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Friday, August 07, 2009

Installing the Mac OS X 10.5.8 Update: A personal account

Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 10:14 AM PDT

Written by Joe Aimonetti

Here is my step-by-step process, start to finish, installing the Mac OS X 10.5.8 update, including observations and notes along the way. Step one: Control my nerdy excitement.

Waking up today brought more than just another beautiful Portland, Oregon morning. It brought the promise of updating my work MacBook (a Black MacBook, 2 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, currently running Mac OS X 10.5.7) to yesterday's release of Mac OS X 10.5.8. For many Mac users, updating can be a daunting task. Many forums exist that discourage nearly every update Apple releases as a "lemon" or "worthless". So today, I'll be writing this article as I prepare my machine for the update and download and install it.

First thing's first. After reading up on some of the details of the update on my favorite Mac troubleshooting site, MacFixIt, I navigated to Apple's 10.5.8 Combo Update download page (linked in the article). I began the hefty 759MB download, then started writing this article.

A quick note: Be sure to have a current and stable backup of your system's important data before attempting to install OS updates. Our Macs here at MacFixIt use Time Machine to do automatic backups to our servers. Any backup solution is better than none - even if you just drag your important files to an external hard drive.

The next step I like to take is running a Permissions verification and repair (if necessary). If the system is good going into this, it's much more likely to be good coming out. Using Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities) is a great way to accomplish this task. If you want to get a little more indepth with your disk checking, try running the freeware, Onyx. Keep in mind that running either Disk Utility or Onyx (or any other disk maintenance program) can take a little time, so try not to be updating in a hurry.

At this point, it is worth noting that for most users, simply running Software Update and installing the regular update package works completely fine. As I, and many regular readers of this site, typically install several third party applications and add-ons, the Combo Update packages tend to provide a more comprehensive installation.

The Mac OS X 10.5.8 Combo Update package is about finished downloading (about 15 minutes). I'll be applying the update and reporting back in just a few minutes.

About 16 minutes later: I felt like the installer took longer than it should, though everything appears to be running perfectly. As usual, the restart after the update also took longer than a normal restart, but since the system seems to be plenty peppy. After another round of Permissions checks, I looked into a few of the issues users have been reporting. (Also, here.) My system does not appear able to recreate these issues, so I will call this update a success.

Keep in mind that a lot of issues with updates to the Mac OS are related to third party programs. If you are experiencing issues after updating to Mac OS X 10.5.8, check all your third party applications and add-ons to be sure they are updated and compatible.

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