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#16784 - 08/01/11 02:41 PM Revert to 10.6.7 or upgrade to Lion?
JM Hanes Offline

Registered: 09/03/09
Back again! This is a follow-up from my Cintiq/Kernal Panic topic, but I put it in a separate post, because this how-to question might be of interest to others.

After spending inordinate amounts of time trying to track down potential villains, it appears that just connecting my Wacom screen via USB may be what's crashing my system. Applying the 10.6.8 Supplemental Update didn't help, so I've decided that reverting to 10.6.7 or upgrading to Lion are my best options. Both are problematic as the situation now stands:

I can't even start up in safe mode any more, so I will not be able to download either updater to my desktop. The screen freezes before I can choose a different boot disk from an option key start up.


Can I apply an update located on my laptop to my main computer if I've mounted the main computer as a target disk via firewire?

If so, can I simply install the 10.6.7 updater over 10.6.8 or would upgrading to Lion be my only choice, without having to wipe the destination hard drive first? Normally, I wouldn't move up to Lion till it's gone through another iteration or two. If I do wipe the destination drive, would the 10.6.7 updater install a complete operating system?

Is there a (simple) way just to substitute my laptop screen for the problematic monitor, till I get the desktop's OS sorted out? The same questions about reverting would still apply, I suppose.

Otherwise, it seems like I'll just have to start from scratch with my original Snow Leopard Install disk (assuming I can still start up from the optical drive!) and then update to 10.6.7. Will I have to do a clean install when going from the newer OS version back down to the original one? I know that's probably preferable, but it would be nice to be able to migrate my apps and/or settings if possible once I get back to 10.6.7, instead of having to move what I can from a clone and reinstall the rest.

I found two identically dated updaters at Apple:

Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update (475 MB)
Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update Combo (1.12 GB)

I assume I should use the Combo?

Thanks for listening!

Edited by JM Hanes (08/01/11 02:43 PM)

#16797 - 08/02/11 02:44 PM Re: Revert to 10.6.7 or upgrade to Lion? [Re: JM Hanes]
joemikeb Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Most definitely you should use the combo updater
joemikeb • moderator

#17081 - 08/18/11 04:16 PM Re: Revert to 10.6.7 or upgrade to Lion? [Re: JM Hanes]
WhiteDog Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Loc: Santa Cruz, CA
To answer your questions in order:

I assume you have not been using Time Machine. If you had, the simplest solution would be to use Disk Utility on you laptop (connected to your desktop computer by FireWire) to restore from Time Machine, which should give you a choice of dates to restore from (when it works properly), in which case you would pick the day before you updated to 10.6.8.

Apparently, though, that's not an option here.

The first thing I would try (before erasing the drive and starting over from scratch) is to use your laptop to mount your desktop hard drive in target disk mode. Then, use Disk Utility to repair the desktop disk and repair permissions. This should give you a clue as to what may be wrong with your computer. You should also try zapping the PRAM on the desktop computer. To do so, start up holding down the Option-Command-P-R keys and keep them depressed until you've heard the startup chime ring three times. You should probably also reset the PMU/SMC. How this is done will depend on the model Mac you have. Here are some links for that:
Mac Pro -
iMac and Mac Mini -
MacBook and MacBook Pro -

This might also be a good time to seriously consider getting a heavy-duty repair utility like DiskWarrior and/or TechTool Pro. DiskWarrior is my go-to app when there are problems that Disk Utility doesn't see or cannot fix.

You cannot apply the 10.6.7 update over 10.6.8. Nor can you install the system from a combo updater. You will need a Snow Leopard install disk to reinstall the system, should that prove necessary.

If none of these routines restores you Mac to usability, only then is it time to consider more drastic measures. If there are files and settings you need to recover from the desktop hard drive you may need to use an external hard drive. You can either copy the files you want off the desktop when it's connected to the laptop in target disk mode or you can install OS X on the external drive from the latest system disk you have (presumably Snow Leopard) and use Migration Assistant when booting from that drive for the first time to migrate your data and settings from the desktop. The risk here is that you may also import some corrupted files along with it. It would be better if you can take the extra time to set up the clean install of the system manually with your account and e-mail settings. Some things will be lost this way, including your browser bookmarks and keychain settings, so bear this in mind as you decide which approach to take. Once you have rescued your data from the damaged system you could reformat the hard drive and reinstall OS X there directly. This may be necessary if you don't have a backup utility, like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! capable of cloning your new system from the external hard drive. In either case, once you have installed Snow Leopard and restored your data, you can go ahead and use the OS X 10.6.7 combo updater to bring your system up to date.

I hope this doesn't come too late - I only noticed your post today.

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.

#18203 - 10/11/11 07:49 PM Re: Revert to 10.6.7 or upgrade to Lion? [Re: JM Hanes]
JM Hanes Offline

Registered: 09/03/09
Just want to let all the kind folks who offered up advice (and thanks for weighing in White Dog) how my problem was finally resolved. I hadn't taken it in to the local repair shop because the problem seemed intermittant, but I won't hesitate so long on that account next time. They replaced my graphics card, et voilá.

I can only think perhaps the diagnostic utilities I ran weren't any help, because the problem didn't occur till the card really started over heating with use. At that point, I couldn't even get through the start up screen without freezing, no matter what boot disk I was using, to do the necessary testing.

In any case, a happy, if expensive, ending!

#18222 - 10/12/11 11:50 AM Re: Revert to 10.6.7 or upgrade to Lion? [Re: JM Hanes]
WhiteDog Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Loc: Santa Cruz, CA
It's a good thing, then, that you didn't reformat your hard drive. I had a problem with the video card on my Mac Pro overheating; all it needed was to have all the accumulated dust blown out of the fan on the card. It sounds like yours had gone past the point where that would help if you couldn't even start up. Which brings up the point that sometimes a problem is beyond "home" diagnosis.

Clearly, then, your problem wasn't with 10.6.8; your case points out another confusing issue, though, which is when the appearance of a problem is only coincidentally connected to an update or upgrade. Sometimes an upgrade will aggravate a problem that already existed of which we were unaware.

Still, when all is said and done, I don't recommend upgrading to Lion. Apple has had a lot on their plate lately and they seem not to have prioritized fixing the numerous Lion related issues that have been discussed on the blogs. Even the imminent 10.7.2 update will mainly focus on implementing iCloud. How much else they might deal with remains to be seen. It cannot hurt to wait until more is known - and more is resolved.

Edited by WhiteDog (10/12/11 11:52 AM)
Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.


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