Mac OS X 10.5.2 troubles: AirPort Problems, device issues; more

Big update means some big problems.

[Tuesday, February 12th]

[Updated 11:50 AM PST -- Linotype FontExplorer fix posted]

[For Mac OS X 10.5.2 release notes and update procedure recommendations this article]

Downgrading to Mac OS X 10.5.1 As always, some users are experiencing Mac OS X 10.5.2-related issues so disruptive to normal workflow that they are choosing to get the new update off their systems and revert to Mac OS X 10.5.1. Instructions for doing so can be found in our tutorial on reinstalling the system.

AirPort problems sticking around Despite Apple's indication that Mac OS X 10.5.2 "improves AirPort connection reliability and stability and resolves certain AirPort-related kernel panics, several users are reporting continuation of significant issues with wireless connectivity.

MacFixIt reader Steve Epstein writes:

"I've applied the 10.5.2 update, and still have the same issues with wireless connectivity on my iMac G4. When using WEP encryption on my Belkin router, I cannot maintain a connection Without WEP encryption, I can get a slow, intermittent connection that is for all intents and purposes unusable.

"AirPort Utility cannot find an AirPort Express located next to the iMac. Looks like the update has not addressed this issue that has been the focus of numerous complaints and reports thus far."

Though the fixes it contains aren't universally effective, our wireless troubleshooting tutorial has resolved post-update AirPort issues for a number of users.

Trackpad, mice, keyboard not working -- reset SMC Some users have found their keyboards, mice and/or trackpads rendered non-functional by the Mac OS X 10.5.2 update.

MacFixIt reader Chris Rosa writes:

"I'm not sure if this has anything to do with running my MBP (Core Duo) connected to a screen and keyboard, with the lid closed, but following the 10.5.2 update tonight (which otherwise seemed to go great) I found that the built-in keyboard and trackpad didn't function once 'un-docked'. Actually they wouldn't operate at all."

Chris eventually found an SMC reset effective. The rough equivalent of an SMC reset for PowerPC-based Macs is a PMU reset. Instructions for the procedures, respectively, are as follows:

iCal calendars missing Some users are reporting that iCal calendars are missing from view under Mac OS X 10.5.2. MacFixIt reader Alan writes:

"I have just updated  to 10.5.2  ( the Leopard Graphics package) and see that I have lost access to my various iCal calendars. iCal (v. 3.0.2) opens but has nothing in the calendar list box. I have a backups (thanks to Time Machine) but no idea where these calendars are or how best to restore them."

The symptoms for this issue are usually as follows:

  • When iCal is launched the calendar is blank -- no calendars on the left and no meetings on the day/week/month views
  • Clicking on one of the views all of my meetings show up but the calendars on the left are still gone
  • The user is able to type in an event and select a calendar, but when the event is saved it becomes invisible.
  • Clicking in the blank space where the calendars are supposed to be has no effect.

One potential workaround for this issue is as follows: Quit iCal, then delete the contents of the folder:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/iCal/Sources/ (~ refers to the current user directory)

After deleting the files from this folder, lock the "Sources" folder. Do this by navigating up one level then selecting the "Sources" folder. Perform a "Get Info" (either through the "File" menu or by pressing Command-I with the "Sources" folder selected) then click the lock icon.

Also, try deleting this file:

  • ~/Library/Calendars/Calendar Cache

In other cases, dragging the following files to the trash (while iCal is closed) then re-launching the program and restoring calendar data from a backup file or another synchronization source will temporarily resolve the issue:

  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iCal.AlarmScheduler.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iCal.helper.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iCal.plist

Third-party application problems

Linotype Font Explorer broken MacFixIt reader Peter Trinder reports that Linotype FontExplorer 1.1.2 is not working under Mac OS X 10.5.2, causing Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign to hang on launch.

Linotype officials state that this is a known issue:

'Yes we know about it and are working on a fix which won't be very long coming.'

UPDATE: Linotype has now released an update to FontExplorer (version 1.2.3) that resolves this issue.

Device issues

Bluetooth devices A number of Bluetooth-device related issues are cropping up after the Mac OS X 10.5.2 update.

MacFixit reader Robert Fusfeld reports issues with the DLink DBT -120 adapter:

"After the upgrade it is a no go. Devices don't work and clicking bluetooth in system preferences or system information in about this mac results in system freeze. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse now DOA. I have emailed dlink support to determine if this problem is specific to the old version I have and whether or not there is any firmware upgrade that will fix this. No reply yet."

If your built-in Apple Bluetooth system is not recognizing devices after the upgrade to Leopard, try performing a full power-cycle. That is, shut down your Mac then power it back up.

If you're having problems with third-party Bluetooth adapters, try removing them from hubs (including USB keyboards) and connecting them to directly to your Mac. Note that some devices may require firmware updates before they can interact properly with Leopard.

Also note that third-party Bluetooth adapters may cause other, more significant system issues until they are updated for compatibility with Leopard.

There are also some general-purpose Bluetooth fixes you can try:

Rediscover device(s) The most commonly applicable immediate fix for problems with Bluetooth device recognition after an incremental Mac OS X update is simple rediscovery of the afflicted device(s). You can accomplish this by going to the Bluetooth menu item (if it is enabled) and selecting the device or the "Setup Bluetooth device" option. Alternatively, go to the "Bluetooth" pane of System Preferences and select your device from the list, or press the "Setup new device" button.

Delete Preferences folder Try dragging the folder /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration to the Trash, then restarting and re-attempting access to your Bluetooth devices.

Reset PRAM/NVRAM In some cases, resetting your Mac's PRAM (parameter RAM) and NVRAM (non-volatile RAM) via the following process can restore Bluetooth access:

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Turn your Mac back on, while holding down the Command, Option, P and R keys simultaneously.
  3. Allow the startup chime to repeat twice, or listen for your Mac to perform a restart process twice, then release the keys.

Deactivate, Reactivate In some cases this issue can be resolved by simply going to the Bluetooth pane of System Preferences, then deactivating Bluetooth and subsequently reactivating it again.

Resetting the PMU/SMU Some users have reported that resetting their systems' PMUs or SMUs (depending on model) solved this issue. Apple provides details for performing the reset procedure in the following Knowledge Base documents:

What's fixed

There are a number of fixes in Mac OS X 10.5.2 that weren't documented by Apple. Among them:

X11 window issue Mac OS X 10.5.2 update seems to have corrected an issue with X11 and multiple monitors in which X11 only allows you to position X- Windows on the monitor with the Menu Bar instead of dragging the window or by using the -geometry option when running an X-Windows based application from the command line.

MacFixIt reader Bob Harris writes:

"I tested it this morning, and I was able to move X-Window displays anywhere on a 2 monitor system.  This is great! I use X11 constantly at work."

iChat crashes Several users have reported that iChat resolves a persistent crash that occurs when attempting make use of video effects movie backgrounds.

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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