Special Report: Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.5

Special Report: Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.5


Release Notes; Recommended Upgrade Procedure

According to accompanying documentation, key enhancements in the Mac OS X 10.3.5 include:

  • improved support for NTFS formatted volumes
  • improves reliability for user logins and mounting of home directories in a networked environment
  • updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
  • improved Bluetooth compatibility for Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and Bluetooth phones
  • additional FireWire and USB device compatibility
  • improved font management
  • updated Mail and Image Capture applications
  • improved compatibility for third party applications
  • previous standalone security updates

Apple has also specified a Knowledge Base article link for the update:

As usual, we recommend the following procedure when applying a system Update:

  1. Make sure your hard drive is in good shape: Boot from the OS X Install CD and run Disk Utility's Repair Disk function (or use a third-party drive utility such as DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro).
  2. When booted from the volume containing Mac OS X, run Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions function.
  3. Install the update.
  4. After rebooting, again run Repair Disk Permissions.

We've found that using this update procedure avoids many of the common problems reported by readers after each update to OS X.

One MacFixIt reader's experience emphasizes the importance of following our recommended incremental Mac OS X upgrade procedure:

"I updated (to Mac OS X 10.3.5) without repairing disc permissions and I had problems emailing large files on Entourage - the program simply quit. Safari spontaneously quit as well when downloading anything. Word quit when opening existing documents. So on repairing permissions it has sorted itself out. Even so I do still get occasional programs quitting but only very occasionally . So your advice is not spurious its absolutely necessary in my opinion!"

Also, a first line of remediation for a laundry list of problems is to use the Mac OS X 10.3.5 combo updater, rather than the "delta" version.

Problematic Dial-Up connections

There is a fairly widespread issue where dial-up connections are not established on the first attempt, take longer than usual to establish, or drop frequently after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.5.

Common symptoms include a longer-than-usual dialing period, frequently dropped connections, multiple attempts required to obtain a successful connection, and a hanging "disconnect" message that does not stop until the system is restarted.

A few reader reports that are typical of the problem:

  • "After booting the Mac, dial-up connections will work fine for, say 10 to 20 times. Then it will gradually take more and more time to connect (like 50 s instead of my usual 35 s), until it eventually becomes impossible (message "no carrier detected", although my line is OK). Restarting the Mac will temporarily solve the issue, which appears again after a couple of days."
  • "I too am having a very difficult time using my 56k modem in my powerbook after 10.3.5 update. I also get up to around 45 seconds of silence before mode even dials out. However, when I do get online it does usually stay online for the most part. It is very hit and miss."
  • "I have a problem with losing the connection as well as dial up problem. Takes 2 or 3 dial ups, whereas this never happened with Mac OS X 10.3.4"
  • "Not only does the connection time take way longer than usual (I assume initiating handshakes and connection), but I've been dropped several times without warning on my stable ISP. For good measure, I've even tried to connect via AOL as a 'secondary' ISP and receive the same problems. Prior to this update, I could connect for hours and days without a hitch. As a side-note, for some reason, now when I do connect, I get silence and some modem audio and then a connect rather than hearing the full dial-tone-dial-chirps-connect sequence. Audio is latent."

Potential solutions include:

Eliminate hanging disconnect with sleep, script If you find that your Internet Connect status (either in the Internet Connect application or the modem status indicator in the menu-bar) displays a "Connecting" status then a constant "Disconnecting" status, try putting your system to sleep for a few seconds and then waking it back up. This should stop the "Disconnect" process.

Another method for dealing with the hanging disconnect is to use the script available at http://www.shopperturnpike.com/usefulsoftware/endhangingdisconnect.html.

This script repeats the killall command 5 times (with a 5 second delay in between tries).

Disable Norton Firewall A few readers have reported that disabling Norton's Personal Firewall (part of Symantec's Norton Internet Security package) allows problem-free dial-ups under Mac OS X 10.3.5.

Jim Allison writes "I use Norton Personal Firewall. I'm on DSL broadband and my firewall which has worked perfectly until I installed Mac OS X 10.3.5 after which my modem could no longer able to recognize my IP address and was dropping out regularly. I didn't lose my connection to the internet, it was just that my IP adress wasn't being recognized. The only way I could resolve it was to uninstall Norton Personal Firewall and enable the firewall available in Mac OS X."

Cocktail dial-up optimization MacFixIt reader David Oshel reports that using the shareware utility Cocktail's dial-up optimization option (found in Network -> Optimization -> Dialup from the application's main interface window) helps to eliminate some of the above described problems.

Use an external USB modem For some Internet service providers, Apple's internal modem configuration may be the problem. One MacFixIt reader submitted the following description of a specific problem that is rooted in the ISP's choice of connection methods:

"These problems probably have to do with the phone company's installation of 'MUX' (Multi-User-eXchange?) boards along phone lines. This allows them to run more than one customer's data through a single pair of wires. Some modems are more sensitive to this 'MUXing' than others, and unfortunately, recent model Macs are particularly vulnerable in this regard. So, unless you were to use some kind of more robust external USB modem, there is apparently no fix. I can confirm this, as other computers (running Win XP) up and download without disconnection from the same wire/jack, AND the problematic iMac works fine from a different location, i.e. different house in the same town (apparently on a line w/o MUX boxes)."

Several other users have similarly reported that using an external USB modem rather than Apple's internal modem resolves the disconnect issues.

Re-install Mac OS X Though drastic, a full re-installation of Mac OS X 10.3.x from the original CD has proved successful in eliminating dial-up issues for a handful of readers. One user writes "We too had the problem of not having the modem be recognized, in July. We called Apple and after several calls(case number and a special tech) they told us to start all over with Panther--re-install with the CD. This of course wiped out 10.3.4 and 10.3.5, which we then installed as a combo. We then made sure the password and everything else showed correctly. It's been working well ever since unless the ISP is very busy."

Disable all other ports Try creating a new network location (in the "Network" pane of System Preferences), then scroll down to "Network Port Configurations" in the "Show:" menu. Uncheck all network ports except for the dial-up device ("Internal Modem" in most cases).

Change modem definition In the "Show:" menu of "Network" pane, select "Internal Modem." Click on the "Modem" tab, and then select "Apple Internal Modem (v.34)" rather than "Apple Internal Modem (v.92)." Some users have found that using the alternate modem definition allows smoother connectivity.

Remove phones from same line Try systematically removing any phones from the same line on which you are attempting to dial-up, as some users report possible interference. James Roberts writes "However the problem only occurs when certain telephones are plugged into the line - when I take the phone off the line it's fine and when I plug other telephone handsets in, it is also fine."

Change IPv6 settings In the "Show:" menu of "Network" pane, select "Internal Modem." Click on the "TCP/IP" tab and then click "Configure IPv6." Choose "Off" in the resulting pull-down menu.

Missing Sync Kernel panic, fix

More Missing Sync issues: New events not synchronizing Prior to a fix released by the software's creator, Missing Sync caused kernel panics when used with Sony CLIE handhelds under Mac OS X 10.3.5.

Reginald Thuysbaert's report is typical of the problem "I enjoy My newly downloaded missing Sync software but have a problem that might be related to upgrade os OS X to 10.3.5 : all the new events introduced on my Tungsten W are no more synchronized with my iMac 15 SuperDrive. However, the event introduced on my IMac are correctly duplicated on the Palm. [...] This is obviously annoying since I cannot introduce new event on my Palm."

Mark/Space says its engineers have solved the problem.

Eric Ullman Director of Sales and Marketing Mark/Space, told MacFixIt: "A fix for this problem is now available *as a 4.0.1 beta download* to customers using version 4 of The Missing Sync for Palm OS. This beta, which also offers improved Internet Sharing and Wi-Fi sync, requires an existing version 4 license code to operate. The beta and release notes are available from the Mark/Space website: http://www.markspace.com/testing/"

Mark/Space says it also plans a fix for the Mac OS X 10.3.5 desktop mounting issue with The Missing Sync for Sony CLIE v3.0.9. A patch is expected to be available soon.

Blank screen on startup, after waking from sleep

For some users, Mac OS X 10.3.5 introduces an issue where the screen blank when waking from sleep. The issue primarily affects users of flat-panel (swivel-stand) iMacs, "Pismo" PowerBooks and some Power Macs.

David Marshal writes: "My backlight failed after installing 10.3.5. I know the bulb is still good because it comes on upon startup, then goes dark. Video mirroring works."

Robert Russo notes a similar issue with a PowerBook G3 (Pismo): "I've noticed that my Pismo screen doesn't wake from sleep also. I can hear the drive spin up and normal sounds of the computer starting, but the LCD remains off. I have to remove the battery, unplug the AC power and disconnect the PRAM battery to get it to restart with the LCD again."

Doug Meinhardt describes similar behavior with his Power Mac G4:

"I have a [Power Mac G4] Quicksilver 867 that has the same problem as the iMac owner. I have reinstalled the update from the Combo updater, to no avail. It is sporadic in nature. Sometimes it happens when I tell it to sleep and it doesn't quite get there. Other times when the screen goes dark, everything is on, but the system does not come back. Even repaired permissions. Thinking of going back to 10.3.4....the system has been stable otherwise under the Panther name."

Processes that seem to trigger this behavior include when a device is unplugged or when an external DVI monitor is unplugged.

Several users report that the issue can be resolved by logging out (Sh-Cmd-Q) and logging back in; making a restart unnecessary.

For some readers, simply putting the problematic Mac back to sleep after it displays a blank screen, then waking it up again, resolves the problem:

One reader writes "Instead of rebooting to recover from a blank-screen, you can just close the lid to to put it to sleep, and do the wake again. Works for me."

Another reader writes "Here's what works for me after the screen has gone blank subsequent to a wake-up.

"Hit the power button long enough to bring up the 'Would you like to shut down, restart, cancel or sleep'" dialog (if you could see it.) Hit the 'S' key to put your computer to sleep. You can tell because your 'sleep light' will begin pulsing. The machine will wake up normally at that point."

Meanwhile, MacFixIt reader Ron Granich reports that his iBook displays a blank screen on startup whenever an iMate USB-to-ADB adapter is plugged in, after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.5

"I have an iBook G4 and recently updated to OS 10.3.5. Now whenever I have my iMate USB-to-ADB adapter plugged into one of the USB ports at start-up, I get the blank screen every time. I have to un-plug the iMate and re-start to get the normal start-up sequence to work. Then I can plug in the iMate and it will load the driver and work.

The solution, in some of these cases, is to wait until your system is fully awake before connecting any USB devices, and properly ejecting any USB media or devices and disconnecting them before putting your system to sleep.

Another potential culprit for the blank-screen phenomenon is active disk scanning or other high disk activity processes running when a system is put to sleep.

One reader writes "I've had a couple of occasions recently where the display on my G4 iMac has failed to wake from sleep. All occasions have one thing in common - I was running software intended to scan a hard disk attached through fireWire.

"On the first occasion this happened, I was using disk utility to try a repair on the hard disk. When trying to wake the display, all I got was a white pointer arrow on a black screen. I've also experienced the same problem when trying to run Carbon Copy Cloner to copy my iMac's hard disk contents to the fireWire disk. I had a similar problem today when using the eDrive in Tech Tool Pro 4 to scan the FireWire disk. Again, apart from the mouse pointer, the screen was blank.

"On each such occasion, I've had no choice but to restart the computer by holding down the power button. Subsequent attempts to complete the same tasks have only resulted in the same blank screen.

AirPort: Dropouts, card will not turn on/off, more

A number of AirPort-related issues have sprung up since the Mac OS X 10.3.5, including AirPort Extreme dropouts at random intervals, as well as poor overall reception.

AirPort intermittent connections A number of readers have reported isssues with intermittent AirPort reception since installing the 10.3.5 Update. Reader Tim Bonnici writes about his experiences:

"I would like to add my voice to the chorus of those experiencing Airport dropouts since updating 10.3.5. Previously the network had worked flawlessly. [Now] at times the only way to get the Airport network back up again is to do a hard reset of the base station. Drop outs happen with no discernable pattern. Sometime sthings can work fine for days and at other times the network disappears very 10 seconds."

Some additional information and possible solutions:

MacStumbler shows high signal strength during dropouts An interesting note from one reader reveals that during AirPort connection dropouts, signal strength remains relatively high according to measurement utilities like MacStumbler. This indicates that there may be a problem with Mac OS X 10.3.5's recognition of an available signal, rather than actual drops in signal strength.

The reader writes "I have also noticed random, sudden failures in reception since installing 10.3.5 (via Combo Updater) - maybe a couple of times a day, there will suddenly be no "black bars" in the menu bar, and I can't access the web, etc. However, what's bizarre is that if I open MacStumbler, MacStumbler indicates that my 12" Powerbook's antenna IS picking up signal - at levels that usually give me normal web access. Rebooting the computer has always returned it to normal operation. It seems to me that somehow the Airport software is 'losing awareness' of input from the hardware - at least that's all I can think of."

Dropout solution #1: Setting up a separate NAT service One reader found that using a separate Mac as a NAT (Network Address Translation) service -- to distribute IP addresses to other connected Macs (rather than using the AirPort base station as an NAT service) -- reduced the number of dropouts significantly:

"Just thought I would add a little to this discussion. My AirPort Extreme BaseStation would also drop out quite often, also with no particular pattern. However, it occurred to me that BaseStations have always suffered when providing both NAT and DHCP. So, just to see, I set up a computer to provide NAT service (using BrickHouse), and set up the Base Station to do only DHCP (Share a range of IP addresses).

"The BaseStation has not crashed/dropped out since. I left the USB Epson printer connected to it, and, in all other respects, there have been no changes aside from NAT settings."

Dropout solution #2: Setting a higher multicast rate MacFixIt reader John reports that setting a higher multicast rate using the AirPort Admin utility results in better wide-range reception:

too noticed problems with dropouts with my AirPort Extreme. It seemed that my system would work fine for 30- 45 minutes with no dropouts and then begin experiencing frequent dropouts. I tried all of the recommended fixes that I've read about here and elsewhere. Nothing worked. I decided to try setting the "Multicast rate" under "Wireless Options" to a higher value. With this set at 5.5 the dropout problem has completely disappeared. I have been listening to music for the past three days without a single hiccough. I find it strange that no one seems to have mentioned this as a fix. At least I haven't seen this commented on elsewhere. I hope this may help others.

Changing the multicast rate is accomplished via the following process, as per Apple Knowledge Base article #150713:

  • Open AirPort Admin Utility, located in Applications/Utilities.
  • Select your base station and click Configure. Enter the base station password if necessary.
  • Click the Wireless Options button on the AirPort pane, and choose a rate from the "Multicast rate" pop-up menu.

AirPort card will not turn off There also exists an issue where an installed AirPort card cannot be turned off under Mac OS X 10.3.5:

Len Walther writes "I suddenly couldn't turn on the AirPort Extreme card via the AirPort Menu bar pull down, or in System Prefs. This behavior was identical, whichever User was logged on, including a pre-existing Test Admin account. However, I had a bootable FireWire drive running OS X 10.3.4, which not only booted my Powerbook G4, but there was no problem turning on AirPort and connecting to the Internet.

MacFixIt reader Jorge corroborates "If I go to the menu and tell the card to turn on it will not. But if I leave it and then restart, upon restart the airport card will be on at which point I can turn the card off and on like in 10.3.4."

In-house at MacFixIt, we've also experienced some strange AirPort behavior after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update, including intermittent drops in reception. In some cases, turning the option to "Use Interference Robustness" allows for a more stable connection.

Insomniac 1.8 GHz G5s

There is a consistent issue where single-processor 1.8 GHz G5s refuse to fully sleep under Mac OS X 10.3.5. When the problem manifests, hard drives spin down and the monitor goes dark, but fans continue to run.

Apple has posted a Knowledge Base article confirming the topic, stating "After installing the Mac OS X 10.3.5 Update, a Power Mac G5 1.8 GHz single processor (SP) computer's fans can continue to run in sleep mode. When the computer goes to sleep with Mac OS X 10.3.5 installed, these things happen: The display goes dark, internal Apple disks spin down, internal third-party disks may spin down, internal fans continue to run."

A thread on Apple's boards has topped out at over 330 posts, triggering Apple to lock the discussion, barring any new posts from appearing.

The only solution so far to this issue has been to revert to Mac OS X 10.3.4. If you choose to do so, your best bet in this scenario is to perform an archive and install process from the Panther CD/DVD, and then re-apply the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater.

Printer Problems: Disappearing devices, some documents not printing; solutions

Some users have lost all printer functionality -- in fact all printer profiles -- after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update.

MacFixIt reader Dave writes "I updated to 10.3.5, I tried to fax and lost that connection. I then attempted to print out a hard copy and I had no printers in my printer panel. I reloaded from the panther install discs but I still have no printers. Has any one figured this out or am i the only one.

Reader Stefan adds "I don't know whether there is a connection to 10.3.5 or not. I installed the new OS yesterday, and today when I try to print, the computer looks like it wants to print, actually processing the job - but nothing comes out. Nothing else about the computer is changed. I reinstalled the printer drivers, repaired permissions for the OS install per MacFixit advice."

HP printing problems and multiple users It now appears that multiple users simultaneously logged in -- and each running a copy of the HP Communication.app -- may be the culprit behind this issue.

One MacFixIt reader writes "I kept getting USB communication failures and garbled output when printing to a Photosmart 1315 printer with the latest HP drivers & OS X 10.3.5. The problem stemmed from having multiple users signed on using fast user switching. Each user had an instance of the HP Communications.app running, causing the conflict. If I manually killed all but the first instance, it worked fine for all users. I'm waiting for a response from HP on how to configure it to prevent multiple instances from starting up."

You can kill the HP Communications app by opening Activity Viewer (located in Applications/Utilities), selecting "HP Communications" from the list and pressing "Quit Process." Repeat this process for all but one user, and check to see if printing functionality is resolved.

In some cases printers do not work in specific applications, and in others the printers are non-functional system-wide.

Reader Ilkka writs "For me everything else seems to work ok with 10.3.5. except printing from Adobe Acrobat Professional 6.0 to my Epson Stylus Photo 1290. The Stylus Photo application starts normally and processes the print job, but nothing happens in the printer. Printing from Adobe Reader and other applications seems to work fine. Re-installing Acrobat didn't solve the problem."

Fred writes "Following the 10.3.5 update I'm unable to print to my HP DeskJet 1220 (USB) printer. Tried updating to hP v 2.5 printer software. NO luck. Now repairing permissions, reinstalling old printer software, trying each vs. of old HP software for possible functionality."

If you are having problems with your printer after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.5, we encourage you to contact your printer manufacturer and notify them of the problem. In many cases new driver updates are necessary, and manufacturers are generally more inclined to resolve these issues when a large number of users are reporting them.

In some cases, if your standard driver is not providing functionality in Mac OS X 10.3.5, an open-source set of drivers like gimp-print can do the trick. Check the Supported Printers page for your model.

Success with gimp-print for problematic printers; other solutions Several readers, including Lorne Champman, have had success with the open-source gimp-print drivers for printers that do not function properly under Mac OS X 10.3.5. He writes:

"I too had problems printing to a USB connected Epson Stylus PHOTO 820 after upgrading to 10.3.5. I kept getting messages about communications problems with the printer and nothing would print. Looking in MacFixit I saw the report of similar problems - took your advice re Gimp-print and had it solved within 10 minutes."

Some other printer problem solutions that have worked for readers include:

Re-installing printer drivers Several readers report that simply re-installing their printer drivers from the original media, or from the manufacturer's web site, allows normal printing under Mac OS X 10.3.5.

A reader writes "My blue and white G3 tower is connected to an Ethernet LAN along with a 2 USB iBook and two other Macs. After upgrading (start up from Panther CD, Disk Utilities repair disk, restart, repair permissions, install 10.3.5, restart, repair permissions, restart) this G3 and the IBook to 10.3.5, my Epson C 84 printer began leaving one half page unprinted and sending the message about communication errors. I went through the MacFixit install routine and reinstalled the Epson drivers from the Epson CD. All is now well. The printer prints as it was supposed to. The printer is connected to the G3 tower, so nothing was done to the IBook, and it works correctly. "

Re-creating non-printing documents If you are having problems with specific documents, try re-creating the document in the application that originally created it. In other words, copy the content from the problematic document into another, freshly created blank document, and re-attempt printing.

A reader writes "I have also been having printing problems after updating to 10.3.5. On my HP 2210 All-in-One, print jobs have stopped several times right in the middle of printing a page. Turning on print jobs back on in the Printer Setup Utility has sometimes, but not always, gotten the page to continue printing.

"Two days ago I had a Word X file that refused to print to either printer even after reinstalling the printing software. I found that copying the data from the file and then creating a new Word X document got it to print from the new copy. "

Deleting loginwindow.plist MacFixIt reader Dave Edmonds reports another potential fix that involves deleting a specific .plist file:

He writes "Applications show no printers installed when you try to print, yet printer utility shows the printers are installed. Re-installing printer drivers or running printer setup repair has no effect. A variation of the problem is when applications show printers, you send a document to print, it appears in the print queue then quickly disappears (sometimes with the message 'Empty Print File!' ) - and nothing appears at the printer.

"Sometimes it only affects Adobe applications, sometimes MS applications, and sometimes all applications.

"The workaround seems to be to delete the loginwindow.plist file in ~/library/preferences then logout/login and restarting.

"This usually solves the problem - at least for a while - although the problem often returns a few days (or sometimes weeks) later. Sometimes you may also need to delete the com.apple.loginwindow.plist file in the /library/preferences

Non-mounting disk images, solutions

For some, Disk Utility is unable to mount volumes and/or images under Mac OS X 10.3.5. Users are receiving various errors, including "- 536870208" when attempting to do so.

MacFixIt reader Theodore Lyman has received a workaround from Apple that, in his case, allows disk images to once again work properly:

"Tech support was unable to resolve this immediately after having me go back to my base system i.e. no cards, extra memory etc. Also as I mentioned, Disk Utility would not create images either, giving the same error message. What was also unusual about this was that there was no option for the size of the disk image as there usually was. the pull down was gone.

"Solution - after about 24 hours, an Apple tech called me back with this solution - which did work.

"From the /System/Library remove the following files - "Extensions.kextcache", "Extensions.mkext", and the folder "com.apple.kernelcaches"

"I then was told to run sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions (in the Terminal) to reset the cache info."

In some cases deleting specific preference files can resolve the issue; these include: com.apple.LaunchServices.plist in ~/Library/Preferences/ (username/Library/Preferences) all files with 'com.apple.LaunchServices.*' in ~/Library/Caches.

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, certain options in the Finder preferences (located in the menu Finder>Preferences>Sidebar or Finder>Preferences>General when the Finder is the active application) can become unchecked. Make sure to check this area and see if any items are specified to not show on the desktop or in the Finder sidebar.

Font issues, possible solutions

In some cases, documents containing the specific fonts, when opened under Mac OS X 10.3.5, will display no text.

MacFixIt reader John is one of many to report issues with certain fonts after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.5. He also received a confirmation from Apple.

John writes "I am a graphic designer. We immediately had an issue with certain fonts after installing 10.3.5. Minion Expert from Adobe was the first. We have had a team of 8 designers using it for 6 months. Those who upgraded found that any file opened in Quark using Minion Expert could not be seen.

"Apple confirmed, after a long serious call, that 10.3.5 did indeed change the way character maps were read....they assured me the font was in error and had me call Adobe. The font works perfectly in Illustrator, Photoshop and any Adobe software, but not Quark, FileMaker or Word. Adobe said that their own products does not call on the Apple font technology, and uses its own to render fonts on screen. Since Minion Expert did work in there programs, they deemed the font fully functional.

"Long story short. 10.3.5 started this problem. Huge, huge problem for us. Many, many GBs of digital file now only work for 10.3.4 systems. ouch."

If you choose to revert to Mac OS X 10.3.4, your best bet in this scenario is to perform an archive and install process from the Panther CD/DVD, and then re-apply the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater.

Jim Marting describes his font problem scenario "About half the time, I have to reboot to get any program to recognize all the fonts which I have enabled in FontBook. Sometimes, Fontbook does not even show over half of the previously enabled fonts, but that clears up on reboot."

Frank Easterbrook reports that this problem primarily affects Type 1 fonts, in his case, and can be resolved by converting the Type 1 fonts to TrueType:

"I too have encountered the problem, reported this morning, with Adobe Expert fonts not working properly under OS 10.3.5. This also affects other Type 1 fonts that use the same character encoding that Adobe adopted for its expert sets.

"I also have found a solution. Apple's change affects Type 1 fonts but not TrueType fonts. Tools are available to convert Type 1 to TrueType. (I used Metamorphosis, an old tool that runs in Classic.) Once this has been done, both new and existing documents display all of their characters in all programs. Many people will find conversion preferable to reverting to 10.3.4. "

Displays: Loss of resolution, refresh rate settings

Loss of display resolutions A few users report loss of some high resolutions after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update.

Rich Fortnum writes "Just installed. Resolutions on both of my monitors (dual card) has reduced to 1600 from 1920. "

This problem could be related to the following mention in Apple's Mac OS X 10.3.5 release notes: "improved Open GL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers" and has appeared with previous incremental updates, including Mac OS X 10.3.4.

In many instances, simply restarting in Safe Mode (hold down the "Shift" key while starting up) allows the user to open System Preferences, enter the "Displays" pane and successfully change the screen resolution.

Subsequent, normal boots should retain the selected resolution.

In addition, resetting PRAM and VRAM can sometimes resolve this issue.

You may also want to try deleting the file:

  • /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist

and restarting.

Finally, you may want to try using the shareware utility SwitchResX to force a switch into the desired resolution

Some users, however, still have problems despite the aforementioned workarounds. Jozef Remen writes "After upgrading (to Mac OS X 10.3.5) I'm not able to set my refreshing rate higher than 75 Hz at resolution 1152x870, but with 10.3.4 I was able to get to 85 Hz. Also I have much less ref. rates options at other resolutions (like 1024x768). My monitor supports up to 100 Hz at 1024x768 but I'm able to get only 85 Hz max. I have Quicksilver G4/933 with GeForce 4 MX 64 MB. Nothing like PRAM reset, Safe boot, detect display and so on works."

DVD Player crashes

A MacFixIt reader reports an issue where the DVD Player application causes a system-wide freeze while playing some DVDs:

"I have an issue where I have another problem (also confirmed by at least one other user on Apple's discussion boards). The DVD Player app will randomly lock and take my dual G5 2 GHz down with it, requiring a front button power down and restart. This has now occurred several times. It only began after the 10.3.5 update. I have done ALL of the usual Apple recommended fixes, including a PRAM reset, combo update, repair permissions, clean install, new user account, disk utility, DiskWarrior, etc. The problem persists. I have never had this behavior before 10.3.5."

One poster to Apple's Discussion boards, Mauricio Perez, reports that this issue may be specific to some G5s:

"I sometimes experiment the same problem with my DVD drive in my dual 1.8 Ghz G5. I think the reason is the drive is pretty (sensitive) to scratched disks and instead of just stopping it freezes. Movies playback perfectly until a scratched part of the disk arrives. I also have a G4 and it does play many movies my G5 suddenly freezes on. Of course the drive works perfectly with new discs or non-blockbuster DVD's"

MacFixIt reader Steven Engle has made an interesting discovery casting doubt on the notion that the freezes might be caused by scratched or damaged media. Instead, it appears, there is a problem with the actual data contained on some discs:

"I ripped to disk using 'MacTheRipper' one of the problem disks. The operation was successful, no problems. With the problem DVD still in the drive, I stated up DVD Player. The system panicked immediately after I selected "Open VIDEO_TS Folder..." Once I restarted, and now with the problem disk not in the system, I did the same. It started playing, the system panicked two seconds later, the EXACT same spot that in panics when playing directly from the DVD. Leads me to suspect it is something in the data stream, not the physical DVD media."

FireWire peripeherals not recognized; solutions

A number of readers are reporting loss of FireWire drives and other devices after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update.

MacFixIt reader Jim writes "I'd like to report a major problem with 10.3.5: My firewire devices, including a ProTools 002R interface and a LaCie firewire drive, have failed to communicate with my G4. My drive does not mount, and the system is not recognizing either the drive or my audio interface. I notified Apple, and they told me they are trying to address the problem. "

Drew Vinal adds "I report my Mac 500 Mhz Dual G4 gigabit Mac running 10.3.5 the firewire no longer works after upgrading. No devices attached work. I reset the PRAM and repaired preferences with the disk utility."

Some readers report that this issue only occurs with certain drive cases. For instance, one reader found that removing a Maxtor drive from its original case and using another generic FireWire housing unit allowed the drive to be recognized. If you have a spare case handy, it's worth a shot.

Another solution that has been successful for FireWire recognition issues during past incremental Mac OS X updates: Disconnect all such devices from your Mac, apply the Mac OS X 10.3.5 combo updater, and then re-attach the devices after a restart.

Kernel Panics and system-wide freezes: Culprits and solutions

Some kernel panics cropping after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update have been resolved by removing all traces of Norton AntiVirus from the Startup Items tab of the Accounts Pane in System Preferences.

Several readers have now reported other issues caused by Norton AntiVirus when used in conjunction with Mac OS X 10.3.5, including system-wide freezes that are solved simply by turning auto-protection off:

MacFixIt reader Hermie writes "I think I finally figured out the culprit for causing hard freezes on my machine (10.3.5). The freezes were of a nature where nothing could be done, no force quitting or anything else. The only solution being pressing the power button on my monitor for more than five seconds, wait a while and startup all over again. It usually happened while doing something in Safari or Mail.app.

"Anyway, since I switched Norton Autoprotect off (NAV 9.0.2) the freezes have vanished."

Another MacFixIt reader, Kiran, notes that Mac OS X 10.3.5 freezes have appeared on his system only during periods of heavy network activity:

"I've had a problem with hard freezes (the cursor moves, but you can't ping the machine nor SSH into it) since I installed 10.3.5. They seem to be related to network activity--in particular, I've had three freezes while using BitTorrent to download large files (using both Tomato Torrent and Azureus) and another one a few minutes ago while moving some large files from a Windows box using SMB. In all cases, these freezes have happened while using AirPort. In case it matters, I have a PB G4 667/DVI, and I'm using classic AirPort to connect to a linksys wireless router."

Fans stay running while system is asleep

In addition to a wide array of sleep issues reported with Mac OS X 10.3.5, some users have begun reporting that their fans stay on during sleep after the upgrade:

"Just a note that I have verified a upgrading to OSX 10.3.5 has changed the behavior of my 1.8 GHz G5 machine. [...] My machine will not sleep fans when put into sleep mode. The hard drives to spin down and monitor sleep but fans continue to run. In addition I have notice that the fans in general run a high speed for most operations.

"My first step was to reset PRAM and NVRAM. This was followed by a reset of PMU. Next step was to check your site followed by the Apple discussion boards. What I found is that a large number of G5 users had this same issue. My resolution was to restore my previous system. This results in normal function. I then upgraded with the Apple security patch and Java upgrade and all is well. [...] I have elected to remain on 10.3.4."

If, like this reader, you choose to revert to Mac OS X 10.3.4, your best bet in this scenario is to perform an archive and install process from the Panther CD/DVD, and then re-apply the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater.

Contrarily, some users report that their PowerMac G5s are actually quieter after the update:

Jim writes "I did the 'delta' stand-alone upgrade. Followed the suggested procedure (repair disc from software DVD, fix permissions, install, fix permissions) All went smoothly.

"The most obvious difference is how quiet my 2x2 G5 is now. Previously, under 10.3.4, the hard drive would constantly crackle and scratch as if it were perpetually searching or writing to itself. After the update, the disc is whisper quiet."

Inability to wake from sleep, potential solution Several readers have been able to resolve their sleep issues (inability to wake from sleep, etc.) by booting into Open Firmware (Hold Command+Option+O+F at startup), then typing the following commands with a return after each:
  • reset-nvram
  • set-defaults
  • reset-all

After entering these commands, type mac-boot then press return to continue the startup process.

Unrecognized RAM

Some users are reporting problems with unrecognized RAM after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update. In many cases, some versions of Mac OS X will be more picky about which RAM modules they will recognize and properly use. As such, "bad" RAM can be the culprit behind a large number of issues including some of the aforementioned sleep problems.

One reader writes "As well as experiencing the sleep issues, where screen goes black when put to sleep but HD and fans stay alive, I am also experiencing a RAM issue which i am not sure if any one else is. Ever since upgrading from 10.3.4 to 10.3.5 (using the Combo update) the OS only recognizes 512MB instead of total of 1GB. And this ONLY happens from a cold start up, when I do a restart all 1GB appears!. From looking at system profiler it seems that the first 2 slots are empty (the preinstalled Apple RAM), I have Crucial RAM in the other 2 slots that are ok. I used to have this issue way back with 10.2.8 and I think may be 10.3.1, but after either 10.3.1 or 10.3.2 its been perfect all 1GB has been showing in System Profiler. If I take that Apple RAM out, the G5 wont start up."

For more information about "bad" RAM, see the following MacFixIt articles:

AppleWorks: Fails to launch, solutions

Several readers have reported an issue where AppleWorks 6.2.9 fails to launch or unexpectedly quits after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.5.

MacFixIt reader Jeff writes "I have had a series of crashes in Appleworks ever since installing the 10.3.5 update. The crashes seem to occur when more than two Appleworks docs are simultaneously running."

In the past, users have been able to resolve this issue by deleting the following files:

  • ~/Library/Preferences:com.apple.appleworks
  • ~/Library/Preferences/AppleWorks/AppleWorks 6 Assistants Cache
  • ~/Library/Preferences/AppleWorks/AppleWorks 6 Translators Cache
  • ~/Library/Preferences/AppleWorks/AppleWorks 6 Preferences

For some readers, however, the deletion of these specific files is not sufficient, and removal of the entire AppleWorks Preferences folder is required.

MacFixIt reader Eric writes "I had the same problem and trashing those few preferences didn't really work. However removing the whole Appleworks folder (plist and all) from the ~/Library/Preferences folder then restarting the machine did the trick."

Microsoft-branded keyboard/mouse problems

Some readers have had problems with their Microsoft Intellimouse losing its settings and behaving like a standard Apple mouse.

One reader writes "The two side button for forward and backward for browser do not work and in the intellipoint control panel the mouse icon (on the buttons panel) has a large red X. ( Intellipoint mouse 5.0)"

In this particular reader's case, and probably others', re-installing the Intellipoint 5.0 software can resolve the issue.

A MacFixIt reader writes "I installed 10.3.5 combo update and installed recently released Intellitype 5.1 for a Microsoft Keyboard--I have the Natural UBS keyboard on a KVM with a Mac and PC.

"It refused to recognize the setting to flop command and windows keys to match normal keyboard layout. I finally uninstalled 5.1 and dropped back to a previous version that works fine. Having command key in wrong spot will drive you nuts."

Safari: Flash, connectivity issues

Several users are reporting connectivity or interface problems in the new version of Safari included with Mac OS X 10.3.5:

One reader writes "After updating to 10.3.5 on a B&W G3 400, Safari does not bring up a page on startup as it usually does. The main menu is at the top, but when I select 'New Window' nothing happens. All my bookmarks are still there, but they don't bring up a new page either. Help!

MacFixIt reader Daniel writes "Since updating to 10.3.5, Safari stalls out not letting me get to many pages I regularly visit."

Some users were also reporting problems with the shareware utility SAFT. One reader writes "I had no problems except with SAFT. Hao Li (creator of SAFT) had sent an update to SAFT earlier in the day, which was working fine. Then, when I upgraded to 10.3.5 (and Safari 125.9 came along for the ride), SAFT would not work (the update states that it requires Safari 125.7 or 125.8). Otherwise, everything seems to be better. Safari loads pages faster and seems much snappier. (By the way, I emailed Hao Li about the problem and am waiting for his reply)."

A new version of SAFT has been released that includes compatibility for Mac OS X 10.3.5 and the new version of Safari (v125.9)

MacFixIt reader David Oshel reports that some Flash content does not play properly in the new release of Safari included with Mac OS X 10.3.5;

"Apparently, I can no longer use Safari 1.2.3 to load Flash content from sites that formerly worked, although Camino 0.8 seems to work ok with popup-blocking off.

"In Safari, also with popup-blocking off, what happens is, the Flash download seems to stall or hang after a few moments. If you watch the flickering boxes on the Internet Connect net monitor, you see that activity stops completely.

"I reinstalled Flash Player 7 plug-in for OS X, to no effect."

A poster to Apple's Discussion boards reports that this issue only occurs when Safari is launched as a startup item. Deleting Safari from the Startup Items section of the "Accounts" pane in System Preferences, and instead launching the application after startup is complete resolved the issue in this user's case.

Some users have found that opening Flash file via dragging it to Safari's icon (or presumably using the File>Open command) allows the file to play properly:

"Well, the problem is not caused by Safari 1.2.3. If you drop a flash.swf file on Safari's url box, the local file loads and plays better than other browsers can do.

"I think there must be an intermittent between 10.3.5 and Flash somewhere, maybe something uninitialized, since I was able to get online Flash downloads to play (eventually), and local files play without incident."

Audio settings reset during sleep

MacFixIt reader Steve Solomon, along with handful of other readers, reports an issue where his audio output resets to the internal speaker(s) at each wake up and restart of his G5.

"Since I've upgraded to 10.3.5, my sound output resets to the internal speakers every time I wake up my Dual 2.0 GHz G5 from sleep. I have to go to the sound preference pane and reset it to digital out. At least one other G5 owner has confirmed this as well on Apple's discussion boards."

Derek Hedstrom similarly writes "I have also noticed a problem where my sound output is no longer sent though the headphone jack and can only be heard coming from the internal speakers. This has occured twice after waking the laptop from sleep, though not 100% consistently (meaning it may have to do with unplugging various USB devices, Ethernet cables, or video out - all of which I do regularly as putting the computer to sleep). I have installed all updates, including the security update and am running 10.3.5. This problem seems to have begun after those installations."

Craig adds "I have the same wake from sleep and reverting sound preference. But other than that, I haven't noticed any other issues. Its something I can easily live with, although I won't miss the bug when they fix it."

Unusually high processor usage resulting in eventual freezes

Several users describe an issue where 'systemUIserver' is taking almost 100% of one or more processor(s) according to Activity Monitor.

AirPort the culprit? In an Apple Discussions thread, several users have connected the aforementioned problem (systemUIserver hogging the processor and eventually causing a freeze) to the latest versions of Apple's AirPort software rather than Mac OS X 10.3.5.

In fact, many readers have found that the only way to remedy this problem is to revert to version 3.2 of the AirPort software.

One user has posted instructions for deleting your current version of AirPort, after which you can install the 3.2 package.

Entourage: No images, contacts deleted

Several readers have reported issues with Microsoft's Entourage (both v.X and 2004) after the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update.

MacFixIt reader Real Croteau is no longer able to view inline images in incoming messages: "Since the last update, I have no graphics anymore in my e-mails with Entourage (a big red X is displayed instead)."

Several posters to Apple's Discussion boards also note a problem where contacts and tasks are deleted after the update. In fact, some users have had Entourage revert to "first run" status, with all existing e-mail and other data gone.

Extra blank page on Lexmark printers Rod Yager reports an unconfirmed issue where his Lexmark printer generates an extra blank page at the end of each job:

"Since updating to 10.3.5, printing to our Lexmark T520 printer results in an extra blank page at the end of each print job. This happens on several machines that have been updated to 10.3.5, but did not happen with 10.3.4 I haven't yet checked to see if it is isolated to this printer model, or if it is a more general problem."

Ricochet modems incompatible with Mac OS X 10.3.5, workaround

Ricochet has posted a message stating that its wireless modems are currently incompatible with Mac OS X 10.3.5, potentially causing system freezes.

Support officials from Ricochet write "The Ricochet engineering team is currently working with Apple to ensure compatibility between Apple Mac OS 10.3.5 and our Ricochet External USB Modem. Today, using our External Modem with OS 10.3.5 may result in your Mac locking up. Until compatibility is guaranteed, please continue to use Apple Mac OS 10.3.4 with our External Modem. Ricochet strongly recommends NOT upgrading to Apple Mac OS 10.3.5 until a solution can be found."

The company has since posted a "fix" that rolls back some USB componenets in Mac OS X 10.3.5 to the versions included with Mac OS X 10.3.4. Instructions are as follows:

"If you have already upgraded to Apple Mac OC 10.3.5, you may download this application to your computer. Close all open applications, unzip the file, and double-click the 'RicochetFix' application. It will ask for your user password and immediately reboot your computer. After your computer reboots, connect your Ricochet External modem and reboot the computer to finish setting up the modem connection."

Bluetooth devices: Wireless mouse no longer working, solution

Mac OS X 10.3.5 includes changes to the Bluetooth connectivity mechanism. As such, some users have reported a problem with an inability to use Bluetooth devices.

One MacFixIt reader writes "I'm having a problem with 10.3.5. New Powerbook 17" 1.5. 1GB RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon. My Apple bluetooth mouse will be discovered but it will not pair. Apple bluetooth keyboard is fine. Dont know what the problem is."

In many cases, running the "Wireless Mouse Updater" application, located in Applications/Utilities on a standard installation, will resolve this issue. After running this application, attempt to pair the problematic device again.

Jumpy cursor

Gary D'Atrio reports a "jumpy" cursor after his update to Mac OS X 10.3.5:

"Just installed the update this morning and now I have a 'nervous' cursor. Even though the mouse is not moving, the cursor on the screen jitters back and forth slightly. It does not do it all the time and I can live with it for most function. But it is terrible when trying to do a precise drawing in Adobe Illustrator."

In some cases this issue can be resolved by simply temporarily disconnecting a USB-based mouse and then reconnecting it.

Black screen on unsupported (XPostFacto) systems, solution

MacFixIt reader Bob Gallant writes "I have a beige G3 desktop. Since I have an unsupported system, I used XPostFacto to update from 10.2.8 to 10.3. After loading 10.3, which went very easily, I updated to 10.3.4 which also sent without a hitch. I just updated to 10.3.5 and had a problem.

"After updating to 10.3.5, I used Disk Utility to fix permissions. The display went to a black screen part-way through, and the computer quit. I forced a restart. I recalled that this same problem occurred after updating to 10.2.8 from 10.2.6."

Fortunately, Gallant was able to solve the issue with the aid of Knowledge Base article #25564, "Mac OS X 10.2.8: Blue or Dark Screen After Updating."

This article discusses how to move the file, "ATIDriver.bundle" out of the /System/Library/Extensions/AppleNDR folder to remove the problem.

Gallant writes "I did so and again, it worked this time. This may be a problem peculiar to the beige G3."

Reverting to Mac OS X 10.3.4

If problems that appear with Mac OS X 10.3.5 update are too severe, and repairing permissions, applying the combo updater, and other suggestions mentioned in this article fail, you may need to revert to Mac OS X 10.3.4.

Your best bet in this scenario is to perform an archive and install process from the Panther CD, and then re-apply the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater.

Improvements, fixes brought by Mac OS X 10.3.5

Radeon 9800 mounting issue apparently fixed An issue where some systems can mount drives or disk images, but they are not viewable in the Finder sidebar nor on the desktop, is apparently resolved by Mac OS X 10.3.5.

MacFixIt reader Tom Thompson writes "I installed 10.3.5 on my Dual 2 GHz G5 with the Radeon 9800 Special Mac Edition graphics card. Volumes now appear on the desktop normally. All other aspects of the update seem to be working fine."

Cory Cooper corroborates "I can confirm that 10.3.5 fixed my disk mounting issues as well on my Dual 2GHz G5 w/ATI Radeon 9800 Pro SE (256MB). Disk images (.img), CDs, DVDs - they all mount correctly and repetitively without any issues."

USB enhancements One reader notes that Apple's claim of improvements to USB elements of Mac OS X proved true in his case:

"I used the combo updater on both my PB Titanium and my new PB 17" and found one very positive enhancement. They said that USB had been enhanced and I agree. I had been unable to print from classic and I don't remember when this happened, sometime about 10.2xx after they fixed the unable to print with X if classic was even running, but after the update all printing, including classic is back to normal. Before 10.3.5 when going to the chooser, all my printers were in the left box but the printer port would not show up on the right. Of course that meant that I would have to reboot to 9.2.2, and of course that could only be done on the Titanium since the new 17" cannot boot to OS9. I have read that some people are having various printer problems, but not me. BTW my printers are all Epson,740,C80,C84 and CX5400."

Eject command works more smoothly MacFixIt reader Greg reports that the keyboard-based eject command works more smoothly under Mac OS X 10.3.5:

"Yesterday I updated my PowerBook G4 to OS X 10.3.5 using the procedure advised on your Web site. So-far I haven't notice one problem. The most fantastic thing is that a bug in Panther that has existed since 10.3 has been fixed! I had been constantly annoyed by a bug that meant that Finder keyboard commands didn't work unless I first clicked on the Finder's File menu. For example, if I selected a CD icon on my Desktop and pressed Apple-E to eject it, nothing would happen until I first clicked on the Finder's File menu then pressed Apple-E again (this bug applied to all Finder commands under the File menu). After just a day of running 10.3.5 it may be premature to claim that this bug has been fixed but I haven't yet experienced it once. Yay!"

In-house we've noticed that after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.5, all of our machines respond more rapidly to the media eject command.

New Bluetooth remote capabilities According to the MobileWhack website, one of the new features of Mac OS X 10.3.5 -- evidently included in the broad description of "improved Bluetooth compatibility for Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and Bluetooth phones" -- is the ability to use s
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