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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x (#15): New icon functionality; Unmounting problem; more

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x (#15): New icon functionality; Unmounting problem; more

New icon functionality MacFixIt reader Colin Gallagher notes that under Panther, pasting an icon to your Home Directory folder (/users/~) now causes the icon to appear in the Dock, individual Finder windows and other areas. Under Jaguar, you could not change the Home Directory icon through pasting:

"After upgrading (archive and install) to panther, I noticed that my home icon had changed from it's usual house to an igloo. After a bit of head scratching, I remembered that last year I had tried in vain to paste a new icon on to my home folder. In Jaguar the home icon was just not changeable this way. Panther however is different - you can paste and icon on to the home folder and it will change the icon in the Finder windows, dock, etc... (after a logout). I was able to paste several different icons on to my home folder and the all 'took." I hadn't seen any mention of this anywhere and thought I'd share it for folks who want to customize their system this way."

Unmounting problem fixed in 10.3.1 for some We previously reported a problem (change?) in Mac OS X 10.3 where unmounting an external FireWire drive requires that an admin user authenticate the action by typing in their username and password. This has become an issue in a number of situations -- one example being non-admin users who connect their own FireWire drive to a computer in order to use files and/or applications stored on the drive. This issue only occurred if the FireWire drive in question was mounted by another user, or was mounted prior to the current user logging in.

Harry Zink and some other readers report that this has been fixed in Mac OS X 10.3.1, though Apple appears to have left evidence of the revision out of its documentation.

John Leadley offers an alternative workaround that is working for some: "I have also been required to enter an admin password to eject my external Firewire drive (a FireFly 5 gig I use to synch home and work computers), even when logged in as a non-admin user and mounting the drive after logging in. However, I just went to the permissions for that drive and unlocked the lock icon next to Owner under Details. It now unmounts without needing permission."

Java 1.4.1 installation problems Several users have reported that installation of the Java 1.4.1 update for Panther fails during installation. This can cause problems because Mac OS X 10.3, in some cases, can think that the update is installed even though it is not, meaning that it will no longer show up in Software Update.

To deal with this issue, you can navigate to your /Library/Receipts folder and find the Java 1.4.1 receipt. Delete it, and run Software Update again.

Some applications not "muti-user aware" Under Panther, some applications behave badly in a multi-user environment. New to Panther is fast-user switching, which brings with it the ability for processes to take place in another user's account while the current user is working. Likewise, certain process seem to take precedence for the first user logged in (or the administrator). MacFixIt reader Tony Schaps offers a case-in-point example showing why this can situation can cause problems:

"I set up a user account on my Powerbook for my fiancee under Jaguar, and have been backing up her Palm Zire with it. I updated to Panther (which I love), and I attempted the other night to Hotsync her for the first time under 10.3-- having both our accounts logged in, I attempted to Hotsync, but although the Palm indicated it was starting to Hotsync, nothing was happening on Angi's screen. I figured out pretty quickly what was happening and switched back to my user, and there was a Hotsync screen asking for her her password. I realized that my administrative account (or perhaps it was the first one logged in) was taking precedence in the attempt to Hotsync. The solution was simple, if a bit of a pain: switch to my account, log out, log in to hers, and Hotsync."

Even Apple's own software seems to have problems in some instances with a multi-user environment. For instance, if you have set the Date and Time pane of System Preferences to announce the time on the hour in one voice under one user's account, and a different voice under another user's account, the time will be announced by both voices in unison when the latter user is logged in.

If you are having other multi-user related problems, please drop us a line at

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