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My MacBook Pro is running High Sierra at the moment and I have been pretty bothered by the Mojave notifications in last weeks, which I have always ignored because I don't want to update at this moment.

Yesterday I got the usual notification asking me to perform "updates". I said "try tonight". Nowhere in my mind I would say that this includes an OS update, and I think everyone can agree?

Got to bed, woke up (late morning) and the machine was not displaying anything - just the touch bar lit. So after a while I forced a shutdown.

When restarting, I got a The macOS installation couldn't be completed dialog, with a console showing the crash logs. At this point my mind was just a huge "What the...?!" and reboots did not solve the problem - macOS would try to perform this installation again, and fail.

There was an option to save the log file and I did, here it is. The important part seems to be

Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Crashed Thread:        0  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]:  
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Exception Type:        EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Exception Codes:       KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x0000000000000018
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Exception Note:        EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]:  
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Termination Signal:    Segmentation fault: 11
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Termination Reason:    Namespace SIGNAL, Code 0xb
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: Terminating Process:   exc handler [0]
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]:  
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: VM Regions Near 0x18:
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]: --> 
Feb 17 11:14:00 MacBook-Pro ReportCrash[551]:     __TEXT                 000000010f04c000-000000010f063000 [   92K] r-x/rwx SM=COW  /System/Installation/CDIS/macOS Installer.app/Contents/MacOS/macOS Installer

I got out of this mess by choosing Startup Disk among the options and selecting Macintosh HD.

I have a few questions and would appreciate any help.

  • Why did this happen? Is it really because of my "try tonight" to the updates notification? Isn't this crazy? I have seen now that Safari was updated, and that's the kind of update I was expecting.

  • [Related] How can I prevent this from happening again?

  • When I will be ready to upgrade, what should I do in order for the installation to NOT fail like it did?

  • Have you attempted to see if you can boot into the recovery mode? ‘CMD+R’ and press the power button. See what your recovery partition is showing as your current macOS. From here, reinstall without wiping. If you have an encrypted disk with FireVault from macOS, I hope you wrote the key down, you’ll need it. I’ll try actually answering your question. Apple has hopefully figured out they need to re-write (update) the recovery partition before trying a full primary partition update to save people from this. – Jahhein Feb 17 at 13:23
  • as far as the first and second questions: "yes", and "don't click try tonight" – dwightk Feb 17 at 13:50
  • Mojave does not auto-install from High Sierra, by the way. Any update you got installed was not related to Mojave. It'll bug you every day (delete the installer app to stop this, I think) but it won't install itself. – Ezekiel Elin Feb 21 at 3:06
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I can't answer all your questions, but we are seeing this issue fairly commonly in our workplace, with (I think) one specific update. The fix is as you describe - choose the Startup Disk from the Utilities menu, select the main HD, and reboot. It doesn't happen again.

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