Mavericks “Less than a minute remaining”

“Less Than A Minute Remaining”

Tonight while installing OSX Mavericks, everything seemed to be going well until the progress bar stopped. It got to “Less than a minute remaining” and then it stopped there. For a very long time.

I had seen similar behavior while installing Lion and Mountain Lion, and on one of my Macs I even had to reboot the machine to get out of a hung install. So I prepared for the OSX “overnight vigil” that many seem to have gone through in times gone by.

Just to be sure, though, I did a quick Google check of how people were faring with the new update, and there seemed to be a good amount of people who had to wait a good while, but had success within several minutes. So I decided to wait.

Don’t Panic!

It turns out that my fears were misplaced. After about 10 minutes, the machine rebooted and went on to complete the install. There was a second brief pause, once again on “Less Than a Minute Remaining”, but that one went much more quickly.

So I’m here to tell you to hang in there. You may need to wait 10-15 minutes, but the install should complete.

Just don’t believe the “Less Than a Minute Remaining” hype.

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Jack Jones

Technical Director at KMI, Founder at Collabinate
Hi! My name is Jack and I would love to connect with you. I am a family man, an entrepreneur, a software developer, an API lover, and a clean energy pusher. I love meeting new people, and I'm here to help! Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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26 Responses to “Mavericks “Less than a minute remaining””

  1. Kyle 2013-10-23 at 6:41 am #

    I had the same fear, then after a while it sorted itself out. Just let it do its thing

  2. OSXer 2013-10-23 at 11:58 am #

    Exact same experience – total panic at first, but then it finally completed. The “Less than a minute…” is just deceiving.

  3. Tweed 2013-10-23 at 12:24 pm #

    Thank you Überjack. I was about to do something very stupid.

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-23 at 7:45 pm #

      You’re welcome! I’m glad I didn’t do the stupid thing too… ;-)

  4. Jeeva 2013-10-23 at 2:29 pm #

    I had the same problem. Found this page and waited for 10-15 minutes and then the installation continued smoothly.

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-23 at 7:45 pm #

      Glad you found this and waited!

  5. Jorge Irún 2013-10-23 at 4:09 pm #

    Mine took over an hour on the “Less than a minute” message..

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-23 at 7:46 pm #

      Wow, that’s a long one. I’m surprised they didn’t discover this in testing, or if they did why they didn’t think there would be more trouble because of it. There has to be a good amount of botched upgrades going on out there.

  6. Stacy L. 2013-10-23 at 8:31 pm #

    I am currently experimenting the same problem, stuck on “Less than a minute remaining” while in fact it has been more than an hour and a half. What should I do?

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-23 at 9:26 pm #

      If it’s an older or more heavily used machine I would give it some more time. Try leaving it for a few hours. Somebody on this thread said they waited three hours (!): https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5469572

      If after several hours there is no change, maybe yours is truly hung. If you’re unable/unwilling to wait after that, there have been reports of people that have powered down (held down the button) and started the install over, and it succeeded: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1657702. Of course your experience may differ, so if you want to ensure you don’t have problems you’ll need to work with Apple somehow.

      Good luck!

  7. Jeremy Wright 2013-10-24 at 7:43 am #

    Yeah thanks Überjack I too was going to shout loudly, maybe bang me fist a few times and reboot … now I am happy to wait and wait until tomorrow if thats what it takes :-)
    Any ideas on the best way to create a maverick boot disk?

  8. Stacy L. 2013-10-24 at 7:58 am #

    Update: I left my computer alone for the night but this morning it was still on “less than one minute” (It had been like this for 12 hours by now). I rebooted it because I absolutely needed it for school. It worked almost instantaneously, it asked me to create a new computer account, which I did, and I was able to come back to my normal account by logging out of the new one. Everything is working fine and Mavericks is installed.

    Thank you for you answer Jack Jones!

    * I have a Macbook Pro 2012 with 8GB RAM. Never had a problem with this computer before the installation of Mavericks.

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-25 at 12:05 am #

      You’re welcome and thank you for the update! I’m glad things worked out in the end even though you had some kinks.

  9. Gordon 2013-10-24 at 10:34 am #

    I’ve seen in other forums one person claimed it hung for 12 hours then finally finished successfully. Myself, I’ve tried installing twice, both times did a forced restart – once after 3 hours, the other after an overnight of “1 minute”. Both times it moved my previous data to “recovered data” and had me create a new account, so I then had to do Time Machine restores.

    • Jack Jones 2013-10-25 at 12:06 am #

      Ouch. Is there anything non-standard with your setup?

  10. Michel 2013-10-26 at 7:59 am #

    Apple is preparing us for the next iWatch : iTime will count many more than 60 seconds per minute. They’re so innovative !
    Seriously, thanks a lot Uberjack ’cause I had a real cold sweat when install “freezed” and I was ready to do something stupid

  11. Jen 2013-11-17 at 11:05 pm #

    Mine has been less than 1 minute remaining for over an hour now!

  12. Hilarie 2013-11-22 at 10:23 pm #

    I’m glad I Googled and found your blog before I did anything rash … which I was on the verge of, since the installation process had already bombed out with a damages disk error. I was able to repair the error with the disk utility (looks like the installation process itself caused the problem, scrambling files) and this was the second attempt. I was hyperventilating, but heeded your advice and after about fifteen minutes all was well.

  13. Magic 2013-12-09 at 7:00 am #

    Mine stops at one second remaining.
    Nothing happen :( waiting forever!
    Please heeelp anyone? Admin? Apple? Microsoft? I need my computer for work pleeease help!!!

  14. Michael 2013-12-14 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi all- I’m currently downloading OS X Mavericks and I’m a bit freaked. Unlike most threads I’ve found, my installation is stopped at “About 4 minutes remaining.” Everyone else that I’ve seen is at “less then a minute.” I’ve been waiting about 20 minutes. Do you think I should just wait it out?

    Also, does anyone know how to quit the installer and just give up (if that’s possible). I tried powering down manually but it simply resumed at around 40 minutes to go. Keeps starting at 40 and going down to 4 and halting.
    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

    -M

    • Jack Jones 2013-12-18 at 11:21 pm #

      Hi Michael, I haven’t seen any references to that particular problem. That actually sounds like a legitimate issue. Do you have anything non standard about your setup?

  15. Osman 2014-01-11 at 9:29 pm #

    Same here. Thank you very much for the post.

  16. Graham Ansell 2014-08-21 at 11:55 am #

    Mine’s still saying “Less than a minute” after 4 hours?

  17. Janio Sarmento 2014-08-27 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m scared looking at a message stating “about a second remaining” for at least ten minutes! LOL

    Thanks for your post, I’ll stand by instead of doing something (possibly) stupid.

    • Graham Ansell 2014-09-08 at 4:57 am #

      The problem I had was the hard drive cable, After the less than a minute status for 12 hours, I installed Mavericks to the same drive connected via USB and it installed in less than half hour straight. Changed the hard drive cable and boom installed in less time. Common issue with MBP A1278 hard drive cables, I’ve changed 2 this year now in other Macs

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