Clean Install Issues: TSplicedFont failed creating descriptor for...

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Sabretooth78, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Sabretooth78 macrumors member

    Sabretooth78

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Location:
    Western NY
    #1
    While my overall testing of 10.11 El Capitan has been quite favorable (in stark contrast to my run-ins with Yosemite; knock on wood), I've found that getting the thing to install properly in the first place is a bit of a challenge. I haven't found much satisfaction in the way of solutions elsewhere online, so since I think I've found my way out of it I figured I would document it here in the event it can help somebody else.

    This is all, in a word, ridiculous. However, "it just works." Fortunately for me, I have over a decade of experience struggling with Windows to prepare me for such problems, but still... I expect more from Apple and I see this as yet another instance of a product lineup (if not an entire company) slowly going to seed and nudging me towards a jump to Linux.

    Background:


    About a week ago I decided I would trial 10.11.0 on a separate partition on my 2012 cMBP, clean install. I have 10.9.5 installed on a 120 GB OWC SSD drive out of which I carved a separate partition to try 10.11.0. Also on-board is my OEM 500GB HDD which I was able to keep thanks to OWC's Data Doubler package.

    The Process:


    I created the bootable installation flash drive through Terminal as documented in several places; option key on reboot; that whole thing. The installer is slow to load (much slower than 10.9 anyway) but it eventually does and I select the drive and get going. The progress bar starts out "17 minutes remaining..." and runs until it's finished - or so it says. It hangs at "0 seconds remaining" and an inspection of the error log reveals a near constant loop of the same "Language Chooser...TSplicedFont failed creating descriptor for:" error as described in a thread on Apple's Support website here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7263067. This will continue for a couple tens of thousands of lines of error logging before a dialog finally pops up saying the installation failed, try re-running the installation; blah blah blah. As would eventually become obvious later, nothing at all was done for those 17 minutes and the SSD partition was still empty.

    But wait, there's more! I wouldn't find out that there was nothing installed immediately, because upon reboot with the installer and running Disk Utility, I would find that my SSD was completely gone! So after brief moment of, well not really panic but more disbelief, I found that flashing the PRAM might fix this and sure enough it did. 10.9.5 booted up and things were the same as normal. It was then that I found a pristine 10.11 partition.

    Subsequent testing would reveal that no combination of SMC resets, PRAM flashes or creating the install media in Disk Maker X seems to solve this problem. Nor does attempting to install on a completely wiped Mac (SSD and HDD) make any difference. (Yes, I made backups before all this; in duplicate in fact.)

    My Solution:

    What I found was that the installer would run perfectly fine if executed from within a working 10.9.5 session. Simple as that. With the Mac wiped completely, I installed 10.9.5 to the HDD this time and used that to execute the install of 10.11 to the SSD (I suppose I could have installed 10.9.5 to the SSD again and just wiped that partition afterwards but my obsessive compulsive will not allow that :)). After the successful completion, I then re-wiped the HDD. Being an ex-Windows user, that's still not as "clean" as I would like it but it'll have to do.

    Now, my other Mac is a mid-2011 MacMini in which I also installed an OWC Data Doubler package and a 2 TB HDD. I don't really have the luxury of wiping the HDD there so I was trying to figure out how to manage that upgrade once I get to it. Turns out, I still have its 500 GB OEM HDD in a closet so I'm going to purchase an external case for it, make it an external boot drive and use that to boot the Mini onto which I can then clean install 10.11 onto the SSD. Ditto if I decide to clean install my wife's 2014 MBA (which has no luxury of a 2nd drive at all). I don't currently have a portable external drive, so there may be some other benefits to the arrangement as well.

    Hope that helps!
     
  2. UnkissedFrog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Location:
    Darmsatadt, Germany
    #2
    Hi, what worked for me:
    - create bootable USB stick according this tutorial (the DiskUtiliy part)
    - download Google Noto-fonts: https://www.google.com/get/noto/
    - install the downloaded fonts on the USB stick in ...\System\Library\Fonts

    For me it worked just fine :)
     
  3. Sabretooth78 thread starter macrumors member

    Sabretooth78

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Location:
    Western NY
    #3
    Good to know! I'll try that next time (if) I do a reinstall.
     
  4. Mejenborg macrumors newbie

    Mejenborg

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2016
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #4
    Not entirely sure what you mean? Where do you download the fonts to?
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    Which method did you use to create the bootable thumb drive?
     
  6. UnkissedFrog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Location:
    Darmsatadt, Germany
    #6
    Just copy the downloaded and extracted files from the ZIP archive to your USB stick to ...\System\Library\Fonts
     
  7. Heirborn391 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #7
    Heads up, you'll need to enable viewing hidden files to see these folders, and you'll need to create the "Fonts" folder yourself.

    To enable viewing hidden files, enter this command in terminal "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES" , then relaunch finder.
     
  8. UnkissedFrog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Location:
    Darmsatadt, Germany
    #8
    Shame on me... forgott to mention it because showing hidden files is activated on my system by default ;-) sorry for that
     
  9. Gameybeets macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2016
    #9
    I created the folder "Fonts" and put all the font files I got from the zip file which was the Noto-unhinted.zip, but i'm still seeing the error during the installation which is causing a long delay. Any idea why?
    Thank you
     
  10. jplesha macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    #10
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2016 ---
    I want to install the fonts but all I have is a thumb drive with an installer. How do I open the thumb drive or installer to copy them? Thanks.
     

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