Hello, I’m a web craftsman with a passion for the modern web. I build web applications and play with social services and communities.

November 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Wow…it’s really been a while since I wrote something here! And what I have to say today won’t really interest many people right now, but might be a good thing to know for later. (at least when you are a Mac user)

So what is it?

Today I tried to update Mac OS X to 10.6.2 (from 10.6.1). I downloaded the update and installed it as usual while shutting down the system. The next morning I saw that my MacBook was still running. Arrrghh! Not a good sign. The update failed and I was asked to restart the computer. After doing so Mac OS X wouldn’t start anymore. All I got was the grey screen with the Apple logo and the spinning loading indicator. But it would never go past that screen. Damn! What now? I tried verbose mode, single user mode, resetting pram, repairing disk permissions… all the standard measures in that situation. Nothing helped! So what now? I had a 10 days old time machine backup and since I worked on many things in the last 10 days I wanted to get 10.6.1 back, while leaving my current files and folders untouched. Unfortunately that’s not possible. It’s all or nothing with Time Machine in this situation.

To make this short: What I did in the end was installing Snow Leopard from the Install DVD with default settings (and there aren’t really any settings to choose from). I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen so I backed up my most valuable files. Is the 10.6 installer like the old “Archive and Install”? Or would it be “Erase and Install”? No word about that in the installer itself. But it turned out that the 10.6 installer is really smart and installs 10.6.0 while preserving all files and settings. So after about an hour I was back in my system. Everything was exactly as I left it! Only was I in 10.6.0 instead of 10.6.1 now. But I installed 10.6.2 with the combo updater anyway afterwards.

But lesson learned: Keep backing up more regularly and back up before any bigger system upgrade!