As OS X Yosemite beta opens to public, early testers report download problems

Summary:Being a beta tester for an unfinished operating system is risky business. But some would-be beta testers of Apple's upcoming OS are reporting problems even getting to the beta bits after receiving their invitation from Apple.

Apple yesterday opened up the beta of its next operating system, OS X Yosemite, to the public at large. Today many would-be beta testers are reporting difficulties in downloading the software. And as luck would have it, I’ve reproduced the issue here.

[Update: After 22 unsuccessful download attempts I switched the problem machine from a wireless connection to wired Ethernet, and the download succeeded.]

The beta isn’t available as an unrestricted download. To gain access, you have to submit your Apple ID to an alias in Cupertino. The first million applicants will get a return email with a link and a redemption code that begins downloading the update through the App Store.

Judging by comments on social media and in forums, some people have succeeded in installing the beta, but others have not.

When this problem occurs, the download from the App Store (a little over 5GB in size) appears to proceed normally, but near the end it fails, displaying this error message:

OS-X-Yosemite-download-fail

Repeating the download attempt results in the identical behavior.

It’s worth preempting one common reaction right here: This isn’t a bug with the new beta operating system. This issue occurs in the App Store on a copy of the latest released and fully supported OS X version, Mavericks.

Several Twitter users have reported the same problem, with one, @jjsoracco, tweeting a picture of the same error message I received. Others describe similar symptoms.

Apple doesn’t have a public support community for OS X Yosemite-related issues, but a couple customers have posted reports about this issue in the OS X Mavericks section.

The comments of a blog post at 9to5Mac also contain numerous reports of download problems — not slow speeds, but fast downloads that fail near the end.

yosemite-download-issues

In a separate report, 9to5Mac noted that iCloud Mail was experiencing “slower than normal responses” with confirmation from none other than John (“I’m a PC”) Hodgman. Apple’s System Status page notes that “multiple store services” and “multiple iCloud services” were affected for roughly two hours beginning around noon on Thursday, July 24, but those problems are reportedly resolved now.

Improvements in iCloud are a key part of this fall's product roadmap for Apple, which has been roundly criticized in the past for weaknesses in its cloud service.

If you’re experiencing issues with the Yosemite beta download, let me know. If you’ve found a solution, even better. A lot of people are anxious to try this beta.

Update: A MacRumors discussion thread suggests that the issues might be geographic, with most problems occurring in the Western United States. Several participants were able to overcome the problems by switching to a different DNS server (outside the Western U.S.) or using a VPN to spoof a different location for the download.

I’ve asked Apple for comment and will update this post if I receive a reply.

Topics: Apple

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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