Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Prevent Software Update failures Install
After applying the 10.1.3 update last night, I fired up but couldn't find the SSL option for the life of me. After a bit of investigation, I found the problem: The updates expect the Apple-provided applications to be kept where they were installed. For example, the updater expects to be located in /Applications/ During an obsessive-compulsive fit last month, I had organized all of my Applications into subfolders. I had moved into /Applications/Network. Apparently the OS has no way to keep track of such moves.

If you're obssesive like me, create a /Apps directory and categorize things under there. Leave all apps in /Applications--don't move them. Instead, create aliases (symlinks) to your new Apps directory.

[Editor's note: I would have bet this tip had been published here previously, but I don't believe it has. This is an annoying bug in Apple's current installer, and it's hopefully on their list of things to fix!]
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (3 votes cast)

Prevent Software Update failures | 9 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Prevent Software Update failures' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
You can get around this
Authored by: stuartbryson on Feb 24, '02 08:35:15PM

Whenever this happens to me, I jump into the terminal and replace the old contents of with whatever was dumped in my /Applications directory.

[ Reply to This | # ]
So how do I fix this?
Authored by: rhombus on Feb 25, '02 07:14:07AM

So I too moved stuff into folders (Graphics, Utilities, etc.) and it can't find the app sometimes, especially from within other system apps (like helpviewer mostly). It can't find Image Capture to autolaunch my Zio smartmedia reader, but iPhoto seems to launch fine. Do I just delete those apps and reinstall the system software? Thanks for the help.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Another method
Authored by: cyberassassin on Feb 25, '02 10:07:10AM

I have done the same organizing, and have found another useful trick.. Since often the updater is just updating the contents of an application package, you can do the same. I have run software update, and found a few folders laying around with the same name as applications, but appear as folders. So to update, find the application, tell the Finder to show package contents, and copy the newly formed package contents to the corresponding app. Works like a charm, and I can still organize my apps the way I want.

[ Reply to This | # ]
this is nothing new (get used to it)
Authored by: jub on Feb 25, '02 02:51:31PM

It's just a good idea to not move apps around your OSX system. This is simply the way Unix (all flavors) work. Since it's not really a usability issue, it's not real likely Apple will fix it.

For a few years now, the prevailing advice has been for people to not move apps anyway - more and more, applications are storing local preferences and other resources they must use. You have never been able, for example, to move Quark Xpress out of its folder and expect to have access to your Xtensions. You just make an alias of Xpress and put the alias wherever you want.

For those Virgo types who simply MUST re-organize, i'll echo other suggestions for creating a folder of shortcuts (which is all the apple menu was anyway), and then drag the folder to the dock. You'll get an ever-available shortcut to whatever you want - practically the same thing.

This is a pretty small gripe, IMO - not likely to get much attention or sympathy from Apple.

[ Reply to This | # ]
make a notAppleMenu folder...
Authored by: etwoy on Feb 25, '02 04:50:12PM

I ran into troubles moving apps around a while ago, so I do this:

Make a folder in my home dir called "notAppleMenu" (but hey, call it whatever)

Made sub-folders here for each grouping of app (ie, network, office, etc)

organise aliases to the apps in each of these folders. Then I just dragged Network, Office, etc to my Dock, and have grouped almost-an-apple-menu lists of apps.

just seemed easier...

[ Reply to This | # ]
Easier fix
Authored by: serversurfer on Feb 25, '02 11:00:21PM
I think the system only searches for apps in the various Applications folders (/Applications; ~/Applications; etc.). This means if you put your apps in /Apps, they won't be able to provide their services, etc. So make sure your apps are 'downstream' of /Applications. If, like me, you don't like having apps loose in /Applications, you can 'blend' your older apps with the new guts using the FileMerge app in /Developer/Applications.
1. Open FileMerge
2. Drag your older, working to the 'left side'.
3. Drag the new guts, (the Mail folder in Applications) to the 'right side'.
4. Click the 'Compare' button.
5. In the summary window that appears, click on the Contents folder.
6. Choose 'Combine files' from the merge menu.
7. Choose a location for the resultant. Name it 'Mail', NOT ''!!
8. In the Finder, rename the resultant ''. Tell the Finder you are sure.
9. Test your new to make sure everything went okay.
10. Drag the new app to your preferred location, replacing the old one.
11. Trash the Mail folder in /Applications.

This may sound tedious, but it is far simpler than replacing all of the contents by hand. I used the above method to merge all the updates from 10.1.3 without any trouble, but you still can't sue me if it breaks your box. ;)

Rob, feel free to repost this as a stand-alone tip if you think it merits the effort.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Similar problems with other upgrades
Authored by: dacrotty on Feb 26, '02 04:15:41PM

Actually, the subject has come up in regards to upgrades for other programs (MS Office, Toast) that use VISE installers. The thread is here:

Apparently many installers have problems locating programs if they're not in the Applications folder. MS Office installs by having you drag a folder onto your hard drive, with no instructions as to where it should be located.

The big problem I have with this is what happens when you need to reinstall the OS? As I understand it, as of OSX.1, you can't reinstall from the cd over a newer version of the system. You have to instead reformat the drive partition which erases everything that's on it. If I am forced to put all applications into the Applications folder on the system partition, does this mean that I will need to reinstall everything whenever I need to reinstall the OS? This majorly compounds what is already a painful procedure.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Tried and Failed
Authored by: Karamea on Feb 04, '03 05:39:14PM

I recently upgraded to OS 10.1.5 And found the same problem with folders popping up about the place, because I'd rearranged my Applications folder (I didn't want to have all my applications sitting in one folder.... it'd take forever to scroll through and find what you're after). And I put 2 and 2 together and figured they were supposed to be new contents for the other applications. So updated them, copying over the new files into their respective locations in their applications. Having done so I tested them and they worked fine... until we came to Mail. Mail no longer opens. The icon starts bouncing in the dock and then stops without opening...
So I dived into terminal and had a look through the new folder the upgrade and dumped in the Applications folder and found an invisible file I hadn't seen before. I copied that over, but still without luck. I even moved Mail back to it's original location and doesn't do a thing either.
Then thinking all was lost I decided to reinstall Mail.... only problem being is that you can't reinstall the software that came with you computer unless you want to reinstall everything. Didn't want to do that, so I looked on the net.... not a single version of Mail is available for download on the net either.
I just don't what to do now.
Any help?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Tried and Failed
Authored by: seashellz on Feb 05, '03 03:11:15PM

there is an app out (can be gotten on VT) called PACIFIER which is like TOME VIEWER was for OS9. You can use it to "open up" your X install CD and go after and install the tidbits you want as opposed to the whole bloomin thing...

[ Reply to This | # ]