Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MacOS X 10.4.9 Update Killed My Mac!

The same problem can occur with update 10.4.10 and 10.4.11 and the same instructions can be used to resolve it. See Update9 below.

Today I tried to install the 10.4.9 update for MacOS X that Apple has just released. Unfortunately something went wrong when installing the update and I got an error message saying that the installation was unsuccessful and the installer was moved to the Trash. After that I was prompted to restart, because of other updates.

So I restarted my MacBook Pro and let it run for some time. When I came back a bit later (at least 10minutes after the restart), I found the computer stuck at the blue screen, that appears just before the login screen comes up.

In hopes that another restart will fix everything I powered off the notebook and started it again. This time it got stuck on the gray screen with the Apple logo and a wheel spinning forever:



I tried the verbose mode:



As well as single user mode:



But both of them were unusable with this an error message appearing on the screen:
Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 88, trying /sbin/mach_init
Load of /sbin/launchd failed, errno 88
Fortunately I managed to fix this and this is the way to do it, just in case more of you get stuck with this issue:
  • Use another computer (or a live CD/DVD OS) to download the Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combo Update from the Apple website: Intel, PPC
  • Put the update on a USB key
  • Boot from Mac OS X Installation Disc (put the disc in, restart and hold c key)
  • When the installer starts, run Disk Utility and repair disk permissions
  • Open a Terminal and copy the update from the USB key to your computer's hard drive
    cp "/Volumes/YOUR_USB_KEY/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg" \
    "/Volumes/YOUR_HDD/"
  • Mount the dmg file
    hdiutil attach \
    "/Volumes/YOUR_HDD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg"
  • Run the update (for less experienced: the command has 4 lines, hit enter at the each line!). A GUI installer will start if the command was entered properly.
"/Volumes/YOUR_HDD/usr/bin/open" \
/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app \
"/Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update (Intel)/\
MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg"
  • Restart your computer when prompted
  • Delete the dmg file
Credits go to Mike Brooks who inspired me with his post in a forum discussion.

It seems that I'm not the only one who's having this problem. I wonder what is triggering this and why only certain users are experiencing these difficulties.

UPDATE: It seems that Apple doesn't like any discussion on this topic as two threads (1st, 2nd) on Apple forums discussing these issues were deleted/blocked by forum administrators. Come on Apple, that's lame!

UPDATE2: Some users claim that this issue is caused by messed up disk permissions. It is not a bad idea to repair your disk permissions before (and after) installing an update. I wonder why this procedure is not executed automatically before the system update.

UPDATE3: Many people are having problems with all the backslashes and forwardslashes in the commands, so I got rid of most of them by putting paths into quotes. I hope this will make it easier for people not used to working in the Terminal window.

UPDATE4: Apple has contacted me regarding this issue.

UPDATE 5: A friend of mine pointed me to this blog entry that provides a possible explanation to the software update issues.

UPDATE 6: Some users pointed out that you can fix a broken Mac by starting the computer in the target mode (requires second healthy Mac), running the update and selecting the broken Mac as the installation destination - this bypasses working with the terminal, which some users found difficult.

UPDATE 7: According to experience of some users, PowerPC Macs can't read usb drives formated as FAT. That complicates the recovery process quite a bit :-/

UPDATE 8: I put together a small shell script that runs all the command for you - no more pain for "average" users who don't live on the command line. Download the script, read the instructions in it, run it and provide feedback.

UPDATE 9:This issue happened to at least one user during upgrade to 10.4.10 (see comments for this blog entry). The same instructions resolved the issue - just replace MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg with MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.10Intel.dmg.

299 comments:

1 – 200 of 299   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Thanks so much this guide resolved my problem!

U are a big man!

Thanks so much
DAddYE
Italy

Anonymous said...

I hope this wil solve my problem too .
The same happens to me this mornig trying to upgrade to 10.4.9.

Anonymous said...

hmmm i have no usbkey, hehe... Can i burn it on a cd and to the thing?? ps. What i haved to write for name of usbkey.. d:/?? for cd drive

Igor Minar said...

You can burn the update to a cd, but it will be good ONLY IF you have 2 cd/dvd drives. Remember that you need to boot from the installation DVD which will occupy 1 drive.

Regarding the name of a usb key, you can run "ls /Volumes" in the Terminal to see what volumes are available/mounted. You should be able to see the name of your usb key there.

Igor Minar said...

If you are using a cd, it will show up with the "ls /Volumes" command as well

rama said...

good stuff- i'm sure it'll bail out lots of people. I'm not a bleeding-edge upgrader- in fact I usually wait for all the Igor's out there to figure out the problems first, *then* I consider it. ;)

Anonymous said...

ok... if i do, cp /Volumes/YOUR_USB_KEY/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg /Volumes/YOUR_HDD/ ..... then it tells me the option for cp, i dont get that.. it wont copy it??

Igor Minar said...

Rama, you have to have some fun like this in your life from time to time. Otherwise you will just be installing boring updates the whole time.

The good thing is that the issue was not very difficult to fix.

Igor Minar said...

Anonymous, replace YOUR_USB_KEY and YOUR_HDD with the actual names of these mounts.

As I wrote, the way to figure out what to replace them with is to run "ls /Volumes" in the Terminal (once you booted from the installation dvd)

Anonymous said...

sorry for being so dumb hehe... Usb=BLACKJACK hd=Macintosh HD... when i want to copy that with the command.. i get only the help menu for cp... i dont get it..

Anonymous said...

I can better ask what i have to write at the space between Macintosh HD for the HD himself... windows uses % for the spaces...

Igor Minar said...

Try this:

cp /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg \
/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/


hdiutil attach \
/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg


/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/usr/bin/open \
/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app \
/Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.9\ Combined\ Update\ \(Intel\)\/
MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg

Igor Minar said...

MacOS and other unix based OSes escape a space and other characters with a single \

Anonymous said...

i dont get it... i try to copy this and nothing.. msg: does not exist, but if i do ls it says macintosh HD...

Igor Minar said...

Ohhh!!! Sorry replace the first command with:

cp /Volumes/BLACKJACK/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg \
/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/

Anonymous said...

i will send some pics...

Anonymous said...

http://img260.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00196uo0.jpg

http://img76.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00198fu9.jpg

i get the same message with both codes... i dont know where i make the mistake...

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Sound promising to me I have exactly the same problem.
BTW is it possible to use the package from the faild installation (I saved it on my desktop before I reboot) and avoid the steps of using an USB and mounting the dmg file.

Igor Minar said...

try this:

cp /Volumes/BLACKJACK/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg \
/Volumes/Mac

once pasted in your terminal hit TAB right after /Volumes/Mac that should autocomplete the folder name for you

if that works do the same with the rest of the commands or adjust the commands according to what the autocomplete added

Igor Minar said...

Combo install is suggested for this procedure. It is much bigger (~300MB) than the one that system update downloaded.

Anonymous said...

ok man, thanks for helping... i will do this tommorow.. have to go now.. i will let you know... thanks..

PeterB said...

Thanks, Igor, for posting this. A few pointers for others:

* If you're a complete doofus, and wondering why your Tiger install disk is not booting the system when pressing the C key on boot, that's because the Tiger install disk is not bootable. Duh!

* If you, like me, forgot to plug in the USB stick before booting from CD/DVD, you can get it to mount from Terminal.app with 'disktool -r'

* Before running DiskTool, you may want to log the output of the permission changes for later analysis. I, for one, would like to know how the sticky bit got set on some system directories. If you forget to log, you can capture the changes with Command-A, Command-C and pasting in Terminal with 'cat > /Volume/YOUR_HDD/disktool.log <<END
[Command - V]
END'

* Before doing the install, you can test that the diskimage is uncorrupted with 'cat MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9IntelI.dmg | openssl sha1'. It'll take about a minute. The result should be: 29c7a75a0ed2af9ed1f510e8a5c591c8dfeb9605

Cheers,

Peter Burkholder
http://www.pburkholder.com

Igor Minar said...

Thanks Peter for additional info.

vk Greece said...

Thank you Igor.
It worked perfectly and i am noviced on terminal and command line.
By the way i had a problem with my hd name Macintosh HD but enclosing it in double quotes "Macintosh HD" worked out.
Also watch out for uppercase letters.
It is better to type ls /Volumes to see the exact names of volumes to use.

Thanks again

Igor Minar said...

cool.. I'm glad it worked for you.

Enclosing the path in double quotes "" will help too, thanks for bringing it up!

S said...

Igor

First, thanks for posting these instructions. I am having the same problem as anonymous. I type ls /Volumes and see the name of my HD (Seven) but when I run the copy command I receive and error that says directory does not exist. I tried the tab trick with every letter in the alphabet and nothing was every automatically filled in. I'm wondering if this is because my HD is formatted Extended (journaled).

Igor Minar said...

s, it has nothing to do with the filesystem you use.

If you go to the terminal and type

ls /Volumes/

followed by TAB (do not use enter/return!) you should see list of drives/mounts available, type the fist letter of the name of your HDD, and press TAB again. This should autofill the name of your drive. If nothing happens after 1st TAB try to press TAB twice, you'll see list of files starting with the letter you typed. Now you can type another letter to narrow down the list. Repeat until you get the name of your drive.

If this works do the same with the commands I mentioned above.

Petroff said...

Hi All,

In my case the following was the right combination:

cp /Volumes/BLACKJACK/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/

There is no Backslash between the source and the destination.

Igor, thanks for posting this. You are GREAT!!!

Cheers,
Petroff

Igor Minar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Igor Minar said...

Petroff,

removing backslashes from the end of the lines might help, if you join all the lines of one command into one line.

I put them there and split the commands into multiple lines because I was fighting with the comment width limits on blogger.

Blogger is pretty unfriendly place for posting code and especially long oneliners :-(

Petroff said...

Huuuuhhhh!

It's unbeliveable! My iMac works again!!!

Igor, thank you for the Help!

Bye, Petroff

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for your instructions! I great that I can write this comment on my iBook that was dead a few minutes ago :-)

One thing i want to add is that if you dont have an USB Key at hand (like myself :-)) you can use scp to copy the file over from another machine:

1) chroot into your installation

chroot /Volumes/YOUR_HD/

2) mount the devfs

mount -t devfs devfs /dev

Now you can use the scp command as usual. After you copied the file over just exit the chroot environment and continue the instructions.

Cheers,
Gerhard

Igor Minar said...

Good tip Gerhard! In my case I actually used my digital camera to transfer the update from a computer to my MBP.

Anonymous said...

It worked! It worked! Thank you very much! With this tip you have rescued my iBook!

S said...

Igor

Thank you again for doing something Apple wasn't able to do. I am back in business!

D.J. said...

I've been trying all the tips in here for two hours and after the first command all I get is a response of cp: directory /Volumes/Macintosh HD does not exist

Igor Minar said...

put the path in double quotes and try again:

cp /Volumes/YOUR_USB_KEY/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg \
"/Volumes/Macintosh HD/"

do the same for other commands where "Macintosh HD" occurs

arbus said...

Bummer, this did not work for me. Apps still locking with spinning beach balls and computer freezing while opening widgets.

Igor Minar said...

arbus, trying running disk utility and veryfying/repairing your disk permissions and disk.

You could also try reinstalling the combo update.

Everything works fine for me (I've been working on my machine the whole day), so if that doesn't fix it then I'm afraid I won't be able to help you and you might need to reinstall the system :-/

D.J. said...

Thanks it seems to be working now. Although I waited for 10 minutes for it to prompt me to restart after completing the third command and nothing. Just a cursor.

I went ahead and tried rebooting and still stuck.

I'm going back to verify and Rebuild disk 7 Permisssions and try it one more time.

Thanks for you for you erlier reply. I'm open to further suggestions.

Igor Minar said...

D.J., the third command is supposed to open an installer application in a new window. It seems that you have some typo there - most likely the quotes or backslashes are messed up.

I'd like to post the command as a one liner, but blogger doesn't display it correctly.

If you have problems with this send me an email and I'll reply with the one liner. [iiminar _at_ gmail _dot_ com]

Anonymous said...

how to open the Terminal after repairing disk permission? sorry, this might be a stupid question to ask, but i stuck there.
thanks!

Anonymous said...

well for me hasn't worked and also it seems that i can't find usb stick even with the ls /volumes command, but i did tried the target disk mode and through a different computer reinstalled 10.4.9 and it worked.

thomas said...

Thanx so much!!!

Now my MacBook boots again :-)))

Thomas
Germany

Anonymous said...

I love you!
Thanks!


Sebastian
Germany

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you. I too love you.

-- Dave

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

Unfortunately I became another victim. But instead of the gray screen my computer freezes on the blue screen with the Mac OS X loader bar. It’s been a half hour now and the bar hasn’t moved. Do you think this remedy will work for me as well?

:) Christian

Anonymous said...

How long should it take to repair permissions. It's been running for about 10 minutes now and looks like it's stopped 2/3 of the way. Any suggestions?

Igor Minar said...

To open the Terminal boot from the installation DVD and in the top menu bar look for utilities or something like that and there you should see Terminal.

Igor Minar said...

Keep in mind that depending on your configuration all the commands are CASE SENSITIVE!

Igor Minar said...

Christian,

initially I got stuck at the blue screen as well, after I restarted my MBP it kept getting stuck on the gray screen with apple logo.

Igor Minar said...

Repairing permissions took about 1 minute on my computer. But it depends on how many issues need to be fixed.

Also I'd suggest that you run "Verify disk" to make sure that there are no other problems.

mixmastaroberto said...

My powermac dual G5 starts up, but i can't run any programs. i get this message that flashes on screen very quickly that says: cannot run program... must close. or something like that. it's appears very fast, then the app is not open but the bar on the top of the screen shows it. I can't click on anything after this. no programs will launch/respond.

I can't even shut down correctly, when i click on the little apple in the upper left hand corner nothing happens. so i have to press the power button and force it to shut down.

I cannot boot from the install disc.

I put the disc (and plug in my usb memory stick). When i start up, i hold 'C' but it boots up normally to the operating system. It does not get stuck on grey screen. When it boots up, all my shortcuts on screen are gone and i can't launch any programs, nothing works. not even system profile.

i am a mac rookie, but am comfortable using command prompt/terminal window, but i can't even open a terminal window to start.

Please help. thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip on how to run the update manually from the installer CD.

I wasn't able to use a USB key, apparently it only gets mounted if it's formatted as HFS, mine is FAT.

I had to boot single-user (hold down the "Apple" key and "S"), manually remount the hard disk read-write, manually mount a CD-RW with the update on it, and copy the update to the hard disk. Reboot, then I was able to follow your instructions on how to actually run the update from the installation CD.

Igor Minar said...

mixmastaroberto,

check this out: http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20050311073316780

maybe that will help you to boot from the DVD

Jeremy said...

Had the same exact problem with my Mac Mini Intel Duo Core.

I just restarted a couple of times and the problem cleared up.

Software update said that 10.4.9 installed just fine.

*shrug*

sandip said...

anyone try reinstalling from a disk archive from the Mac OS X disk? I am partway thru this and this is what Apple had me do after everything else failed.

if I follow Igor's instructions, how do I access terminal (sorry I am a Mac novice)?

Igor Minar said...

I don't know Jeremy. I wouldn't sleep well if I were you.

If the System Update said that the installation failed then something went wrong. I think you'll notice it sooner or later.

Igor Minar said...

Sandip,

boot from the disk and brows the top menu bar. You'll find both Disk Utility and Terminal there.

Anonymous said...

Igor,

It looks like this technique will work only if the USB key was loaded with the update from another Mac?

Thanks,

Chinmoy.

Igor Minar said...

Chinmoy,

You can use any computer (Mac,Windows,Linux, etc) capable of connecting to the Internet and downloading the file onto a usb key.

You can even use your broken mac if you have a live cd (like http://www.knoppix.org/) handy.

Anonymous said...

Hi

My system seems to start up fine. I get to the login window and type my password, do return and then, its hangs on the blue screen.

I tried Igor's suggestion and did the
procedure. But it does not help. The
problem remains.

Any ideas?

M.

Anonymous said...

Hello all and thanks for the great help here.

I can't start a Terminal window - the Terminal menu item is greyed. Any ideas?

Igor Minar said...

That's odd, I've never seen the Terminal to be disabled when I booted from the installation dvd.

Igor Minar said...

M.,

have you repaired the disk and permissions?

Anonymous said...

Yes. I booted to dvd, ran repair permissions, then looked for the terminal app to no avail. I'll restart again and see if it becomes active.

Dave said...

Thanks for the tips... you could make your terminal commands a bit easier to use for novices - perhaps its a limitations of your blog? Just thought single line commands and the use of quotations for spaces in locations would be a better way to display the instructions.

Anyway, thanks -all works fine now. Having looked around many people are pointing to your blog for the fix so well done you.

Anonymous said...

Vielen Dank für die HILFE!!! Hat meinen Tag gerettet!

Greetz,

Malte

Anonymous said...

Hi, tried everything exept Igor's method. I wanted to keep this til the end. What helped for me was booting in safe mode (took about ten minutes to load) and then rebooting (took a long time too). 10.4.9 started. I will install the Combo update just to be on the safe side, but at least my MacMini is working again!

Kevin said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Igor. I didn't have my startup disk handy but I booted into safe mode and mounted my USB flash drive from there (it took a while but OS X finally mounted it). Copied off the dmg, mounted it and ran the update. During the reboot following the update my computer rebooted again, then started up just fine. Thanks again!

Igor Minar said...

Dave,

I had to split the commands into multiple lines using backslashes because of the blogger template I'm using. When I tried to create one-liners, only part of the commands were visible.

I think I'll have to switch to a different template or create a new one soon.

Anonymous said...

When booting into safe mode do you hold down the shift key for ten minutes?!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!! Saved my MacBook Pro!! :)
Damn Apple with their no-comment-policy and always-buggy products... -.-

Anonymous said...

Thanks mate, just sorted me out too.

Russ
Cheltenham, UK

Anonymous said...

Thanks Igor, this solved my problem.

Chinmoy.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
thanks to all for all the shared info,
in the first place Igor, for sure.

But do you think it solves boot problem also, if the console in verbose mode says clearly:
couldn't find root user....
and it hangs and hangs into trying to find root user, sleeping and retrying?

and, igor you mentioned that you have used the camera to migrate the combo installer - do you think I can use the mobile phone with usb cable (SE k610)?

many thanks
Peter

Anonymous said...

and, doesn't it help to just install the combo installer via firewire from second computer?

thx
peter

Anonymous said...

hi there,
thanx for posting this solution. But i have problems with that, may be u can help. At the end of the software update i got kernel panic.
i copied the combo installer via firewire connection from my powerbook to the macbook.
evrytime i write this into the terminal:
hdiutil attach /Volumes/'Macintosh HD'/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg

it says no such file or directory.
but the file is in the root directory of my mac hd... any thoughts? thanx.
oli

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you type
Macintosh\ HD
instead of
'Macintosh HD'
?

Anonymous said...

Of course you can just use Target Disk Mode via FireWire to place the file on the corrupt machine! Doesn't matter how the file gets there.

Igor Minar said...

Peter,

trying to find root user?

That sounds like a different problem than the one I had.

Have you tried fixing the disk permissions?

You could do more hacking in the terminal to debug this, but that requires some knowledge of MacOS/unix and working in terminal.

Regarding the phone, you can use any device that mounts as a usb mass storage device and has enough space (~350MB).

The phone might not have enough space and I'm not sure if it mounts as a mass storage. You can try it however.

I never tired the firewire, but it sounds like a good idea if you can mount it.

Anonymous said...

I'm installing on a PPC and haven't been able to work out the syntax on the install command. Any advice?

/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/usr/bin/open \
/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app \
/Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.9\ Combined\ Update\ \(Intel\)\/
MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg

Igor Minar said...

Oli,

instead of:

/Volumes/'Macintosh HD'/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg

use

"/Volumes/Macintosh HD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg"

(put double quotes around the whole path)

Anonymous said...

This worked for the PPC install command.

/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/usr/bin/open \
/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app \
/Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.9\ Combined\ Update\/
MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9PPC.pkg
Thanks for the terrific info! You saved me much hassle!

Leibowitz said...

Igor -- Thank you for your help.

I hate to be the class dummy, but when I fire up Terminal from the installation disk, I get a window labeled "Terminal-bash-80x24"
In that window is a (command line?) that says -bash-2.05b#
When I enter any combination of is/volumes, with and without capitals, in single quotes or double quotes, using Enter, Return or Tab, I get either no response (with Tab) or I get "No such file or directory" This even though I have both a USB memory stick and a firewire hard drive connected.

So, I'm not even getting to first base.

Can you suggest something?

Thanks.

Eligio Zavala said...

I have a problem... I installed the OS X 10.4.9 update along with the iTunes update on a G5 PPC desktop. The following is what happened next as far as I can remember. The iTunes update did not go through and sent a message that it was being trashed... Following this I restarted my computer since the OS X update required it. My computer failed to restart... showing a folder with alternating question mark and apple face logo. I proceded to startup from the OS X Tiger CD and then from the OS X CD that came with the computer... it failed to restart both times instead leading me into the reinstallation of the operating system. From there I accessed the Disk Utility feature and verified my hard disk... it displayed an error "invalid node structure " that needed repair. I proceeded to repair it with the disk utility. Shortly after starting the repair, the process stopped. It displayed Error: the underlying task reported failure on exit (-9972). Unfortunately, this was the last time I saw my hard drive mounted. It has now become invisible at least as far as a reinstall is concerned... I also tried a third party disk utility... "Check It" system performance suite. It was unable to repair the disk. The hard drive seems to pass the 'read write', 's.m.a.r.t.' and 'disk controller' test. The 'surface scan' test found plenty of bad blocks until it finaly "failed!". I also tried using the HD as a target Firewire HD with a laptop as the host but it failed to mount on the desktop. Finally, I'm trying to use Check it! to recover data from the drive but it is going suspiciously slow. I would settle for a backdoor way of retrieving my data. Can anyone help?

Anonymous said...

Firewire worked well for me (in the case of mounting and performing the installation of the combo updater), the prcess was smooth with no hassles.
I can really advise this simple way
(in the case you have two macs and FireWire cable) AND IN THE CASE YOU HAVE NOT SEEN (in verbose mode) THE "COULDN'T FIND ROOT USER..." message

In this case it solves really nothing.

But, Igor, you have mentioned something about possibly doing more by hacking in the terminal to debug this,
but that requires some knowledge of MacOS/unix and working in terminal.

And I have almost no knowledge about unix and terminal. (but I do good graphics ;-)

But I will be really very thankfull if someone can help me (and maybe some more people)
and there will be one more solution by the side of system reinstall.

THX
Peter

Kate said...

Having some trouble with the third step. I can't seem to ge the syntax correct and keep receiving an error:

No such file: /Volumes?Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg

Any ideas? Thanks in advance! =)

Igor Minar said...

Leibowitz,

it's:

ls /Volumes

low caps ls (as list), not:

is /Volumes

Igor Minar said...

Eligio,

You are in serious trouble. If you have any valuable data on the hard drive, I suggest you don't touch the drive any more, unless you know what you are doing.

A professional should be able to retrieve all or at least some data from the disk for you.

If all the data you have are backed up, just format the drive and reinstall the system. But since there are some bad blocks on the disk already, I'd get some program to keep an eye on those or I'd replace the disk altogether.

Igor Minar said...

Peter,

Look at this:

http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=56541

the same/similar issue is being discussed there.

Anonymous said...

Please help Aussie noob :s Same problem has happened to me surprise, surprise.

I tried entering the lines of code you demonstrated in your post, however I am not sure if I am entering them right? Could you please tell me in exact keys how to type in the code because at this point I am not sure if anything is going through . Every time I press tab nothing happens except with the Is /Volumes code to get the names of my USB and HD :s

MBP said...

Sorry but I am new to this and I am having this exact problem with my MacBook Pro. How do you type the "backslash"

thanks

Igor Minar said...

Aussie :)

everything is on the web, just retype the commands into your computer.

Igor Minar said...

MBP,

backslash is \

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backslash

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great blog. I have had all of the issues described (i.e. getting to grey screen but not going any further, etc), so I followed your instructions (which were excellent!!), but now I seem to have created another problem!!

Basically I am now getting to the 'Starting Mac OS X' blue screen, the blue bar gets to the end (indicating it is about to start), then nothing! I have left this thing overnight, but still no startup. So I did some investigating! Booted in Verbose mode and it turns out that I am getting stumped at the login...here is the error:

launchd: /System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow port /dev/console exited abnormally

launchd: getty repeating too quickly on port /dev/console, sleeping

There is more, but I won't post it here. Any thoughts? Thanks - Andrew.

Igor Minar said...

Andrew,

Have you repaired your disk permissions? Try that as well as verifying the disk (both via disk utility after booting from the installation media).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response Igor...I love the mac community! Unfortunately I have already tried repairing the permissions and the disk. The disc originally had a 'incorrect key length' fault (and I almost passed out), but I ran out and bought DiskWarrior which fixed that issue. Both the permissions and disk verify okay. I even tried doing a 'fsck -fy' under verbose mode. All is okay! I am inches away from re-formatting the whole HDD (except I really don't want to have to re-install everything). Andrew.

Igor Minar said...

Andrew,

I know that feeling, I was afraid that I'd have to do the reinstall as well. That was the main motivation to fix this in some other way.

Unfortunately I don't know how to help you. Try googling around, maybe someone had the same issue in the past.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Igor. Unfortunately have already tried the googling around option...am on the phone right now to Apple support. I don't think that they will be able to help over the phone, but have to try every option! I appreciate all your help anyway. Cheers. Andrew.

Igor Minar said...

Good luck Andrew!

Abraham said...

anyone have this problem?
for the last command, copied just as is, i get this,
"syntax error near unexpected token `('"
what do i do??

Igor Minar said...

Abraham,

you must have a typo there, carefully retype the whole thing.

Bruno said...

Thanks for the help! Followed your step by step and now my Mini is back!

Bruno

Abraham said...

exactly as it is? cause i'm pretty sure it's right and it's still not working
could you explain what each part of the code does? it might help me

Igor Minar said...

Abraham,

I updated the commands on my blog a bit. See the update3 notes for changes.

I hope this will resolve your problems.

Abraham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abraham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abraham said...

apparently, my hdd doesn't exist
no such file or directory
and now the usb drive doesn't exist
is there something i'm missing about terminal? it says -bash-2.05b#
before i type commands

Igor Minar said...

Abraham,

don't panic, I'm pretty sure that your hard drive is still there. Most likely it's called "Macintosh HD", so replace "MY_HDD" with "Macintosh HD".

To find out the name of your usb key run the

ls /Volumes

command
it should print a bunch of names, one of them is the name of your usb key.

Keep in mind that all the commands as well as names in MacOS are case sensitive.

zg said...

You have saved my life as well, my friend. I will be following your blog from now on.

Many thanks,
Zg

Igor Minar said...

Zg,

I'm glad that I could help. I like hacking MacOS X, Java and RoR, so if any of these interest you, you might find more interesting stuff on my blog in the future.

Anonymous said...

I feel like an idiot asking this, but I'm really confused. I tried what you said, but holding the 'c' key during a restart doesn't boot from my OS X Tiger install CD. It just goes to the apple logo screen and spins forever. Peter B made a comment along these lines, but I still understand what I'm going wrong (does that make me a "complete dufus"?). I was able to get into target disk mode, repair permissions (no problems were found), and copy the os x update dmg to the broken mac mini, but I can't get the mini to boot from the cd. What am I doing wrong?

Igor Minar said...

So how did you copy the update to your broken mac if it doesn't boot and if you can't boot from the dvd?

btw try holding the option key while your mac is starting, it should display the boot menu where you can select boot from cd/dvd option (supposing that you have a bootable disc in your drive)

Abraham said...

yeah i have my usb key name
i know my hdd name is macintosh hd
but it still says it doesn't exist
case is correct too

Anonymous said...

Igor -

I was able to copy the update over by holding the 't' key down at startup which started in target disk mode. Then, I hooked up my powerbook to the mac mini via firewire and the mac mini's hard drive mounted on my powerbook. I repaired disk permissions on the mac mini (via Disk Utilities on my powerbook), and then I just dragged the dmg file over to the mini's mounted hard drive.

Holding option at startup doesn't do anything either. It seems that the only key it responds to is 't'. One thing to note is that I don't typically have a keyboard hooked up to the mac mini (it's used only as a media center, web server, and ftp server) so I'm just using a generic USB keyboard I had laying around (not an Apple keyboard). Don't know if that matters. Also, holding down the left mouse button on my USB mouse at startup doesn't eject the DVD like I thought it should. The only way to eject the DVD is through Disk Utilities in target disk mode.

One last note... At startup, I hear the disc spinning in there so it doesn't appear to be a problem with a broken DVD drive.

I appreciate you trying to help. I'm getting very frustrated, and it's nice to have someone trying to help. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanx Igor, you're the man!
Works well... with some Terminal knowledge...

Benoît said...

Igor,

Only one word : MERCI (in French in the Text)

I have applied all your method and my MBP is back ... Good to remenber unix ...

Encore merci
Thanks a lot

freetwix said...

thankx dude

Anonymous said...

D'oh!!!! Why wouldn't my OS X Install CD mount on startup while holding down the 'c' key??? Maybe because I was using my original OS X install disc (the PowerPC variety), and, of course, my mac mini is Intel. When I used the Intel version that came with the mac mini, it all worked great! I guess that does make me a dufus. Thanks so much for your help!

Igor Minar said...

:-D

I'm glad that it's working for you now.

Anonymous said...

Boot with T, connect firewire to another mac and re-install update from that one !! Worked amazingly !! Thanks for sharing your pain !!

Abraham said...

its getting hopeless
my comps HDD is called Macintosh HD
but it says it doesn't exist
so i cant even finish the first step

Igor Minar said...

Abraham,

what exactly are you typing into the Terminal?

Anonymous said...

Hi Igor,
I'm drowning here. I can't seem to mount the updater. I've sent you an e-mail with the actual message but the gist of it is that the Volumes/Macintosh already specified. It seems to have separated the HD from Macintosh.
It's ok for you computer guys, but for me it's just baffling.
Thanks,

Colin Ashworth

Abraham said...

Excatly as it is up there
cp "/Volumes/USB20FD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg" \ "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/"

Anonymous said...

had the same problem - unfortunately i did not read this post before - lost all my information and had to do a complete re-install of OSX - however, there now seems to be a louder noise emanating from the left panel of the mac book pro casing - any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Being away from home and lacking the Tiger DVD, I found some Tiger CDs from which I boot, but unfortunately there's no terminal in the utilities... any clever way to access a terminal window from within the installer (or some other way?)

Thanks a lot

Brian said...

Thanks for the solution

PoNCh said...

Thanks man, I was a second away of formatting. You're the best :D

Anonymous said...

hello,

when i type ls volumes i can see my macintosh hd but not my usb stick. the stick is just not listed. i tried to mount the stick but with no success. could anyone help me please, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! your blog is helping many people: Another Imac Intel is back to business here.

My problem was getting serious.

Only able to start Imac with OSX disk 1: Own DiskUtility unable to repair. Terminal not seeming to find HD. Fcsk same stuff.
Tried Target Mode: Same bad news.

HD was actually there, but in grey letters... "no good" said Apple people on the phone.

Seconds before paying a sad visit to the technical service, downloaded Disk Warrior from their site - A second Mac OSX is needed - ran it Target Mode, and YES! after two days dead, Imac HD came to life.

I then followed your advice, and 10.4.9 is now running full steam.

Sergio

Kitch said...

So I had this problem, and corrected it in the way mentioned on this blog.... but then when I went to login to my working system, I found the login box wont accept input from my keyboard. Volume, caps lock, eject, etc all work, but it won't take anything I need to enter my login and password. Ack! Help!

Anonymous said...

Uhm, is there ANY WAY to sort this out if you only have a non-bootable Tiger install disc?

-1986

Igor Minar said...

1986,

If you have two macs you can connect them with firewire and boot them in "target mode".

Also, if a apple store is close by, you can go there and I'm sure that they'll boot the machine for you from their discs.

Anonymous said...

I booted the iMac in target mode and the disk was mounted in my iBook G4.
Am i supposed to run the update från the iBook? I tried that but it didnt work because the update is for Intel..

So what am I missing here?

thanks for the answer anyway!

-1986

Igor Minar said...

AFAIK, you can run this via target mode only as long as both computers are using compatible processors. :-/

Anonymous said...

Another satisfied customer; thank you so much, Igor. Quick note that might be helpful to some readers: like at least a couple of commentors here, my PPC Mac Mini does NOT have Terminal as an option from the Installer when you boot from the DVD. However, I was able to simply repair permissions, quit Disk Utility, then choose Startup Disk from the Installer menu and select my old OS (10.4.8) and restart.

My Mac Mini rebooted to the previous OS, from which I was able to copy and mount the new 10.4.9 dmg from a USB thumb drive like normal. Ran fine, restarted and now I'm using 10.4.9 just fine. Appears the problem is a complete hosing of the permissions when the update ran the first time.

I'm a Mac user going back to 1984 and believe the machines are "insanely great." However, their corporate philosophy that "we don't make mistakes and certainly won't acknowledge them" is shameful. Thank goodness for people like you, Igor. You're the best!

Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Igor Minar said...

Thanks Mark!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I don't know much about using terminal, but with your directions, (and a few attempts!), my mac has been revived from the dead.
You deserve a fantastic and happy long life, songs and books should be written in your honour. thanks again.
Mr I.M.V.Grateful

andrej said...

My update failed because downloaded archive was broken (i saw it in install.log) It installs half of archive and then failed. Even my 3-year old daughter thinks that installer should check archive BEFORE installing, or use some kind of transaction. Anyway, problem was that UI server has newer version than UI client (windowserver.log) so computer boots up and then ui freezes on that lovely progressbar before login screen. Network was working (AirPort) and I was able to get ssh login from other computer but I could not run installer whithout gui.
I solve a problem installing combo update too, but whithout OSX install dvd. I started broken powerbook in target disk mode and connect it to healthy iMac via fw cable. Update installer asks on what volume to install and that's it.

dominic said...

Hey guys, I really need your help. I don't know what i'm doing wrong. I got the .pkg and the .dmg file on Macintosh HD via Target mode. I typed the following into terminal:
/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/usr/bin/open \ /Applications/Utilities/Installer.app
but it says: open [111] No such file: /private/var/root / / Applications/Utilities/Installer.app

Can you tell me what I have to type in exactly? i'm confused. maybe it is not working because in disk utility it says "no valid packages" when i want to repair disk permissions. thank you already for your help

Igor Minar said...

Dominic,

if you are running this in the target mode, just use finder to run the installer. Then select the messed up disk as the target of the installation.

Igor Minar said...

Andrej,

that's new info for me. I haven't looked into logs yet. In which log did you see the errors? the cosole.log or somewhere else?

dominic said...

you mean i can install the update over target mode over the 2nd computer? how i did it was just copying the stuff over target and then used the terminal from booting from install dvd on the local one. i don't know what i do wrong in the terminal

Igor Minar said...

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I haven't done in myself, but some other people did and it worked for them. Just make sure you install the update on the correct disk.

dominic Breuer said...

YES! I#m juswt writing that from my broken one. That is the easiest and amazingness way to do it! tell that everybody! you are my god! sorry for my english, i#m german!

bonnix said...

I administer all the mac for the Chicago Public Schools and this is what we recommend. Download the 10.4.9 installer onto another machine, then boot the frakked machine into target disk mode using the t whilst booting. Install the 10.4.9 update from the good machine onto the frakked machine.

That should do it.

Botnari said...

Igor i am an new mac user.. and i dont have an install DVD.. and i dont have money to buy it.. so where i can to download it for free ? and if you can give me some advice how to burn it on the DVD, because i have downloaded an mac os x 10.4.8 iso burned it but he didnt boot :(
my e-mail is write.4k@gmail.com, so you can explain this instruction in russian, romanian or english.. ;) many thanks from Botnari

Igor Minar said...

Botnari,

Is there AppleStore nearby? Or some Apple dealer? They could boot the computer for you.

AFAIK it is not possible to legally download MacOS X for free, which is a shame IMHO.

So whatever the ISO you have is, it might be corrupted or altered. Also make sure that the disc matches your platform PowerPC/Intel.

Other than that I'm not sure if I can help you. :-/

Botnari said...

Machine Name:Mac
Machine Model:MacBookPro2,2
Processor Name:Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed:2.33 GHz
Number Of Processors:1
Total Number Of Cores:2
L2 Cache (per processor):4 MB
Memory:1 GB
Bus Speed:667 MHz
Boot ROM Version:MBP22.00A5.B01
SMC Version:1.12f5
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State:Enabled

hi Igor this is my macbook info.. you can tell me what version of os x is compatible with this configuration ?

Igor Minar said...

You have an Intel CPU. That means that you want an Intel version of MacOSX.

Anonymous said...

How do you open a terminal and copy from a USB. I know this sounds stupid but I don't have the option to open a terminal from the startup disk.

Igor Minar said...

It should be in the top menu bar, under Tools, or something similar. Someone in the discussion mentioned that the menu item was disabled on his system. I'm not sure what caused that.

Anonymous said...

I once had the problem when updated to the 10.4.9. By the way, I use the Power G4. I found out later that the harddrive caused the update to fail. After I changed the hard drive and reinstall it with the update then It's working fine. (the disk utility didn't report anything wrong with my old drive which is pretty weird.)

Abraham said...

Yeah a week ago I finally fixed it with Target disk mode
Thanks for your help

600 University Blvd, Suite 200 said...

Hi, I have a MacBookPro and have the same issue of the gray screen and the spinning wheel. I followed Igor's instructions, until I got to the following command in Terminal to run the update:
/Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/usr/bin/open \ /Applications/Utilities/Installer.app

I am getting the following message: open [160] No such file: /private/var/root / / Applications/Utilities/Installer.app

I don't have another MacBook so that I can copy the update and run it from there on a Target mac.

Please help! Thanks!
Julio

AdventureDad.com said...

Hi

I got screwed as well and is now trying to follow your excellent instructions while on vacation in Mexico? One question, I got the combo update to run through terminal bt it seems to be taking forever. So far no sign of system asking me to reboot. How do I know system is actually working on the update and not just sitting there?

After running the combo update I did not get the usal "-bash" command in terminal. Is my system still working on the update? How freaking long should it take?

Thanks again

AD

Igor Minar said...

Julio,

I've just updated that step on my blog. Make sure that you hit enter at the end of each line. The command has 4 lines.

Then it should work for you.

Igor Minar said...

AdventureDad,

most likely you have a typo in the command.

See my comment above and hit enter at the end of each line.

A GUI installer should start once the command was entered properly.

cheers,
i

AdventureDad said...

Igor,

Would you find it completely inappropriate if I offered you my 8-month old daughter or my wife as a thank you? :-))

Everything is up and running again after 7 hours of trying to find a solution!!! Thank you so much!

After you changed your last instructions I got it to work. Im on a month long vacation in Mexico and did bring my install discs. But when I needed them I noticed they were for my Imac so I couldnt do a archive install.....

Thank you once again, you are so kind to help everyone out. Where is you Paypal account so we can thank you?

AD

Igor Minar said...

AD,

I want you to keep both our daughter and your wife, don't give them away this easily :)

Don't worry about the Paypal account, I know what it feels like to be stuck with something like this and I'm glad that I could help.

cheers,
i

Julio Martinez-Clark said...

Hi Igor,
Thank you for your answer. I followed your last command (step 4-Running the update) exactly as you have them in your instructions and this is what I get:

-bash: /Volumes/Macintosh/ HD/usr/bin/open: No such file or directory

I also tried entering the commands as you suggested on your post dated 3/14/2007 1:37pm; I entered the 3rd line per your suggestion:

/Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.9\ Combined\ Update\ \(Intel\)\/

...and I got the following message:

/Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.9\ Combined\ Update\ \(Intel\)/2007-04-18 08:45:53.962 open[139] LSOpenFromURLSpec() returned -10814 for application (null) urls file://localhost/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app/ , file://localhost/Volumes/Mac%20OS%20X%2010.4.9%Combined%20Update%20(Intel)/.

Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Julio

Julio Martinez-Clark said...

Just an update...If I enter the first line of Igor's last command (Running the update) as...

"/Volumes/Macintosh HD/usr/bin/open" \

instead of

"/Volumes/Macintosh/ HD/usr/bin/open" \

then I get the following error message after the 4th line:

2007-04-18 09:00:40.261 open[140] No such file: /Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update (Intel) /MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg

Please help!

Cordially,

Julio

Wouter said...

Thanks a lot Igor! With your help I fixed my iMac as well. After hours of fooling around in single-user mode, trying to get the command-line installer to install the damn update, fiddling with FireWire target mode etc... Nothing worked, but I fixed it in 5 minutes using the information here! :-)

On my machine, the update messed the machine up when I was foolish enough to open the 'About this Mac' window while the update was installing (I wanted to check my current OS version). Apparently the updater doesn't like that, because it instantly went to a blue screen with just the spinning thing, doing nothing. After I shut it down manually it did not boot anymore.

Strange thing that apple is so touchy about this. Makes you wonder if they messed up the update and don't want to acknowledge it.

Igor Minar said...

Julio,

"/Volumes/Macintosh HD/usr/bin/open" \

is actually what it's supposed to be.

You can't have the extra "/" in between "Macintosh" and "HD".

cheers,
i

Julio Martinez-Clark said...

Hi Igor,
That's exactly what I am typing. I just retyped it as per your instructions:

"/Volumes/YOUR_HDD/usr/bin/open" \

/Applications/Utilities/Installer.app \

"/Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update (Intel)/\

MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg"

and I get the following error message:

2007-04-18 11:36:03.045 open[145] No such file: /Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update (Intel) /MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg

Any suggestions??

Thanks!

Julio

Igor Minar said...

Julio,

maybe the extra space after (Intel):

"(Intel) /MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg"

is your problem???

cheers,
i

Julio Martinez-Clark said...

Hi Igor,

I finally got the command to work!!! My MacBook Pro now is booting and running like a charm. :-D

I was able to make it work by typing:

"/Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.9 Combined Update (Intel)/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.pkg"
(All in one single line, then hitting "Enter").

I have no words to express my gratitude! Thank you!

Julio

Anonymous said...

I own a powerbook g4 (os x 10.2.8) and just purchased a macbook (os x 10.4.8). i tried to load the os x 10.4.8 onto my powerbook and it freezes on the restart (everytime). i realize mac doesn't support doing this, because i didn't technically purchase the os 10.4.8 for my other computer. is it possible to even do what i'm trying to do? thanks for your help. on a scale of 1-10 of mac intelligence, I'm probably a 4. thanks for you help and patience.

Igor Minar said...

Anonymous,

that's not going to work. Your powerbook is based on powerpc chip, whereas the macbooks are using intel chips. This makes it impossible to run software (including the OS) compiled for macbooks on powerbooks.

bethdeel said...

hello,

I updated my powerbook g4 to tiger about 6 months ago and I blindly updated to 10.4.9, about a month or so ago. My PB has been doing funky things for a while, today I restarted and got the gray apple page with the spinning wheel-lasts forever. I have tried everything I could find except for this. I am able to boot from my install disk to access the terminal window, (I have the update saved on my usb key). I have followed the directions until I get to the terminal window. I have no idea how to look for my usb key from there or what to type in. Can you walk me through this part? Also, the quotes you are using for commands? Do I type those too?

Thank you, Beth

Igor Minar said...

Beth,

yes, the quotes are part of the command so you definitely what to type those :)

Regarding the usb key name, try running:

ls /Volumes

ls (list) will print all the subfolders in Volumes folder, which contains all the mounted drives - including your usb key (make sure you plug the usb key in before you boot from the installation disc), it's usually not too difficult to guess which one of those is the usb key

cheers,
i

Hans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Igor,

I have a Intel 20" iMac which died exactly as yours did

Thanks stacks for this solution. The USB key that I was using wasn't showning up, died at an in opertune time. I have XP installed on the iMac and use boot camp, I loaded the update package onto the XP drive and then copied it across using termial.

Thanx, you rock!!

Anonymous said...

Igor,
Thanks so very much for this info! My son's ibook G4 was d.o.a. after the update. We spent a couple of hours at a Genius Bar, but in the end, they wanted to charge us $75 for reinstalling. With your help, I've got this Mac back up and in great shape. I just want to add my appreciation to the others here.

Way to go!!
BT in MN

Igor Minar said...

BT,

It's sad that Apple wanted to charge you for fixing something they shouldn't have allowed to happen in the first place.

As I wrote previously, I'm happy that I could help.

Peter D Cox, TMPL said...

irst I am amazed at how much help you've given people here - great stuff.
My problem wasn't caused by the update (PPC in my case) but running SpringCleaning - I am left with no Mac OS X apps working eg Disk Util, Mail etc. So I found you thread as a way of re-installing 10.4.9 as a fix. BUT, I think your code is using the installer.app on my hard disk and that's fked ....
So, is there anyway I can get 10.0.x off my install cd just to redo the combo?
Thanks ...

Igor Minar said...

Peter,

I have no idea it that's possible. But if you find a way, please share it with us.

Anonymous said...

thanks. i'm the anonymous mac intelligence of 4 (now I feel more like a 1.5) who asked how to use a 10.4 os disk from a mac book on a power book. Thanks for the 411.

Igor Minar said...

Anonymous,

using macbook disc with powerbook is not possible.. see one of the older comments in this discussion.

Tian2992 said...

Hey, 10.4.9 deleted my /etc folder.
i have an iBook G4 and i had 10.4.8 but upgraded beacuse of
after the first boot i was scared but nothing happened. 2 days after i opened terminal and it said that login failed, so i tried closing terminal. after I tried again. terminal didnt started as it said that "you dont have shell" something like that. So i tried the Net Info database change the default shell. but it remained. as i rebboted i start on verbose mode and it tells that /etc doesn't exist.

i listed root folder but it didn´t worked. Help!!!

also a
mailme at tian2992 at googlemail (gmail)

also a zipped /etc would help....

Igor Minar said...

tian2992,

if the files are really missing, then I suggest that you do archive install.

if you try to replace the files you might run into multiple issues.

Trish in ABQ said...

Hi, Igor,

"Updating" to 10.4.9 killed my old hard drive. OK, I can't be CERTAIN of that, but it is dead.. and the problems I was having were eerily similar to what I am having now on my NEW drive after installing the update. But....... my question is could I do the same thing by doing a Archive and Install from my OS 10 disk. Then, copying the dmg to a disk and loading it from there? I am seriously UNIX impaired, but I'll learn if I HAVE to. Incidentally, do you think I can make Apple pay for my hard disk data recovery??

Trish from ABQ said...

BTW, some users have mentioned that they can't "see" their USB on the macintosh. If you have a PPC, it won't show up in terminal if it is FAT formatted. You have to reformat the key or it won't show up. You can do this from disk utility. Of course, if your other computer is a PC you are kinda screwed. I haven't figured a way around this yet.

Trish from ABQ said...

Okie dokie, I promise this will be my last post. You can do the same thing by doing an "archive and install" from the OSX install disk, and then downloading the update to a disk and updating from there. For me, this was loads easier than dealing with the terminal. I'm not sure what the downside would be for others?? Anyway, thanks for pointing me to the culprit for my problems. I am serious, however, in saying that my last dead disk is undoubtedly due to this so-called upgrade. The permissions ended up so fked that even Diskwarrior couldn't recover the data. I am majorly upset. Anyone have any ideas on where to go with Apple? I'm out $100 for Diskwarrior, $100 for a new drive. Anyway, thanks for this. You are waaay awesome.

Igor Minar said...

Hey Trish,

thanks for the tip on PPC usb key problems. And yes, in that case you are really screwed if you don't have another Mac.

I tried to avoid Archive Install because I think that some custom configuration on my notebook would go to /dev/null heaven.

Also, if you know what to do in the terminal, it is way much faster to do it that way instead of Archive Install.

I don't expect that Apple will reimburse you in any way for your trouble. From my experience they are not that kind of company unfortunately.

I'm pretty sure that your old disk is still functional. It's just the file system that is messed up. So if you try to reformat the filesystem (via Disk Utility), you should be able to make it work again (however all the data on that disk will be gone).

So if you want you might do that, see if the disk is ok, migrate all the data back to the old disk and return the new disk if possible. If not you can use it as a backup disk (either as internal(if you have a desktop) or an external(for both desktop and notebook)

cheers,
i

Trish in ABQ said...

Igor,

I found a solution for PPC users who don't have a second MAC. You can get a program called MacDrive that allows PCs to read mac formatted disks. Although the program is about $50-60, you can download a free trial which works for about a week. The program is actually valuable, and some people may decide they just want to own a copy. (It makes cross-platform transfers easier if you DON'T own an Itel based Mac.) But, if you just want to use the trial version the week you get is long enough to format your USB key, download the update using your PC, and then do your fix on your Power PC. I think you might also want to mention somewhere up front that this issue happens with BOTH PPCs and Intel macs. I am wondering if some of your less sophisticated users were running into problems with your fix BECAUSE they were trying to load the Intel update onto their PPC.

Perhaps it is a total exercize in futility, but I am going to write a letter to Apple listing all my costs and see what happens. At the VERY least I would like them to refund the pointlessly futile call to AppleCare I made (not so coincidentally) about 2 days after the upgrade hit the public. I realize (now) that this was not conincidental, and had the Apple Care person known about the upgrade bug I might have been saved a ot of trouble and expense. As it was, I was taken through a lot of steps that I had already tried on my own. Funny that I thought that AppleCare OUGHT to know more about macintosh computers that I did?? Well, I won't make THAT expensive mistake again. Incidentally, the people at the Genius bar were no help either.

Igor Minar said...

Trish,

Good luck with your letter. If you ever hear back from Apple please let me know. I'd be curious to hear about it.

Apple has a long history of denying problems that their customers experience. I know that because I went through the same thing. Just check out my older "Apple Problems" posts (http://net3x.blogspot.com/search/label/Apple%20Problems).

Only when a big enough number of customers complain about something Apple takes a few weeks or months and then they release a fix or announce a free repairs program.

And when it comes to AppleCare and GeniusBar, I have my own opinion about them. They can help you put a shortcut icon on the desktop, but only rarely can they fix a serious problem in a professional way.

I'm lucky that I can fix most of the issues on my own. If MacOS wasn't such a good OS and I was dependent on AppleCare to resolve any minor/major issues for me, I would seriously consider using a non Apple HW and OS.

Good luck again :)

cheers,
i

Anonymous said...

Dear Igor:

THANK YOU so much for your help. After doing the 10.4.9 update, my Powerbook would not get past the grey screen, with no spokes spinning. After over a day of trying many, many things, we finally were able to put the computer in Target mode and reinstall the update. This was so much easier and better than trying to figure out Terminal, which we spent about 3 hours on tonight, to no avail. Now everything is back to normal!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Gary Wieland said...

Thanks Igor,

After a logic board replacement and a new disk drive for my PowerBook G4 17" (all suggested by the 'Genius Bar"), I finally found your post and it worked like a charm.

Again, many thanks,

Gary Wieland...

Anonymous said...

I just wan't to say thanks.
Im the resident IT tech of our company, and have little knowledge of Macs. This helped me alot. Although it took me 6 hours to finish. But that is because it was not an Intel Mac it was a PPC mac. I had to go through 191 comments to find the right code.

And some might be saying... your IT you should know this. No, im not. I was hired for a different job and they say that I knew some stuff about macs. So they shoved IT on me also.

Again Thanks
Kyron

Anonymous said...

Just a dumb question.... Can I go from 10.4.9 to 10.4.8???

Igor Minar said...

I'm not sure.. but probably not. Try asking at the apple discussion forums.

Andrew said...

Hi Igor

I see you are doing great things here !! - I have the same issues, exactly the same result on trying single user mode too.
However - I have spent ages and ages and ages typing out as accurately as I can all the variants you have advised people down this list as to all the spaces backslashes etc and i just cannot figure it out - unsure if it is because I am reduced to using a pc to view your web page !!
my usb stick is called
NO NAME
and my hard drive is called
Powerbook G4 HD
exactly like that ...
please can you give a willing student of all things terminal a clue as to how to type this - assuming it is difficult within the confines of blogs formatting then please mail me at housemove@mac.com

spandha said...

Thank you Igor, you most certainly helped me out of a certain reinstall.
By the way i did have trouble mounting the USB drive using the disk utility, i even tried the command line
mount_msdos /dev/disk5s1 /Volume/USBDrive
but got error msdos.kext not found.
Thank you Igor, you most certainly helped me out of a certain reinstall.
By the way i did have trouble mounting the USB drive using the disk utility, i even tried the command line
mount_msdos /dev/disk5s1 /Volume/USBDrive
but got error msdos.kext not found.
I ended up copying the DMG file
to a NFS server from another machine, and then to this machine over a NFS mount using the command
mount_nfs -P nfs-server-ip-address:/nfs-export-name /mnt/nfsmount
then copying the update file
cp /mnt/nfsmount/MacOSXUpd10.4.9PPC.dmg "/Volumes/Macintosh HD"

The rest was plain sailing.

Thanks again, keep up the good work !!!

Deas said...

This fix also works for the 10.4.10 update, as I unfortunately just discovered. Just fill in the appropriate 10 instead of the 9 in the examples given. Thank goodness for this information, it saved 3 years of my life.

tom wiseman said...

I am having much the same problems as described in this amazing catalogue of horrors - but with update 10.4.10 instead - but it seems to be pretty insoluble by the processes given.
Thoe problems was as usual, the mac did not restart after Update installation completed; the hard drive is partitioned into a boot volume and another, with an external hard drive (La Cie). All volumes are 'mounted' EXCEPT the boot volume - which can however be 'seen' in DU, Disk Genius and Data Rescure but which cannot be accessed. Any attempt to boot from it vis the dvd gives a kernel panic screen, Terminal says it doesnt exist - I am trying to recover the data but as this is very slow (yes, it was due for back-up but lazily I just hit the 'update' now button instead of doing so).
it seems therefore that a crucial file which allows mounting or recognition by the system is lost or corrupt - any ideas as to how to get the volume recognised or mounted - it doesn't show up in target mode (with a G4 powerbook as host) either. Thus I am both pretty narked and very stuck and seeing that you do indeed seem to tbe the all-kn owing one, you might have some ideas or knowledge - or it is hopeless?

karyb72 said...

This just happened to me and Errrr...Do you all think this is something they can fix at teh MAC store?

Igor Minar said...

LOL

... You can try it and share the experience with us :)

I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to do archive install or clean install to resolve the issue.

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