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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3: Network

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3: Network

Network browsing issues We've previously covered numerous issues (and user complaints) about Panther's new "Network browsing" functionality, ranging from inconsistencies in how volumes appear in the Finder to problems "ejecting" mounted volumes. MacFixIt reader Michael Wilking has posted an informative summary of his own complaints about network mounts in Panther. (Although Michael's page focuses on Windows/SMB browsing, note that many of the issues presented also affect File Sharing/AFP browsing, as well.)

Hard drive "ticking" Matt Neuberg reports an interesting "hard drive" issue that led him to discover what appears to be the root cause, which is OS-related:

"Does your hard drive "tick" once a second? Mine started to, and I couldn't track it down. Using Google and, I could see that I wasn't the only person who had ever suffered this. But I didn't see a solution anywhere; no one seemed to have tracked the problem down reliably.

"Using fs_usage I discovered that the system's windowserver process was responsible. And it was soon clear what it was doing: it was writing an error message once every second, to /var/log/windowserver.log. The error message said:
kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGXGetWindowLevel: Invalid window 0
Windowserver was writing this line over and over and over, thrashing the hard drive, making the ticking noise as the line was written into the log. So now I wanted to know what window was causing the complaint. I experimented for days, shutting down various applications to see if that solved it, and twice I thought I had it nailed down to a particular application, but after a while the problem always reappeared in the absence of that application. At one point things got really bad - the whole interface froze up, I had to do a hard reboot, I couldn't boot past the login window - it was a sordid tale. When I got things going again, the ticking was still there, nagging me.

"Then I decided to use Science. I whipped out QuartzDebug and asked it to show me window 0. It was the Desktop - the entire area of my screen behind everything else. So on a wild hunch, I moved every icon off my desktop (there were dozens of them) into a folder elsewhere. And instantly, the ticking noise stopped. And it hasn't come back. So, I have a theory that the Desktop is dangerous.

"It could be a coincidence, but just yesterday a friend had phoned in some alarm saying that she had just moved an icon on her desktop and the screen went dark, and when it came back, everything on the desktop was gone (but nothing else was missing). I didn't have a solution, and I still don't, but putting together the two stories, hers and mine, you start to wonder about the "magic" by which this curious pseudo-window that we call the Desktop is made to appear behind everything else. Maybe the magic isn't working so well."

IPv6/Ethernet issues MacFixIt reader Totte Alm reports an issue with Panther, IPv6, and GigaBit Ethernet cards:

"Several people have reported that when upgrading to Panther, the network connection keeps failing. This happened to us too, and after looking around the net for solutions, we only found the usual wild speculations and stuff, so one colleague of mine dug deeper and found that it seems to be a problem with IP v6 on older GBit ethernet cards. So if you turn off IP v6 in the network settings, the problem goes away."

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