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Mac OS X 10.3.4 #11: iBook mics; audio issues; preference files; new .rc file

Mac OS X 10.3.4 #11: iBook mics; audio issues; preference files; new .rc file

More reports of iBook mic loss; limited to 500Mhz iBook? Following up on our earlier coverage, we continue to receive reports of built-in iBook microphones no longer functioning after installing the 10.3.4 Update. Reader Terell Smith offers a temporary workaround:

"I can confirm that the internal Mic on the iBook 500MHz dual USB is no longer recognized after the 10.3.4 update. This kills iChat voice as well as any other Mic based use.

"Here's a workaround that temporarily fixes the [problem]: Until Apple gets this fixed, [if you restart], hold down the Option key while restarting, then select the OS X icon (it may be the only one) [in Startup Manager], and press the arrow to continue. The mic will be back until the next restart."

Reader Laurence Wieder provides another workaround that's even more inconvenient:

"After applying the latest (10.3.4) update to my 500Mhz Dual USB iBook, its internal microphone is not recognized in the input tab of the Sound preference pane. Running the Combo Updater restores the microphone. But after shutting down, then starting up, the microphone again disappears."

Laurence also provides a link to an Apple Discussions forum thread that appears to indicate that the problem disproportionately (if not exclusively) affects 500MHz iBooks.

More reports of audio problems We continue to receive a good number of reports of audio issues since installing the Update. Most, but not all, of these reports involve Power Mac G5 computers. Reader "Dale" writes:

"I've also been experiencing audio drop outs since upgrading to 10.3.4 on my Dual 2GHz G5 (2 GB RAM). The problem has been intermittent and has taken the form of audio out playing only as mono through the rear audio out jack, rear audio out jack outputting no sound and sound dropping out or developing pops and cracks. All these symptoms are corrected by a restart. At first I thought this was a hardware problem, related to my cabling, but this has been replaced and the problem persists."

Peter Gunn reports that on his G4, the issue only seems to affect the built-in speaker:

"My G4 Dual-500 machine lost audio through the build-in speaker completely after upgrading to 10.3.4. Interestingly, the headphone still works, so I originally thought of a hardware problem, but the plug looks ok and all the pins are properly soldered. Occasionally a crackle is audible, very occasionally the sound is back completely after a cold start. A warmstart always eliminates the sound again."

Even more common are reports of distorted audio. Reader Thomas Bock writes, "Since upgrading to 10.3.4 I've experienced a steady popping sound in all songs that are copied onto the hard drive and played back frrom there." Similarly, Robert Weller reports:

"My G4 cube with iMic has distorted audio since the 10.3.4 upgrade. I tried several different iMics, and did a cold restart, but no change. All sound sources are affected. Audio levels are normal, but all audio is accompanied by a low-level rumbling/white noise. This sound is reminiscent of playing an old LP record."

One of the MacFixIt editorial staff has also experienced distorted (scratchy) sound on a PowerMac G5 since installing the Update.

Corrupt preferences cause of some issues Reader Adrien Youell had been experiencing slow Finder performance and issues with Save dialogs; the cause turned out to be a corrupt preference file:

"I discovered why Finder saving & other Finder processes were as slow as coffee time. The favorites in sidebar were reduplicated more than ten times. Solution? Dump the .plist (~/Library/Preferences/ and restart; plist was rebuilt with brief default list."

10.3.4 replaces /etc/.rc script Reader Kee Hinkley reports that the 10.3.4 Update replaces the .rc script, located in /etc. Although the vast majority of users will be unaffected by this change, those users who have manually edited/changed their .rc file should note that any customizations they made to the .rc script will be lost and will need to be redone.

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