Having a problem with the 10.4.10 update? Try booting in Safe Mode - Macenstein

Having a problem with the 10.4.10 update? Try booting in Safe Mode

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Just a day after the release of Apple’s 10.4.10 update, there are already a number of healthy threads (the largest being 1,292 posts and growing) on Apple’s support site and elsewhere reporting problems with the update. The majority of complaints are from Intel users saying that after the install, their system either hangs on boot, 3rd party cards disappear, or applications respond extremely slowly after the install. There are also many posts from people who claim they have had no trouble with the update, although 80% of these people seem to be running G5 and G4 systems. It is apparently Intel owners who seem to be having the problems.

Our own experience has been 50-50 (literally). We installed the 10.4.10 update last night on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz quad with 5 GB of RAM, and it worked great. Today we tried one of our beefed up 3 GHz 8-Core Mac Pros with 16 GB RAM and an ATTO Fibre Channel card. After the install/reboot, our machine continually hung after loading the desktop background. The dock would not appear. The menu bar was also a no-show, save for the rightmost inch or so (we saw the spotlight magnifier icon and an inch of white bar, but that was it.) The Mac Pro’s fan also went to full throttle, helping to add to the air of panic we were feeling. Eject and volume keys worked, as did the mouse, but no files or disks on the hard drive icons appeared on the desktop.

Above: the top right corner of the menu bar is as far as our boot would take us.

The solution

  • Well, we tried booting from the Mac Pro DVD, repaired permissions, restarted, and nothing. Same problem.
  • We held down Command+V and looked at the boot info, nothing seemed odd (although on an 8-core machine, that stuff flies by).
  • We then removed the Fibre Channel card and rebooted. No Dice.
  • We then ran Disk Warrior. No Dice.
  • So finally we decided to boot up in Safe Mode (something we should have tried earlier, I suppose) by holding down the SHIFT key during boot. The machine booted up fine, everything seemed to work. So, feeling brave, we just did a regular old reboot, and the machine came back fine.

So, our tip of the day. If after an OS update (or any troublesome boot, really) try booting up in Safe Mode (hold down the SHIFT key when booting). It appears that in some cases, a successful Safe Mode boot can put OS X’s files in order, and a subsequent “standard” reboot might just work out. It did for us, anyway. Good luck!

23 Responses to “Having a problem with the 10.4.10 update? Try booting in Safe Mode”
  1. FGT says:

    I had a similar problem, although my Mac Pro couldn’t get past the grey spinning progress bar screen.

    Unfortunately, I ended up reinstalling the OS and downloading the combo update. safe mode didn’t occur to me.


  2. TanZing says:

    I learnt a very painful lesson with the 10.4.9 update where I ended up having to reinstall the OS and losing a ton of files.

    So this time I downloaded the 10.4.10 Combo update, booted in Safe Mode, applied the update then rebooted.

    No Problems.

    I would strongly recommend this for all System and Security Updates.

    Never update via Software Update.

  3. Ray Marotta says:

    I had a very interesting experience installing this update, Once installed, the system rebooted to a core graphics tiger X rotating display which finished with the X coming to the center of the screen, It then swiched to another menu which contained all my personal information and then requested I enter my .Mac Password, All done, it then took me to another Mac OS X Installation Menu with the 5 menu items, Finder, Safari, and 3 others I can’t recall, at the bottom the the screen was a prompt to press a “Go” Button, which did nothing, I was forced to quit the installer and reboot, which brought the system back to normal status.
    A Very very strange installation on an 2005 iMac G5 w/ 2GB Ram and had Mac OS X 10.4.9 on it prior. No modifications.

    – Ray Marotta, Admin, http://www.InTheMac.com

  4. Inuvik says:

    I installed via software update on my G4 eMac 1.42Ghz with no problem. The only strange thing was that it booted twice upon restart. The first time it stayed on the grey screen for about 2 minutes then it paused and restarted again. After a very lengthy 2nd restart it booted fine and I haven’t noticed any issues. Consequent restarts have all been very speedy with no problems.

  5. Stefan says:

    lnuvik’s comments is correct: this update took forever to boot the first time, and it actually booted TWICE during that restart. I wonder how many people got impatient waiting during the first boot (which took maybe 10 minutes for me), and threw their machines into some strange state.

    This has been the case with some other updates too, I wish Apple could notify you somehow that 2 reboots are expected behavior, and that it could take an unusually long time.

  6. Eideard says:

    Much to my chagrin, I’ve put myself in deep doo-doo by getting impatient – recently – instead of just letting my Mac critters work their way through downloads, etc..

    I’ve now adopted the safe boot asap procedure > followed by a normal reboot. Seems to work well.

    I don’t mess with lots of silly extraneous downloads; but, those few II do try – seem to carry significant silliness.

  7. Switcher says:

    Rebooting the first time will take minutes ( possibly 5 or more ); the Apple Logo shows with spinning gear then machine will restart again and bring you to login window or your desktop. This is normal – part of the process.

  8. Shakes says:

    System iMac G5 1GB Ram (PPC): Installed OSX 10.4.10 update after reading problems stated on this thread…..waited for the system to reboot twice…which it did no problems whatsoever through system update. Having had problems with the new Safari 3 browser I was a little anxious to download the new tiger update but thanks to this site and everyone who replies to questions it has given me the knowledge and know how on how to fix things when they do go wrong, thanks to everyone who has helped me out! I know its a little off subject but could anyone recommend smart back up software for me till Leopard comes out? I have 2 Lacie 500GB USB 2.0 drives so only want to do one initial back up with future back ups only adding what has changed since the last one…..

  9. web says:

    I’ve been booting in and out of safe mode all day. Still won’t boot up normally. Safe mode works great. Just hasn’t helped me fix any problems yet.

  10. Joris says:

    after update on my macbook pro2.16, my wireless network doesnt work anymore. I do get connected to the router, sometimes I get an IP, starting with 10.0, no internet, sometomes starting with 169, no internet, sometimes no IP: no internet 😉


    tnx, joris

  11. Ed says:

    @web try this:

  12. Shakes says:

    OK….so after fixing safari 3 beta download with help from previous answers on another thread (frameworks and private frameworks files) I have downloaded the update to safari 3 thinking this may resolve issues I still have with dashboard not working 100%. This only made matters worse with dashboard client automatically quiting everytime it is launched. To combat this I uninstalled Safari 3 beta using its uninstall pkg and am now running safari 2.0.4 but I am still having problems with dashboard with no other app’s crashing on me…yet! Please could someone advise on how to rectify this problem as I am unsure as to how to fix it. If it helps I have gone into the system library and have found two files that MAY be in the wrong locations, they are: Extensions.kextcache and: Extensions.mkext Any ideas would be gratefully received!

    I tried emptying the cache like the article says but still no dashboard, not sure what else I can try!

  13. Ed says:

    Actually I didn’t try the way from macfixit.com just read on few other places that it helped some people. I didn’t update until today anyway. Fortunately only after reading all the stuff that’s been happening I downloaded update combo, went to safe mode, installed update and rebooted as suggested. When booted to OSX for the first time it took a long time to show the desktop properly, really long time like few minutes. But after wait everything seems normal for me now.
    So the only advice I can give is when Apple makes an update, wait for few days and search the net to find the right way to install it.

  14. Shakes says:

    Problems now resolved and have reinstalled the Safari beta with all app’s working 100%. I did however clean out the system cache files using Onyx (though this was in need of updating due to the Tiger update!)

    Every bit of advice has helped, though I agree more with holding out for any more future updates…my mac seems to be running better than it has for a long time so I guess it justed needed a little spring clean.

  15. Aardvark says:

    10.4.10 on Intel Mini, after Software Updater did its thing. Have managed to boot up in safe mode and restart okay just once only. Second restart gets to the login screen as well, but if you try to login, you get a spinning beachball and no password prompt. After 2-3 hours, I just switch the machine off and re-start in safe mode. Clearing out caches etc has no effect: user login always hangs after second restart (or shutdown & power-on).

    Now where did I put those 10.4.7 install disks?

  16. Jimmeemacc says:

    On my 1.83GHz Intel-powered iMac, iPhoto went nuts after the 10.4.10 download installation.
    Clicking library brought up only one image of the 300+ it contained – the same one every time. None of my albums would show more than one image each. I went into
    Edit mode for the one library pic displayed and was able to ascertain (using the previous/following arrows in the editing bar), that all images were still there – but they could only be brought up sequentially, one at a time. I did a Permissions Repair, then acting on Dr Mac’s advice, did a Safe reboot. End of problem…I hope! In future I’ll be waiting for an extended time before downloading ANY future updates from Apple!

  17. petmac says:

    Up to 10.4.10 my G5 was running fine. Immediately after the first reboot I started getting al kinds of video issues. Then iTunes would hang the system, now the system does not boot at all – except in Safe mode. I managed to get a backup off the machine just after the video issue. I guess the only thing to do is reinstall from scratch and disable System Update? Very disappointed with Apple on this. I expect this from Microsoft, not from Apple. I guess a few too many engineers working on the iPhone.

  18. Anonymous says:

    same problem happened to me. First of all it was just the dock and finder that kept crashing then similar to what happened on this page except after much random key presses on my keyboard eg command+option+esc i was able to get back to just no dock and crashing finder.
    i then downloaded the Standalone installer and reinstalled. Note: i couldn’t view the mounted .dmg so installed xfolder and opened the installer from there.

    all works fine now 🙂

    ps: safe mode didn’t fix anything for me and showed the same problems…

  19. john says:

    My woes seem to be core audio. All core audio apps not working. and to make things worse after a reinstall I did test with no update and problemstill there with no updates, and update to 10.4.9 the problem is still there also. The core audio apps will play with onboard audio but not with motu828mkll (FW). Itunes works both ways. Peak pro 5.2 works with onboard sound but not FW. These are the only issues I had with the update. My question. Is the core audio or the path on the motherboard in someway damaged by the patch?
    I went on and installed 10.4.10 after my test but everything is the same. Other than that the update seems ok. Maybe a little sluggish.


    I also use Sonar 6.2.1 for main studio work so I installed with bootcamp and all is fine.

  20. Bo says:

    I probably have the same issue as Joris: Updated my MacBook Pro Intel with 10.4.10 and after successful upgrade process, the wireless lan (WiFi) does no longer work reliably. Can typically connect on LAN, but connection to anything with public IP is completely inreliable, e.g. can not ping public sites, skype goes on/off, MSN messenger can no longer sign up. Seems to be a DNS and/or port blocking issue. Have deleted the preferred connections to no avail.

  21. john says:

    I forgot I have a MBP 2.16GHz 1st gen

  22. Matthew says:

    After updating to 10.4.10 my MacPro Laptop was giving me Kernel Panics involving the airport card. It would always panic when I was on the web. Also the risk was increased when I was running on the battery and not plugged in to the power supply. I reinstalled 10.4.8 and it fixed my prob.

  23. Freddie says:

    Same thing here. I have a Mac Mini Core Duo and stupidly installed 10.4.10 without thinking. Now it won’t boot, except into Safe Mode. It gets to the bootup progress bar (says Starting Mac OS X…) and the bar gets to 100% and then it just sits forever. If I kill the power and then restart in Safe Mode, no problem. I went in and removed all Startup Items from the account and repair permissions too. Nothing. Thanks Apple!

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