Yesterday my Mac Mini let me know there was an available security update. Should be easy enough I thought so I clicked the “Install” button. After about 2 minutes of installing I received the error that the updated failed to install and had been moved to the trash. If I wanted to attempt to reinstall the update I should remove the package from the trash and click on it. Again, seems easy enough, so I tried.
When I clicked on the package, it just sat there. None of my open programs were responding anymore and I couldn’t even run commands via Terminal. As a last resort I rebooted. Well, that didn’t go so well either. The machine was unresponsive so I had to power cycle it by holding down the power button in the back. After it came back on, it just sat at the grey booting screen. I waited for a few minutes and when there was no progress, I knew something was wrong.Being a linux admin, I figured the next step was to boot into single user mode and figure out what the problem was. How to boot into single user mode on OSX? A quick Google search told me that I should should hold down Command + S when the machine boots. I did that, it started to boot, and then I received the following error:
Load of /sbin/mach_init, errno 88 trying etc/mach_init
Load of etc/mach_init failed, errno 2
Another Google search for this error shows that others have had this problem, on many different hardware combinations. Most of the solutions suggest an operating system reinstall. As I didn’t really want to do that since installing OS X takes forever I decided to look around a bit more. I came across a forum post where someone suggested copying the update package onto an IPod (or any USB drive), connecting the drive to your computer, booting off the OS X installation DVD and reinstalling the update. Seemed like a lot of hassle to me considering I already had the update on my Desktop, I just couldn’t get there to re-install it. Here is what I did:
- Scrounged up my OS X installation DVD
- Put the DVD in the Mini and booted holding down “C” on boot to tell it to boot off the optical drive
- When the installer loaded, I used the menu bar at the top, went to the “Utilities” menu and launched Terminal
- From Terminal I ran this command (all on one line — your paths may vary):
Bam! The update installer launched, the update installed and I was able to boot into OS X once again. Thanks Apple!