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Security Update 2008-006 broke my Power Mac G4


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Well, I did some overdue updates on my "Digital Audio" G4 the past weekend, after setting up an account for my girlfriend on it, and the system failed to boot afterwards. It rebooted after the updates, and did the normal grey apple screen, but then the apple disappeared and was replaced by a crossed-out circle symbol (like around the letter P in a No Parking sign).

It wouldn't even boot to single-user mode or Safe Boot. The updates were: iTunes 8.01, Quicktime 7.5.5, Java Update 10.4 release 7, and Security Update 2008-006. I had just run Software Update and let it do its thing... and on the reboot following those updates it failed.

Why would Apple updates screw up my genuine Apple PowerMac? Could it be the flashed-from-PC Radeon 9800? ... or the ATA-133 RAID zero array on a 64-bit PCI card? ... or the GigaDesigns 1.4GHz G4 upgrade.... ?? Probably not.


After a couple of days troubleshooting it on & off, I think I figured it out. The results could be a note for caution when doing updates, BTW.

I used 3 different boot CD's, using OS 9, Panther, and Tiger, but none of them could make the drive bootable again. Used Disk Utility, DiskWarrior, etc... Repaired Permissions, Repaired Volume Structures, blah blah etc... no fix.

I finally decided to get the sucker running again on an old IDE hard drive, swapped in the Zip Drive bay as a slave on the secondary ATA bus. Installed Tiger original/gold, and booted teh new install... works fine, but my main boot drive was still borken. After trying a few little things from that OS, I decided to return to zero and reinstall the 4 updates that probably broke it. Well, 3 out of the 4 would not install, saying they must be installed from the boot drive to the boot drive only. But the Security Update did install, and after that my main drive (raid array) worked fine, finally.

I wonder if having installed those 4 updates via Software Update, while logged in as a non-admin user could have caused the problem? Next time I do any updates to the G4, especially Security Updates, I will first be logged in as my admin acct.

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