Security Update 2007-005 (#9): USB device problems -- fixes; Finder crashes

Serious issues affecting USB devices; continued Finder crashes

USB device problems -- fixes We continue to report on serious USB issues that are apparent for some users after applying Security Update 2007-005. These include an inability to recognize specific devices, problems transferring data to and from the devices, system hangs that occur when a certain number of devices are connected and more.

As described by one reader:

"Not only iPhoto has problem recognizing the attached camera but if and when it is recognized, picture transfer is interrupted in the middle, stalling iPhoto with a cold reboot necessary to end the spinning rainbow wheel.

"Also, if more than 2 devices are connected on an iMac, connecting a third will bring about an obscure USB energy message to the effect that not enough power can be supplied to the device -- on a AC connected Mac! I had never experienced any such problems in a year and a half of heavy use (2GHz Intel Core Duo, 20", 1.5 Gig 667 MHz DDR2."

And another reader, Erik:

"So I installed Security Update 2007-005 [...] and all my USB 2 peripherals stopped working. I have two Externals HDs, my iPod dock, and a Matias keyboard."

Fixes We previously mentioned re-installation of the most recent Mac OS X combo updater and clearing of specific caches as potential fixes for this issue -- neither of which has been universally successful for our readers. We've now identified some new fixes that may yield better results:

Get the update off your Mac Use our tutorial on reinstalling Mac OS X to get Security Update 2007-005 off your system and revert to an earlier system state. Strangely, some readers are reporting that after USB connectivity issues arise with the Security Update, simply going back to Mac OS X 10.4.9 does not resolve the issue, but remaining at Mac OS X 10.4.8 does.

Revert kernel extensions This problem can sometimes be resolved by reverting to an earlier version of the IOHIDFamily.kext and IOUSB.kext via the following instructions:

  1. Download the appropriate version of the Mac OS X 10.4.9 and Mac OS X 10.4.8 combo updaters for your system (more on why later) from Apple's download page, but do not install either.
  2. Download and install the shareware application Pacifist
  3. Drag the Mac OS X 10.4.9 installer package onto the Pacifist application icon.
  4. Click the triangle next to "System" to expand it
  5. Click the triangle next to "Library" to expand it
  6. Click the triangle next to "Extensions" to expand it
  7. Scroll down and find the file IOHIDFamily.kext. Click the Install button in Pacifist and enter your administrator password.
  8. Find the file IOHIDFamily.kext. Click the Install button in Pacifist and enter your administrator password.
  9. Find the file IOUSBFamily.kext. Click the Install button in Pacifist and enter your administrator password.
  10. Restart your Mac and check for resolution of the issues. If the problem still exists, repeat the steps, but use files from the Mac OS X 10.4.8 combo updater.

Update firmware Outdated firmware or drivers may be precluding recognition for some devices. Try checking your device manufacturer's Web site for the latest downloads.

Finder crashes/relaunching: another fix We previously noted some slowness and stalls in the Finder that could be Spotlight-related, and also repeated crashes of the Finder (after which the Finder will typically relaunch, and may repeat the process in a looping fashion).

It now appears that, in some cases, the problem can be caused (or at least traced to) haxies that run under the Application Enhancer (APE) umbrella.

As such, you can try excluding Aperture from from Application Enhancer's (APE) effective list via the following instructions:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on the Application Enhancer Preference Pane located in the "Other" section.
  3. Select Application Enhancer at the top of the haxie list.
  4. Once selected, there will be a tab entitled "Master Exclude List" - select the "Master Exclude List" tab.
  5. Use the plus ( ) sign at the bottom of the window to open a navigation window. Navigate to the Finder, which is located in /System/Library/CoreServices. Select the Finder to add it to the Master Exclude List.

Failing the above steps, try uninstalling APE completely by re-downloading the Application Enhancer installer, then launching it and selecting the "Uninstall" option.

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

Previous coverage:

Resources
  • Mac OS X combo updater
  • Apple's download page
  • Pacifist
  • Spotlight-related
  • repeated crashes of the Fi...
  • Application Enhancer insta...
  • Late-breakers@macfixit.com
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 (...
  • Security Update 2007-005 r...
  • More from Late-Breakers
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