macOS 10.13.2 supplement update disaster and recovery story

This is going to be a quick, poorly written post. I want to get this information out there since this might only be a short lived problem for mac users.

I have a 2017 iMac with a SSD.

I was running 10.13.2.

I did the supplemental update for meltdown and spectre.

The iMac would not boot.

I booted into recovery mode to run “First aid”. It exited with error 11.

I booted into single user mode and ran fsck_afps. Same error 11.

I made a disk image of my drive as a secondary backup to my time machine backup.

I did a reinstall of the OS. It still would not boot.

I tried with disk utility to erase the Macintosh HD. This is when things really went sideways.

I thought I would do a network restore of the OS, it would not work!

I downloaded the full 5+ gb installer of High Sierra. I created a bootable USB installer. That would not work. I could get the installer to boot, but not install.

It gets a little fuzzy in my memory at this point. While booted to the USB installer, the iMac would shutdown to a black screen and just generally thrashed as I tried to create a new Macintosh HD volume with the Disk Utility application. I could not truly clear the ssd.

I had to resort to terminal diskutil to really blow away everything.

With diskutil I created the new volume.

Now I was able to install the OS.

I tried to used to migration assistant, and the computer would shutdown just like earlier. I did this twice.

I tried to restore my DMG, that failed when i tried to scan for restore.

I wiped and installed the OS again. This time I created a new admin user and completed setup without migration assistant.

I go to do software update, and find out that the new download of High Sierra did not include the supplemental update.

I download that and restart. The supplemental install took about 20 minutes.

With all updates done, and a fresh admin user. I was finally able to use migration assistant and bring the user accounts back from my time machine backup.


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