Apple confirms Mac update hangs, suggests workaround

Apple Thursday acknowledged that some users have had problems updating their Macs to the newest version of Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5.6.

In a typically terse note on its support site, Apple confirmed that the update may hang during the installation process. "When attempting to update software using Software Update in Mac OS X 10.5 , the update process may stop responding while 'Configuring installation' is visible in the update window," said Apple.

Mac OS X 10.5.6, which included nearly 40 improvements and application fixes, was released Monday . Prominent among the changes was one that increased the frequency of background synchronization between Macs and Apple's MobileMe online service.

Apple pinned responsibility for the glitch on updates that were "only partially downloaded," but offered no other explanation, including whether the fault was on its end, in the update tool or due to user action.

The company told users to delete the partial download -- the files can be found in the "/Library/Updates" folder, said Apple -- and then re-run Software Update to download again and attempt to install it.

Users started reporting troubles as soon as Apple issued the update. "When I attempted to install, the process hangs on 'configuring setup'," said "davald" in a message posted to Apple's support forum Monday morning . "My [ MacBook Pro ], after 15 minutes, is still in that mode. I did a forced restart, which returned me to 10.5.5."

Others chimed in with advice to reboot the hung Macs, then download the 372MB update file from Apple's Web site, or the even-larger 668MB "Combo" update . Most users who tried those alternatives to the much smaller update via Mac OS X's built-in Software Update mechanism said they did the trick.

Some users posting to the support forum remained angry, even after they'd found a workaround.

"I have had my Mac for over a week now and so far haven't been able to do anything much useful beyond backing up data and reinstalling OS, over and over," said "scubasu" Thursday on the same thread. "What a nightmare. It is just the most frustrating upgrading experience I've ever had with an OS...Windows included."

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