Avoid (if possible) running other apps during installation In addition to disconnecting all external peripherals during installation of Mac OS X 10.3.3, we've received a handful of reports from site managers indicating that machines not running any other applications while the update process takes place.
MacFixIt reader Jim writes "I'd like to add one more suggestion to your otherwise great suggestions for installing OS X updates. As little as possible should be running while the update is installing, i.e. quit all applications first. Even better is to reboot after all of the disk preparations, thus ensuring as clean a state as possible. From experience at a previous computer company I know that "live installs" (i.e. updating the running OS) are fraught with potential pitfalls. (The preference there was always to install updates while booted from a file system other than the one being updated.) Obviously Apple does it the way they do to make it as easy and convenient as possible, but if they had a way to install updates while booted from a CD I'd do that every time."
Dantz confirms, isolates auto-load issue Yesterday we reported a problem where Retrospect 6 can no longer auto-load tapes under 10.3.3. The maker of Retrospect, Dantz, has since confirmed the issue and has found it limited to SCSI tape autoloaders.
A company representative provided us with a full statement on the problem:
Dantz has become aware of a compatibility issue with the Mac OS X 10.3.3/Mac OS X Server 10.3.3 updates and backing up to a tape autoloader or library with Retrospect. Dantz has reported this issue to Apple and is currently investigating workarounds.
The compatibility issue only affects Retrospect customers who are backing up to an integrated SCSI tape autoloader or a tape library attached over Fibre Channel. After the 10.3.3 updates are installed, slots in the tape autoloader or library are no longer visible in the GUI, even though the tape drive still appears in the GUI and is still available to Retrospect.
If you are backing up to hard drives, CD/DVD drives or standalone tape drives, this problem does not apply to you.
If you are backing up to integrated SCSI tape autoloaders or Fibre Channel tape libraries, Dantz recommends that you avoid applying the Mac OS X 10.3.3 or Mac OS X Server 10.3.3 update or roll back to Mac OS X 10.3.2 if already applied until this problem has been resolved.
As soon as a viable workaround or an update from Dantz appears, we'll post it.
Browser problems Reports of browser problems after the Mac OS X 10.3.3 are scattered. Some indicate specific problems with Safari (which is updated by the Mac OS X 10.3.3 installer), while others indicate problems with all browsers.
MacFixit reader John Harvey writes "Somewhat like Neil Johnson I have had trouble accessing certain sites in all browsers Safari, Internet Explorer and Netscape after updating to 10.3.3. Ironically Apple related sites in particular have been "hung up". Shutting down the DSL modem and the computer for several minutes and restarting both seems to help, but it is very odd to me that some sites when connected load instantly and others will not load. Apple Care blamed the ISP and the ISP said probably the OS."
Simon Kay writes "Since installing the 10.3.3 update, Safari has been unable to open many sites that were previously fine. Also, it fails to draw all items on may more pages. While on the Computer Arts website, I was downloading PDFs in the download section, and as I control-clicked, it crashed.Strangely enough, at one point it couldn't open the Hong Kong Apple site."
No mounting: USB flash drives and other volumes A number of reports continue to detail problems mounting USB flash devices, as well as hard drives and other external volumes. Oddly, some users are reporting success using the same USB flash devices on one Mac OS X 10.3.3 system, and problems on another.
Duane Abler writes "Since updating to Mac OS X 10.3.3, my USB flash memory, and two firewire HDs, a 40G from Firestore, and a Maxtor 80G won't mount. I reinstalled the combo update but it didn't help. I also repaired the permissions but didn't help either.
Joseph Yonan adds "I have a Lexar JumpDrive Secure formatted for Macintosh only. It mounts on a brand new eMac updated to 10.3.3; not on my updated G4 "sawtooth" tower. The drive will mount on the tower if I reconfigure it using Lexar's Safe Guard. It's a temporary measure resulting in no loss of data. "
Reverting to older OS X 10.3.2 A number of reports have noted that mounting issues (particularly with SCSI volumes) disappear with older versions of Mac OS X 10.3.x, making reversion a necessary process in some cases.
Nathaniel Madura writes "After installing the 10.3.3 update our external SCSI drive is no longer available. We have a promise tech RM8000 (8 250MB hard drives) that has worked flawlessly up till now that is connected to a 733 G4 via an Adaptec 29160. To verify that the problem was because of 10.3.3 I booted from the install CD, installed a copy of Panther server _on_ our SCSI drive. This installed fine, and worked across multiple boots of the OS. I then ran the combo updater. When it attempted to restart it just sat there."
If you need to revert to Mac OS X 10.3.2 to access specific volumes and don't have another option for getting the data, your best bet is to perform an archive and install process from the Panther CD, and then re-apply the Mac OS X 10.3.2 updater.
PowerBook (and Power Mac) fans In addition to previously reported issues with excessive fan noise after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update, it appears that the "Silent Night" package - which worked to reduce fan activity introduced in the Mac OS X 10.3.2 - is now (perhaps intentionally) non-functional.
Ethan Witham writes "Wanted to drop a line and say that Mac OS X 10.3.3 writes over, and disables, the 'Silent Night' fan fix for 10.3.2 fan 'feature.' The fan now runs constantly at max speed.
More on DVD Player issues with external drives We continue to receive reports that under 10.3.3, DVD Player no longer recognizes their some external DVD drives - though DVD-RAM and DVD data discs continue to operate properly.
MacFixIt reader Phil may have found a fix: "My sister ran into this problem after updating to 10.3.3. Replacing '/System/Library/Frameworks/DVDPlayback.framework' with the older version from Mac OS X 10.3.2 seems to have resolved the problem. Maybe some of your readers would be interested in that little hack. My sister has reported no 'side effects' as yet."
You can retrieve this file from another system running Mac OS X 10.3.2, or from the Mac OS X 10.3.x installation CD with a tool like Pacifist.
SuperDrive not working; possible fix Rob Watts' 12" PowerBook lost SuperDrive responsiveness after the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update. He was able to resolve the problem by performing a PMU reset:
"I tried to put a DVD into the slot drive, but the drive would not respond and try to draw it it. I tried a CDRW, DVDROM and nothing would make it respond. I checked the system profiler, and it would not show up under the ATA section. The HD was there, but no SD. I ran permissions repair and repair disk from the install disk hoping that familiar clicking of the SD would happen during one of those start ups. No such luck. Well, I shut down the PowerBook and did a PMU reset. After resetting the PMU and during that start up, the SD clicked. It now shows up in the system profiler and works fine."
Apple describes how to reset the PMU on various PowerBook models in Knowledge Base article #14449.
Belkin switch problems MacFixIt reader Steve reports a strange problem with his Belkin switch for which we are seeking confirmation:
"I've been using a Belkin dvi/usb kvm switch on a dual G5. It used to work pretty well. But now everything works well right up until the login window shows (it also happens if login is disabled). Then the computer shuts off immediately.
"It seems I can get things to work fine just by talking the kvm video out of the loop. Even keeping all the usb stuff plugged in. And the other boxes on the switch work, and the mac displays everything fine up until the login window fully appears."
Mouse movement and multiple displays Dan Lucas reports that after installing Mac OS X OS X 10.3.3 on his G5, mouse movement sporadically fails on one of two displays:
"I can work for several hours before the mouse suddenly goes dead on one of my two monitors. The first time it affected the second monitor, the next time it was the primary monitor, though the mouse continues to work in whichever monitor is unaffected. Since keyboard shortcuts still work, I tried relaunching the finder with no success. A reboot brings everything back to normal."