MacBook Air Diary-Day 13: Installing 10.5.2

I generally wait at least 72 hours before installing any operating system updates from Apple but yesterday's announcement of 10.5.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

I generally wait at least 72 hours before installing any operating system updates from Apple but yesterday's announcement of 10.5.2 made me throw caution to the wind. I figured that I had a solid backup (as Apple recommends) and I wanted to see if the new update from Cupertino would play nice with the MacBook Air.

Mac OS 10.5.2 Update available from Apple
The Mac OS 10.5.2 Update weighs in at a hefty 341MB and is available via Software Update. A 10.5.2 Combo update (343MB) is available as a standalone download that will update both 10.5.0 and 10.5.1 and is convenient for IT folk and people that may be updating multiple Macs. (I don't have any HP printers so I skipped the 84MB driver update.) I highly recommend running Disk Utility > Repair Disk Permissions on your hard drive before installing the 10.5.2 Update. If the repair find lots of bad permissions on the first go around, run it again. Apple has posted several important tips in knowledge base Article 307109 that should be heeded before installing 10.5.2:

  • It is recommended that you back up your system prior to installing any updates.
  • The installation process should not be interrupted, even if the progress bar remains unchanged for several minutes. If a power outage or other interruption occurs during installation, use the standalone installer (see below) from Apple Support Downloads to update.
  • You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you've modified the operating system through other means. (This does not apply to normal application software installation.)
  • If issues occur during installation--for example, if Software Update quits unexpectedly--please see this article.

Mac OS 10.5.2 Update available from Apple
The software update downloaded fairly quickly over a standard cable connection but takes a decent amount of time to complete. You have to "restart and install" and your Mac will restart between one and two more times before the process completes.

Be patient. The 10.5.2 update took the better part of an hour to install on my MacBook Air. Keep the AC adapter plugged in and don't panic if there are long periods of time where nothing seems to be happening. Don't interrupt the procedure for any reason (for example by force quitting or powering down) as doing so can render your drive useless and lead to data loss.

Mac OS 10.5.2 Update installed
Installing the 10.5.2 update on my MBA was fairly painless – other than the multiple reboots and long waits which will make any Mac user bite their nails after a while. Clicking on the software version number in the "About This Mac" dialog box reveals a build number of 9C31, which is the build that was seeded to developers on 06 February 2008. Clicking on it again displays your motherboard serial number.

Advice for the impatient: After you've clicked Ok and Agree buttons the requisite amount of times, go grab a coffee, walk the dog or use one of your other Macs for a while. Nothing is worse than watching grass grow.

Mac OS 10.5.2 Update available from Apple
After successfully installing the 10.5.2 update on my MBA I ran Software Update again (just an old habit) and to my surprise, there was an almost 50MB "Leopard Graphics Update" waiting to be installed. Little is mentioned in the knowledge base article about the Leopard Graphics Update other than: "Leopard Graphics Update is recommended for all users and improves the stability and compatibility of your Mac. This update requires Mac OS X 10.5.2."

Ok, guess I'd better install that one too...

Mac OS 10.5.2 Update available from Apple
No noticeable changes after installing the LGA, but hey, what the heck.

After the jump, some 10.5.2 fixes and a poll...

Here are some items that I cherry picked from the list of fixes and features in 10.5.2. The number after the feature is the number of fixes. This is only a subset.

  • Active Directory - 1
  • AirPort - 3
  • Back to my Mac - 1 - Adds support for more third-party routers, as detailed in this article.
  • Dashboard - 2
  • Dock - 2 - Updates Stacks with a List view option, a Folder view option, and an updated background for Grid view.
  • Desktop - 2 - Addresses legibility issues with the menu bar with an option to turn off transparency in Desktop & Screen Saver preferences. - Adjusts menus to be slightly-less translucent overall.
  • iCal - 4 - Improves iCal so that it accurately reflects responses to recurring meetings.
  • iChat - 8 - Addresses an issue with simultaneously-logged in accounts in which iChat sounds generated from one account might be heard in another account.
  • iSync - 1 - Adds support for Samsung D600E and D900i phones.
  • Finder - 8 - Addresses an issue in which Finder could unexpectedly quit when displaying folder contents in Column view.
  • Mail - 15 - Addresses an issue with Message menu's Mark > As Read choice.
  • Networking - 1 - Addresses a hanging issue that may occur when connecting to an AFP network volume.
  • Parental Controls - 6 - Improves stability when opening the Parental Controls System Preferences pane.
  • Preview - 3 - Improves stability when scrolling through a PDF document.
  • Printing - 5 - Adds support for certain printers connected to the USB port of an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express base station.
  • RAW Image - 1 - Adds RAW image support for several cameras, as detailed in this article.
  • Safari - 1 - Addresses issues with Safari reliably resolving certain domains.
  • Login and Setup Assistant - 2 - Addresses an issue in which Setup Assistant could unexpectedly appear each time Mac OS X 10.5 starts up.
  • System - 2 - The computer will now shut down if an automatic disk repair does not succeed during startup.
  • Time Machine - 5 - Adds a menu bar option for accessing Time Machine features (the menu extra can be enabled in Time Machine preferences).
  • Other - 4

What has your experience been with the 10.5.2 update?

[poll id=97]

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