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Security Update 2004-05-03 experiences

Security Update 2004-05-03 experiences

We've received relatively few reports of problems with the recently released Security Update 2004-05-03. A number of the reports we have received noted that after one or two restarts the problems went away, suggesting that if you've been experiencing minor issues after installing the Update, restarting your Mac once or twice may "fix" those issues.

However, we have received a few emails containing descriptions of more serious problems. MacFixIt reader Bob Frander writes:

"After applying Apple's latest security update last night, my eMac does not [automatically] recognize my Base Station and when I try to join using Other, I get a message that I entered the wrong password for my base station. The password is correct but is not recognized."

Another reader notes problems connecting to mail servers:

"After installing yesterday's security patch from Apple for OS X 10.3.3, I have not been able to connect to my SMTP servers. I need to use webmail. I'm having problems with two SMTP servers, so it's not just that my SMTP server is down. My network is otherwise working fine. The problem exists from Entourage and, so it seems to be system related. I've rebooted to no avail."

Reader "Elizabeth" reports problems with a number of applications post-update:

"I am running OS 10.2.8 on a flat-screen iMac. I have repeatedly restarted and repaired permissions since making the Security Update installation. I am having problems with 3 apps that I know of:
1. Mail: When I hit Compose and then try to fill in an address in the "To" window, the app crashes. On the other hand, the window for this email, which was pre-addressed by [the link on] MacFixIt, seems to be OK. I have restarted, repaired permissions, and moved the Mail folder to the desktop as well as the files and MessageSorting.plist. I still can't address an email in the Compose window without crashing the app.
2. I can no longer launch Graphic Converter 5.0.1.
3. I had problems with Safari, which fixed by deleting ~/Library/Preferences/"

Several readers have reported issues with kernel panics and other crashes since installing the update. For example, Larry Fliegelman writes:

"Since installing the latest security update via Software Update, I have had several problems. I had a kernel panic, the finder crashed and would not restart. I have restarted my computer five times in the last day (usually only once per week.)"

Larry notes that he's repaired privileges, cleaned cache files, and even run OS X's maintenance scripts, to no avail.

In terms of Mac OS X Server, Alan Sill reports an issue since installing the update on computers running OS X Server:

"After installing the latest round of security updates [on Mac OS X Server], I can no longer run the imap database repair command described on the Mail Services Administration document [Running the command produces the error] 'reconstruct: must run as the Cyrus user' and I can no longer 'su cyrus' before running this command, as before, because the cyrus user does not appear to exist any longer in the list of local accounts! This is the case on all three of our OS X Server installations, which have all unfortunately received the update."

Given that we've received so few reports of problems with the Update, and that the reports we have received are so varied and, apparently, isolated, we suspect that the likely causes of most of these issues were existing system or application issues. However, if you've experienced issues similar to those described above, please drop us an email at

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