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Special Report Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.3

Special Report Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.3

Covering these and other topics:

Combo Update Success

By far one of the easiest and most consistenly successful troubleshooting procedures for a variety of issues in Mac OS X 10.3.3 (and previous iterations of Mac OS X) is re-application of the combination updater after problems appear with a Software Update-based installation.

One reader writes: "Just to let you know that applying the combo update from Apple's website after running the 10.3.3 update through software update has solved my kernel panic problem whereby my 17" iMac would give me at least 4 kernel panics a day, of which at least one at startup. Since applying the combo update 10.3.3 works like a charm, even mail is not crashing anymore when my junkfilter is being applied. I suspect the kernel panics coming from a USB-hub with several devices connected (Printer, scanner and memory stick)."

MacFixIt reader J writes "Thanks for the 10.3.3 Combo re-install tip. It fixed my EZ-Quest 48x CD-RW drive that seemingly went dead after my initial 10.3.3 upgrade on my G4 500 Sawtooth (1.25 GB RAM)."


We previously reported a host of USB 2.0 issues under Mac OS X 10.3.3, including inability to mount, problems transferring large files and more.

It now seems, based on a handful of reader reports, that re-applying the combo updater resolves the issues in some cases.

Thomas Santee writes "I have a G4 iBook. After using Software Update to update to 10.3.3 my bus-powered USB 2.0 external hard drive would stall when trying to copy large files to the internal hard drive. Repairing permissions and running DiskWarrior showed no problems. I decided to download the 10.3.3 updater from Apple and reinstall it over my existing install. I thought it would simply report that the update was already installed, but it proceeded to go through the entire process including a very long optimization. Now my external USB 2 drive copies files fine. I suggested this on the Apple's iBook discussion board to a user who was have numerous USB troubles. He reported that installing the updater on top of the existing 10.3.3 fixed all his USB troubles except for the stall when copying files from his external hard drive to his internal drive."

Double device appearances in System Profiler

There is a specific problem occuring more frequently under Mac OS X 10.3.3 where some device controllers appear twice in Apple System Profiler.

First, it should be noted that some SCSI cards (as well as other device controllers) have two channels - one available inside the computer, and one available outside the computer - logically generating the duplicate listings in Apple System Profiler.

However, we've now begun to receive reports of some individual external devices being listed several - up to eight - times.

Michael Johnson writes "You list an item of SCSI adapter devices appearing twice in Apple System Profiler on April 1 2004. I can top that. I have a SCSI scanner which shows up 8 times in ASP. Hardware: SCSI adaptor 2930CU (Apple supplied); Iomega SCSI Zip external; UMAX 600S scanner.

"If the G4 is booted with scanner power off, Zip drive shows in Apple System Profiler as it should as only installed and mounted SCSI device. If scanner is powered on at boot time(only way it can work under OSX) Zip drive is not shown in Apple System Profiler, but 8 entries for a IOSCSIparralleldevice are shown, and each one is described as the same UMAX 600S SCSI device with SCSI ID #2."

Rodrigo Shawcroft's writes "I recently upgraded a friend's Powerbook. I installed Mac OS X 10.3 and upgraded it to Mac OS X 10.3.3. When I opened the System Profiler, the DVD appeared twice in the ATA section, both with the correct specifications (Matsushita DVD, model and serial number). I tried resetting PRAM several times, but it remained the same. Other than that, the PowerBook works normally."

"I was one of the folks that could not mount my SCSI drives after upgrading to 10.3.3.(I lost some FireWire drives while others worked). When looking at the system profiler, I noticed that the factory installed SCSI 2 card in my sawtooth G-4 was in slot D - twice. No wonder the SCSI volumes won't mount."

MacFixIt reader Joshua Ochs points out that since the frameworks used by System Profiler are updated in Mac OS X 10.3.3, the problem may be as innocuous as a simple misreport.

"It's worth noting that the 10.3.3 update (at least the combo updater) also updated the frameworks that System Profiler uses to examine your hardware (/System/Library/SystemProfiler/). It may not be that OS X is loading the device drivers incorrectly, but rather than Apple System Profiler is just listing them incorrectly."

iDisk synchronization

Simone Manganelli has some iDisk issues under Mac OS X 10.3.3: "Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I'm having massive problems with the local iDisk synching in 10.3.3 after doing the update. What once was a seamless process is now utter horror: every time I initiate a sync, Mac OS X thinks a lot of the files have changed (when they haven't), and attempts to sync them all over again. Sometimes folders are reported as being in use and can't be deleted, and files are also reported to be in use when they aren't. A lot of the time, after a sync, if I sync again, it tries to sync some of the files over again, even though I haven't changed them at all! Sometimes syncs don't actually result in a mirror image on the server of what's on my local version of the iDisk. I even attempted to rectify the problem by changing the setting in System Preferences to not have a local iDisk (which subsequently puts the local iDisk into a disk image on the desktop), and then change it back and allow the system to recreate the local iDisk from what's on the server. No dice -- all the problems are still happening."

DVD Player artifacts and RADEON 9800 Pro cards

Several readers have reported video artifacts in DVD Player 4.0 (included as part of Mac OS X 10.3.3) when used in conjunction with ATI's RADEON 9800 Pro cards, and possibly other models. We've now even more confirmation for the issue, as well as a possible solution.

One MacFixIt reader writes "I have had a problem with green blocks appearing at random in DVD Player after opening DVD Player when my G5 with stock Radeon 9600 card has previously been sleeping. If I restart the problem is gone until my computer has gone back to sleep for a while. Curious... VLC doesn't have this problem. Also Logging out and back in as the same user or a different user will not clear the problem, only a restart."


As discovered by Heather Donahue, the DVD Player framework was updated as part of Mac OS X 10.3.3. She was able to solve the problem by using the tool Pacifist to extract and replace the 10.3.3 framework with the 10.3.2 framework.

The framework can be found at /System/Library/Frameworks/DVDPlayback.framework

Another reader writes:

"It appears that DVD Player 4 (part of the 10.3.3 update) and the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition are incompatible, causing severe video artifacts during playback. I am unable to recreate the problem on any Mac not using the Radeon Card, and had no similar issues prior to the 10.3.3 update."

We were able to track down two threads on the Apple Discussion boards regarding the same issue, one with screenshots:

Lexar Jumpshot problems

Readers are experiencing ignificant problems with various Lexar Media flash memory products when used with Mac OS X 10.3.3 - most notably an inability to mount.

MacFixIt reader David Maffucci has found a temporary solution that may work for other readers:

"After installing 10.3.3 I could no longer make my Lexar 128MB JumpDrive and my G5 function. The JumpDrive worked with an iBook running 10.3.3 but not the G5. It wasn't the most pressing issue so I waited a bit for a fix, read up about people having trouble but it seemed most were using a different kind of JumpDrive, a secure model - mine is the plain version.

"Anyway today I contacted Lexar who pointed me to a fix on their web site - downloading a file called STUC.dmg...its listed in the downloads section as being needed for 10.3.3 with some products. I downloaded and installed. No change in my problem, my JumpDrive didn't mount.

"So I decided to do some hunting, I found and removed an old file called 'IOUSBJumpshotClass.kext' upon removing, I rebooted and the JumpDrive started working again. All I can say is that a while back I had some problems with a CF card, I installed various rescue utilities to try and fix it but none liked by CF reader, I gave up. I'm guessing OS 10.3.3 didn't like this old file (dated 4/15/2003) so I yanked it. Other Lexar extensions looked much newer. This may not be a fix for many but it was my fix, my JumpDrive is back to fully functional status..."

The company has now posted a new driver intended to provide better compatibility for Mac OS X 10.3.3. A note on the Lexar support site reads "In order for Image Rescue 1.0/2.0 or SafeGuard 1.0 to work with Mac OS 10.3.3, you need to download Lexar's driver updater. Scroll down to either Image Rescue or SafeGuard, download the driver and follow the installation instructions."

  • Installation Instructions are as follows:
  • Download the driver updater, STUC.dmg from the drivers page under either Image Rescue or SafeGuard.
  • Close all programs you have running before the installation.
  • Double-click on the STUC.dmg file that you saved to the hard drive.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

Unfortunately, some users are not having full success simply installing the update, and have had to resort to another method detailed by Lexar technical support:

"Manually remove the files below:

  • '/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBJumpshotClass.kext'
  • '/System/Library/Extensions/IOSCSILexarCommandsDevice.kext'
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.lexar.ImageRescue2.plist
  • '/Library/Preferences/com.lexareast.jumpdrive.suite.plist'
  • '/Library/Receipts/Image Rescue.pkg'
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.lexar.ImageRescue.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.lexar.ImageRescue2.plist
  • /Applications/*'Image  Rescue'*.app

"Now you need to install the image rescue software [...] you can update that older version if you want to to 2.0 once done, and try once again installing the STUC.DMG file, restart then try using the device, the STUC has to be the last thing installed."

FireWire problems

In addition to problems mounting FireWire drives, several readers are flagging other miscellaneous issues with FireWire connected devices.

One of the most common problems, and one that has been noted with previous Mac OS X updates, is a faulty update (to Mac OS X 10.3.3) process when FireWire devices are connected. Simply disconnecting offending peripherals usually allows installation to continue. MacFixIt reader Terry Freedman writes:

"Attempting to update via the Combo Upgrader from 10.3.2 to 10.3.3 on a G4 tower kept hanging. Unplugging the firewire external drive eliminated the problem."

Some users, like Tom McKenna, have found that logging out and back in resolves the problem temporarily "Both my FireWire hard drive, and iPod will disappear from mounting on the desktop and in the sidebar in 10.3.3. They will, however show up in disk utility. It's driving me nuts. Logging out and logging back in cures the problem for a while."

McKenna's report - coupled with another reader report that both his Firefly external FireWire hard drive and iSight camera are active for a few seconds at startup then fail - would seem to indicate a newly introduced power supply problem with FireWire devices under Mac OS X 10.3.3.

On interesting note, however, is that for some users, externally powered FireWire drives turn on and remain active, but never mount.

Jens Verwiebe writes "I had the same problem with firewire devices recognized but not mounting. This happened in 10.3.2 and 10.3.3. Exchanging the IOFireWireFamily.kext to the old version 1.7.0 ( from 10.3.1 ) solved the problem. Now with IOFireWireFamily.kext 1.7.0 (Sept 2003) its all OK."

You can find the IOFireWireFamily.kext file on your original Mac OS X 10.3 installation CD (with the help of a tool like Pacifist), or by searching for the file (both visible and invisible items) on a system running Mac OS X 10.3.1 or Mac OS X 10.3.2.

One reader writes "I tried downgrading to the 1.7.0 version of IOFirewireFamily.kext from OS 10.3 and rebooted. After that, bus power on the firewire port works! The other symptoms remain; System Profiler doesn't see the Firewire 400 bus, AHT reports an error and no disk will mount. I've since re-upgraded to the 10.3.3 .kext, and bus power is fine; I can charge my iPod, but the problems remain."

Chris Ptacek reports that files installed by Avid Free DV were the culprit for his mounting problems: "So I remember a few days back that someone has suggested that the AVID files in the library were causing them problems with mounting USB and FireWire drives. Then I remembered that I had installed Avid Free DV when it first came out. I also remember there being an un install script that was loaded once you ran the installer, but I had backed that up to my external. I downloaded the newest Free DV and installed, rebooted and presto, my drives came back. Now I also had the un installer script which I now ran since I never used Free DV rebooted and everything is still working fine."

There are also reports that disconnecting the iSight camera allows better operation of other devices in some scenarios:

MacFixIt reader Steve Weller writes "Interestingly if I unplug iSight, then things are much more reliable, but the boot problem persists. iSight works fine after I plug it back in. My iSight has been upgraded to the latest firmware, and iChat is 2.1. All disk integrity checks have been OK. I have not lost any data or suffered any corruption. PRAM reset had no effect on the problems.

"The drives are WiebeTech 180G capable of S800, but connected to the iMac at S400 and daisy-chained. My disks are self-powered."

The best and most complete solution so far (as previously reported) seems to be using a separate FireWire bridge - either a PCMCIA or PCI card. One reader writes:

"I was just reading your page on the no FireWire problem and tried all that was there. I am having the same problem as Dean Takemori. I just tried an old Newer Tech FireWire -to-Go card and bingo - my external FireWire drive mounted on the Desktop. My internal firewire port also powers any firewire drive attached to it but they never try to mount. All disk utilities never see them and Apple System Profiler say's "No information found" on my firewire bus. I also just ran the Apple Hardware test CD. It say's that I have no hardware problems. I have a Titanium PowerBook G4 667 with a gig of ram. At least I now have a way to get data off my firewire drives."

FireWire connection and kernel panics during Software UpdateIn a separate but possibly related issue, a number of readers have reported kernel panics when attempting to connect external FireWire devices while Apple's Software Update mechanism is running:

Brian Jojade writes "I have been able to repeatably cause a kernel panic on several different machines when connecting firewire devices to a system during the software update process. My situation has been on 3 machines running MacOS Server 10.3.2. One Dual 1.25 G4, a single 1.8 G5, and a Dual 1.8 G5. The devices that I was connecting were an external firewire drive, a tape drive, and an iPod (1st gen). Software update had been run from either the software system preference, or through server admin. The install had completed, but the system had not yet been restarted. In each case, the firewire device was plugged in, but didn't respond. About 60 seconds later, kernel panic, restart required."

Meanwhile, Christophe Eeckels has a list of specific Mac OS X 10.3.3-related FireWire issues on his slot-loading iMac:
  • System profiler documents FireWire as "no information available";
  • Apple Hardware Test says FireWire is "afwezig", which means "absent" in Dutch;
  • FireWire disks don't mount;
  • Disk Utility does not see them;
  • The external disks do not appear when holding down the Option key at startup time;
  • Both FireWire interfaces are inoperable, though the FireWire drives do receive power from the interfaces.

PDF preview rendering crash, fixes

MacFixIt reader Neil reports a problem with the preview function in the Finder when attempting to render miniature versions of large PDF files:

"I am getting constant Finder crashes when previewing (column view preview) large pdf files. As soon as you click on a large PDF, the preview column attempts to display the preview, but the Finder crashes and restarts. Has only happened since upgrading to 10.3.3 and seems to only happen with large PDF files."

"At our Ad Agency, we have been seeing this same issue on Panther since at least 10.3.2. It is exactly the same situation that Neil describes; as soon as the PDF file is selected, immediate Finder crash and restart. Another wrinkle is that sometimes the crash happens if a folder full of PDFs is selected in column view, or if it is triangle-opened from List view.

"We've attempted many fixes for this problem as it is not happening on all systems, only with users who are specifically dealing with a large number of InDesign-direct PDFs each day. We've tried repairing permissions, running Disk Warrior, reapplying the Mac OS X Client Combo updaters, clearing caches with Cocktail, and even using several of the ".DS Store cleaners" found on Nothing has worked or has even changed the faulty behavior.

"The empirical evidence initially suggests that the Finder's built-in support for previewing PDF files is the culprit, and that it could happen due to complex or corrupted PDF documents whose built-in preview thumbnail is unparseable by the Finder. Even that is a shaky theory though, because I have found a workaround via the Terminal. If a PDF file that causes the crash is copied out of its original directory via the GUI, the copied file will also cause the crash. However, if the PDF file is copied via the "cp" command in the Terminal, it appears that the copy will not cause the crash. We have been using "cp" at the command-line to move these troublesome PDFs onto the Desktop where they can be selected, opened, and used as normal.

"We were hoping that 10.3.3's listed fix 'Addresses an issue in which Finder unexpectedly quits if the View menu option 'Show icon preview' is enabled while dragging a significant number of icons to another location.' would solve the problem, but I confirmed today that it has not. Just for the heck of it, I tried again with the Finder's "Show icon preview" option on and also with it off; still crashes."

We previously noted that if a PDF file that causes the crash is copied out of its original directory via the GUI, the copied file will also cause the crash. However, if the PDF file is copied via the "cp" command in the Terminal, it appears that the copy will not cause the crash.

This indicates that there could be a problem in the resource fork of the PDF. "cp" from the terminal does not copy this part of the file, which is responsible for creator/type and other resources associated with the file.

MacFixIt reader Alen offers some suggestions for confirming whether or not a resource fork problem is involved on your particular system:

"To confirm this, try installing a copy of "xtar" and create an "xtar" archive and a "tar" archive of a problem .pdf using similar arguments

  • xtar cvf xfilename.tar filename.pdf
  • tar cvf tfilename.tar filename.pdf

Use xtar to extract the contents of the xtar archive to a fresh directory and test to see if this crashes the finder (it should).

  • mkdir x; cd x; xtar xvf ../xfilename.tar; cd ..

Then use tar to extract the contents of the tar archive to a second fresh directory and test this (it should not crash).

  • mkdir t; cd t; tar xvf ../tfilename.tar; cd ..

Then use tar to extract the contents of the file to the first directory and test again.

  • cd x; tar xvf ../tfilename.tar; cd ..

The resource for should remain from the original xtar extraction and should once again crash the finder.

My guess is that even a "cp" into this first directory will crash since I do not believe a "cp" destroys resource forks it finds in the target directory.

  • cp filename.pdf x

Doug Smith notes that here is an easy way to see if resource forks are the cause of the PDF preview crash (or any other problem). The resource fork is a hidden file based on the original filename as follows:

  • original: filename.txt
  • resource fork: ._filename.txt

"Just open a terminal window to the directory with the original file and type:

  • rm ._filename.txt

"And the resource fork is gone! I do this all the time when copying mp3 files to an RCA Lyra mp3 player. The player chokes on resource forks so I manually remove them as described above. To remove all the resource forks in a directory use:

  • rm ._*

"But be careful to not to make a space before the * or all the files in the directory will be deleted. The is necessary to prevent removal of all files whose second character is _ ."

D-Link 624 router DHCP problem, fixes

A handful of readers have reported a problem witht the Mac OS X 10.3.3 upgrade and D-link DI 624 router where the device loses DHCP connection and refuses to renew.

Irwin Walot reports that a fix has been posted to D-Link's site: "E-mailed customer support at D-link several times. Gist of reply after several queries was that router must be bad, call and get RMA. Called customer support and was shuttled to several techs, who did not have a fix for my DHCP problem. Checked the D-link support site a final time before giving up and there was a new firmware update-2.41 "fixes DHCP bug" that was just posted. The firmware upgrade fixed the problem. They should probably tell their support staff."

You can obtain the firmware update by visiting D-Link's technical support site, and choosing the DI 624 router from the pull-down menu.

Miscellaneous Improvements

According to Apple, key improvements in the consumer version of Mac OS X 10.3.3 include:

  • network volumes are now available in the Finder sidebar and Desktop for convenient access
  • improved file sharing and directory services for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks
  • improved PostScript and USB printing
  • updated Disk Utility, DVD Player, Image Capture, Mail and Safari applications
  • additional support for FireWire and USB devices
  • improved compatibility for third party applications
  • previous standalone security updates and Bluetooth Update 1.5

A Knowledge Base article (#25711) details further enhancements.

Key improvements for the Mac OS X Server 10.3.3 include:

"improved reliability of AFP, SMB/CIFS and NFS file services enhanced Server Admin, Workgroup Manager and Network Image Utility applications improved Open Directory authentication performance, Active Directory integration and Kerberos support updated QuickTime streaming and broadcast services for compatibility with 3G phones added support for background rebuilding of RAID mirrors, and network VLAN tagging updated to Samba version 3.0.2 and MySQL version 4.0.18 improved PostScript and USB printing additional support for FireWire and USB devices improved compatibility for third party applications and devices previous standalone security updates "

Performance boosts Several readers have remarked on the overall speed gain apparent in Mac OS X 10.3.3, with some specific third party apps shedding their previous sluggishness:

Paul S. Randall writes "Mail and Safari launch immediately. Microsoft Excel launches immediately, even with huge spreadsheets (2MB). The best thing with Excel is password protected documents. In 10.3.2 I'd have a very long delay with password entry, no longer."

Duplex networking Apple says that Mac OS X 10.3.3 fixes issues, such as a lost network connection, that could occur when connecting to a network device that forces the network speed and/or duplex setting noted in mid-February here on MacFixIt.

New devices supported Mark Rougeux reports that Mac OS X 10.3.3 adds support for his HP 5MP attached to a dual 2 GHz G5 via a USB-Parallel cable.

AppleOnboardAudio.kext and G5s We previously reported significant issues with optical audio on some Power Mac G5s that have been upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3.2. General symptoms include the volume control, input menu and airport icons disappearing from the menu bar, and very slow operation. The culprit in this issue was the extension AppleOnboardAudio.kext in Mac OS X 10.3.2, Replacing the version of this file included with Mac OS X 10.3.2 with the version included with Mac OS X 10.3.1 (or 10.3.0) seemed to resolve the problems on a number of systems.

It seems that this issue has been fixed in Mac OS X 10.3.3. Tony Aguila writes "The problem with AppleOnboardAudio.kext and the G5 has been fixed. It did not indicate so anywhere, and I was afraid I was going to have to go in and replace that file again after the update. But, the stalling problem is gone. Everything else seems fine... so far."

Full screen app improvement MacFixIt reader Alan reports a significant improvement in the way his PowerBook handles full-screen applications after the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update:

"Good news to report. After installing 10.3.3 my titanium power book now functions normally on full screen apps such as games and the itunes visualizer. Finally cured. Before this all full screen apps played sound but the screen went black."

Server connection consistency improved A TidBITS article notes that Mac OS X 10.3.3 resolves some of the inconsistencies between the "Connect to Server" and "Network Browse" options outlined in Apple Knowledge Base article #107804 (which may now need to be updated).

"Mounting a server via Network browsing is now practically identical to mounting one though the Connect to Server dialog. A Network browser-mounted volume appears on the Desktop and in the sidebar of Finder windows; it is listed in the hidden /Volumes directory (use Go to Folder in the Finder's Go menu to see it); you can store the password necessary to mount it in your Keychain; and you can dismount it by dragging it to the Eject icon in the Dock, Control-clicking it and choosing Eject, or clicking its Eject button in the sidebar. Along with those improvements, you can now see Samba (Windows-style) workgroups in the Network browser."

We previously noted a difference in speed between Connect to Server and Network Browse server connections, though we have not yet been able to determine if the margin has closed in Mac OS X 10.3.3.

"Fix" for Finder authentication issue We previously covered an issue with Mac OS X 10.3 where authenticating in the Finder -- providing an admin-level username and password in order to be allowed to move or delete a restricted file -- would give you a five-minute "window" of authentication, during which you could perform any restricted action (intentionally or not) without even seeing a warning dialog. We also noted that simply logging in to an admin-level account in OS X 10.3 provides you with the same five-minute authentication window. This behavior was both a security risk and, given how easy it is to accidentally delete the wrong folder or file in OS X, a data risk.

The Mac OS X 10.3.3 Update fixes this issue by "requiring an administrator to authenticate for each Finder action that needs authentication." In other words, there's no longer any "authentication window" at all. Although this new behavior may be a bit of an inconvenience for some users, we think it's definitely a safer and more secure approach.

Monday waking problems apparently fixed We previously reported on a problem where some Macs refuse to automatically wake up on Mondays as specified in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences. It appears that Mac OS X 10.3.3 resolves this issue. One reader writes:

"My G5 refused to auto wake on Mondays. (can you blame it?) After 10.3.3 it's rise and shine..."

Iomega Zip Drive Issues

Bill Zinn writes "Since upgrading to 10.3.3 my Zip has gone crazy. Is sound like it is accessing the disk in short bursts. It takes forever to read or write anything and often I can not get it to do either. Often I can not ever get the icon on the screen, just the spinning ball. Thinking there was something wrong with the zip itself, I bought a replacement, but the new one is doing exactly the same thing. The zip worked fine prior to the upgrade to 10.3.3."

Eric Shapiro found an odd process of booting into Mac OS 9 then back into Mac OS X allowed access to his externally powered Zip 250 driver: "Since my upgrade to Mac OS X 10.3.3, my USB powered Zip 250 drive refuses to mount at boot-up. If I re-boot into os 9.2, the drive mounts normally on the desktop. Then, a reboot in 10.3.3 and presto, there's the zip drive.

"After shutting down, if I start up again in 10.3.3, the drive is gone again. The access light blinks, and the drive spins up, but the disk doesn't mount on the 10.3.3 desktop. I have to go through the re-boot into 9.2 each time, in order to see the drive.

Another reader confirms the exact same behavior:

"After upgrading to 10.3.3 the zip icon vanished from the desktop. I couldn't eject since it didn't show anywhere. The profiler did indicate it's existence but couldn't find a way to remove the disk. After re-applying the upgrade and running disk utility, permissions and fsck the condition persisted. Since I had a copy of OS 9 in another partition I booted into it and the Zip icon appeared on the desktop. I quickly removed the disk and rebooted into OS 10.3.3. After the desktop was ready I chanced inserting a zip disk and lo-and-behold it appears on the screen showing no ill effects in it's contents. I have since discovered, however, that if I don't eject the zip before re-starting it will again fail to appear on the desktop requiring another trip to the OS 9 system."

Thomas Greer found that he had to eject media during a certain point in the Zip spin-up process for proper mounting "My zip drive also is failing to mount. It will mount briefly at startup or on wake up. The lights flash it spins the disk and then everything stops and the icon disappears. There is no access to the drive at this point. I've found that you must eject the disk during the period when the light is flashing during boot up. Or, unplugging the drive and ejecting the disk when you first plug it back in. When you reinsert the disc, the drive mounts normally. this happened after the install of 10.3.3. The easiest way to get the drive to work is to eject the disc when you are done with it, making sure its out when you boot up or awake from sleep."

John Sawyer reports that (oddly) placing his drive horizontally resolved problems with mounting "After upgrading to 10.3.3, my USB zip drive was unable read any disk inserted requiring a manual ejection. I could hear the drive making a repetitious sound as it continually tried to access the disk. I wondered if the drive was being affected because it was in a stand sitting vertically. After removing the stand so that the drive is sitting horizontally, I've had no trouble reading or writing to disks."

By far the most widely successful solution, however, is removing all IomegaWare files from your Mac OS X 10.3.3.

Bill Zinn writs "I had to delete the Iomegaware files using the uninstall option in the Iomegaware download. I can now read and write to USB Zip disks just like before upgrading to 10.3.3 However, none of the disks that I had previously written to, using 10.3.3, would work properly. I could mount them and read them, but couldn't write to them. After saving all of the data on the disks, I tried erasing/reformatting them. I was able to make a few usable, but thus far I have three that I can not repair."

Meanwhile, we've received word from Iomega's customer support department that updated drives for Panther are on the way. Mason, a support representative writes "I would like to inform you that Iomega has not stopped supporting Iomega Zip Drives on Mac 10.3 System. Iomega is working for developing IomegaWare software that will be compatible on Mac 10.3 System. I can not assure you about the exact time frame, when the software will be released, however, I will suggest you keep checking Iomega web site for the next release IomegaWare software."

Several readers note that manually ejecting then re-inserting a zip disk often allows it to properly mount where it otherwise would not.

Jim Eaton writes "I have a Pismo with an expansion bay zip drive (VST Zip 250). I've noticed that if I log out with a disk left in the drive and then log back in, the disk often fails to mount. If I manually extract it and then re-insert it, usually it will mount fine."

Sleep problems

Trevor Harley found that unchecking "Wake for ethernet network administrator access" in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences resolved a deep sleep issue that appeared with Mac OS X 10.3.3.

"I have had a lot of problems with sleep ever since installing the last security update - problems not resolved by 10.3.3. Essentially it is now virtually impossible to get my Macs to go to sleep - either automatically or from the menu (the machine sleeps, and awakes within a couple of seconds).

"However, I seem to have discovered a fix - for me at least. Unchecking 'Wake for ethernet network administrator access' under options in the energy saver control panel appears to have solved the problem."

Finder folder deletion quirk

John Duncan discovered a quirk in the Mac OS X 10.3.3 Finder that we have duplicated in-house. Here is how to recreate it:

Go to any folder that you have authority to create files in and do a Cmd-Shift-N to create a new folder. The folder is created and the text area of the name "untitled folder" is selected. Immediately type Cmd-Delete to trash the new folder (do not click with the mouse).

Repeat the process, creating a new folder and attempting to delete it in the same fashion. During the second Cmd-Delete you will get the error:

'The name "untitled folder" is already taken. Please choose a different name.'

Strangely, the folder is still moved to the trash, so this appears to be a primarily cosmetic bug

MacFixIt reader Gerrit DeWitt offers a few more observations on the issue:

1. The folder deletion quirk does not occur if the new folder is created on the desktop. Pressing command-delete will result in the name changing briefly (to something like "untitled folder 2") before the folder disappears into the trash.

2. The folder deletion quirk is not specific to the name "untitled folder." Create a new folder (other than on the desktop) and name it "funny"; press command-delete to send it to the trash. Now repeat the process and the Finder displays the dialog that the folder's name is already taken. (The second and subsequent folders of the same names are still moved to the trash, but their names are returned to "untitled folder N," where N is an integer greater than one.)

AFP, Windows share connection issues; fixes

Some users are experiencing problems connecting to other Macs via AFP (Apple filesharing protocol) under Mac OS X 10.3.3. It now appears that for some users, the networking links have simply become invalid. Re-establishing the links after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.3 is solving the problem.

MacFixIt reader Daniel writes "I did find after an hour or so of investigating that the links that I've created to other computers under 10.3.2 and before were no longer valid. Whenever I attempted a connection through an 'old' link the system would beach ball on me.

"My solution was to delete all 'old' links to drives, folders and files and replace them with new ones. Problem solved for me."

Connecting to Windows shares - fix Several users have been receiving the message "The Alias YOURSERVER could not be opened because the original item cannot be found" when trying to connect from a Mac running running Mac OS X 10.3.3 to Windows systems via the Finder.

MacFixIt reader Peter Monahan has found what appears to be a fix:

"Your Windows XP or Windows 2000 Computer must have at least One Shared Folder. Sharing only the Drive is not adequate in 10.3.3 If you do not have a shared folder (directory) then you will receive the "original item cannot be found" error when you attempt to connect from a Mac.
  • Create a shared folder and double-check the Windows security privileges.
  • If you want to share an entire Drive on a Windows XP or 2000 Computer, the share name must be Eight Characters or less (i.e. C_PETER or C_DRIVE) or you will not be able to view it or select it from the Finder drop down menu.

"In some cases you may need to delete the Windows Share and then establish a new share if you connect but can't see the contents of a drive. Once done and if you still have connectivity problems, either Restart the MAC, or delete the cached information by using the finder and selecting GO>>FOLDER and then type /var and hit enter. Then look in the "automount" folder and delete the folder called "network".

"Aliases now work as a result. Username and Password are now stored in Keychain. We can connect from finder in 10.3.3 to Windows Computers (as long as there is at least one shared folder). We can select aliases to load at start-up under System Preferences>>Accounts."

iPod not showing up in iTunes, fix

Stephen Northcott reports a problem with his iPod not being visible to iTunes after the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update, for which we are seeking confirmation. "Since updating to Mac OS X 10.3.3 my iPod will mount correctly and be useable as a Firewire drive but will not be seen by iTunes.

"Plug the ipod in and iTunes starts automatically as usual. Indeed it launches iTunes each time I restart the machine with an iPod connected. But the iPod will not appear in iTunes."

MacFixIt reader Glyn suggests a twelve step process that resolved the situation in his case:

  • Download Cocktail and set invisible items ( found under interface->finder tabs within Cocktail) to be visible
  • Navigate to the top level of the iPod.
  • Copy the contents of the iPod_Control folder to your local desktop
  • Trash the iPodPrefs and the contents of the iTunes folder but not the folder itself. Also I think I may have trashed the device/preferences file but I am not sure
  • Trash the contents of the Music folder which should be already be copied to your local drive.
  • Unmount and unplug the iPod
  • Reset the iPod by Toggling the Hold switch on and off. (Set it to Hold, then turn it off again.), Press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons until the Apple/iPod logo appears. as per Apple Knowledge Base article #61705)
  • Mount the iPod on the desktop.
  • Startup iTunes. The iPod should appear now
  • copy the individual folder contents of the Music folder you copied earlier onto your iPod.
  • The music is back and you can start iTuning again
  • Do not forget to reset the finder with invisible items turned off using Cocktail.

GoLive 6.0.1 required for Mac OS X 10.3.3

Some users are reporting that an update to Adobe GoLive 6.0.1 is required for use with Mac OS X 10.3.3. Cliff Mould writes:

"After updating to 10.3.3, Adobe GoLive 6.0 started crashing - mainly when changing a window - source view to layout view, or into a javascript window. I then updated GoLive to 6.0.1 and the problem so far appear to have been fixed."

More on Dock problems Yesterday we reported problems with some Dock icons losing their link to their original application. We've since received reports of a additional Dock irregularities since updating to Mac OS X 10.3.3:

Stephen Zilber writes "On restart or login, all dock icons of files/folders residing on an external firewire drive come up as grey question marks (those on the internal drive are fine). Simply right clicking on the question icons (without selecting "show in finder") brings them back to normal. In addition, icons for Mail, iChat AV, and Address book keep being added to the dock - even though I do not use any of them."

Evans Glausier adds "I too have experienced problems with gray question mark since installation of 10.3.3. I experience the problem with Quicken 2004 and Splash ID. It seems to occur every 2-3 days after I delete the old icon and reinstall a new icon into the dock."

Vanishing partitions, mounting problems

A number of readers have experienced problems mounting various drives, as well as a problem with vanishing partitions - particularly with ACARD SCSI adapters. One reader writes:

"As some people with ACARD made SCSI raid have reported, I have vanishing partitions. When I rebooted after Software Update upgraded the system, everything seemed fine. The next day when I logged out of one user profile and in to another, the second partition on my Maxtor drive vanished. After a reboot the drive had returned. Subsequent reboots had about a 2 in 3 chance that the partition would just not be there. It was a HFS+ Journaled drive, formatted with Disk Utility at the time I clean installed Panther. Rebooting in MacOS 9 showed no problems what-so-ever. Diskwarrior found no problems, Norton found no problems."


Some users have reported that removing the files:

  • Avid_SCSI_RBC.kext and
  • Avid_SCSI.kext

from the Library/Extensions folder, then restarting allowed proper mounting.

Others have reported that using Prosoft's Data Rescue allowed successful FireWire drive mounting.

No mounting: USB flash drives and other volumesOddly, 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 fan speed

Several users have reported issues with excessive fan noise after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update, namely constant running of the fan even during inactive, apparently low-heat periods.

MacFixIt reader Koyo Yuki was able to resume "normal" fan operation by resetting his PowerBook's PRAM:

"My PowerBook G4 (Titanium/667MHz) had the excessive fan activity at full speed after updating to 10.3.3, which is involved with excessive heat on the PowerBook. The problem was completely resolved by resetting PRAM in my case, though I can't tell if the heat (processor) and fan control is improved yet."

Resetting PRAM can be accomplished by shutting down the computer, turning it back on and immediately pressing the Command-Option-P-R keys as described in Knowledge Base article #2238

Also, 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.

He later wrote:

"I've written the author twice, and posted to every Mac board I can find, but no update, or comparable fix, has been made. So, I've done a clean install and am back to 10.3.1 as 10.3.3 made my Rev.A 12" PB's fans so loud that I was unable to watch DVD's, etc., without headphones, or my Sound Sticks plugged in.

"Zapping the PRAM did not fix the problem, only delayed it for a short period after restart, then the fan kicks in full blast and stays that way."

Promise RAID problems; solution

MacFixIt reader Bryan Schappel reports that upgrading firmware is all that is required for a number of users experiencing problems with their Promise RAID systems after the 10.3.3 update. "I have a solution for those having problems with their Promise RAID subsystems and the 10.3.3 update. All that is required is to update the firmware on the Promise controller. I have many Promise systems including the RM4000, RM8000 and the SX8000. All three use the same internal RAID controller and firmware.

"Here is the URL to download the firmware:

"To perform the update one will need a DOS boot floppy and a PC with a free COM port. The update takes only a couple of minutes and will not damage the data or array. I have upgraded all of my systems with a 100% success rate.

Sony Memory Stick Reader conflict

MacFixit reader Bob Kinsman reports a problem with the Sony Memory Stick reader, and notes a discovered conflict:

"The Memory Stick will not mount on the desktop if a folder called 'RetroRun' is in the Library/Startup Items folder. If you trash the 'RetroRun' folder (or just move it to the desktop) and restart, the Memory Stick Reader works again. However, 'RetroRun' is a folder created by the Retrospect backup program. If the folder is missing when Retrospect starts up, it will create a new 'RetroRun' folder in the location mentioned earlier. At least with this workaround, I am able to get my digital photos into iPhoto again. I have no idea if Sony (Memory Stick Reader) or Dantz (Retrospect) are aware of the issue."

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; 6.0.193 fixes

On some systems, Retrospect 6.0 can no longer auto-load tapes under Mac OS X 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.

Retrospect 6.0.193 fixes this issue.

DVD Player issues with external drives; fix

Reports indicate that under 10.3.3, DVD Player no longer recognizes 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."

Knowledge Base article #14449 describes the PMU reset process.

Reminders: Don't move Apple-installed applications and utilities; etc.

We've made this recommendation before on MacFixIt, but based on reports that we've received, we want emphasize it again: Before installing a Mac OS X Update, make sure all Apple-installed applications and utilities are in their original locations. Moving one of these applications to a different location on your hard drive can lead to an incomplete update. For example, yesterday we quoted reader Richard Outerbridge:

"After previously installing Bluetooth 1.5 I'd moved the three utilities Bluetooth File Exchange, Bluetooth Serial Utility and Bluetooth Setup Assistant into a sub-folder within my Utilities folder (i.e. /Applications/Utilities/Bluetooth). When I ran the 10.3.3 update (both from Software Update and the full stand-alone installer) it helpfully recreated them in the Utilities folder. But the applications that get installed are incomplete - they are missing panels, gifs, buttons, all sorts of things - but especially their custom icons."

Several other readers has reported similar issues. Unfortunately, this is normal behavior for a Mac OS X Update installation, which does not always "intelligently" update every application. Rather, sometimes the installer runs a script that simply places updated files in specific locations -- if those locations don't "exist," the installer creates them, leaving you with folders that only contain updated files, while your original (moved) applications remain untouched.

Reminder: Check drives before installing Another bit of advice we find ourselves repeating whenever Apple releases a major system update is to make sure your drive is in good shape before installing the update -- installing a system update onto a disk that has problems is asking for trouble, and a good many of the reports we receive at MacFixIt after each system update are clearly related to drive and permissions problems.

First run Disk Utility's Repair Disk function when booted from the OS X Install disc or another volume. Then run the Repair Disk Permissions function while booted from the drive being repaired. (If you want to be extra careful, run a utility such as DiskWarrior, as well.) Taking these steps will help to ensure that your drive is in good condition. Then install the update and, for good measure, run Repair Disk Permissions again afterwards. (Although update installations in Mac OS X 10.3 seem to be much less likely to screw up system-level file permissions than in OS X 10.2, we've still seen it happen, and it can't hurt to make sure permissions are correct. The only exception would be if you're an advanced user who needs certain system-level files to have special permissions; if so, you would most likely know how to reset those permissions.)

Printer problems

Don Kindopp provides one of the first printer issue reports we've received since the release of Mac OS X 10.3.3: "Since upgrading an iMac to 10.3.3, I could install an Epson 740 printer, but could not get it to print. The Epson Printer Utility did not see the installed printer. This also happened to an new eMac that went through the update process. The Epson 740 printer would not install. Tried the 10.3.3 combo update and still cannot print to the Epson 740."

First, it should be noted that some Epson drivers are located on the third CD of the Mac OS X 10.3.x (Panther) installation set.

Knowledge Base article #25588 notes Epson drivers located on the second and third Panther installation discs (in /Packages/EpsonPrinterDrivers1.pkg and /Packages/EpsonPrinterDrivers2.pkg respectively).

John Stagaman notes that selecting specific drivers from the various offerings allowed proper printer operation "My sister-in-law had the same problem and Apple support was able to fix it (I couldn't after trying several approaches). In this particular instance, we could print neither when directly connected with USB nor through an Airport connection.

"There are apparently multiple Epson 740 drivers in 10.3--when selected using Rendezvous the incorrect driver was selected. When Apple helped, they had us manually select the USB drivers, then select the corresponding Epson 740 driver. It resolved the problem. It struck me as weird, but it worked."

Glenn Heilemann's case, all that was required to resolve this issue as a simple unplugging then re-connecting his printer:

"I had the problem with the Epson 740 printer not showing up in 10.3. The fix for me, after running permission repair, was to unplug the printer and plug it back in. All was fine after a simple work around such as as this."

Printing through a networked Mac OS X 10.3.3 system MacFixIt reader Eric reports a problem printing from a system running Mac OS 9.2.2 through a Mac OS X-connected shared printer since updating to Mac OS X 10.3.3.

"Have a G5 dual 2g 512m running 10.3.3. My printer problem has to do with my other older Mac's running 9.2. I originally set the computers up using help topic "Printing to a Mac OS X shared printer from Mac OS 9 via LDP/LPR". This had been working great since 10.3.2. Now the OS9 computers can verify the printer but when attempting to print I get a dialog screen stating the printer on the G5 is unavailable. I can print from the G5 with er