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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Mac OS X 10.5.6: failed installation, mail quits, more

A variety of issues after this massive update--the most common is failed installation.

Failed installation (stuck on configuration installation) By far the most widely reported issue with Mac OS X 10.5.6 invovles failed installation, specifically stalls that occur during the "configuring installation" phase. Sample reports from MacFixIt readers include:

  • "The installation configuration phase stalls almost immediately with 10.5.6 on my MacBook.
  • "Twice I've tried to install the latest OS X update. The Finder quits and the Configuration Installation screen hangs with just a hint of blue on the progress bar. Dual 2.3 GHz PowerPC G5. Had to force shutdowns."
  • "I have a PowerBook g4 1.33 aluminum and I have just downloaded the update. I rebooted and now I have been on the "configuring installation" screen for at least 2 hrs. I have 2 gigs of ram and at least 20 gigs free. I have never had a problem with an installation before. I googles around and haven't seen any mention of anyone having this problem."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, first try downloading (or re-downloading) the appropriate standalone update from Apple's download page and reapplying it.

Failing that, restart into Safe mode, by holding down the Shift key from the moment you hear the startup "bong" to the moment the "spinning gear" appears. Expect this startup to take longer than usual. Don't be alarmed if the fans whir loudly during the "spinning gear" display. Eventually you will be presented with the Safe Boot login screen. Log in as the administrator and reattempt the update.

Remember to avoid performing any other processes while the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update is taking place in order to lessen the chances of this issue.

Mail quits after launching, crashes Several users have reported repeated crashes or quits on launch after the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update. Reports include:

  • "I updated to 10.5.6 and launched Mail. It quits right after showing the Inbox. Wish I knew how to fix this."
  • "Since updating, Mail crashes EVERY TIME I try to open an email with an attachment."
  • "After installing 10.5.6 my Mail application crashed repeatedly , even after rebooting."
If you are experiencing similar issues, try uninstalling PGP software and other third-party add-ons. Failing that, try the following fixes:
Remove ToDo itemsUsers might check the console application for the Mail crash log (listed under "CrashReporter" in the Console application) if the problem occurs. If the crash log lists something such as "trying to set a non-ToDo MailboxUid for a ToDo", then users might try removing accumulated ToDo items. These items are available both in Mail as well as iCal, so users can remove them by opening iCal and deleting them from that application. It's recommended to list all ToDo items and then cut them using the "Edit" menu instead of outright deleting them. Then quit iCal and attempt to open Mail again. If this does not fix the problem, users can then open iCal and paste the previously cut ToDos back into the application.

Troubleshoot messages loaded at startup If a message contains corrupt content (pictures or attachments) that are causing problems, users can prevent the messages from loading at application launch by holding the shift key directly after launching Mail. From here users can troubleshoot mail messages to see if any cause the program to hang or crash, and remove any problematic messages causing such behavior.

Remove preference files and troubleshoot accounts If the first two fixes do not address the problem, users can try removing the Mail application preferences, called and located in the ~/Library/Preferences/ folder. Doing this will require mail account information to be reentered, but all previous messages and mailbox setups will remain and be visible again after account information has been supplied. In addition, Mail setup can be compared against that for a fresh account by creating a new user account and logging into that one. Then users can set up Mail and see if the problem persists. If it does not, then users know the problem has to do with their account and can troubleshoot the problem, targeting items in the ~/Library/Mail/ folder, or removing the contents of the ~/Library/Caches/Mail/ folder.

AirPort Utility problems A handful of users have reported that AirPort Utility is broken after the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update. One reader writes:

"MBP 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Installed 10.5.6 using combo updater in safe mode. After update, "Airport Utility was unable to find any Apple wireless devices." Airport connection is fine, though. I reapplied the combo updater, repaired permissions, ran DiskWarrior 4.1.1, and Airport Utility still doesn't see any of my routers. Please advise."

This issue can generally be resolved by downloading and reinstalling AirPort Utility.

Swollen RAM usage Some users have reported dramatically increased idle RAM usage under Mac OS X 10.5.6. One reader writes:

"First impressions are that I regret applying it to my MacBook Air, which of course has only 2GB of RAM in it. This update consumes almost 1 GB of that without any running apps besides the usual background daemons. That means there is just one Gig of RAM left for my apps. A reboot does not change this behavior."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.

  • Apple's download page
  • AirPort Utility
  • let us know
  • More from Late-Breakers