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Tarek 11-20-2009 09:09 AM

Mac OS is not starting up
Hello there,

This is what I get when ever I try to get start Macintosh OS X.

That didn't happen before and I think I know why. There were two updates available last night, 10.6.2 and Safari, I updated and restarted. It was installing updates but in the end it said that an error occurred or something like that even though the installation seemed like it completed.

I don't know what to do now and I don't want to re-format because I have a lot of important data on there.

By the way, I have an external HDD that is 160GB, if I make a backup on it, how much space will it take? Like a time machine backup or system restore or what ever it is called?

Thanks a lot.

chscag 11-20-2009 01:09 PM

If you don't have a backup that you can restore to, try starting your Mac using Safe Boot. See the following Apple KB LINK

If you can get started in Safe Boot mode, you may be able to undo whatever the updates did of left undone when the error occurred. Although it's doubtful that you can recover that way, it's worth a try.

Some advice for the future Tarek: Always make a bootable backup prior to updating OS X. Use that 160 GB external drive and use either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner, or at the very least, Time Machine. The actual space used on the external depends on how much data you have on your internal drive.


baggss 11-20-2009 01:18 PM

If safe boot doesn't work, boot from the DVD that came with your machine (insert DVD and hold down the "C" key while it boots. When you get to the second Instal screen,go to the Task Bar, Utilities, Disc Utility and verify the drive and repair permissions. If that all passes, reboot and see what happens.

If it boots, cool, if not reboot from the DVD, follow it to the 3rd or 4th install screen and select OPTIONS, then choose Archive and Install. This will put a fresh copy of OSX on your machine but will integrate your Profile into it. You will then have to update your machine to whatever the latest version of OSX is, again.

Tarek 11-20-2009 07:43 PM

Thanks a lot guys, I am going to try now and let you know how it goes.

Collin Bl 11-20-2009 09:05 PM

Or if you have acess to another Mac you could try downloading this to try and complete the update.

Tarek 11-21-2009 06:20 PM

I am back. Macintosh OS X is up and running 100%. The only method that worked for me is installing a fresh copy of Mac OS X and I am glad it is working now. Thank you very much for the information guys.

By the way, I was checking for updates and there is one called "Macintosh OS Combined" which is an update to 10.6.2; I'm running 10.6 and the update is around 600MB. Should I go ahead and update or is the starting up problem going to come back?

And about the Time Machine, I have 152GB used on my Macintosh HD and I want to add a backup on my external HDD. What size would that file/s be on the external HDD?

Thanks a lot.

6string 11-21-2009 07:14 PM

The combo update will update and reinstall anything dating back to 10.6, which fixes damaged files, by reinstalling anything that wasn't installed properly.
It seems to be a preference for many, as with me when updating.
Here is the apple link with the info Mac OS X v10.6.2 Update (Combo)
The size of the backup depends on how large in size the amount of changes you made since your last backup were.

Tarek 11-21-2009 07:42 PM

Thanks for replying. I never made any backup before and that's why I am asking how much space is it going to take?

6string 11-21-2009 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by Tarek (Post 948060)
Thanks for replying. I never made any backup before and that's why I am asking how much space is it going to take?

MUST MUST MUST have a an External back up.
Yes, that's 3 musts, and it would be more if I didn't think you knew how essential I am saying it is.
Regular backup, or at least any time you are about to make any big changes, or update, it is always a good idea to repair disk permissions then do a backup.

If money isn't too much of an issue, having 2-3 external HDs is the way to go, as then you can have one for regular backups, one for bootable clones, and one partitioned to have both regular backups and a bootable clone as a backup for the backups.

Anyway, I's sure that I have made my point, and if you really want, you can go through the hard luck stories of those who had no backups.

Tarek 11-22-2009 10:06 AM

I don't know what the bootable clones are, but I can get another HDD just for the back up and then unplug it until something happens (hopefully not, though). But you still didn't tell me, what size is the back up going to be? I don't want to be a 500GB HDD just to find out the backup is only a 100GB or something, since I won't be using that external EXCEPT for the backup.


6string 11-22-2009 06:59 PM

Read the following.
Mac 101: Time Machine
You can use time machine to do automatic backups, or you can back up when you choose.
Time machine will create multiple backups on the external HD, and when the HD is full, it will delete the oldest backups.
When you restore from time machine, unless you specify to restore from one of the older backups (from time to time you may find reason to do this), it will restore your system exactly how it was when you backed it up.
Bootable clones, are complete duplicates of your system, so if you have problems with your internal HD, that you can boot from the external HD.
Carbon Copy Cloner
Carbon Copy Cloner - Home
Super Duper

Tarek 11-26-2009 06:34 PM

Thank you so much for your information. I am definitely buying another external and backing up on it. I don't think I'll have to get a large size one, 160GB is fine, as long as it will automatically delete older backups when the HD is full.

6string 11-26-2009 06:45 PM

this would probably be a good read for you... answer questions that may pop up:
Apple - Support - Discussions - Time Machine -- Frequently Asked ...

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