Apple released the much anticipated 10.6.3 software update today. I have included the info from Apple followed by the MacMedics list of software update precautions. Please don’t install this update until you are 100% sure your back-up is working and tested!
Here is the info straight from Software Update:
The 10.6.3 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:
Improve the reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X
Address compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications
Address an issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail
Resolve an issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications
resolve an issue that prevented files from copying to Windows file servers
Improve performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode
Improve sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand
Address a color issue in iMovie with HD content
Improve printing reliability
Resolve issues with recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server
Improve the reliability of 3rd party USB input devices
Fix glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4014.
For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.
Running a software update from Apple (or elsewhere) as soon as it pops up is not always the best plan. In our travels we very frequently see clients who have run a software update without planning ahead for it, and as a result end up with annoying issues, sudden incompatibilities, and even data loss. One thing to consider is how healthy your hard drive is overall before running an update. Never try to solve an issue such as system lock ups or crashing by installing the latest update, as symptoms like those can be exasperated by applying a software update.
Here’s our safety checklist for running software updates or installing a system upgrade.
1. Back up your data, and double check your back up before installing any update. [Don’t forget to unplug that back-up before installing an update] 2. Repair permissions – It’s not going to hurt anything, so a quick permission repair is always a good idea.
3. Disconnect any USB or FireWire hard drives, devices, or hubs.
4. Make sure you have enough free space on your hard drive – A safe bet is to have 10% of your total hard drive free.
5. Quit all applications while running software updates. The updates should be the only process running.
6. Consider the possibility that major applications and/or features might be affected by an Apple software update or system upgrade.
Don’t run a software update on a production machine while on a deadline. You want to be certain that the update will not cause more problems than it was designed to fix. If your machine is working, let it continue working as is, and plan to install the update after you know it’s not going to cause any issues for you.
We install the updates on our test machines here at MacMedics as soon as they are released to Apple Developers, and again when they are released to the public. Let us be the guinea pigs. We’ll let you know how we feel about the update in our weekly e-mail to MacMedics clients.
Can your hard drive handle Snow Leopard (or the latest major update)???
Installing a new OS is like taking your hard drive to the gym. It can be quite a workout for an older hard drive, and whenever a new OS comes out, we always see a few dead hard drives as a result. No matter what you do, make sure you have a back up of your data before you begin!
Prices have dropped significantly on hard drives over the last year or so. MacMedics now recommends retiring hard drives after three years in desktops, and two years in laptops. Be sure to check out our web page to find out why you should retire your older hard drive and to learn about our 5 rules of data protection and preservation. Why take a chance with your data when faster, larger, and generally more reliable drives are available. Moving to Snow Leopard is a great opportunity to get a new drive, while at the same time insuring your data is safe.