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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x (#18): Inconsistent mounts; trackpad issues; EverQuest; Norton kernel panic

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x (#18): Inconsistent mounts; trackpad issues; EverQuest; Norton kernel panic

Inconsistencies in mounting remote volumes We've received frustrated emails from a number of readers who have found that Panther mounts remote volumes and shares differently depending on how the user connects to those shares. (This phenomenon was briefly mentioned in Ted Landau's mac.column.ted column last week.) If you use the Finder's Connect to Server dialog and enter the IP address or domain name of the shared volume, after authenticating the volume shows up in Finder window sidebars, Open/Save dialog sidebars, and, if enabled in Finder preferences, on the Desktop. It is also mounted at /Volumes, and you can access it from the /Volumes directory.

However, if you connect to a share/volume using the Finder's Network icon or the Browse command in Connect to Server (which really just opens a new Network window in the Finder), after authenticating the share does not appear in the sidebar or on the Desktop. (To access it in Open/Save dialogs, you have to click the Computer icon in the sidebar, then select the Network icon.) Plus the share is not mounted in /Volumes; rather, it is mounted in /var/automount/Network.

This difference in behaviors is confusing, to say the least. However, it's also a security risk (minor to major, depending on your particular usage and environment). When a share/volume appears on the Desktop or in the sidebar (or even in /Volumes), you can select the share/volume and choose File -> Eject sharename (or press command E, or click the eject button in the sidebar, or control-click and select Eject from the contextual menu, or drag the volume icon to the Trash in the Dock) to unmount it. Once unmounted in this manner, to connect again you will have to re-authenticate.

Volumes/shares mounted through the Network icon in the Finder, on the other hand, do not have an "eject" option. The only way to disconnect that we've found is to navigate to the share/volume in the Finder via the Network icon, and then drag the icon for that share/volume to the Trash in the Dock. However, many users forget to do this, since clicking away from the Network directory means the volume/share is no longer visible, and it's thus easy to forget that the volume/share is still mounted. If you've connected to the share with administrative access, this means that anyone who can access your Mac while connected can access the entire volume on which that share resides.

Inconsistencies in mounting options Related to the previous item, reader Thomas Frogh points out that the connection authentication dialogs differ depending on how you connect to shares. If you connect by typing the share's address in Connect to Server, the authentication dialog gives you the option to save your login information to your Keychain. However, if you connect via the Network item in the Finder, this option is not available, thus preventing you from saving your password to the Keychain for future connections.

Trackpad problems Reader Graham Burnette reports a problem (echoed on Apple's Discussions forums) where installing Panther has caused problems with trackpads:

"There are several threads on Mac discussion boards of people that upgraded to Panther, only to lose functionality of the trackpad on their Powerbooks or iBooks. When this happens, the trackpad tab in the keyboard & mouse preference pane also disappears. It happened to me with my 15" Titanium Powerbook, but did not happen on the 17" Powerbook."

EverQuest not working with Panther? On a note related to .Mac benefits, Apple recently had a promotion where .Mac members who renewed their accounts could get either a $20 Apple Store Online credit or a free game. One of the game choices, EverQuest, may have problems running under Panther. Bart Scholten reports:

"As a bonus for extending my .Mac account, I choose the EverQuest software.Unfortunately the software shipped does not work at all in Panther and after a short contact with the developer, I have heard nothing, so it is virtually useless!"

Norton Auto-Protect kernel panic A Symantec support document notes that when Norton AntiVirus' Auto-Protect feature is active under Panther, attempting to enable journaling on a drive in Disk Utility results in a kernel panic. The solution is to deactivate Auto-Protect before you enable journaling. (Afterwards, you can re-activate Auto-Protect.)

Panther problems? Drop us an email at Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

Resources
  • mac.column.ted column
  • support document
  • Late-breakers@macfixit.com
  • More from Late-Breakers