June 24, 2011

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update

Long hiatus... Too long...

Anyway, Apple's release of the 10.6.8 Mac OS X Snow Leopard update yesterday are news big enough to free some time, get over my writer's block and write this post.

As usual, “this update is recommended for all Mac OS X Snow Leopard users...” Is it? Really? And what about Hackintosh users?

Besides the several system and security fixes, the most exciting news about this update are enhancements to the Mac App Store to ready it for Mac OS X Lion.

But before you rush to get the 10.6.8 Combo or Point update, you might want to know that many iMac and MacBook users are reporting issues with this upgrade, including display streaks, printing problems, and kernel panics on boot...

Consider that one user's experience doesn't mean you'll encounter the same problem (you might find other issues, or none at all).
This is as true for this upgrade, as for any other.

So, should you take a chance? And, more important, what can you do to avoid getting into trouble?

What I always recommend, before taking the plunge is to make sure you have backups of your system and data.
Having to reinstall your machine isn't an exciting adventure, but it's something you'll recover from easily...
You'll just be losing precious time, not your invaluable and irrecoverable data...

Did I mention time?
Make sure you have plenty of it before starting a software upgrade!
It's not unusual for me to have to delay some days (and sometimes even weeks) before I can apply a Software Update.
Remember that you want to have enough slack to fix or restore your system in case of trouble.
Two days before an important deadline is not the right time to do it!
A Friday afternoon is a good time for this (if you are mentally willing to potentially “sacrifice” a week-end)

A valuable addition to my systems is a small Volume (partition) used for “testing”.
This doesn't have to be a full-blown installation, with all your software... Somewhere between 15GB to 50GB should be more than enough.
So my procedure consists of applying any updates to this Volume first.
If I encounter trouble, I can try to overcome it here, without damaging my “production” Volumes.
As an added benefit, I can always boot from this Volume and access the other Volumes, should I need to fix anything.

One last recommendation... Backup!
I keep a Time Machine live backup of my system and data, and about monthly I clone an Image of my system to a networked drive.

And... What about Hackintosh ?
Many Hackintosh users were reporting issues upgrading to 10.6.8

I tried upgrading the test partition on my Perfect Hackintosh, and found everything works, except for Audio.
It seems that due to changes in the current AppleHDA driver, MacMan's ALC8xx driver stopped functioning.
I'm sure an update will soon follow!

So, what will I do? In the meantime, I'm holding this update a bit, while keeping an eye on Tonymacx86's Forum - Official 10.6.8 Update Thread...

What about you?


  1. Nice summary!

    Do you have any ideas why the App Store is ok for some and not for others following this upgrade (No GUID is available. Contact Support for assistance.)?

    Is it down to ethernet hardware maybe?

  2. @Dan: Try removing all network interfaces in SysPrefs, or alternatively delete the /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist file (back it up, just in case).

    Reboot and reconfigure your network adapters.

    You should now be able to log in to the App store.

    Please post back your results.

  3. Who could describe it nicer than you;-))

    I had the same AppStore issue (solved that way) but also am I not able to sync iPad and iPhone via iTunes. "Overriding" does not work in that context.
    Is this also an effect of the update or do I just run into it eventually?

    Cheers, SH

  4. @Say Heading: Thanks for your kind words !

    I haven't experienced the AppStore/iTunes problem... But all cases I've read, are somehow related to misconfigured network interfaces.

    Just review your Network settings upon upgrade.

    If your iPad/iPhone issues are USB related, you might have to rollback IOUSBFamily.kext, as the update overwrites it.

  5. I'll try on the iTunes issue tomorrow, getting late over her...
    I'm just wondering what keeps so many user from just reinstalling after they had corrupted their system without reasonable backup?
    As my British trainees (command training/upgrade) used to say:
    "When you're sitting in a hole, stop digging."
    Scientific research? Accepted.
    But for the rest just a matter of lifetime.
    Reinstall on a new HD, save the user account(s) from the corrupted one, that's it.
    I even use two identical hacks just to make sure "she" doesn't grill me... ;-)

  6. @Say Heading: I agree... And that's why I prefer to "bork" my testing partition...

    Takes a bit longer ? Yes, but stability and availability are worth the extra couple reboots.
    Better safe than sorry...

    As for saving user account, check out my post on Moving OS X /Users to a separate partition

    Please report back your progress on the iTunes issue.

  7. Cheers Lnx2Mac, I had tried that already with no luck.

    It seems like I need to add a Device (LAN0) in my DSDT.dsl (I don't have one in there). Adding one to com.apple.boot.plist does work but I loose my second monitor and get glitchy graphics!

    Now to figure out how...

  8. Moin again.
    An IOUSBFamily rollback was not promising for this DSDT installation but you never know - tried it - but no...
    Also gave the USB 3.0 NEC/Renesas kext another chance. Also no help.
    But at least both items don´t KP the hack anymore as it happened within 10.6.7. (GA Z68X-UD7-B3).
    I feel it´s not the VLI hub issue causing trouble, but if, "thelostswede" seems to be close to a solution.

    I start to believe - and this is going off topic here - that it´s an iSync issue (dialog "iSync cannot be started, sync manager not available").
    Even manually starting iSync is impossible.
    But here I´m not shure whether that´s a 10.6.8 issue or not, might have to find an "old" 10.6.7 installation on my various partitions. Maybe I was too motivated to bring them all up to 10.6.8 after success ;-))

  9. Update:
    To make a long story short: It´s not a 10.6.7->.8 issue.
    Noticed iSync and synching with iTunes works in all other user accounts, regardless of user or admin status, except mine.
    Changing myself from user to admin doesn´t help as well as deleting user/me/Library/Application Support/SyncService and .../SyncServices.
    iSync just doesn´t seem to like me personally... ;-))

    Any hints of what to delete next are highly appreciated.
    And as this might be of interest beyond your blog I just started a new topic over at tonymacx86:

    Cheers, SH

  10. Update again:

    Solved by deleting Users/myUser/Library/Preferences/com.apple.syncserver.plist

  11. @Dan: I have no LAN0 on my DSDT.
    Without knowing your configuration it's hard to help.
    I'd suggest you start a topic over at tonymacx86's forum, and link it here.

  12. @Say Heading: Glad to know you solved it!

  13. Hi, my backup is around 190 gb, my external disk is in 120 gb..should i buy one for 250GB o more?..is extremely necessary to do this backup copy? this update to 10.6.8 will delete some of my data?

    thanks for comment Lnx2Mac

    Best regards

  14. @joRGE: With current disk prices, I recommend to buy the largest one you can afford.
    If losing your data or having to reinstall your system is not a problem for you, then you probably don't need to do any backup ;)
    And, no. In principle, the update won't delete your data.

  15. in the mean time use voodoohda til its fixed..
    or azalia....acl will get fixed

  16. I upgraded to 10.6.8 and everything is working but one--I've got the window streaks and it very annoying. I hope somehow this works its way to Apple. Does anyone have a work-around?

  17. @Anonymous: Try resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM.

  18. Oh my goodness! i have a hackintosh,i upgraded, and now it doesnt start, and says after the apple logo, its says i have to restart computer. it says something about Kernanl trap

  19. @Josue: If you followed my recommendation, it should be easy to restore your backup.
    In any case, you can boot in verbose mode to see the details of your problem.
    And you can see the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update - The Official Thread on tonymacx86 forum.

    Good Luck !