6- POWER ON.


A small apple logo should appear in the center of the screen and a dashed progress bar at the bottom of the screen: Don't worry the machine is booting normally.

Enter your password and you are ready to go!

Reboot to ensure everything works correctly on next boot.


In addition to the Update loop, "fortunately" my batteries also got totally drained and macbook did not charge anymore.

If my batteries were not got drained I would have reinstalled the OS, but that is not the right solution apparently.

Apple Care helped me to but there is not clear procedure for update loop, luckily my batteries drained triggered the idea to me and the apple agent to give it a try with the SMC Reset.

Finally it seems there is no such Critical Update pending, is just an error produced by some SMC / MacOS combined disruption.

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Jan 31, 2017 6:02 PM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

In trying to set up and log into my new Macbook Pro 15" with TouchBar, I got only as far as entering my network information when I received the error message:


A critical software update is required for your Mac, but an error was encountered while installing this update. Your mac can't be used until this update is installed.


On the advice of others posting here, I did a re-install of the OS from Command-R. This did not help me. I tried several times.


Then (also from within Command-R) I erased and re-formatted the hard drive, re-installed the OS, and for the first time was able to get as far as inputting my time zone and setting up a user account.


The first thing I did once I finally gained access to my new computer was to visit the App Store and download updates. One of the App Store system updates needed a re-start.


When the computer re-started, it made it to the log-in screen. However, after I entered my password, the screen froze, with a spinning beach ball. I was not able to login again to the account.


I did a hard re-start. When the system started again, I was prompted for my WIFI network, and then received the same error message:

A critical software update is required for your Mac, but an error was encountered while installing this update. Your mac can't be used until this update is installed.


Help??!

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Dec 17, 2016 6:57 AM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

I had the same problem . It was fixed by doing an internet system software installation. Immediately after pressing the start button press option command r together. This caused a completely new system to be installed and it fixed the problem. It also did not delete the user info already transferred and it was nice that that step did not have to be repeated. I called Apple tech support and they set me on this path.

Dec 17, 2016 6:57 AM

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Dec 30, 2016 6:57 AM in response to zimjhz In response to zimjhz

Same thing happened to me. Had to reboot with Command-R MacOS Recovery and re-installed the OS. I didn't have to do internet recovery, good thing because I did not have Wi-Fi at the time. One problem I did experience - when it came back up I had a very difficult time reconnecting to my Wi-Fi and I had to go through diagnostics to get it to connect. Could this be the underlying problem with the update, it's not able to connect to Wi-Fi in the process?

Dec 30, 2016 6:57 AM

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Dec 30, 2016 1:41 PM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

Hey all thanks for the replies! Unfortunately I wasn't able to resolve the issue and Apple had to replace the entire machine. I'm hoping this doesn't happen again but I'll keep the internet recovery in mind if it happens again.

Dec 30, 2016 1:41 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Jan 31, 2017 6:02 PM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

In trying to set up and log into my new Macbook Pro 15" with TouchBar, I got only as far as entering my network information when I received the error message:


A critical software update is required for your Mac, but an error was encountered while installing this update. Your mac can't be used until this update is installed.


On the advice of others posting here, I did a re-install of the OS from Command-R. This did not help me. I tried several times.


Then (also from within Command-R) I erased and re-formatted the hard drive, re-installed the OS, and for the first time was able to get as far as inputting my time zone and setting up a user account.


The first thing I did once I finally gained access to my new computer was to visit the App Store and download updates. One of the App Store system updates needed a re-start.


When the computer re-started, it made it to the log-in screen. However, after I entered my password, the screen froze, with a spinning beach ball. I was not able to login again to the account.


I did a hard re-start. When the system started again, I was prompted for my WIFI network, and then received the same error message:

A critical software update is required for your Mac, but an error was encountered while installing this update. Your mac can't be used until this update is installed.


Help??!

Jan 31, 2017 6:02 PM

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Feb 15, 2017 3:26 PM in response to grillorafae In response to grillorafae

I have been in touch with Apple they recommended me also to be in touch With an Apple premium reseller. The technician told me my macbook pro is an illegal version as this pop up at the start is a malware and only updates go through mac store not from the start


Resetting up all will incur a cost what a joke Apple!

Feb 15, 2017 3:26 PM

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Feb 16, 2017 6:09 AM in response to wolfpack98 In response to wolfpack98

In my case, the advice that the problem is due to malware, is probably not accurate. I purchased my macbook pro with touchbar directly from the apple education store online. After encountering the endless loop, I took advice from this thread and reinstalled the software, erased the disk and reinstalled the software, and changed networks. Nothing helped.


I received the error out-of-the box. I had done nothing more to this new computer than to turn it on.


I contacted Apple via online chat and they walked me through the usual procedures (the ones I'd already undertaken, in addition to demonstrating the ability to start in 'safe mode' but not otherwise). They instructed me to take it to a certified Apple repair shop.


The shop tested the hardware, tried reinstalling the software, and they even installed and attempted to use a new hard drive. They could not get around this error loop.


They returned my macbook to Apple. It is being replaced by a new machine.


If you're encountering the same difficulties, and you've taken steps to reinstall the original OS from scratch and failed to resolve the issue I suggest you take your macbook to a certified Apple repair shop. Upon dropping it off to them, they may suggest that it is only a software/network problem that can be rectified with a new network/installation and that you will be charged for the software issue. My experiences, however, would suggest that this error runs deeper and it is very unlikely that a 'software fix' that they attempt in shop will get around the issue. If my own problem is any indication, they will discover that it can't be addressed in shop and requires replacement.


I know this is frustrating and disappointing. But I found my local apple repair shop to be very helpful. Don't waste too much time trying to fix it on your own if the CMD-R reinstall procedures fail - determination might not get you far.

Feb 16, 2017 6:09 AM

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Mar 22, 2017 3:31 PM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

I am having this problem as well. I do not want to return this one, I already had one die on me after one month. I replaced that. This is a $3,000 computer that is full of issues. The 2016 Macbook is in my opinion full of bugs and not a good buy. I am so frustrated.

Mar 22, 2017 3:31 PM

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Apr 5, 2017 1:36 AM in response to prpshrt In response to prpshrt

Had this exact problem.


Was finally solved by booting in safe mode (with shift) and creating a new network location that did not use our corporate proxy server.


After this i rebooted normally, selected my iPhone as wifi network. This time it was able to complete install the critical software update. So it seems that it for some reason cant connect through a proxy when it does the final setup of the update.

Apr 5, 2017 1:36 AM

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Question: Macbook 2016 stuck in an update loop