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My company's IT department is mostly a Windows run operation and in order to become more secure, they are altering the way that the Macintosh computers login to our internal network so that they use Active Directory like their Windows counterparts.

I have been given Administrative permission on my Mac and I am able to do most of what I used to be able to do in terms of authentication of software installations.

However, there is a problem: the "Software Update" feature doesn't work. What happens is that when I try to get the Mac to perform its Software Updates from the Apple menu, the normal window appears listing what has to be updated; I am able to select what to update and click the "Update" button, but then nothing happens.

It doesn't ask for authentication like it used to, the computer doesn't perform any download or installation (it does sometimes ask me to agree to license agreements for iTunes).

I can download the updates individually and install them without any issues, but the auto-update fails. I'd rather use the Software Update menu item like I used to: it is much more convenient.

Any suggestions on how I can fix this?

EDIT Nov 19th, 2009, 10:09 EST: I have posted this question to the Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard support forum.

EDIT Nov 19th, 2009, 12:39 EST:Yes, the Terminal command "sudo softwareupdate --install --all" does work flawlessly. I want to avoid that as my co-workers are generally not comfortable on the Mac.

I also tried Chealion's suggestion to delete "~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist" and "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist", Software Update still fails.

However, I did get diagnostic messages in the Console (below). I've deleted the MS Office Package Receipts and examined the suhelperd (Software Update Helper Daemon?); it appears that suhelperd is crashing and that explains why it doesn't work. I've submitted a bug report to Apple (radar://7408619).

Here are the Console diagnostic messages:

11/19/09 12:36:44 PM    com.apple.suhelperd[66829]	terminate called after throwing an instance of 'NSException'
11/19/09 12:36:47 PM    com.apple.launchd[1]	(com.apple.suhelperd[66829]) Job appears to have crashed: Abort trap
11/19/09 12:36:48 PM    com.apple.ReportCrash.Root[66830]	2009-11-19 12:36:48.275 ReportCrash[66830:2703] Saved crash report for suhelperd[66829] version ??? (???) to /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/suhelperd_2009-11-19-123648_localhost.crash
11/19/09 12:36:54 PM    com.apple.launchd[1]	(com.apple.suhelperd) Throttling respawn: Will start in 1 seconds
11/19/09 12:36:55 PM    com.apple.suhelperd[66836]	terminate called after throwing an instance of 'NSException'
11/19/09 12:36:55 PM    com.apple.launchd[1]	(com.apple.suhelperd[66836]) Job appears to have crashed: Abort trap
11/19/09 12:36:56 PM    com.apple.ReportCrash.Root[66830]	2009-11-19 12:36:56.017 ReportCrash[66830:2f03] Saved crash report for suhelperd[66836] version ??? (???) to /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/suhelperd_2009-11-19-123655_localhost.crash
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_automator.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_automator_workflow.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_autoupdate.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_clipart.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_core.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_dock.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_entourage.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_entourage_help_std.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_equationeditor.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_errorreporting.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_excel.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_excel_help_std.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_fonts.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_graph.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_helpviewer.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_launch.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_ooxml.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_orgchart.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_powerpoint.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_powerpoint_help_std.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_brazilian.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_danish.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_dutch.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_english.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_finnish.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_french.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_german.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_italian.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_japanese.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_norwegian.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_portuguese.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_spanish.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_proofing_swedish.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_required.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_silverlight.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_sounds.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_word.pkg
11/19/09 12:36:58 PM    Software Update[66826]	PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Office2008_en_word_help_std.pkg
11/19/09 12:37:26 PM    com.apple.suhelperd[66839]	terminate called after throwing an instance of 'NSException'
11/19/09 12:37:26 PM    com.apple.launchd[1]	(com.apple.suhelperd[66839]) Job appears to have crashed: Abort trap
11/19/09 12:37:26 PM    com.apple.ReportCrash.Root[66830]	2009-11-19 12:37:26.929 ReportCrash[66830:2b07] Saved crash report for suhelperd[66839] version ??? (???) to /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/suhelperd_2009-11-19-123726_localhost.crash

And here is the suhelperd crash report:

Process:         suhelperd [66839]
Path:            /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/SoftwareUpdate.framework/Versions/A/Resources/suhelperd
Identifier:      suhelperd
Version:         ??? (???)
Code Type:       X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process:  launchd [1]

Date/Time:       2009-11-19 12:37:26.473 -0500
OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.6.2 (10C540)
Report Version:  6

Exception Type:  EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
Crashed Thread:  0  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread

Application Specific Information:
abort() called
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSRangeException', reason: '*** -[NSCFArray objectAtIndex:]: index (0) beyond bounds (0)'
*** Call stack at first throw:
(
    0   CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff859a9444 __exceptionPreprocess + 180
    1   libobjc.A.dylib                     0x00007fff8787e0f3 objc_exception_throw + 45
    2   CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff859a9267 +[NSException raise:format:arguments:] + 103
    3   CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff859a91f4 +[NSException raise:format:] + 148
    4   Foundation                          0x00007fff855da080 _NSArrayRaiseBoundException + 122
    5   Foundation                          0x00007fff8553cb81 -[NSCFArray objectAtIndex:] + 75
    6   Admin                               0x00007fff8107920e +[User(UserPrivate) _userWithInfo:attributes:] + 71
    7   Admin                               0x00007fff81080d6b +[User findUserByID:searchParent:] + 404
    8   suhelperd                           0x0000000100001274 0x0 + 4294972020
    9   suhelperd                           0x0000000100002240 0x0 + 4294976064
    10  suhelperd                           0x00000001000053b1 0x0 + 4294988721
    11  suhelperd                           0x00000001000044b3 0x0 + 4294984883
    12  suhelperd                           0x0000000100004154 0x0 + 4294984020
    13  libSystem.B.dylib                   0x00007fff83eb60d8 mach_msg_server + 357
    14  suhelperd                           0x00000001000036eb 0x0 + 4294981355
    15  suhelperd                           0x0000000100002a1f 0x0 + 4294978079
    16  suhelperd                           0x0000000100001080 0x0 + 4294971520
)


Thread 0 Crashed:  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e86fe6 __kill + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83f27e32 abort + 83
2   libstdc++.6.dylib               0x00007fff873cf5d2 __tcf_0 + 0
3   libobjc.A.dylib                 0x00007fff87881d29 _objc_terminate + 100
4   libstdc++.6.dylib               0x00007fff873cdae1 __cxxabiv1::__terminate(void (*)()) + 11
5   libstdc++.6.dylib               0x00007fff873cdb16 __cxxabiv1::__unexpected(void (*)()) + 0
6   libstdc++.6.dylib               0x00007fff873cdbfc __gxx_exception_cleanup(_Unwind_Reason_Code, _Unwind_Exception*) + 0
7   libobjc.A.dylib                 0x00007fff8787e192 object_getIvar + 0
8   com.apple.CoreFoundation        0x00007fff859a9267 +[NSException raise:format:arguments:] + 103
9   com.apple.CoreFoundation        0x00007fff859a91f4 +[NSException raise:format:] + 148
10  com.apple.Foundation            0x00007fff855da080 _NSArrayRaiseBoundException + 122
11  com.apple.Foundation            0x00007fff8553cb81 -[NSCFArray objectAtIndex:] + 75
12  com.apple.framework.Admin       0x00007fff8107920e +[User(UserPrivate) _userWithInfo:attributes:] + 71
13  com.apple.framework.Admin       0x00007fff81080d6b +[User findUserByID:searchParent:] + 404
14  suhelperd                       0x0000000100001274 0x100000000 + 4724
15  suhelperd                       0x0000000100002240 0x100000000 + 8768
16  suhelperd                       0x00000001000053b1 0x100000000 + 21425
17  suhelperd                       0x00000001000044b3 0x100000000 + 17587
18  suhelperd                       0x0000000100004154 0x100000000 + 16724
19  libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83eb60d8 mach_msg_server + 357
20  suhelperd                       0x00000001000036eb 0x100000000 + 14059
21  suhelperd                       0x0000000100002a1f 0x100000000 + 10783
22  suhelperd                       0x0000000100001080 0x100000000 + 4224

Thread 1:  Dispatch queue: com.apple.libdispatch-manager
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e51bba kevent + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e53a85 _dispatch_mgr_invoke + 154
2   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e5375c _dispatch_queue_invoke + 185
3   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e53286 _dispatch_worker_thread2 + 244
4   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e52bb8 _pthread_wqthread + 353
5   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e52a55 start_wqthread + 13

Thread 2:
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e529da __workq_kernreturn + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e52dec _pthread_wqthread + 917
2   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff83e52a55 start_wqthread + 13

Thread 0 crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
  rax: 0x0000000000000000  rbx: 0x00007fff707d7298  rcx: 0x00007fff5fbff868  rdx: 0x0000000000000000
  rdi: 0x0000000000010517  rsi: 0x0000000000000006  rbp: 0x00007fff5fbff880  rsp: 0x00007fff5fbff868
   r8: 0x00007fff707da9e0   r9: 0x0000000000000063  r10: 0x00007fff83e83026  r11: 0x0000000000000202
  r12: 0x00007fff85a2dca1  r13: 0x0000000000000000  r14: 0x00007fff70bea228  r15: 0x00007fff5fbffb10
  rip: 0x00007fff83e86fe6  rfl: 0x0000000000000202  cr2: 0x00007fff70e3afd0
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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It appears that suhelperd is crashing and that explains why it doesn't work. I've submitted a bug report to Apple (radar://7408619).

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for actually submitting a bug report on the issue! –  Clinton Blackmore Jun 24 '10 at 14:30

Is your organization controlling what software updates are available via MCX?

You can find out my running mcxquery -u shortname from the Terminal to see if any preferences are set.

The other method of pointing Software Update at another server is by setting CatalogURL in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist (for user) and/or /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist (which will affect both user using the GUI and if run using sudo on the command line). You can try deleting the files (they'll be recreated when needed) or if you're curious as to their settings you can open the files in Property List Viewer (part of the Developer Tools) or on the Command Line run defaults read CatalogURL com.apple.SoftwareUpdate and defaults read CatalogURL /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist

Alternatively, it's possible they have blocked Apple's software update servers on the network - does it function when off their network?

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Running "mcxquery -u shortname" displays the man page for mcxquery. I guessed and ran "mcxquery -user lyndsey" and it displayed the following: "Error 'no data found' (-4584) running compositor for user: lyndsey group: (null) computer: = –  Lyndsey Ferguson Nov 17 '09 at 14:15
    
I also checked with MIS, they are not controlling the Software Updates through their servers. –  Lyndsey Ferguson Nov 17 '09 at 14:20
    
If you try loading swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/index.sucatalog in your favourite web browser does it load? If not, you most likely are not able to access the Software Update server correctly. If you can then Software Update on your computer isn't processing updates correctly. –  Chealion Nov 17 '09 at 16:57
    
The URL "swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/index.sucatalog"; does load correctly; it looks like a Mac OS X plist (XML file). –  Lyndsey Ferguson Nov 19 '09 at 14:49
    
I notice from your Apple Discussions Group post that sudo softwareupdate would work: It sounds like a preference error, delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist and /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist. You can take a look at them for a key called CatalogURL if you'd like. I've added this to the answer. –  Chealion Nov 19 '09 at 16:42

I had the same issue and the problem stemmed from not using a mobile account. Enabling mobile accounts for the network users fixed it.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2140715

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I cannot do that because there are two versions of Mac OS X on the same machine (for developing and testing for two different versions). If I do, the preference files get corrupt because different versions of applications are reading and writing different data to the pref files. –  Lyndsey Ferguson Mar 5 '10 at 22:27

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