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Mac OS X 10.5.x Special Report: Incompatible software and hardware

Mac OS X 10.5.x Special Report: Incompatible software and hardware

There are a number of third-party software and hardware products that are incompatible with Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard). Incompatibility can mean many different things. It can mean:

  • a product loses some level of functionality
  • a product loses functionality completely
  • a product causes other system issues, including conflicts with other applications, in inability to login/startup or something else

Many incompatible third-party system software add-ons (especially those that reside in /System/Library or /Library) can cause significant issues such as an inability to finish the boot process or blockage of general system services. Incompatible third-party hardware devices can cause similar issues, as they often interact with kernel extensions (located in /System/Library/Extensions).

The surefire way to avoid these issues from the get-go is to follow our recommendation (1, 2) to use an Archive and Install or Erase and Install process when installing Leopard. Most potentially offending items will be eliminated, and you can add them back as you see fit. This not only allows you to have a problem-free experience directly post-update, but also helps in isolating the issue (if you add third-party components back one by one).

The bottom-line: Add old third-party utilities slowly and carefully; test each one as you go. Do not expect them to work out of the gate.

As for third-party applications, most actively developed programs that are not-yet Leopard-compatible will see updates in the coming days and weeks. Though most developers had access to pre-release builds of the OS, new builds often broke previous compatibility work, meaning developers had to start over. Now that the final code has been available for several days, stable, Leopard-compatible apps should start popping up rapidly. Check VersionTracker for the latest releases.

Here's a partial list of the software and hardware we've identified as currently incompatible, on some level, with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard):

SuperDuper This indispensable application for performing full clone backups of Mac OS X volumes is not yet Leopard compatible, but will be soon. The developer says:

"SuperDuper! 2.1.4 is not yet fully Leopard compatible. But it won't be long. We've been hard at work on a Leopard-compatible version, but since we don't have the final release of Leopard, we've been unable to complete our testing. (The engineering itself has been done for some time.) We don't think it's responsible to release something like SuperDuper! without thoroughly testing on the final Leopard "bits" (especially considering the changes Apple has made). When we do get the "real" Leopard (at the same time you do), we'll complete our tests and get that new version out to you, free."

Cocktail Cocktail, like many other utilities that tinker with the innards of Mac OS X or perform maintenance routines, is currently incompatible with Leopard. The developer says:

"Cocktail is currently not compatible with Leopard and should not be run on Mac OS X 10.5. Cocktail 4.0 (Leopard Edition) will be released later this year."

SideTrack This is an example of a system add-on that can cause serious issues -- in this case, an inability to use the keyboard -- after the Leopard upgrade, which could have been avoided by using an Archive and Install procedure.

The developer says:

"At present SideTrack is incompatible with Leopard. Your built-in keyboard will be disabled (external USB keyboards will operate normally)."

"Due to the severity of the incompatibility you should not install SideTrack on Leopard. If you have an existing installation of SideTrack you should uninstall SideTrack prior to upgrading to Leopard or perform an 'archive install' of Leopard."

Photoshop 7.0 We've received several reports indicating that this 3-generation old product won't run under Leopard.

AlchemyTV DVR Mel Beckman writes:

"After installing Leopard (clean, with no user migration) I reinstalled Miglia's AlchemyTV DVR 2.5.1 and rebooted. Running the AlchemyTV app immediately wedges the system with an "unimplemented trap" error. No information about Leopard appears on Miglia's site. Does anybody have news about an update?"

Onyx Like Cocktail, this maintenance/system fiddling tool no longer works under Mac OS X 10.5.

Palm Desktop This program still runs under Leopard, but has some minor issues. A reader writes:

"Have a look at the fonts on the dates of the attached screenshot of a Palm Desktop calendar and the numbers and date on the contact. When you first open a contact or calendar, the date looks OK, but if you use the arrows to move ahead or back a month, or forward or back through the contacts, the dates and other numbers get scrambled. It looks like the new numbers or dates appear, but the old (previous) date/number is still there also. If you go through several contacts, the date and contact number will become a black bar as the different characters fill in the spaces between characters. I have verified this on my G5 iMac with an 'update' Leopard install"

McAfee Virus Scan Rick Robinson writes: "McAfee Virus Scan for Mac 8.5 does not appear to work with Mac OS 10.5."

Now Up-to-date, Daylite One reader writs:

"Well I thought my install was going so good, That is until I realized that Now up to Date cannot find its public event server. I have reinstalled and tried all I know, but I think its going to need an update. The local application works fine, just the server problem so far."

DayLite 3.5.1 also has compatibility issues. A reader writes:

"Upon DayLite launch it allows login to the database however, the splash screen at startup remains stuck on the desktop while the loading bar states 'Reading Defaults Values...' and this never disappears. The database will load on top of the splash screen and you can access all the menu functions. Syncing the database returns the error "Synchronization Failure DayLite has encountered a fatal error during sync and must close. When launching Apple's Mail. It detect the DayLite Mail Plugin as being incompatible and removes the plug in from mail."

Retrospect EMC Retrospect 6.1 runs under Leopard, but there are some minor issues:

Time Machine: Attempts to backup a Time Machine volume with Retrospect will result in the backup stopping during the scanning phase. The Retrospect error log will report "duplicate DirId" errors for Time Machine volume. Your Time Machine volume should be excluded from all backup scripts.

Live Restore of 10.5 system volume not supported: When performing a Restore Entire Disk operation to a Leopard startup volume, you must startup the computer and run Retrospect from an alternate startup drive.

The developer says:

"Retrospect 6.1 users will be able to download a free update which will provide full compatibility with Leopard. This update should be available for download within 30 days of the Leopard release date."

One finger snap Yet another issue that could have been avoid with an Archive and Install. Daniel Linhart writes:

"I just upgraded my PowerBook to Leopard and all was fine until a horrible buzzing noise started. I checked everything, booted into single user mode and just couldn't find out what was causing it. After much hair pulling I realized that it was triggered by holding down the button to invoke One Finger Snap. Once OFS was deactivated in Sys Prefs the buzzing disappeared."

Little Snitch 1.6 There's a Little Snitch 2 beta that works with Leopard. Previous editions can cause significant issues -- and this is yet another issue that cold have been obviated with an Archive and Install:

"Friend of mine installed 10.5 on Friday and (against my advice) simply installed over his previous 10.4, without an Archive & Install. After booting into 10.5 all over Internet apps worked except his web browsing: no browser app would load any page at all. He finally realized that he had installed LittleSnitch 1.6 - after removing that and disabling his web browsing worked perfectly."

Norton AntiVirus Symantec, the developer of NAV, says:

"Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Macintosh will not be updated to be compatible with Mac OS X 10.5. However, Symantec will release Norton AntiVirus 11.0 for Macintosh and Norton Internet Security 4.x for Macintosh that would be compatible with MAC OS X 10.5. Also, Norton Confidential 1.x for Macintosh will be compatible with MAC OS X 10.5. Firewall functionality will be included as part of Norton Internet Security 4 for Macintosh."

HP Printers (various models) Users are experiencing various issues with HP printers after the update to Leopard. Some sample reports:

  • "The bare bones HP printer drivers put in place as part of the OS 10.5 install work only intermittently -- with many trips to the preferences print & fax panel to 'un-pause' printers who by default have a communication break down and 'pause' themselves; 'pipe broken' message in the error log file.
  • "The really nice AiO drivers and applications (scan, fax, etc.) that worked flawlessly in 10.4.x don't work at all and in fact are not re-installed by the OS 10.5 HP selection during install. When copied over from a 10.4.10 partition, they stall. The HP installer CD stalls as well; maybe due to a difference in the filing protocol in 10.5?"
  • "After upgrading from Tiger to Leopard, landscape printing doesn't work on my HP LaserJet 1200 connected to a Windows print server. The print orientation hasn't been rotated. Portrait works fine. Prior to the upgrade I could print in both portrait and landscape. The driver version is claimed to be I tried using both LaserJet 1200 drivers that shipped with Leopard, and a generic postscript driver, all with the same result. Printing from a Windows PC to the same printer in portrait or landscape mode worked with no problem."
  • "HP 6MP printer -- have it connected via Ethernet using a AsanteTalk AppleTalk to Ethernet adapter. All connections seem good. All drivers were loaded during the install and are in the appropriate folders Doesn't show in Printer Dialog Box. Can't find in the Fax/Printer Preference panel as well when I try to add. Maybe its the end of the road for this solution for a legacy AppleTalk device or is it a driver issue?"

APC PowerChute This product appears to have compatbility issues with the Finder in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. MacFixIt reader Dave writes:

"APC PowerChute Personal Edition 1.3.3 seems to crash the finder in a endless loop. I installed OS 10.5 fine but couldn't see my desktop and get to the finder. After multiple reboots and relaunching the finder, I had enough time to download the uninstall script from APC's website and everything works fine."

Digidesign Pro Tools A reader writes:

"Digi drivers for Pro Tools LE 6.9.2 will not work with Leopard, Digi rack, and Duel 2.0 G5."

Eudora MacFixIt reader Sam writes:

"Eudora starts up, let's me get and send mail, look at mailboxes, but there are problems. Sometimes a very simple operation, like clicking on a message in a mailbox, will produce an extended session of staring at the spinning beach ball. Fairly frequent crashes occur."

FaxSTF Pro Smith Micro, the developer of FaxSTF, says

"At this time, no version of FAXstf X Pro will work with Leopard. We are working on a version that will be compatible with Leopard but a release date has not yet been announced. Please check our website periodically for any updated information as we drawn near to the release date. Thank you for your interest in Smith Micro Software products."

Flip4Mac (older versions) You need to download the latest version of Flip4Mac,, before activating your Flip4Mac license (for Player Pro and Studio users) under Leopard.

The developer says:

"Trying to activate earlier versions ( for example) of Flip4Mac may result in 'engine not installed' message and will not activate."

Drive Genius MacFixIt reader Parker submitted this report to Porosoft, the developers of Drive Genius:

"Disk Utility on my HD indicated that the HD needed repair (I am running Leopard on a Power Mac G5). I rebooted from the Drive Genius CD, and ran repair, which was successful. When I tried to reboot my Power Mac, it kept rebooting from the CD rather than the HD. I held down 'option' on the next reboot, and only the CD showed (not the HD). I managed to remove the CD, rebooted, and got the dreaded flashing question mark -- it could not find the HD. I rebooted from the Leopard installation CD, ran Disk Utility from there, it found and repaired my HD, and my Power Mac is now running normally. What's the deal with Drive Genius and Leopard? Your FAQs say 'No problem,' but that's obviously not my experience."

iDefrag, iPartition Coriolis Systems says that its disk modification tools are rendered incompatible with Leopard due to a "kernel bug" in the operating system. A message to customers reads:

"To cut a long story short, both the final developer seed (9A559) and the release version of Leopard (9A581) appear to contain a kernel bug that causes the disk to stop responding. The symptoms of this problem are that our programs will stop making any progress with the task they are working on, and under some circumstances may beachball; additionally, the disk being used will no longer work until you restart your machine. This does not seem to happen with all disks on all systems, but it is easily reproduced on some of the machines we have here and does not happen from earlier Leopard developer seeds or from Tiger.

"As a result, we do not recommend running our software from Leopard at this time. The problem has been reported to Apple and we will be working to help them to track it down as swiftly as possible.

"In the meantime, if you wish to use iPartition or iDefrag on a machine with Leopard installed, please use the programs from a bootable CD or DVD created with CDMaker. Such discs are currently based on Tiger rather than Leopard, so the problem mentioned above will not occur. Note also that CDMaker is not presently able to create a bootable disc based on the Leopard install DVD. We have no plans to address this issue until we are certain that running iPartition and iDefrag from Leopard is safe for our customers."

"One final caveat is that we do not, at this time, have the official documentation for the new 'directory hard links' feature that is used by Time Machine. We have done a little investigation ourselves and we have no reason to suppose that the new feature will cause any problems, but until we have seen the official documentation (which, we are assured will be released soon) we recommend caution when manipulating volumes containing Time Machine back-ups."

Toast Titanium Several readers have reported problems burning discs with Toast 7.1.2 under Leopard. Dan writes:

"On my Mac intel mini Toast 7.1.2 will not burn DVD-R discs, errors out with a message 'could not record because of a Mac OS X error' ---- plus this 'Result Code = -13780'"

Richard Stout adds:

"I presume that I'm not the only one who has discovered that Roxio Toast version 7.12 doesn't appear to burn DVDs using Leopard. When attempting to do so, I get error message: Couldn't complete the last command because of a Mac OS Error Result Code = 13780."

We couldn't find any support documentation about this issue on Roxio's Web site.

M-Audio USB MIDI products These hardware peripherals appear to be Leopard-incompaible, A reader writes:

"My keyboard by m-audio is not recognized at all in both garage band and logic. I own a intel iMac. I installed leopard and waited two hours and that was it. The next day when I wanted to lay some tracks down I realized keyboard not responding in logic. So restarted, unpluged USB and restarted and that was the exact error that I recieved. I get bus power ok, but that is all. I went to m-audio site and I noticed that they had stated compatabilty issues with USB/midi products with leopard and that they are working on new driver update."

Mail.appetizer This is a plug-in that, like many other plug-ins for the new versions of Apple applications included with Leopard, is now incompatible. A reader writes:

"I live by Mail.appetizer. Whenever someone in the office emails about free food or beer in the kitchen, I'm always the first one there. Unfortunately Mail.appetizer does not work in Leopard; I thought I'd give GrowlMail (a noble but inadequate substitute) a try, but it doesn't work, either. I believe that GrowlMail is still under active development so we may see a Leopard compatible version eventually, but I fear that we've lost Mail.appetizer forever."

Epson printers Some users are reporting problems with Epson printers, especially on PowerPC-based Macs running Leopard. John writes:

"I print on epson 4800 and 7600 printers. They run all day and night giving me wonderful prints all the time. When OS 10 came out a few years ago we had a problem with the printer drivers to work. Now leopard is here and here we go again. You can,t print on the epson 4800 and 7600 printers. I use 6 macs, G4 1.42 dual processors that feed 4 printers. I spent the last 2 days trying to set up the printers. Thank god that I installed Os 10.5 and a spare drive so that i could switch back to OS10.4.9. Epson has a driver for 10.5 but its only for intel macs, and i understand it is not a full version driver."

Canon CAPT printers The printing framework no longer works under Leopard. One reader writes:

"I have tried re-installing the driver but no go. Error message from the CAPT print monitor: 'fatal: Protocol plug-in parameter error.: 15850' Is there light at the end of this tunnel - or is it tiger that I see?"

CanonScan Lide 90 The CanonScan Lide 90 driver will reportedly not work with Leopard

RadioSHARK This add-on can cuase processor usage to spike. A reader writes:

"After installing Leopard yesterday I noted that both CPU cores are running at about 50% all the time. Using top and Activity Monitor I discovered that the "radioshark server" was running and using up a lot of CPU.

"So I killed that process. The CPU load immediately went to an idle state, with just a few percent load. After removing everything relating to RadioShark, the computer is running beautifully."

StuffIt The StuffIt contextual menu is again causing Finder re-draw issues. The solution is to remove the Stuffit Contextual Menu Item from the /Library/Contextual Menu Items folder and any StuffIt-related items from /Library/Frameworksor uninstall StuffIt altogether.

MacFixIt reader Peter writes:

"This time it's an odd redraw problem. With the contextual menu installed there is a little squares of screen space that don't redraw properly around the location of the arrow. It happens most when the arrow is in it's clock mode... the little spinning clock next to the arrow. It also happens a lot when the arrow is over a window that is scrolling or drawing. The worst is when it's a browser window."

Another reader adds:

"I had the same problems: Clean Install, everything worked fine. After migration of my old system, the only chance to startup was in Safe Mode. The boot problem persists after APE cleaning. Than I trashed the StuffIt 11 frameworks in the Folder Library/Frameworks. Than everything worked fine. Maybe another solution."

To reitirate our advice regarding StuffIt: stuff it.

D-Link AirPlus Extreme This and several other third-party wireless cards with Mac-specific drivers are broken under Leopard.

"I have a 3rd party wireless card, the D-Link AirPlus Xtreme G, DWL-G650. The card is recognied by Leopard on my PowerBook, However, the OWC wireless driver that worked perfectly well under Tiger no longer recognizes the card. OrangeWare told me they have no plans to update the driver. Interestingly, the KisMAC application recognizes the network, but cannot join it, stating there is a problem with my AirPort device."

Texas Instruments: Ti-SmartView V2.0M Incompatible with Leopard.

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