- Ensure you've done full dependency analysis on all the patches to be installed. The ITRC patch systems or swa should do all that for you now.
- Review the "special installation instructions" for all patches that you are to install.
- Ensure there are no unconfigured filesets on the system... something like this should return nothing:
swlist -l fileset -a state | sed -e '/^#.*$/d' -e '/^$/d' | grep -v configured
- ensure that you at least review a run of "swverify \*" - in general you don't need to worry too much about the WARNING levels, but you shoulkd always try and resolve the ERROR levels.
- if you have non-HP kernel filesets (such as EMC PowerPath or IBM atdd tape drivers), you should always review the patches you are installing, and the patch process with the relevant vendor.
- make sure you have run a "cleanup -d" on the dpot, so you don't have any superseded patches in it.
- always run a preview of the swinstall process and resolve *all* reported issues before proceeding
With those precautions in place you should really never encounter an unbootbale kernel as a result of patching.