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I've got the typical problem that OSX can't shutdown/restart normally. I'm on El Capitan but it happened in the past with Mavericks etc. Don't know why they can't fix this...

Anyway, now I want to install El Capitan update 10.11.3, the final step is it wants to restart the system.

I click the 'restart' button but the restart fails.

I can hard boot by holding down the power button... but then the update doesn't finish its install - it still says I need to restart if I go into App Store.

Restart or shutdown from the Apple menu don't work.

I tried a shutdown -r now from Terminal... this successfully restarts but the update still 'needs restart' when I go back in after booting.

MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) El Capitan 10.11.2

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I was able to complete the update by:

  • hard shutdown (hold down power button)
  • boot into safe mode (hold down shift when powering on)
  • open App Store and click Restart for the uncompleted update

was then able to restart successfully from safe mode, completing the update

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