back to article Mac OS 10.5.6 problems? Apple suggests shampoo

Apple has finally responded to numerous reports from disgruntled Mac users about their inability to upgrade Mac OS 10.5, Leopard, from version 10.5.5 to 10.5.6. Their advice: Try again. Seriously. Essentially, Apple's six-step advice can be boiled down into two steps: 1. Navigate to /Library/Updates and trash everything in …


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  1. Matthew Barker

    More than just the combo installer needed

    I always use the combo updater.

    I had all of the difficulties you mention at the end of the article. Mostly had to do with anything that does heavy network usage.

    The only solution that worked for me was to download from titanium software ( and run *all* of the steps, then reboot.

    Then remove my user caches (~/Library/Caches/*) and my Mail caching folder (~/Library/Mail), which Mail would recreate when I restarted it.

    After that lot, I had no more trouble. I suspect there was some inconsistency between versions of cached data somewhere.

    Anyway, the above steps have, thus far, always sorted out such issues...thus far.

  2. raving angry loony


    Guess I was one of the lucky ones, as I upgraded with no issues (yet). Looks like quite the cock-up for Apple though. I guess they're focussing too much on how to pry more money out of iPhone/Touch customers, rather than on how to make sure things work right. Maybe they should sell the Mac computer unit to Psystar?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Heh heh?

    Maybe there will be Windows Mac to make it all easier?

    Update of Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro went easy-peasy which sometimes suggest 3rd party software stuff interfering somewhat.

  4. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Audio pops?

    Ah, so *that's* the cause! I took the combo update down to the iMac in the office, and it's been making wee clicks, cracks and pops on reboot ever since.

    Ah well, good job I only use it to run a full screen virtualbox session of XP to run my VMware Infrastructure client, eh?

    Fullscreen XP on a big shiny iMac seems to wind up the Mac fans a bit :-P

    Steven R

  5. Eddy Ito
    Jobs Horns


    I wonder if the update tries to detect !mac* and it produces many false positives resulting in the failure. It is getting to the point where the fix for Vista is OS X and the fix for OS X is... Linux!? That will certainly be true for those with the old PPC machines when Apple finally cuts that limb off the tree.

    *Perhaps that should be <>mac.

  6. David Simpson

    Think Different!

    Yep, my updated macbook wakes from sleep then takes 1-4 minutes to reconnect to my wifi.

    So glad "it just works" 10.5.6 is certainly becoming "a bag of hurt", I'm certainly starting to "think different" about macs now that I've seen so my many bugs in so many updates and in new products.

    I wish i was a PC

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OS X 10.5.6 Update problems

    Everyone likes trashing Apple about problems with updates. I would like to bet that the percentage of users with problems is very small. We have 4 Macs in the house, 3 have upgraded with no problems, a early 2008 MacBook Pro, 2007 MacBook and 2006 iMac 20. The souped up G4 Cube is being updated now. I'm very careful when I upgrade.

    I back up first, repair disk permissions before and after the update, and I never have the problems others report.

    Would you rather have a few minor problems with an upgrade or have your data stolen using IE7?

  8. Mark

    No problems here

    After reading these stories I was worried about the update however my sailed through perfectly. No problems at all. Maybe it's a problem downloading across wireless (mine's tethered and used as a desktop) or third party software interfering?

  9. Cristhian Mejia
    IT Angle

    Update was a Breeze

    Really what kind of problems, cause I was able to successfully update from 10.5.5 to 10.5.6 without a hitch. I downloaded, well Software Update downloaded the 190MB version of the udpate, the 360MB is always an option for those that have issues. You can also attempt to re-apply 10.5.5 and try 10.5.6 and see if that works.

  10. Cristhian Mejia
    Thumb Up

    Older Macs R Better

    I don't think I'll purchase Apple products again after 2007, my next purchase if I can find one is the older Macbooks late 2007 ones a 15inch. Anything newer then that seems to have some issues. My Mac right now is a 24inch white Late 2006 iMac and I love it it's awsome and I've had no issues whats so ever. It was made back in the day when Apple had good QA, it's not one with the screen problems either I checked the serials on it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Update breaks OSX server

    The update broke my OSX Server installation. Our group calendar and wiki stopped working after the update was installed. Luckily, Time Machine does work properly (if a little slowly) and after a full system restore overnight we're back to 10.5.5 and it's working again.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    I have updated 220+ now of various models and no problems noticed. I'll look out for the audio pops. I haven't noticed it on the ones I use, but I don't use all of them myself!

  13. Seamaster

    It just worked

    No problems to report here - updated automatically via Software Update and everything is tickety-boo.

    In other news, brand new work-issued top-of-the-line HP notebook, bluescreened first time out of the box. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

  14. Rob McDougall

    No worries on 4x macs...

    New MBP + MB, Old MB and the oldest intel iMac... all went swimmingly...

  15. Richard Moseley

    8 Macs

    I updated 4 macs on day of release of 10.5.6,

    imac 2007 intel

    new macbook 2008 intel

    white macbook intel

    mac mini intel

    And not one had any problems updating, i also know another 4 mac's that updated without any problems.

    I haven't heard from anyone that had problems with the update.

  16. N


    Four Macs all fine, no problems at all

  17. vincent himpe

    i always thought

    apple checksum algorithm looked like this

    if (sales_price_of_apple_branded_hardware >= 3 * sales_price_of_generic_kit) then checksum = match. else goto pay_us_some_more_money

  18. Henri Koskinen

    it works just fine

    Me and few of my friends installed the update without any problems. We all have pretty new MBP's. I guess for most users the update works just fine. As usual Reg makes big news about nothing. Nothing to see here move along.

  19. Mick F
    Thumb Down

    It screwed up big time!

    Problems here on MBP, MB & mini. NOT IMPRESSED. All Intel.

  20. Seanie Ryan

    advice on update

    After I updated a few apps were behaving badly, specifically Mail which would crash if you viewed a mail with an attachment or tried to send one with an attachment.

    After a bit of digging, i accidently stumbled on the problem.

    About a month ago I purchased a new MBP 17" and had copied the contents of my old machine to a Subfolder on the new one and then Started moving apps, prefs, data into the relevant locations manually. Now, i know i could use Migration Assistant but i'm old-skool and like to use the opportunity to remove things i dont use etc.

    I then keep this Old-Drive folder for a few months in case there is a pref/framework file i need that i didnt copy.

    Turns out that the 10.5.6 Update upgraded all the Apps in the Applications folder of the OldDrive instead of my main folder :

    ie : all os x apps in /OldDrive/Aplications for updated instead of /Applications

    So the version of mail i was using after the update was for 10.5.5 hence the crash.

    Removed the rogue Apps folder, re-applied the updated and bingo... perfect machine again..

    Might help soneone someday out there...

  21. Matthew Sinclair
    Thumb Down

    No problems...

    All of the macs in this household are just fine.

    You guys must be doing something wrong.



  22. Chris Tucker
    Jobs Halo

    What Problems?

    1.42 Ghz Dual Processor G4 (MDD/FW800)

    Software update did it's thing, I restarted the Mac. It booted twice and has been working flawlessly ever since, including the wireless.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @OS X 10.5.6 Update problems

    "Would you rather have a few minor problems with an upgrade or have your data stolen using IE7?"


    Last I recall Safari and Firefox were vulnerable to the same stuff. Not to mention Apple not updating Safari when there are big holes. Oh right your a Mactard so your holes are already big enough from St. Jobs. I have nothing against Macs or PCs and will be the first to say that EVERY big update has issues Windows, Mac or *nix. On a limited number of systems. Under certain conditions. So keep that in mind chuckles.

    /anon to prevent rabid Mactards from hunting me down and beating me to death with their jesusPhones

  24. Andy Tyzack

    no problems here

    new aluminium macbook 2.0ghz.

    no problems here

    "reports of problems on mac os x, have been greatly exaggerated"

  25. N

    Could it be that...

    The problem appears to be associated with the download being incorrectly reported as complete.

    By co-incidence the FLAG fibre optic was severly damaged on Friday causing a lot of internet disruption.

    Just a guess.

  26. Chris iverson

    Bad updates make news

    Remember all the coverage that OpenSSH got a few months ago because an update caused it to become...well. wide open. And also the coverage that Vista SP1 and XP SP3 broke MS's retail sale software. No Mr. card carrying member of the Steve Jobs Army, we are not singling you out. Now please go back to the coffee shop and work on your screenplay.

  27. Thomas

    @Steven Raith, AC directly above

    @Steven, do you realise that with BootCamp you can run XP natively on Mac hardware, no OS X underneath? Should be a better solution than VMWare on XP on VirtualBox on OS X, surely?

    @AC, you state it with the unnecessary antagonism of a troll, but I think I agree with your key point that it's ridiculous to completely rescore the various software providers from scratch each time a new flaw comes out. All of the browsers have had some major security flaws.

    Anyway, this is a MacBook Pro from 2006 that has never had a fresh reinstall of any OS component

    (ie, I applied all the 10.4 updates as they came, upgraded to 10.5 shortly after it came out, have applied all the updates as they came since then). It has still never had a problem — so I can at least rule out any theory that the new delta update necessarily breaks the OS. I seem to have nothing substantial in /Library/Updates (an Index.plist, no more) and ~/Library/Updates does not exist.

  28. Patrick

    No mini, MBP issues

    No Mac Mini ppc or MBP intel issues here. Both updated fine.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't personally know anyone who fell foul of this..

    ..and managed a three hour set with traktor pro (no mean feat getting traktor to behave, but that's another story) without it missing a beat, on my Macbook pro. Networking has been fine (grabbed a couple of tracks in over wireless while playing, naughty me) and it was slick I'd hope.

    I do wonder what special combo source of hardware and software triggers it.. knowing this would probably be a good clue as to what apple fouled up.

  30. Dive Fox

    A title is required.

    Download kept failing at about 45 MB on my eMac, but Software Update managed to figure out it was an incomplete download, and kept telling me to try back later. Later that evening, went without problem.

  31. Alex

    2008 MBP

    Wireless has gone back to dropping and scanning ever three minutes, it GETS RIGHT ON MY TITS!

  32. John Blagden
    Thumb Up

    Old habit die hard

    Wonder how many people take Apple's advice and repair the Disk Permissions before downloading an update, especially one as big as this? 25 machines from G4 Tower and PowerBook to latest Mac Pro's and MacBook Pro's updated without a single hitch.

  33. twunt
    Jobs Halo

    Power PC

    PPC G5 - No problems here.

  34. Robbie
    Thumb Up


    Worked fine with regular update on Mac Pro + Mini. Lucky I guess?

  35. Mick F
    Jobs Horns

    @No Problems

    "You guys must be doing something wrong." what the hell can you do wrong by selecting "Software Update"!!!!???

    It is buggy and Apple have admitted it.

  36. David Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Again, no problems here

    Not doubting the word of those who report problems, but.. I have updated two machines here (unibody MBP, late 2007 iMac 24") and had no problems whatsoever. Maybe those of you with problems have third-party extensions loaded? Those often seem to cause hurt when updating.

    Oh, and I know I'm expected to say something like "it feels snappier!!" but.. no difference whatsoever. Still has the annoying glitch on both machines whereby after resuming from sleep it will fail to see my WEP* network for about 60 seconds (sees the neighbours' open/WPA2 ones, however).

    *yeah, I know - WEP bad. I have an old device here that doesn't "do" anything more recent.

  37. Roland
    Black Helicopters

    iMac 20" 2008 - update went well, but

    still having the intermittent wifi connection.

    What happens on my mac is that the signal strength (you can monitor that kinda by keeping 'option' pressed, then clicking on airport icon in task bar..) goes up and down, up and down... Only after a while (switching on and off the airport card) the connection is stable enough for normal operations.

  38. John
    IT Angle

    is the cheque in the post?

    As Chris Iverson says, stuff like this makes news. Its good(?) to see that not just us PC types (for our sins) are immune to corrupt file downloads. SP3 update broke, I just followed a link on this very site which fixed the problem. It appeears that the old fashioned view of stuff "just working" is now invalid.

    Maybe El Reg should provide tech support and bill Messrs Jobs & Gates.

  39. Shallel
    Thumb Down

    worse and worse

    I had a G4 Powerbook for 6 years with very few problems. Of course it did come with factory installed RAM with cellophane under some of the pin so I had to fix it and reinstall the corrupt OS.

    I was a workhorse and I loved it.

    I recently bought a MBP 2.5/250/4g and it came with a whole slew of problems, crooked keys, totally shitty Airport problems, grinding noise from the opti drive, Safari blows up continually. I really hate this machine and it gets worse with every update. I didn't even install a thing and Apple wouldn't give me a new machine. These are premium priced machines and I would expect a flawless unit out of the box or a replacement - not a repair. This shit is made in China for Christs' sake!

    Fuck you Apple! You Suck!

  40. B

    What's the real percentage of affected users?

    Although there are some obvious problems, I don't see this affected that many people. No one I know, none of the Macs at work, nor mine at home are having any issues. This is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Certainly this would be nice if it didn't happen, but the problems are definitely not as widespread as the article leads you to believe.

    Having seen their anti-Apple bias I simply apply this formula to most Apple stories the Reg decides to run:

    RegAppleArticle * -1 = TRUTH

    or in programming . . .


  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    updates should work the first time, Apple needs to release update again...

    Hi, everyone knows that the 'lather, rinse and repeat was a marketing plot to sell twice as much shampoo, it worked for awhile and probably still does... Apple fix your update, should work on any computer first time.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    No Testing

    As a happy user of Apple Laptops for quite some time I can only conclude that nobody bothered to test the "delta update" but rather relied on it being equivalent to the full update. Very sloppy. Apple should be critiqued heavily for this. Perhaps it will improve the next update. Responses from support stating that it was alright for the permissions database not to have been updated and causing confusing messages when the disk utility was run were pretty lame as well.

  43. Edward Maher
    Thumb Up


    Experienced the upgrade problem and assumed it was a virus and simply installed a new system and transferred all my doc's and it worked perfectly. After upgrading I dumped the old system. In any case, getting rid of the old system is a good idea as a catch all.

  44. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Unsupported machines

    "It is getting to the point where the fix for Vista is OS X and the fix for OS X is... Linux!? That will certainly be true for those with the old PPC machines when Apple finally cuts that limb off the tree."

    They've ALREADY cut off below 866mhz G4s, and you're guess at the outcome of this is spot on.

    Where I work we mainly sell used Dells, but also Macintoshes.. with Ubuntu 8.04 installed on all of them. After seeing some models for sale here with Ubuntu Linux, a surprising number of Mac fans have been asking me about it (the Mac fans have far more interest than the people buying Dells, although some of them have asked about it too). Ubuntu 8.04 or 8.10 for PowerPC are "unsupported", but work fine once the .iso is tracked down.. the isos are pretty hidden from, but a direct URL is )

    They typically do run 10.5 on their boxes that are new enough, but 10.5 has already dropped support for <866mhz G4. (And, apparently if you coax 10.5 to install on a <866, it works but is too slow...) So, on the G4-400s or whatever they have, 10.2/3/4 is losing it's charm, and it's harder to find new software written for 10.2 or whatever, so they decide to try something different.

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