Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3: File Vault erasing settings?; FireWire issues; Slow Photoshop launch times; more

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3: File Vault erasing settings?; FireWire issues; Slow Photoshop launch times; more

UPDATE: File Vault erasing settings? Several users are reporting loss of dock preferences, iApp settings, and other data after receiving a message from FileVault about "recovering" disk space:

Alex Johnson writes "Behavior includes a complete reset of Finder preferences - including Dock, default icon and column views, empty Trash warning, etc. - to the 'out-of-the-box' settings. Also corruption of the iTunes Database, iCal calendars, Keychain preferences, .dmg files reporting errors and images not mounting.

"The best guess is that this is caused by using FileVault, and allowing it to reclaim unused space. This is not a one-time problem - changes to preferences do not 'stick' while FileVault is on, whether or not unused space is reclaimed. Users - including myself - have found that this problem disappears if FileVault is turned off, which is what we have done - though this can take more than one try to accomplish; FileVault reported an error the first time I tried (no additional data was lost). On the second attempt I managed to turn FileVault off and my system is now working perfectly. This is an annoying bug to be sure, but the combination of encryption and a loss of data is a also worrying one."

Generally the FileVault "recovery" message will appear at logout. You can simply choose not to recover the disk space, until it is determined why File Vault is erasing these settings.

FireWire issues Issues with FireWire-connected drives have been cropping up in increasing numbers as more users install Panther.

It appears that in some of the cases of FireWire failure, the problem is not with the drive itself, but rather with Mac OS X 10.3's ability to recognize the drives. We have documented several cases where FireWire drives are diagnosed with major errors by Disk Utility and DiskWarrior and are umountable when attached to a Mac OS X 10.3 system, but function without problems, retain data and yield no error reports from disk tools when attached to a Mac OS X 10.2.x system.

That said, there certainly are cases where drives connected to systems during a Panther install have become unreadable under any iteration of Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X.

Glenn Tiffert has a particularly bad example where one of his drives has been rendered virtually useless "I have two external firewire HDs daisy chained to my iBook 700. The first is a Maxtor 96147H8 60 gig. drive in an OWC Mercury Elite Firewire 400 enclosure. The second is a Western Digital WD2000JB 200 gig. drive in an OWC Mercury Elite Firewire 800 enclosure. I never had a problem with either drive under Jaguar, including Mac OS X 10.2.8."

"Immediately after clean installing Panther and booting into the OS, the Firewire 800 drive failed to mount, and Panther informed me that the drive had no OS X readable volumes. It gave me three options: initialize, ignore or eject. Neither Disk Utility nor DIskWarrior 3.0 could mount or recover the drive."

"I ultimately decided to re-initialize the drive (fortunately it was a redundant backup drive), and was able to use it until the next reboot, whereupon the same error occurred. No matter how many times I reinitialize the drive, the pattern holds: a reboot renders it unreadable. I have swapped firewire cables, and I even pulled the Firewire 400 drive (which was working fine) out of the daisy chain so that the problem drive was connected directly to the iBook; all to no avail. Neither OS 9 nor Jaguar can read the drive in its scrambled state."

Slow Photoshop launch times MacFixIt reader Patrick Martin reports that some users on the Adobe Photoshop for Macintosh User to User forum are reporting increased startup times for Photoshop 7.0.1 after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.

"One user reported a startup time of 10 seconds in Jaguar on a dual 1 GHz G4; after installing Panther, he was seeing Photoshop launch times climb to 30 seconds or more until his palettes appeared. This occurred with standard system fonts being the only fonts loading into memory at startup. All other fonts were being managed with Font Agent Pro, and were deactivated.

Several users have identified one culprit for the slower startup times as Auto-Activation feature of Font Agent Pro (a font management application from Insider Software). Martin writes "When that (feature) was switched off, startup speed returned to normal."

Macromedia application launch failure Brett Wickens, along with a few other readers, report that since upgrading to Panther, Macromedia Contribute and Flash MX will no longer launch. He writes

"This is with a fresh archive/install of the system and complete deletion/reinstallation of the programs. They appear briefly as if they are going to open but then nothing. There have been emerging notes on various forums that this is due to Macromedia's new authorization scheme and some users are reporting the only workaround to be backing up their entire hard drive, erasing and installing a fresh system, then reinstalling the offending Macromedia applications. Of course, for people with a hundred or so other programs besides Flash MX and Contribute, this is not only annoying, it's unacceptable."

A follow-up note from Wickens, who spoke with Macromedia's technical support department, cites on possible workaround for launch failure: "Sometimes they do not launch at all. If that is the case, delete the Macrovision folder from library/preferences. Then they should launch."

"However, you will be asked for you serial number and then it is possible you will receive a 'too many activations for this serial number.' Macromedia allows two installs. It looks this up over the internet during installation and if it thinks you are installing more than your allocation you will need to call the number the dialog box shows you, tells them you are re-installing because of Panther and they will help you out.

"Note: If you can get your MX products to launch, or even before you install Panther, go to the help menu in that product (i.e., Flash/Help) and select 'Transfer my software license.' What this does is give you back one install in the Macromedia registration database. Then you can re-install successfully once you have Panther up an running properly.

Separately, some users have reported that every time they try to launch one or more Macromedia applications, they are prompted for an administrator password, and upon entering the correct password, simply re-prompted in an endless loop. Apparently deleting the Macrovision folder from Library/Preferences will do the trick in this scenario as well.

Problems with installation - stuck on Disc 2; bad discs? It appears that some Mac OS X 10.3 packages include a bad second Installer disc, evidenced by dozens of reports that installation failed somewhere on CD 2.

Quitting installation after the first CD will leave out some components like extra language support. Greg Davidson writes:

"I upgraded from Mac OS X 10.2.6 on my PowerBook G3 500, 512MB, stock otherwise. The installation failed somewhere during the language packs on Install CD 2 (didn't see exactly where since I was trying to get my daughter ready for bed). I acknowledged the error and it dropped out of the installer. I rebooted manually and it booted fine into Mac OS X 10.3 and everything seems to work properly. I've tested the programs and rebooted several times without problem. I assume that the failed installation only resulted in my PowerBook not having some foreign language files, which I can live without."

Other readers have reported that installation fails during the transition from disc 1 and disc 2. Les Dodson writes "During the installation of Panther, it will proceed normally through the installation of Disk One, and reboot. After you get through to the continuation screen, one of two things has happened: The install quits unexpectedly or; The installer keep requesting Disc 2, when it's already present in the drive."

As a workaround for this problem, you can force the installer to quit (when it keeps requesting disc 2), bringing you to the Finder where you can mount and install the second disc data manually.

Installation problems? Try removing all third party devices/RAM Though it might be a lengthy task for some set-ups, some readers have reported that constant problems with installing Panther or properly starting up after installation were resolved by removing all PCI cards, extra RAM, FireWire/USB devices, and other components. Pinpointing which exact component (in some instances more than one) is wreaking havoc can be near impossible.

In many cases, all or most of these devices can be re-introduced after Mac OS X 10.3 has successfully completed installation, but for some reason cause problems when connected during installation.

In addition to disconnecting external devices and removing non-native RAM, some readers have reported success eliminating problems by turning off any applications that are triggered at startup, including some menu and interface enhancements.

Graphics cards

3Dfx cards Several readers have reported limited resolution selection in Mac OS X 10.3 with 3Dfx chipset cards.

David Besade writes "I have been testing the Voodoo3 with the WWDC Preview of Panther and the GM release 7B85 and it has been confirmed that 3DFX Cards do not function properly on Mac OS X 10.3. The cards are limited to a resolution of 640x480 and it reports the colors at 256 but in reality its 16 or less colors, almost black and white."

This problem will likely require a driver update that may never be released.

Problems with PC-specific cards If you have a ROM-flashed, PC specific GeForce card, you may need to remove it during installation. Charles Tishman writes: "I have a G4/400 Sawtooth that was previously running 10.2.6. Upon running the MacOS X 10.3 installer, the first disc worked fine, but restarting got only to the beginning of the blue-screen. Before it showed the progress bar, the system went to a black screen. The problem turned out to be a ROM-Flashed PC GeForce 2 MX card (Elsa Gladiac MX) I was using in my AGP 2x slot. When I removed this card and replaced it with my machine's stock ATI Rage 128, the boot succeeded, and the installation of discs 2 and 3 continued."

G4 Sawtooth problems with NVidia drivers It seems that the nVidia kernel extensions included in 10.3 are causing major headaches for G4 Sawtooth owners who swapped their original ATI cards with nVidia cards. In most cases, they get a black screen during the boot process. Kevin Poole write s"Some people have found success with replacing particular Mac OS X 10.3 nVidia kernel extensions with those from 10.2.x or even 10.1.x, but that doesn't seem to work for everyone. In any case, Apple clearly didn't test such configurations before releasing 10.3, which is unfortunate."

Apple posted a Knowledge Base article on the subject, stating "Contact the video card's manufacturer to see if they have updated the card's software or firmware drivers to work with Mac OS X 10.3. For best results, install the updated software or firmware before installing Mac OS X 10.3.

"If the third-party card is the only one installed and the screen is dark when you start up the computer, you may need to reinstall the original video card temporarily, install Mac OS X Panther, install the updated third-party drivers, then put your third-party video card back in."

Third-party keyboards and the "function" key If you have a third-party keyboard, you may need to press the "function lock" key in order to re-assign certain keys or gain other functionality that was enabled by default in Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar).

David Averbach wrote "I can?t seem to reassign function keys (F1 etc.) using Microsoft Keyboard.  It had this really great iTunes control feature, which now does nothing," then followed up "Fixed it?the Function Lock key has to be on?this didn?t have to be the case before. It resets itself when I turn on the computer, so each day, I have to remember to push that button or my function keys don?t work."

MAChSpeed software updated Daystar has release a new version of MAChSpeed Control - its OS X cache enabling, protection and testing software - that the company claims has full support for Mac OS X 10.3. The software is bundled free with Daystar's MAChSpeed 450 - 550 MHz G4 upgrades and can be purchased separately.

Issues with Mac OS X 10.3? Solutions you have found? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

Resources
  • reported
  • Font Agent Pro
  • article
  • purchased separately
  • Late-breakers@macfixit.com
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