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A possible fix for a broken Software Update System
If you have a problem with Software Update not being able to install updates because of a problem with permissions on /tmp -> 501 -> TemporaryItems -> com.apple.SoftwareUpdate, where 501 could be a different number, then do either one of these two things:
  • Type this in terminal: sudo cp /sw/bin/tar /usr/bin/
  • Download this script script from my site (it repairs permissions as well).
[robg adds: I haven't heard of any issues related to tar and Software Update. Solution #1 will only work if you have Fink installed. I haven't tested the script in the second option. If someone can comment one way or the other, I'll either leave this up or remove it, based on the feedback...]
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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: kevyang on Sep 08, '04 10:36:25AM

This happens for some if you have installed AND removed some versions of Xcode or Apple's Developer Tools. The removal script deletes /usr/bin/tar which is needed for Software Update.

You can get a copy of tar using fink, or you can extract tar from the install CD if you know how. Maybe the easiest way is to copy from another Mac.



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: cplater on Sep 08, '04 10:39:12AM

The script also relies on fink being installed. It basically does a repair permissions on the hard drive, and then copies /sw/bin/tar to /usr/bin/tar (which will overwrite the version that exists there on a "stock" OS X installation.)



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evil GNU darwin too
Authored by: SOX on Sep 08, '04 10:46:17AM

Alos be wary of GNU darwin which replaces some bin items like "make" with its own.



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: leenoble_uk on Sep 08, '04 10:49:59AM

I'm not sure of the error message but in Jaguar and Panther I had problems installing via Software Update even though I could download and install manually. I eventually worked out that it was because my day to day account was not an admin user and as such didn't have permission to write to /Library/Packages.
For some reason they forgot to add an authentication dialog to cater for this scenario. Changing permissions on that folder fixed my problem and now I can install SU packages from the proper interface.

---
So, I said ... well, I can't actually remember exactly what I said. But it was one of the most enormously cruel and frighteningly witty put downs ever.



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: Nick Belli on Sep 08, '04 02:08:09PM

I just spent an hour on the phone to Apple about this problem. I got that message after doing a new install over an erased hard drive. The Apple techs were at a loss as to why I could not update from 10.3.3 to 10.3.5. Following their instructions I am in the middle of "zeroing and hard drive" and reinstalling 10.3.3 from the original cds that came with this iBook G4. I wish I had seen this tips first!!!

Damn the installer just quit. No reason, just "There were errors..."

I would love to try this tip but I now have a ibook with no OS and it will not let me install the OS from the CDs that came with the computer!



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: yellow on Sep 09, '04 01:28:04PM

No entries in the log files?
I find that unusual.



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: willow on Sep 08, '04 05:03:22PM

I had this very problem a few weeks ago and could not fix it. I decided the only solution was to archive & install a new copy of 10.3.2 followed by all the updates to get back up to date.

This did fix the problem, but I was never sure what caused it in the first instance. Having read all the comments, I did install X-Code and then uninstalled it sometime later.

---
Mike Hubbard



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: amontgom on Sep 08, '04 09:31:32PM

I have dealt with this problem several times by running up Terminal, deleting the TemporaryItems folder and restarting. I use the command:
sudo rm -r /tmp/501/TemporaryItems
After a restart Software Update runs properly.
I figured a folder called "TemporaryItems" couldn't be that important, and it appears to get recreated at startup. I havn't had any problems with this method so far, but if anybody knows about something that I may have broken please tell me!



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: ewelch on Sep 08, '04 11:21:50PM

I tried all of those fixes before and none of them worked. Then I discovered the problem by testing every possible cause on multiple Macs in our department at work. It turned out it was our Mac proxy server. I have no idea why our IT department thinks Macs need a seperate proxy server, but they have all sorts of strange ideas about Macs.

When I switched the proxy server settings to the Windows proxy server, Software Update worked. So it seems that the error reports for this problem cover multiple causes, including the fact that it simply can't download the udpate files becuase a proxy server is blocking that download.

---
Eric

Ernest Hemingway's writing reminds me of the farting of an old horse. - E.B. White



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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: tampano on Sep 09, '04 03:23:04PM

I'm having this problem with an XServe machine, coming with 10.3.3 and not updating some of SoftwareUpdate files (Quicktime, 10.3.4, and others).

The Apple customer care opened a case and decided to change the logic board...but all is the same. The other strange thing is that XServe won't boot with Apple Service Diagnostic cd's...

I'm not sure it's only a permissions issue.

Any tip?



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