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A possible fix for a broken Software Update System
I was having problems with Software update -- it would not update itself. It would take forever downloading updates to install, never applying them. Finally I decided to pick the "Download Only" option from the "Update" menu, thinking it was a crappy internet day and to let it just get them over night.

When I did this, Software Update generated an error message saying it could not write to /Library/Packages. So I checked that directory, and changed its ownership, and now things work normally again. It turns out another Admin user's account on the system had been set for ownership of the directory in question, perhaps from other accounts using Software Update? I also noticed that the directory owner had write privlages, so perhaps that should be changed as well.

Hope this helps someone in a pinch.
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Repair Permissions?
Authored by: googoo on Oct 12, '05 07:59:00AM

Did you try the Repair Disk Permissions in Disk Utility? That usually fixes messed up ownership/permissions issues for important files and directories. Repairing permissions is a good first resort when things do not work right.


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Software Update / Download Only is broken
Authored by: ash7 on Oct 12, '05 10:30:26AM

Doesn't matter what your permissions are... Here's the reproducible steps in a bug report that I submitted.

1. Disconnect network cable from computer (this prevents Software Update from automatically engaging)
2. Install Mac OS X 10.4. Erase the target disk.
3. Install the 10.4.2 Combo Update via disk image on a separate drive
4. Install Security Updates 2005-007 and 2005-008 via packages on a separate drive
5. Connect network cable

To demonstrate the problem, do the following:

1. Run Software Update from the Apple menu
2. Uncheck all items except one (in this case iTunes 5.0.1)
3. Choose "Download Only" from the Update menu
4. The software update window shrinks and the description disappears as the download continues.
5. Press the button "Install 1 Item" after the window returns to normal size.
6. You are asked for your password and two license agreements are displayed.
7. The software update window shrinks momentarily to the size it was when downloading software and then enlarges.
8. Nothing is installed.

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Download Only is broken
Authored by: Hal Itosis on Oct 12, '05 01:51:48PM

I can confirm this behavior.
The 'Download Only' part works fine...
With Panther, I used to be able to then click 'Install' and it would work.
Tiger just hiccups precisely the way ash7 describes in steps 1 thru 8.
(I repair permissions daily).

Can we fix this somehow, or must we wait for Apple?
I much prefer the 'Download Only' option for updates.


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Broken Software Update - it won't even check!
Authored by: magnamous on Oct 12, '05 08:56:09PM

The problem I've been having is that Software Update simply does not check for updates like it's supposed to. I have it set to check every day for updates, and it doesn't matter what the time stamp is for the previous update - it just never seems to run the update check. Once it sees the updates, however, it downloads and installs them just fine. I don't get it.

I've tried changing the settings and changing them back and I've tried deleting preference files. Nothing seems to work.

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A possible fix for a broken Software Update
Authored by: cheesy9999 on Oct 15, '05 12:16:23PM

My problem is that the "update" process just hangs and hogs all the entire CPU, then it doesn't quit. I'm assuming the "update" process is for Software Update. Also, I can't force quit it using Activity Viewer or Terminal.

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