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Google Chrome Bug Could Make Your MacOS Unbootable; Here’s How to Fix It

A faulty Google Chrome update caused data corruption on Mac Pros at several Hollywood studios, including the editing team at ABC's famous comedy show, Modern Family.

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Updated:September 27, 2019, 1:23 PM IST
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Google Chrome Bug Could Make Your MacOS Unbootable; Here’s How to Fix It
Representative Image. (Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

A flaw in Google Keystone had caused major issues with Apple’s macOS, causing inconvenience to a number of users. The faulty Google Chrome update caused data corruption on Mac Pro at several TV and movie studios in Hollywood, including the editing team of popular comedy show, Modern Family. According to a Variety report, when the TV show’s team downloaded the latest Google Chrome update on September 23, they realised that their Mac Pros could no longer be rebooted. Eventually, Google confirmed that the fault came through its end.

While initially the blame was put on Avid, a media composer software, Google informed through its support forum, that it had “recently discovered that a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines” and “paused the release while we finalize a new update that addresses the problem.” According to a report, the fault came in when the version 1.2.13.75 of the Keystone software shipped with an update that damaged the macOS file system. This happens when System Integrity Protection (SIP), a security measure to keep unauthorized software away from modifying protected data, is disabled or not installed.

Google also noted in its support note, “If you have not taken steps to disable System Integrity Protection and your computer is on OS X 10.9 or later, this issue cannot affect you.” However, in the forum post, Google also detailed the process to restore machines affected by the bug to full function. It wrote, “To recover a machine that has been affected by this bug, please boot into recovery mode, and then from the utility menu open the Terminal application.

In the Terminal application, you can run the following commands:

chroot /Volumes/Macintosh HD # "Macintosh HD" is the default

rm -rf /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle

mv var var_back # var may not exist, but this is fine

ln -sh private/var var

chflags -h restricted /var

chflags -h hidden /var

xattr -sw com.apple.rootless "" /var

Then reboot. This will remove the affected version of Google Software Update, then restore the damaged portion of the file system.”

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| Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh
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