back to article Applers howl over Mac OS fix

Yesterday, Apple released the 10.5.6 update for Mac OS X, Leopard - and, as usual, problems are surfacing. Of course, some people have problems that most others don't. As Chief Dan George said to Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man, "Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes it doesn't." Most problems seem to arise when installing the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Gentlemen, start your flaming!

    Or, perhaps this once, given the time of year, we might perhaps have an outpouring of peace and goodwill to all operating systems?


    Thought not.

  2. Sooty

    computers work too well nowadays

    i learned everything i know about fixing computers by getting one that was pants. if everything just works then you've got no incentive to learn about it.

    having a problem like this and fixing it could invaluably improve many mac users day to day experiences, from the lessons they learn.

  3. Dave


    And they say Linux is bad and not ready for the desktop because of all the fiddling required to make it work...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    9 beeps

    "Unfortunately, he'll soon find out that a three-beep iMac startup code usually means bad RAM."

    Actually the 9 beeps (S.O.S. - Style) is normally to do with the Firmware. Disconnecting all power (including the clock battery) for 30-seconds normally fixes it, but in the case of the new iMacs, it will need to be opened and so taken to a service provider.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple, it just works!

    ...except when it doesn't.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    3 mac's upgraded

    No problems via software update. (2) intel imac's and (1) intel Macbook pro

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Time to change El Regs tag line...

    ...from 'Biting the hand...' to 'Smoking Balmers pole since 2007'...

    How many times has a security patch in Windows borked the system? More than I care to remember...

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Graham Lockley

    So many AC's

    >How many times has a security patch in Windows borked the system? More than I care to remember...

    Depends on how you define borked ? If you mean 'unbootable' then in all the systems I look after the answer is never. Borked as in loss of functionality, yeah it happens.

    Patches to any OS result in unexpected side effects/glitches, no one here would disagree. The main irony in this case is Apples (oft repeated by its more zealous consumers) tag line that 'It just works'.

    Your comment about 'smoking Ballmers pole' has more than a hint of fanboi about it. Smell the coffee, its a computer with an OS designed by humans and errors/bugs WILLoccur.

  10. Jared Earle
    Thumb Down


    The hassle getting a Mac OS X update to work (ie. 99%+ just work) compared to a Linux update (seriously, how many Fedora Core servers are on earlier than current minus two? Answer, a lot) is trivial.

    Linux on the desktop will stand a chance the day you don't _need_ a console. Ever.

    Yes, I manage Linux servers for a living.

    ps. G5 and MacBook upgraded flawlessly.

  11. Doddy

    No problems on either side

    Running a mid-07 Macbook, and nether Patch Tuesday on the XP partition or this update did anything odd. I don't see what all the fuss is about.

    While we're on the subject of things going belly-up, is it worth opening up Time Machine's "hidden" feature allowing backup to NAS drives, or should I stay tethered via USB?

  12. D K


    So, someone had bad RAM. A desktop image was the wrong size.

    Cry me a fucking river.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    'Patches to any OS result in unexpected side effects/glitches, no one here would disagree'

    What are you on about? My linux system frequently tells me that updates are happening. Then the message goes away and everything continues as normal.

    Occasionally some applications have new features.

    Ummm, thats it

  14. sandiskboy

    The Nextstep

    guys have left the building.

  15. jake Silver badge

    In this day and age ...

    Networking is ubiquitous. Old, powerful-enough boxes are available for the cost of picking them up. Disk is amazingly inexpensive. OSes capable of archiving data are available for free.

    Why on earth does anyone reading this forum have any issues with OS updates? Surely all of you have a backup server that contains all your important data? In the event of BigBadComputerCompany completely cocking up an update, you don't actually lose anything other than time, right? (And you more intelligent folks have a mirrored system to fall back to, minimizing down time, right? ...).

    That said, my personal platform of choice is the Slackware distribution of Linux, which I've been using since late 1994 or maybe early 1995, after it became obvious that Mark Williams Company wasn't going anywhere. I have seven boxes here at home that have been synced to slack-current since July 2, 2007 when 12.0 was released. The trio of servers have only needed a reboot with kernel upgrades. We've also rebooted the other four for hardware upgrades.

    I have had zero problems with the core OS using Slack 12. Not one single crash or panic. This with a supposed "testing" version. One built by a single individual, for his own use, and not by an international corporation. Just food for thought.

    Now I've said it, we'll probably start crashing daily ... But it's OK, I have off-site backups ;-)

  16. Steve Davies Silver badge

    re @Penguins

    What is your point about Fedora? (The core got dropped some time ago)

    I'm running an Internet Accessible Weberver using a Mac Mini (PPC Type) using F10. No problems whatsoever.

    It has been running the various versions of Fedora since FC6. It gets updated once a month (or whenever I can be bothered to login)

    It sits there and runs just like my MacBook Pro has done and the other Two Mini's I use on a daily basis.

    All installed the latest update without issue.

    I'd rather have Tux as a friend than anyone from M$

  17. Pavlovs well trained dog

    iMac, mini, macbookpro

    all updated sweet as a nut.

    Seems brisker post patch too

    I never use the auto-update option tho - we've 7 macs on the home network, so I download the full patch just once (in all instances) and update with that..

    perhaps that's why it's all sweet and happy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow. Apple released a software update. In certain unknown circumstances, the update can cause problems. Lucky this hasn't been the case for almost every software update released for every platform ever.

    ...Oh, wait.

    I can see the next story now "Windows Update forces man to restart PC"

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    isn't this the same company who controls all hardware and builds the OS? thus controlling everything so issues like this can't occur?

    Least with Windows and Linux theres an excuse for the screw up's due to everything being so random bits of kit just about. But on a Mac where the OS is from the same company as the hardware itself, there isn't any excuse why it shouldn't work....well, other than the can't be arsed testing it but Apple would never release a half arsed product would they? :P

  20. bygjohn

    No noticeable problems on early 08 black MacBook

    Did the upgrade last night using Software Update, seemed to go through pretty smoothly, though it did a double reboot after installation. But then I think it did that last time. Nothing weird happened yet, Mail seems perfectly fine despite much tinkering with accounts on my part last night. Also synced iPhone via USB perfectly, so while I haven't systematically gone through my entire collection of apps all seems to be well and no funnies. Total lack of drama and , hey, it just worked :-)


  21. Alexis Vallance

    All fine

    Updated two iMacs - no problems on either.

    3 reboots on each though, which is a new one.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Here we go again ...

    Oh, you stupid (Win/Mac/Lin)tards - see how crap your OS is? And what a suprise that el Reg is making such a big deal about it - we all know they're (Jobs'/Gates'/Torvald's) bum buddies.

    You should all switch to a proper OS like (Windows/MacOS/Linux) so everything goes smoothly and you never ever have problems ever again because it's so fucking fabulous.

    Paris - because even she realised when it was time to grow up.

  23. raving angry loony


    Apple sucks because it's full of Job's ego, he's on drugs, and he won't share.

    Microsoft sucks because it's completely derivative, and its business ethics make anyone cringe.

    Linux sucks because it's for geeks only and they STILL haven't figured out not everyone is a geek.

    GNU sucks because, quite frankly, those geeks are on drugs and they also won't share.

    BSD sucks because if GNU is on drugs, these guys are worse, and don't have a clue about the world outside their tiny little cubicles.

    Unix sucks because, yet again, they've proven that if it's possible to be user unfriendly, they'll double that bid.

    Dell, HP, Sun, IBM, Lenovo and others suck at hardware because penny pinching accountants don't make worthwhile kit.

    So basically, all hardware sucks. All software sucks. All operating systems suck.

    Which leaves personal preference as the only differentiator.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Squeaky wheels

    you never see "OMFG, software patch worked completely without problems!" threads or "news" articles anywhere...

  25. xyz Silver badge


    My first (and last) OS upgrade ended up converting my Mac to a white brick and costing me over £300 to fix.

    Apple offered "tokens" to redeem against future Mac purchases.

    I told Athem exactly where to shove them.

  26. twunt

    Worked fine for me

    PPC G5 1.9 - used auto update as usual.

    Talk of increased 'snappiness' is bullshit though - its the same as before.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    anyone fancy another round of 'Where's Webster'...

    usual rules: cudos to first 'there he is' poster...

  28. Robb Dunphy

    Never fun

    That's what it is when something goes wrong, regardless of your machine.

    However it does put paid to the "Mac, it just works" rubbish. It's a machine, with an OS, both designed by humans. Something will go wrong eventually.

    Commisierations to the Mac users who did experience problems.

  29. Nigel Whitfield

    First Direct

    No problems with the update actually happening, and on the whole no untoward side effects.

    Except that Safari now no longer works with First Direct internet banking, which is a bit of a nuisance. FD obviously know about it - their web site tells you, as long as you go to the front page; unfortunately, I bookmarked banking logon page, which avoids having to do everything in a silly pop-up window.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If only

    they had to patch as often as MS users then they'd know the procedure. Trouble is it's all new to them (patching) just as they don't know their system has already been compromised and is sending passwords and such to Russia/China because "we don't get virii".

    Paris - cos she's a dumb fcuker as well

  31. Nano nano

    Reg terminology ?

    Surely this should be about the Jesus OS on the Jesus PC ?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @Hang on...

    ** isn't this the same company who controls all hardware and builds the OS? thus controlling everything so issues like this can't occur? **

    A little narrowminded perhaps ? Apple might

    a. build the hardware

    b. build the OS

    as you so helpfully point out, but they do NOT

    c. write all the applications

    d. determine exactly how an end-user is going to use the machine

    e. determine exactly what the end-user is going to install on the machine

    Blaming a series of post-OS patch issues on Apple because of their attempt at "controlling everything so issues like this can't occur" is naieve and smacks of WinTard or *nixTard fanboyism. One always fears what one does not understand.

    For the record, I run 2000 / XP / Vista / Fedora / RHEL4 and OS-X across multiple platforms. OS Updates cause hassle... no matter how many checks and balances are put into place by whoever wrote the code.

    When will this rampant "My xyz is better than your xyz" bullshit ever stop ?!?

    Flame on.

  33. Scott Mckenzie

    And people complain about OS X being shut in...

    .... i'm willing to bet that most of the issues were caused by third party add ons, which is why i hope Psystar etc don't get their way as the problem will increase - it's the main issue for Microsoft no doubt!

    FWIW the httpmail plugin as had to updated to work with 10.5.6 so that is likely to have caused a fair few issues!

  34. Law

    Update worked

    Mine updated fine - took an age to install - the installer seemed to just sit there for like 10 minutes, this is on a high-end mid-08 macbook pro. Also had this wierd double reboot thing happen, which was slightly worrying as I thought it had messed up my bootcamp partition or something... when I finally got back into osx though I started seeing horror stories pop up about failed updates.

    I've had fairly regular updates basically destroy my Ubuntu installs in the past, as well as a couple of early XP SP1/2 update disasters years ago (mainly dodgy hardware/windows image from Advent *spits*I think), it really doesn't matter who's operating system or hardware it is - in the end, some people will always be unlucky and hit a problem, I just wish the religious mac fanboi's wouldn't flame microsoft or Linux or anybody else when they have problems, as all it does it make it all the more sweeter and compulsory to take the piss out of most of the normal people who use mac's and occasionally hit problems, then the fanboi's are nowhere to be seen, probably just rocking backwards and forwards on a cold running shower floor fully clothed mumbling stuff, just trying to ignore the fact they don't use a perfect system!!

    PS: only thing I've noticed since update was a new option in settings for trackpad... but then again I don't use MobileMe, and mostly rely on Google for my email and calendar sync'ing...

  35. Big Bear

    I remember when IT had standards...

    Back when I were I lad we used to test stuff before releasing it into production environments and stuff... since the war you young folk seem to think it'll all work straight out of the box and are surprised when it falls flat on its face! My old system test manager will be rolling in his grave I tells ye...

    Come on Apple - you sold us the dream but are now letting us down! It should just flippin' work! That's why we pay you so much for hardware that you control with software that you build! Of course, 90% of the users will accept it because they are used to this from Windows but that still doesn't excuse what should be a premium product that is sold as ultra reliable...

  36. Thomas

    @Hang on..., and generally

    My understanding is that sometimes the software configuration that someone has on a machine can affect or be affected by operating system software updates. And at least for now, Apple are still allowing us to install our own software...

    My Mac upgraded fine, by the way. Probably most people's did, which doesn't excuse Apple's bodge job but possibly adds some balance.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    always a vocal minority..

    I admin a network with just over 900 Macs. All upgraded to 10.5.6 with no issue.

    With Apple stuff, it's always a vocal minority that make it seem like there are big issues.....

  38. Shell


    Mac Pro: Bootcamp to Vista to enable other half to watch 'Driving Hazard Training DVLA' DVD (no Mac support). Keyboard suddenly does not work (drivers magically forgot how to talk to blue-toother Mac keyboard). Finally get that working again, and half way through mock exam, Vista interrupts "Important system updates", ruins test. Apply updates, reboot machine. Half way through next mock exam "Windows is configuring your updates", ruins test, then reboots the machine with no warning. When it comes back, mysteriously lost the keyboard AND mouse this time. Finally get that working again. Half way through the next (3rd) mock exam, "Blah program blah wants to run...", ruins test... It finally all worked after that, for an hour. Totally frustrating, how can anyone use this!?

    Rebooted Mac into OSX, noticed there were updated (10.5.6) applied them. No problems. No interruptions. No work lost. Carried on working rest of the evening with relief, knowing I wont have to load Vista again for a very long time.

  39. Danny

    Update has trashed my 3G modem

    Just thought you'd like to know that the Mac Update has managed to completely knacker my 3G modem connection over the 3 network in the UK. Yesterday I had two fully functioning 3G modems. Today, I don't. I've tried reinstalling the driver software etc and it's still dead as a dodo. To cap it all my wifi connection has slowed to a crawl as a result of the update. It's pathetic, quite frankly. I use only install essential programmes to forestall problems like this. Who are the clowns who write these programmes?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    3 systems upgraded with no issues

    Upgraded a Macbook Pro 2.3 GHz 3 GB RAM, Mac Pro 8 core 2.8 GHz, 12 GB RAM and iMac 24" 2.4 GHz with no issues at all.

  41. Dave

    I have to say something

    To all the people posting as Mac admins whose machines have all updated with no issues..........try getting them out of the box and switching the bloody things on.

    Im a Mac admin (for my sins) and they cause me just as many issues as the windows and linux systems. Even after a clean install on brand new kit. The only difference is the windows and linux machines at least give you an idea of what went wrong, where as the mac is as unhelpful as the saturday girl in Gregg's.

    And im posting this from a Mac, which I use all day.

  42. Niall Campbell

    For the consumer

    Mac's do just work out of the box and they also update smoothly through software update. It is only ever when they start installing their Microsoft rubbish and Adobe rubbish and whoever else's rubbish that problems arise.

    I bet the majority of these people who have had problems have never cleared cache files, verified and repaired permissions or dumped preference files. Hell, most of them haven't a clue where to find them.

    Like any machine, whether it is a car, washing machine or whatever, you have to preform routine maintenance and servicing otherwise one day it just stops working.

    One more thing, if everyone knew what they were doing with computers and how they worked, just think how many IT 'professionals' would be out of a job!!

  43. Tim J

    @Niall Campbell

    You said "Mac's do just work out of the box..."

    Then you went on to say "I bet the majority of these people who have had problems have never cleared cache files, verified and repaired permissions or dumped preference files. Hell, most of them haven't a clue where to find them."

    Sure, you then talk about how all machines need regular maintenance and servicing, but Apple certainly doesn't acknowledge this - it makes out that "it just works" full stop - no fiddling around at all required according to the voice that speaks to you from the reality distortion field.

    Make up your mind - do they "just work" or don't they? And if they don't, don't pretend they do.

    Before upgrading Apple certainly doesn't make it at all obvious that one should clear caches, verify and repair permissions etc etc at all does it? No it doesn't.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    @3 systems upgraded with no issues

    I can beat that - 4 (YES! READ THEM FOLKS! FOUR!) systems upgraded with nary a hitch...

    P4 3.06 GHz 2GB RAM

    PM 1.1 GHz ULV 1GB RAM

    C2D 1.83 GHz 2GB RAM

    C2D 2.0 GHz 4GB RAM

    None of them run OSX though (at present/any more)...

  45. Adam


    "Applers howl over Mac OS fix"

    I don't understand... The update stops Mac OS working. Sounds like a pretty successful update, to me.

    It just works? Not now it doesn't.

    Mine's the asbestos one lined with shiny white plastic and "my other monitor has a 10-bit panel" written on the back.

  46. Paul

    Let's face it...

    ...there is no current OS which doesn't suffer occasional trouble on an update (or indeed, on a random Monday for no good reason) and require tinkering to get working right again.

    This is why I stick with Linux, even when sometimes it makes me want to rip my hair out at the roots. It's not immune to this sort of trouble, not by a long way, but guess what? Neither are OSX or Windows!

    The main difference is I'd be paying money in some way to use the other two OSes. When I pay for something I expect it to just bloody well work. I don't pay for Linux, so I'm willing to let the inevitable problems any OS will suffer slide a little more easily.

  47. Law

    @Niall Campbell

    I'm assuming you would also say people who were caught out with the trackpad issues on the new unibody macbook pro's at launch also had microsoft and adobe stuff killing it.... before they took it out of the box somehow... maybe just proximity to the install disks for Office did it... you know, because it couldn't possibly be anything to do with Apple, and then if the update Apple released soon after caused more problems than it solved for some then it was somehow the users fault for not closing iTunes or something odd like that - even though it didn't ask them to logout for the update... you know, like they force you to for something as simple as Safari or Quicktime updates.. but not for firmware updates randomly?? ..... seriously, get a life... and stop contradicting yourself, it just invalidates everything you said! At least Webster is consistant in his blinkered views...

  48. David Kelly
    Jobs Horns

    Smooth updates

    In the last five years I've yet to have an OS X update do anything unexpected to my machines. In my experience (with a variety of laptop and desktop machines, from G4 to Intel) the updates have always worked without hiccups.

    I'd like to see some sort of statistic to show how many people have had problems with 10.5.6. As AC had said, it seems to be a vocal minority making all the fuss.

  49. Joe Ragosta

    How about some facts?

    What's this "as usual, Mac OS X upgrades cause problems" nonsense.

    Care to tell us what percentage of users had a problem? Based on the dozens of Macs I've seen upgraded to 10.5.6, the figure is undoubtedly quite small.

    It's amazing how the Mac bashers can point to a couple of anecdotal reports of a problem (some obviously caused by bad RAM) and extrapolate that to a world-wide problem at the same time they ignore many millions of zombie Windows computers by denying that viruses are a problem.

  50. BioTube

    Ahh, the power of apt

    I've NEVER had a problem caused by an update, even ones that I do during normal system operation. I've run major upgrades with X running. Not one problem with Lenny('testing') or even Sid('unstable', with the slogan of "if it breaks, you get to keep both halves") when I ran it for a while. But Apple can't steal GPLd software.

  51. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down


    About buggy software revisions?

    About iJunks with bad ram?


    I'm seriously surprised people buy iJunks to begin with to be honest.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are the Moderators

    It really would be better if folks could keep their comments on-topic instead of taking everything as an opportunity to rant.

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