Covering these and other topics:
- Download links, update procedure/precautions
- Safari "localized strings not found" problem; fix
- Safari connectivity issues after update, fixes
- Energy Saver not functioning properly: Sleep/Wake-up problems; fixes
- AirPort disconnects
- Booting in safe mode to resolve login issues
- Passwords not accepted, combo updater resolves
- iDisk issues
- iTunes 4.6 fixes problems launching after Mac OS X 10.3.4 update
- G5 audio problems, fixes
- ATI Radeon 9800 DVD issues
- Permissions repair for non-mounting FireWire drives
- "Connect to Server" warning actually a security refinement
- Resetting PMU can restore Bluetooth connectivity
- Fan speed, loudness
- FireWire target booting for non-booting, 10.3.4-updated Macs
- System searching for non-existent network startup volume
- Kernel panics
- Stickies 'minimize window' greyed out
- Apple menu not working, restart via Terminal to remedy
- Strange behavior from CUPS; fix
- Haxies and Mac OS X 10.3.4: The good and the bad
- Monitor refresh rate settings not working
- Individual application launch, operation issues
- Corrupt preferences cause of some issues
- File sharing with Mac OS 9.2 systems
- What has been fixed/improved in Mac OS X 10.3.4
Mac OS X 10.3.4 Update According to Apple's documentation, the 10.3.4 Update provides "enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 'Panther' and is recommended for all users." Key enhancements include:
- improved file sharing and directory services for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS), PPTP, and wireless networks
- improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
- improved disc burning and recording functionality
- iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync
- additional FireWire audio and USB device compatibility
- updated Address Book, Mail, Safari, Stickies, and QuickTime applications
- improved compatibility for third party applications
- previous standalone security updates
A full list of changes provided by Update 10.3.4, as well as installation precautions, can be found here.
Mac OS X Server 10.3.4 Update According to Apple's documentation, the Server 10.3.4 Update provides "enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X Server v10.3 and is recommended for all systems." Key enhancements include:
- improved reliability and compatibility of NFS file services and network automounts
- enhanced Server Admin and Network Image Utility applications
- improved Open Directory scalability and replication reliability, Active Directory integration
- additional support for FireWire and USB devices
- improved compatibility for third party applications and devices
- previous standalone security updates
Update reminders As usual, we recommend the following procedure when applying a system Update:
- 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).
- When booted from the volume containing Mac OS X, run Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions function.
- Install the update.
- 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.
Some reports indicate that the problem is not limited to contextual menus Vic Wertz writes:
"One of my users had a similar problem starting with 10.3.3: certain website *buttons* actually showed the "localized string not found" text; applying the 10.3.4 combo update fixed this issue for him."
In addition, readers also report that this error has also occurred in earlier versions of Mac OS X. Reader "nero007" writes:
The "localized string not found" error has apparently been around longer than 10.3.4 (if you check out Apple Support Discussions). However I hadn't experienced the error until updating to 10.3.4 on my Powerbook. I tried multiple solutions to try and resolve the error and the finally what fixed it was re-installing 10.3.3 (install and archive) and then re-upgrading to 10.3.4 using the combo updater."
Some users were able to remove the problem by re-installing the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater, but others were not.
MacFixIt reader Jared has since submitted a solution that has worked on several of his systems, as well as for other readers:
- Download the latest version of Safari from Apple (this is essential to do before anything else)
- Locate the webkit files and stick them in the trash: System/Library/Frameworks/webkit.frameworks (these are used to connect to the web - if you fail to follow step 1, you will kick yourself as you will not be able to connect using ftp, http etc etc)
- Install Safari from your fresh download
- Run permissions repair in Disk Utility
- Rejoice as your contextual menus reappear in Safari
"Safari no longer can load pages on my Powerbook G4 12" 1Ghz after I installed the latest OS update last week. When I go to a web page, it looks as though it is about to load and then the info line at the bottom of the screen says "Processing 0 of 13 items . . . 3 errors" and nothing further happens."
There is also an issue where where certain sites will refuse to open in Safari unless requested multiple times, for others Safari displays the "Cannot connect to server message" several times in a row. Some have been able to resolve the issue by re-applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater.
MacFixIt reader Phil writes "I've always been a bit hesitant to try the combo updater route since software update has always worked well for me, but not wanting to mess around with the local DNS server suggestion I decided to give it a try (then reapplied the June security update). I also dumped my preferences folder allowing each to be remade from scratch.
"It's only been a couple of days, but so far I have yet to see the 'safari can't connect to server' message even once!"
In addition, Apple Knowledge Base article #151266 offers a number of potential culprits for this issue, as well as corresponding solutions, including:
- Safari may not be able to open a webpage because it doesn't recognize the first part of the address, which identifies the Internet protocol (such as HTTP or HTTPS).
- Try entering "/index.html" at the end of the address.
- Empty the cache, then try reloading the page.
For many readers, however, none of the Apple-supplied solutions work to resolve the issue.
A poster to Apple's Discussion boards, Freelancer, has found that creating a enabling a local DNS server and modifying the query command in the file "named.conf" eliminates the issue on his, and a number of other users' systems.
Instructions for performing the procedure, provided you are comfortable using a text editor like Pico, (the Mac Observer has a good introductory article on using Pico if you are unfamiliar) are as follows:
1) the file /etc/hostconfig needs to have one line modified
2) the file /etc/named.conf needs changing at one line as follows (Ed.- note that you should first make a backup copy of this file with the command: sudo cp named.conf.copy then edit the original with pico via the command sudo pico named.conf.
// query-source address * port 53;
query-source address * port 53;
it is uncommented
3) Start the server in Terminal with this command:
Give your administrator password when requested
4) Under Network Preferences -> TCP/IP -> DNS Servers, make the first listed server:
"If you have other DNS Servers listed already, you can leave them there as backups. Apply the change and you are good to go.Energy Saver not functioning properly: Sleep/Wake-up problems; fixes
Several readers have reported problems with the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.4. Problems include Energy Saver's inability to remember sleep or wake-up settings, freezes when attempting to open Energy Saver, and more.
MacFixIt reader Antonio Adolfs writes "I use Mac OS X 10.3.4 version and the trouble for me is the Energy Saver system preference. When I try to set it to "Never sleep" and close it, the settings do not stick."
A poster to Apple's discussion boards adds "For some reason, my Dual G5 with OS X 10.3.4 has stopped going to sleep automatically after the 15 minute sleep time I´ve set in the Energy Saver panel."
Possible solutions Apple has a Knowledge Base article describing a few techniques for resolving Energy Saver problems, including deleting Energy Saver Preference and Finder Preference files, as well resetting the PRAM.
Other users have found that some USB devices - particularly optical mice - prevent proper automatic sleep or wake-up.
John Gruber, in a post to his Daring Fireball Web site, found that the .GlobalPreferences.plist file, an invisible document in the ~/Library/Preferences/ was causing his Energy Saver problems. Deleting the file restored proper operation, but also resulted in the erasure of some appearance settings.
Some users are getting more frequent AirPort connection drops after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 updater. MacFixIt reader Brent reports that turning off "Set data and time automatically" in the Date and Time pane of System Preferences resulted in fewer drops:
" I found that if I set up my Airport Extreme to update the time and date through the NTP server, I have the same problem - frequent disconnects which can only be solved by unplugging and replugging the power. If I turn the NTP daemon off, the connection problems go away."
Reminder for Epson printers MacFixIt Bob Lazzarini was having some problems with his Epson Color R800 printer; namely an inability to get the device to be recognized by any of Apple?s software.
A call to Epson's technical support team provided a valuable reminder that, unlike some other printers, "Epson USB" must be selected for printer type in the Printer Setup Utility rather than simply "USB":
Lazzarini writes "This is the answer I get back from Epson:
"Open up 'Print Center/Printer Setup Utility' which is located in the 'OS X' 'Applications' 'Utilities' folder.
"Click on 'Add Printer'.
"In the pull down menu to select the connection type, select 'EPSON USB'. If you select 'USB' from the menu, the printer name will appear, but the printer will show up as 'Driver Not Installed' and you will not be able to select the printer.?
Several users with login problems (usually startup getting stuck at the login screen) after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update report that starting up in safe mode allows procedure of startup.
Edward Vawter writes "Don't know why I didn't try this earlier. Booting into safe mode by holding down the shift key until the login appears allows me to login in is normal. So it must be an extension that loads at login which is causing problems."
After booting in safe mode, there are a number of troubleshooting procedures, outlined in Knowledge Base article #106464, that can be performed.
Some Mac OS X 10.3.4-upgraded systems refuse to accept valid passwords at login. MacFixIt reader Craig Sayer reports that, in his case, the issue was resolved by starting up from another computer (using FireWire target disk mode) and re-applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater:
"Just thought I would let you know about a problem that has appeared on two Mac's that have updated to Mac OS 10.3.4. After the update the Mac boots then gets to the login screen but does not accept the password, even though it is definitely the correct password. Booting on the OSX 10.3 CD and changing the password has no effect it still does not recognize your password.
"The solution is to boot on another source and apply the 10.3.4 combo update which then reboots and cures the problem without any password change."
MacFixIt reader Gabriel Dorado reports some strange issues that are occurring with iDisk access after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update for which we are seeking confirmation:
"Opening 'Go/iDisk' and connecting to iDisks (.Mac accounts) may cause the icons on the Desktop to disappear and reappear later on (re-launches Finder), as well as open applications to quit. The files and folders on the Desktop may become stuck and you cannot drag or move them.
"Forcing quit of the Finder, quitting all applications or logging out/in does not help. To fix this issue you must restart the Mac."
One fix that has proved successful for previous iDisk issues is going to the .Mac pane of System Preferences and then deleting the username and password, then deleting the iDisk, restarting (or logging out and back in), then re-entering the information and re-mounting the iDisk.
Several users had problems launching iTunes after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update -- as noted here. iTunes 4.6 resolves this issue as well, for at least some readers.
Tom Servo writes "I was one of the many users who had the iTunes fail-to-launch bug that many others had after upgrading to 10.3.4. Upgrading to iTunes 4.6 solved the problem.
"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 from 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.
Doug Stringham writes "It's been a strange thing; ever since I've upgraded my dual 2Ghz G5 box to 10.3.4 my game audio now has cracks an pops. The audio sounds a tad more 'tinny' as though the DA/AD converter (software driver I expect) is somehow misreading the sample rate or such. I work in the film biz so I'm somewhat familiar with digital audio artifacts due to sample rate errors or decoding errors. I don't hear the problems with iTunes or some other audio applications, but it is painfully apparent when playing Raven Shield, Age of Mythology, Command and Conquer: Generals and Warcraft 3."
MacFIxIt reader Christian writes "Since updating to 10.3.4 on my Dual 2GHz G5 when the volume is low the sound only comes out of the right speaker, when the volume is increased the balance levels out. In addition, no balance control shows up in the prefs pane and I get no sound at all in Unreal Tournament 2004.
"Changing the USB port that he Soundsticks were connected to fixed the problem."
Ivan Santiago writes "I have installed three G5's 1.6Ghz and one of them has exhibited the lost audio problem. Nine more to go and I'll keep track of them as I install them."
Some users report a strange buzzing noise after the update. C. Braun writes "I left my G5 1.8 ghz running at work over the weekend. When I came into work this morning the only sound coming from my speakers was an annoying high pitched hum. Thus far I've not been successful in restoring sound to my computer. I've had OS 10.3.4 since day one with no problems until today."
Other Mac models are experiencing audio problems as well. MacFixIt reader Bruce Young writes:
"When I installed 10.3.4, my Lombard audio input suddenly became really, really sensitive. I got the harsh noise mentioned by others on play-through until I turned the input volume down almost to 0 on the slider. Then it works ok, although there's definitely more noise in the output than there used to be. iTunes works ok, but audio input is really messed up."
For some readers, the issue only affects audio coming through the speakers -- headphones do not carry distorted sound. Brett Kessler writes "I've got a PowerBook G3 (Pismo 500) that's got the popping, hissing, etc., since updating to 10.3.4. That's through the built-in speakers; audio from the headphone jack works fine."
Radeon 9800 issues Several users are reporting that DVD display glitches with the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro OEM which were previously fixed are back in Mac OS X 10.3.4.
One reader writes "I have experienced the same thing using both DVDSP3 and DVDPlayer. Also note that the ATI DVD Hotfix will no longer install on OS X 10.3.4. "
This problem manifested with Mac OS X 10.3.3 as well, and ATI offered a "HotFix" that does not work properly in Mac OS X 10.3.4.
A workaround we noted before the "HotFix" was issued for Mac OS X 10.3.3 also seems to work well for a number of readers under Mac OS X 10.3.4 -- replacing the DVD framework included with Mac OS X 10.3.4 for one included with either Mac OS X 10.3.2 or Mac OS X 10.3.3.
In order to replace the framework, which is located at /System/Library/Frameworks/DVDPlayback.framework, you will need a copy of either the Mac OS X 10.3.2 or Mac OS X 10.3.3 combo updater. Use the shareware utility Pacifist to find DVDPlayback.framework (using the search field). Then choose to install the file and ignore the warning that it already exists.
If you extract the framework from the Mac OS X 10.3.3 updater, you may need to re-apply ATI's HotFix.
Make sure to repair permissions using Apple's Disk Utility after performing this procedure.
Mel Gross reports that reverting to version 3.2 of the DVD Player application resolves the issue:
"I simply replaced DVD Player Application 4 with version 3.2. This is the same solution as in 10.3.3. This works fine, and is much easier, and safer."
DVD Player 3.2 is included with Mac OS X 10.2.x, and can be found on the Jaguar installation CD.
Alternatively, some users report third-party DVD players like VLC do not exhibit the distortion.
Meanwhile, ATI has chimed in on the issue, providing MacFIxIt with the following note
"Based on our experience, DVD issues are usually due to system configuration errors. In order to assist you in quickly determining the exact cause of this specific issue ATI has gathered a list of the top issues reported to Customer Service. We believe that you may find your issue addressed in the DVD Player section on our web site located at:
"Your issue may also be addressed at our DVD FAQ section on our web site located at:Permissions repair for non-mounting FireWire drives
Some users have had problems with FireWire devices not mounting after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update. Specifically, some users are unable to mount FireWire hard drives and the iPod when they are first connected.
MacFixIt reader Charles is one of the readers who found that simply using Apple's Disk Utility to verify and repair the problematic volumes resolved the issue:
"Did a disk verify (and fix - I have a chain of two FW drives, plus the iPod) on both disks. Found an error which got fixed on one. And did a permissions repair on the boot volume. Now my iPod is recognized when I plug it in. (Turns out the iPod disk needed repair too.) And if I discover that if I unmount as usual and disconnect and put to sleep and wake up and reconnect, the disks are found."
Mac OS X 10.3.4 sometimes displays the message 'Can't make a secure connection to YourServer. The server YourServer does not support secure connections via SSH. To connect with reduced security, click Continue.' MacFixIt reader Marcel Bresink says that the warning is actually an accurate warning that previous versions of Mac OS X lacked:
"If you enable the "Allow Secure Connections Using SSH" option on the client when connecting to an AFP file server, the client will ask the server whether it can offer a secure connection; if yes, the whole connection will be secured by encryption. This feature is known as "AFP over SSH" or "Encrypted Apple File Services".
"This server feature is NOT available for the Personal File Sharing service in the standard version of Mac OS X. By intention, Apple enables this feature EXCLUSIVELY on Mac OS X Server ONLY. (And it should be noted that file service encryption has nothing to do with password encryption; see below.)
"If you connect to an AFP file server with the "Allow Secure Connections" option enabled, but this file server does not offer encrypted services, previous versions of Mac OS X silently fell back to an unencrypted connection. This is not a bug (because it says "allow", not "enforce") but it could be seen as a security problem.
"With Mac OS X 10.3.4, the situation was improved: The client now truthfully warns when you are connecting to an unencrypted file service although you may have intended to form a secure connection.
"To really prove if the connection is encrypted or not, do a "netstat -n" on the command line after the connection was made. If you see an active entry to port 22 of the server, this will be "AFP over SSH", if the connection is made to port 548, it will be standard AFP.
Knowledge Base article #25758 has instructions for configuring AFP to use OpenSSH exclusively, and states "When these settings are in effect, if OpenSSH cannot establish a connection a 'bad password' dialog box appears. The most common cause of OpenSSH failure is when the host key for the server is unknown or is changed. Administrators should distribute and maintain the /etc/ssh_known_hosts files in accordance with best security practices. Without the /etc/ssh_known_hosts file, users will need to manage their own known_hosts file and pre-establish the correct server key.
Some users have been able to restore Bluetooth functionality lost after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update by resetting the PMU (power management unit).
Instructions for resetting the power management unit are contained in the following Knowledge Base documents:
- PowerBooks and iBooks
- Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics/Gigabit Ethernet)
- Power Macintosh G4 (PCI Graphics)
Grant Symon was one of the readers that had success with this workaround: "The problem with a disappearing Bluetooth or DVD is actually a Power Manager problem. The solution to this in the past, used to be to depress the 'Reset' button, which for example on Powerbooks, used to be located on the back panel along with the sockets, however, on newer Macs there is no longer a reset button. Instead there is now a keyboard manipulation at startup. Here's how to do it :
"Turn off your Mac ... disconnect all peripherals from it, then, whilst holding down the Shift-Ctrl-Alt/Option keys, press and hold the 'Startup' button (the one you use to start your machine). Continue to hold all these keys down for 5 or 6 seconds. Release all the keys then start up your Mac as normal using the Startup button."
Some users experience increased fan speed or loudness after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update (some users are experiencing decreased fan/heat activity). Zach Bragin found a mixture of procedures resumed fan speed and heat consistent with levels prior to the update.
Meanwhile, we've received more confirmation for increased fan activity in desktop Macs. MacFixIt reader Bill writes "Yes, for the first time since buying my (now old) 15" 800 MHz iMac flat panel I am hearing a loud fan. Very annoying as its quiet operation was a feature which prompted my purchase. "
One of the most successful methods for recovering Macs that refuse to startup properly after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4 updater is using FireWire target disk mode to perform repairs or - in more drastic cases - OS re-installation.
Instructions for booting in TDM (target disk mode ) are found in Apple Knowledge Base article #58583 and are as follows:
- Make sure that the target computer is turned off. If you are using a PowerBook computer or iBook computer as the target computer, you should also plug in its AC power adapter.
- Use a FireWire cable (6-pin to 6-pin) to connect the target computer to a host computer. The host computer does not need to be turned off.
- Start up the target computer and immediately press and hold down the T key until the FireWire icon appears. The hard disk of the target computer should become available to the host computer and will likely appear on desktop.
Once the target Mac's hard disk appears as a mounted volume on the host computer's desktop, there are several processes that can help get a non-booting Mac back into shape.
First, trying using Apple's Disk Utility (located in the Applications/Utilities folder on a normal Mac OS X 10.3.x or 10.2.x installation) to repair the target Mac's startup volume. Next, you can try a third-party disk repair utility, like DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro or Norton Utilities.
Some users have also reported that turning journaling off (or oddly, on in some cases) allows normal startup. This can also be accomplished in Disk Utility by selecting the target disk in the left-hand column and clicking the "enable journaling" button in the toolbar.
Finally, you can use the host computer to perform an archive and install operation on the target volume.
When you are done performing repairs or re-installation, drag the target volume to the trash, then turn off the target Mac and unplug the FireWire cable.
As a final note, make sure that no external hardware devices are causing the startup problems (disconnect all USB, FireWire, and other devices) before attempting a recovery via TDM.
A few readers have reported that their Macs are searching for a network startup volume (indicated by a flashing icon of earth at startup) after applying the Mac OS X 10.3.4.
In some cases, the "flashing earth icon" is a accompanied by a flashing question mark, which indicates that no network startup volume can be found.If your Mac searches for a network startup volume but eventually boots properly, open System Preferences and use the "Startup Disk" pane to make sure the proper startup volume is selected. If your Mac never passes through the search phase to proper startup, try holding down the option key while your Mac starts up to select a startup volume.
Slower startups because of network startup volume search When there is a delay in startup due to network volume searching, you may want to use the "Network" pane of System Preferences to disable ports that are not in use (use Show: Network Configurations).
MacFixIt reader Jonathan Worley writes "I have been trying to figure out why I get a spinning cursor as the finder is loading on startup. Sometimes my PowerBook 17" 1 Gigahertz would start up in 30 seconds and in other cases a minute and a half, stalling as the finder was loading. By accident I discovered that when I was unplugged from my Ethernet connection that the system started up in thirty seconds. It appear that the extra time occurs when the Mac tries to establish a Network Connection at Startup. However, if no network connection is attempted the startup time is remarkably faster, and there appears to be no delay in accessing the network by plugging in after startup. A related problem may be having your network port settings set to automatic, causing the Macintosh to look for several network connections before giving up."
For some users, Mac OS X 10.3.4 causes repeated kernel panics that, after exhausting all other troubleshooting procedures (including removal of external devices and checking for bad RAM), require reversion to Mac OS X 10.3.3:
Reader Sven writes "After updating to 10.3.4 I get kernel panics after waking from sleep on a Dual 2.0 G5 using the Apple approved D-Link bluetooth adapter. The keyboard and mouse are the apple bluetooth units. All have been updated with the latest firmwares. I repaired the permissions, zapped PRAM, ran a disk check but these did not resolve the problem. I did a clean install of 10.3.4 and the problem continues. If I go back to 10.3.3 there is no problem."
Stickies "minimize windows" is greyed out in the windows menu with the Update to 10.3.4. The Command M does nothing.
However, as Irene Stern Friedman points out, you can minimize by double clicking on the dark bar at the top of a sticky-note.
In its "read before installing" document, Apple states:
"You may experience unexpected results if you have installed third-party system software modifications, or if you have modified the operating system through other means. This precautionary statement does not apply to the normal installation of application software."
While a number of uses may mistakenly finger haxies as the culprit for troubleshooting issues that manifest after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update, we have seen direct links to interface issues in Safari and other apps, login issues, and more. Further, there is no harm in temporarily removing the haxies and restarting to check for improvement.
That said, many users have several haxies installed and are experiencing no problems after the update:
MacFixIt reader Thomas writes "The following haxies were installed and active during install: FruitMenu, Xounds, AudioHijack-Server, iChatAlchemyTVPatch, ParanoidAndroid, WindowShadeX.
"I keep my system maintained using Cocktail's Pilot, I checked/repaired permissions prior to install (2 repaired) and after install (nothing). The whole system appears to be a bit snappier. I'm a happy camper."
Some users have reported that after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.4, the Apple Menu stopped working. One user was able to resolve the issue by restarting directly from the Terminal (the Apple menu contains direct access to restart and shutdown functions).
Jason Kacmarski writes "I first noticed it because I went to 'About this mac," beach-balled for about 15 seconds, then came back but nothing happened. I figured a restart would do the trick, unfortunately, shutdown and restart weren't working either since they're in the Apple menu. [...] Not being a fan of hard rebooting, I went to the terminal. In case anyone's curious the command for a restart is 'sudo shutdown -r now' without quotes of course and you'll need an admin password for sudo. This worked and upon rebooting everything was back to normal. My first ever issue with an OS X update."
Mac OS X's built-in CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) is exhibiting strange behavior for some users, which was also seen with some prior Mac OS X upgrades, where if the user wants to modify printers a password prompt appears, but no password is accepted.
MacFixIt reader Lysikrates has a Terminal-based workaround that he says resolved the issue on four separate Macs:"I found that the security updater saved a copy of the old cupsd.conf as cupsd.conf.applesaved. If I reinstated the old copy of cupsd.conf and restarted CUPS, I had the same access to the administrative functions as before.
- cd /etc/cups
- sudo mv cupsd.conf cupsd.conf.securitybak
- sudo mv cupsd.conf.applesaved cupsd.conf
- sudo killall -HUP cupsd
"This will back up the newly installed cupsd.conf for use when someone figures out what needs changing in that file to allow an "admin" user to get access. It will then replace the original cupsd.conf file and restart the CUPS daemon. "
Jay Majer reports that his display refresh settings cannot be changed after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.4: "First problem I've ever had with 10.3.4. Display settings are stuck at 75Hz. All the other frequencies are grayed out. This is with a Quicksilver G4 and ViewSonic A95f display."
Internet connection gone: repairing permissions can fix Several users have reported loss of network activity after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update. For some, the solution may be as simple as repairing permissions with Apple's Disk Utility:
One reader writes "I too, lost my internet connections for a very short while. Everything was sluggish. As soon as repaired permissions everything was just fine. Same on all three computers in my home."
One of the best first-steps for resolving application launch issues after a major Mac OS X update is to use the Apple Disk Utility (located in Applications/Utilities) to repair permissions. Also, deleting offending applications' .plist files (located in ~/System/Preferences) has worked to resolve the issues on a number of occasions.
That said, here are some of the application-specific issues readers have noticed since the 10.3.4 update (note that these problems are not universal, and in-house we have been able to launch all of the following applications) :
iTunes not launching One reader writes "After I installed 10.3.4 on my dual USD iBook (500 Mhz), iTunes refuses to launch. I've tried to Repair Permissions, but this doesn't seem to work. Has anyone else encountered this same problem? All other applications seem to work just fine so far."
WorldBook 2003 not launching Josh Camp writes "I just updated to 10.3.4 and World Book 2003 will no longer launch, neither will World Book Atlas. I reinstalled World Book but nothing changed." [Note that there is a Panther update for WorldBook that should be installed by any Mac OS X 10.3.x users]
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 not launching Phyllis Gallimore reports similar problems with Adobe's consumer photo editing program: "This program won't launch after update. just hangs on 'initializing.' and then when i go to 'force quit,' it says 'not responding' beside it."
FireFox freezes One reader is having issues with the Firefox Web browser: "I am having trouble with Firefox. Spinning pointer and had to restart. I have made Firefox the default browser until today, it wouldn't work properly. Problems began after the 10.3.4 update."
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/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist) 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.
MacFixIt reader David Wong reports that he is unable to fileshare with Mac OS 9.2 systems after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update:
"Recently upgraded my PowerMac G5 from 10.3.2 to 10.3.4. Since then, can not copy folders from Mac OS 9.2 G4 to the external firewire hard drive (Lacie 120 GB) which is attached to the G5 (10.3.4) (through a small local area network).
"Giving the message 'The item 'Icon' cannot be written, because you do not have enough access privileges. Do you want to continue?' 'Stop' or 'Continue.' If I click 'continue,' it will copy the folder but without the contents inside the folder. The same folder can be copied onto the G5 internal Hard Drive without any problem.
Loss of iBook internal microphone Several readers report that Mac OS X 10.3.4 causes loss of functionality for the internal microphone on some iBooks.
"After upgrading to OS X10.3.4 the inbuilt microphone on an iBook (Dual USB) is no longer recognized. System Preferences>Sound>Input pane reports "No input devices found". Booting from an external firewire drive with 10.3.2 shows the microphone is working. Occasionally setting the Startup Disk to 10.3.4 whilst booted to 10.3.2 restores the microphone in 10.3.4 but that only lasts till the next restart of the iBook. Some users on Apple Discussions are reporting the same problem of lost microphone. Resetting PRAM and repairing permissions did not fix the problem."
Applications launching faster ... really Several readers are reporting enhanced application launch speed after Mac OS X 10.3.4. According to a few reader reports and other sources, this may be an improvement that Apple knowingly implemented, but simply did not document:
Adam Williams writes "In beta releases of Mac OS X 10.3.4, one of the biggest listed changes was that apple made a change that would improve the launching of apps that were not prebound. Surprising they pulled this change from the final releases notes as it was in every beta as a significant part of test to see if apps were launching faster or at all. So for once the claims of faster app launchings are actually true."
Long links in Mail.app now work Guy Thompson is one of the many readers who is finally able to use long URL and e-mail links in Apple's Mail.app:
"The 10.3.4 update states that it 'Addresses a Mail issue in which a long address (URL) in a Mac OS X Panther Mail message may not open in your Web browser when you click it.'"
"I have have had this problem for quite a while, and switched to Thunderbird because it annoyed me so much. After updating to 10.3.4 and sending 4 long links to two friends who never were able to use my links, I can say that it appears that this problem has been fixed. I will return to using Mail.app and hopefully this problem does not surface again."
Safari scrolling fixed David Oshel reports that the cosmetic overlapping line bug in Safari scrolling seems to be fixed.Telnet vulnerability patched MacFIxIt reader Oliver North writes that Mac OS X 10.3.4 update appears to fix for a Telnet URI vulnerability.
"For example, clicking telnet://-nFoo does NOT now create a file on your computer."
Unfortunately, the change necessitates updates for some Telnet software tools:
Josh writes "I loaded new system upgrade to 10.3.4 (from 10.3.3). My Telnet Launcher 2.7.3 suddenly didn't work properly. Fortunately the solution was to download Telnet Launcher 2.7.6, and -voila- everything is back in working order. The new version even found and automatically used my old Telnet connection profiles without me having to re-enter them."
Other security enhancements in Mac OS X 10.3.4 include:
- NFS: Improves logging when tracing system calls.
- Packaging: Improves package installation.
- TCP/IP: provides better handling of out-of-sequence TCP packets.