How to force OS X 10.10.2 to install on your Mac

PackageIconXAn error may exist in Apple’s latest 10.10.2 updates, where the update will not install on some systems running OS X 10.10.0 or 10.10.1. When the update is applied, either from the App Store or from manual downloads of Apple’s updaters, the installer will claim “This volume does not meet the requirements for this update” and then quit without allowing you to install the update. This will happen even when booted to Safe Mode, suggesting it is not a problem with interference from third-party software.

This problem happens because Apple includes a distribution checker in all of its updates that ensures the software is only applied over the expected versions of OS X, which in this case are 10.10.0, and 10.10.1, and not for others such as 10.9.x, or future versions of OS X (such as 10.11, or so). This distribution check is done by a small javascript function in the installation package, and it appears this check is being triggered for some Yosemite builds even though it should allow these builds to be updated.

If you are finding this problem, first be sure you have attempted updating from the App Store, then by downloading the Delta updater (for 10.10.1 users), and then attempt to download and apply the Combo updater. This last updater should be able to update any version of OS X from the first to the last; however, if none of these work for you, then you can still force the 10.10.2 installation to proceed with the Combo updater you downloaded.

Note that these steps modify the Combo updater so it will install on any version of OS X, which will result in problems if not performed on an applicable version of OS X Yosemite (ie, those between version 10.10.0 and 10.10.1). Being the Combo updater, this should fully update all versions of OS X Yosemite prior to 10.10.2; however, before using it, be sure you have a full and restorable backup of your system that you can restore to if a problem arises.

To force the Combo updater to install, perform the following steps on your Mac:

  1. Download the Combo updater if you have not done so already
  2. Mount the updater disk image and copy the .pkg file in it to your Desktop
  3. Open the Terminal and run the following command (copy and paste it) to expand the package:
    pkgutil --expand ~/Desktop/OSXUpdCombo10.10.2.pkg ~/Desktop/modified
  4. Open the new folder called “modified” on your desktop, and use TextEdit to open the file called Distribution (you can right-click the file and choose Other from the Open With menu, and then select TextEdit as the program to use from your Applications folder).
  5. The file will have a bunch of code, so scroll down until you find the following functions:
    function InstallationCheck(prefix) {
     if (system.compareVersions(system.version.ProductVersion, '10.10') < 0 || system.compareVersions(system.version.ProductVersion, '10.11') >= 0) {
      my.result.message = system.localizedStringWithFormat('ERROR_0', '10.10');
      my.result.type = 'Fatal';
     return false;
     }
     return true;
    }
    
    function VolumeCheck(prefix) {
     if (system.env.OS_INSTALL == 1) return true;
     var hasOS = system.files.fileExistsAtPath(my.target.mountpoint + "/System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist");
     if (!hasOS || system.compareVersions(my.target.systemVersion.ProductVersion, '10.10') < 0 || system.compareVersions(my.target.systemVersion.ProductVersion, '10.11') >= 0) {
      my.result.message = system.localizedStringWithFormat('ERROR_0', '10.10');
      my.result.type = 'Fatal';
      return false;
     }
     if (compareBuildVersions(my.target.systemVersion.ProductBuildVersion, '14A388a') < 0) {
      my.result.message = system.localizedString('ERROR_2');
      my.result.type = 'Fatal';
      return false;
     }
     if (compareBuildVersions(my.target.systemVersion.ProductBuildVersion, '14B24') > 0) {
      my.result.message = system.localizedString('ERROR_2');
      my.result.type = 'Fatal';
      return false;
     }
     return true;
    }
  6. In these functions, delete all of the text above listed in red, so the functions appear like the following:
    function InstallationCheck(prefix) {
     return true;
    }
    
    function VolumeCheck(prefix) {
     return true;
    }
  7. Press Command-S to save the document, and then quit TextEdit
  8. Go back to the Terminal and run the following command:
    pkgutil --flatten ~/Desktop/modified ~/Desktop/ComboUpdateModified.pkg

When this last command has been completed, you will see a new .pkg installer file located on your desktop called “ComboUpdateModified.pkg” that you can now open, and install on your Mac without any of the version checks being used.

Keep in mind that by removing these checks, this new package will install on systems that the update was not intended for, so be absolutely sure you are running a version of OS X that is either the release version of 10.10.0, or the release version of 10.10.1 before applying this update. If you have been using test builds of OS X, then while technically this modified combo updater should update your system in full, first double-check that you have applied all of the latest updates from Apple, and then attempt the unmodified Combo updater first, before resorting to a modified one.

19 thoughts on “How to force OS X 10.10.2 to install on your Mac

  1. Lawrence

    The question always arises with stuff like this. Why “some” and not “everybody?” I think I might know why at least partially. There are a lot users out there clinging to the old voodoo incantations about clean installs, repairing permissions, deleting stuff they don’t understand to “clean” their hard drives, running third party uninstallers and the like. In other words their systems are iffy to begin with and a major update takes them over the edge.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Hi
      thanks a lot for this post: I followed up the steps and managed to install the 10.10.2 combo…BUT the app store is still saying that I need other updates like the remote desktop, safari 8.0.4 and the security update 2015-003!!
      what do I still need to do?
      thanks

      Reply
    2. Ben

      Thats not true for all. I had my MacBook Air enrolled in the Beta program and decided that its not worth it for me. So I did a clean install and ended up with a new OS X 10.10. on the computer. But it did not find any update in the app store since.

      Kind of strange.

      Reply
  2. Me In LA

    If the above (caches still) page does not give you a date of Jan 28th, the use this link.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1786?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    Reply
  3. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    The problem with the first version of the combo update was noted on MacUpdate. Apparently it was quickly pulled and a replacement provided – with caps in the title, where the first version had no caps. The link to the new version is http://support.apple.com/downloads/DL1786/en_US/OSXUpdCombo10.10.2.dmg.

    This change indicates, by the way, that the problem with the installer was on Apple’s side, not that of “some” users who have messed up their systems. It isn’t the first update Apple has bungled in recent weeks. There is definitely a problem with Apple quality control, but then all the issues around Yosemite made this clear already. The latest snafu just drives the point home – for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention before now – say people like Lawrence.

    That said, Lawrence was right that some people install over “iffy” systems. He is wrong, though, when he says that prepping your system with Disk Utility is “voodoo.” Yes third-party uninstallers can cause damage if used carelessly. And removing files for which you don’t know the function or purpose can be dangerous – or just stupid. I’ve worked on computers where essential apps like Disk Utility had been deleted. But Lawrence fails to distinguish between best practices and dumb practices, which suggests he’s not as savvy as he thinks he is. I’m sorry if this seems harsh, but passing on wrong information can also be dangerous.

    Reply
  4. Elaine

    Thank you Topher for being the first to confirm the Yosemite Combo Update problem and to “Me in LA” for the updated download link. All seems good again now. /e/

    Reply
      1. Rob

        sudo softwareupdate -ia worked well for me on a 15 in MacBook Pro A1286, after unsuccessfully trying many other suggestions.

        Reply
  5. julianlangham

    Neither the latest version of the OSX 10.10.2 update or combo update would install over 10.10.1 for me. Using the terminal commands above enabled the 10.10.2 combo to be installed on my Mac Pro. Thanks so much for posting.

    Reply
  6. Sandeep

    ComboUpdate 10.10.3 has the same problem as 10.10.3 had for me. It’s strange. It just does not install after restarting. Worse is the above method is not working this time for 10.10.3 as it did for 10.10.2. I don’t know coding so could not really work out the solution.
    Are other people having the same issues with this update also? Can anybody help?
    Thanks

    Reply
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