Actually that is pretty easy to do.
I've got a 16" MBP on which I do not want to upgrade to Big Sur (at least yet) and here is what I have done.
First go to System Preferences > Software update and uncheck "Automatically keep my Mac up to date" like this:
Then click the "Advanced..." button and un check everything except the ...
Apparently modified .conf files are reset to their original state not just during the initial upgrade to Big Sur but also during minor updates.
Your modified .conf files are placed in "Previously Relocated Items n" subdirectories in /User/Shared.
This is the last line of the httpd.conf file:
To keep your ...
As documented in the man page you need to use sudo to actually install software via softwareupdate. So in your case it's
sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -i "macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Update"
to install 10.15.7, or
sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -ia
to install all available updates.
The command line version of the macOS software update — /usr/sbin/softwareupdate — has the capability to ignore specified updates. The --ignore command line option performs the functionality.
From the sofwareupdate man page:
--ignore identifier ...
Manages the per-machine list of ignored updates.
The identifier is the first part of the item name (...
If you need it urgently, since you can boot into Recovery, can you create a new volume and do a fresh install of macOS onto that? Then you can migrate your files over to that new volume and delete the old one.
No. We have that update on several Macs identical to yours. You may have a hardware failure, but it’s not the OS that’s causing it. The OS is hobbled by it no other than needing the next write to succeed, there’s no code in the OS that intentionally breaks storage.
As it has been for two decades of Mac OS support, coincidence is more likely than cause, here. ...
This will be a little tricky to pick apart remotely. Your edits are super helpful to come up with next steps.
I would use the command line and try this in the terminal app.
sudo softwareupdate --all --install
You will be prompted to enter your password and if that accepts your password and starts to download and install the updates, you know it’s just a GUI ...
One way to do this is via MDM policy.
If you don’t have an MDM, I recommend trying JAMF now for free since it is supported and free for the first few devices. You can fine tune things like the menu bar as well.
Can you provide screenshots/videos of the console text during verbose boot?
Do you have a second computer and a USB or Thunderbolt cable that you can use for booting your MacBook into Target Disk Mode (hold T during boot) to run Disk Utility on the hard drive?
(Unlikely to help but might be worth a shot if convenient.) Do you have an external display that ...