Sometimes you have to let the OS X installer finish

Ran into a situation earlier today where my MacBook Pro took what I thought was an inordinate amount of time to install the Mac OS X 10.6.6 combo updater. During installation, the progress bar seemed to be non-responsive. After a half hour had passed, I was tempted to abort the installation. Before taking such a radical step, however, I opened up Console to look for clues. I found the following log message:

1/16/11 5:28:51 PM installd[1495] Package Authoring Warning: Will not do obsoleting for package because it contains unsafe bundles.

Unsafe bundles? That sounded ominous. I wondered what that could be, as I had sucessfully installed the same 1.0 gb combo updater on another Mac without a problem.

I researched the Apple Discussion Boards and found several cases where users were having problems with Mac OS X 10.6.6 or its installer:

Topic: Frozen 5 times after 10.6.6 update
“I installed the upgrade and my iMac has locked up three times in the past two hours. Spinning beachball while using Firefox.”

Topic: Frozen OS 10.6.6 update install
“I routinely did my system update this morning and started the OS 10.6.6 update. 3/4 of the way through writing files it stopped. It hasn’t moved in almost two hours.”

Topic: Can’t boot after 10.6.6 update

I regularly clone the boot drive on my MacBook Pro using SuperDuper, so I wouldn’t have been offline for an extended period if I chose to abort the OS X installation and restore from backup. Of course, I would prefer to avoid such a course of action.

I decided to take a dinner break. When I returned, I noticed that the installation had progressed to a different step and the estimated time to complete had changed. The installer wasn’t frozen, after all. I preoccupied myself by testing some newly installed apps on my iPhone.

Finally, my laptop greeted me with a reassuring message that the installation had finished! I restarted in safe mode and repaired permissions. I then restarted normally and held my breath. It took more time than usual to see the login window. I entered my login credentials and crossed my fingers. The Finder worked flawlessly. Apps opened without difficulty. Life was sweet again!


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Filed under Apple Software, Troubleshooting

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