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Installation Procedures Proven Best Practices 10 Years...

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
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I wish to address two topics under this posting:
1. The intentional use of the v1.1 Combo update
2. Recommended pre-installation procedures that have proven to work for me over the last 10 years. I make the following statements for inferential purposes: I use my macs to make a living: professional video, film, for broadcast, as well as technical work in industrial engineering, both elec. and mech. I do all my own maint. and repairs, hard and soft.
1. Someone had mentioned that the v1.1 combo update was applicable to only a handful of machines that had problems using the original 10.6.3 combo update. Well this is obviously not true as Apple has removed the original 10.6.3 combo update download from their support downloads and replaced it with the v1.1 combo update. Additionally, the details of the v1.1 combo update do not specify specific machines... obviously, there was something amiss with the original 10.6.3 combo updater download.
2. Prior to executing major updates I always follow these procedures and policies, most of which I must credit to a gentleman who posts on this site under the name "Kappy", who has helped me numerous times over the last 10 years, is very approachable, and knowledgeable:
A). Never perform major updates on a "bread-n-butter" (i.e. a mac you use to make a living) machine if you need to use it within a week of doing the update.
B). Plan on doing a full restore, taking the appropriate precautions such as cloning / backing up, etc...Hopefully you'll be presently surprised and won't need to restore.
C). Monitor the support discussions for at least a week before doing the update.... patients is a sign of wisdom. "Fools rush in where angles fear to tread"...
D). Set energy saver (system preferences) not to engage, then Run all other mac and 3rd party software updates
E). Download the required update from apples support downloads. Important: if it is a OS update, ALWAYS download and install the "combo" updater. It contains additional fixes, etc. that the regular update does not, and that you may have missed. Always download major updates, do not use the OS auto updater (various reasons).
F). Reboot, and using Disk Utility, verify the target disk, and repair permissions.
G). Repair preferences and run OSX Cocktail (both are free, google them for download sites)
H). Reboot, Run Diskwarrior ($100 from alsoft.com)
I). Run Drive Genius repair utility ($99 prosoftengineering.com)
J). Reboot, Run Drive Genius defrag utility
K). Reboot, Run Disk Warrior again
L). Boot into "safe mode" by holding down the shift key while restarting. (this disables any 3rd party software, virus software, etc. that very often causes failures during major intalls / upgrades).
M). Install your update from the previously downloaded update file (item E, above).
N). Reboot, and perform items D, F, G, H, I, J, K again.
Hope this helps!
Your Pragmatic Apple Fan
John

The Best Answer

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Hi Kappy, thanks for weighing in. Hope all is well with you. With regard to using software updater. I choose not to use this feature for major updates because it eliminates another external variable which has potential to cause a problem with the download and installation process (e.g. LANs, WANs, etc.). The download and install process becomes one while a "hick-up" in either can cause problems. Circumnavigating the software updater allows me more control. I also always choose to use the combo updater because, while it includes integral updates that are suppose to be found in the singular updaters, I assume that the code for the combo updaters is written subsequent to the singular updaters and thereby, in effect, supersedes the previously released updates. I do not, however lay claim to knowledge of Apple software team's configuration control protocols. I would assume that they have many similarities to the Configuration Control/Management. procedures I use, DoD MIL-STD 973 / ANSI-EIA 649. Knowing this, there is undoubtedly some degree of fallibility, however minute. Additionally, I would also assume that using a combo updater serves to possibly "reset" certain system settings / code, that may have become corrupted over time. Stemming from this rational, is my preference to always use the combo updater; not required, but preferential. I will say though, I never suffer the problems codified in these forums by other users, with respect to installation problems. I must conclude this is due to the aforementioned protocols I follow. However, I always remain open to your suggestions and instructions as they have served myself and others quite well over the years.
Take care Kappy, and good to hear from you again.
Respectfully,
John
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