I just finished upgrading my MacBook Pro to MacOS X 10.5.2, but it didn’t go as smoothly as other times. During the installation from Software Update, when “Writing files” was at 14% completion, I had a kernel panic. Since it was mid-write, I guess some files were left in an unusable state and the machine wouldn’t come back up, it would panic during the initial boot, while still in the white-with-the-Apple-logo screen.
The solution was to download the combo update package to my wife’s machine, connect my machine to hers in Firewire target mode, and install the update from her machine onto mine’s disk. In the end the update succeeded, and my machine is back up now. Phew.
There are several nice things in this update, including a Time Machine menubar item (I can finally get rid of TM’s dock icon!), the ability to handle folders in the dock as either stacks or folders, and a new “List view” for stacks that makes it easier to browse through very long lists. I personally like the translucent menu bar, but there is finally an option to turn it off. The list also includes Active Directory improvements, I’ll have to wait and see if some of the long-authentication-wait problems I was having (we use AD at work) are resolved, as well as some of the IEEE 802.1X wireless authentication problems I was having (intermittent failures in authentication, mostly).
On the negative side, the “Login items” tab of the Accounts preference pane still hangs, as reported in this thread at the Apple support forums. I also reported the problem directly to Apple, it’s a pity that they have not solved it yet.