News Archive for: Friday Nov. 16, 2007
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Summary of initial 10.5.1 problems/troubleshooting/tips
Although as I mentioned last night, on my G5 Tower I had no problems with the 10.5.1 update (I did a fresh reboot and used the OS X 10.5.1 Update download) but I've had a lot of mails from readers that saw the multiple SUID warnings (frameworks, etc.) in repair permissions after the update. As I mentioned last night - repeatedly running RP cleared those for some, although a few have said it didn't.
The other tip mentioned last night was a reminder to try a reinstall from the download updater - that solved the problem for several readers. (Some noted no longer seeing even the (harmless) "ARDAgent" warning - which I mentioned before (repeatedly) is not a cause of concern per Apple.) 95% of initial mails on 10.5.1 were regarding the SUID warnings - but most initially didn't mention trying repeated repairs or a reinstall of 10.5.1 updater from the download. (Getting more mails today that helped.) However as with every OS X update, some have had odd problems that nothing seems to fix.

BTW: In the (Application) Firewall, if you have selected the 2nd option (to "Allow only essential services"), remember that severely limits open ports and affects some functions/features - for example you won't be able to Sync AppleTV (port blocked). See the (updated) Apple doc on OS X 10.5 Leopard: About the Application Firewall. Adding iTunes to the apps list in the 3rd option works of course. When 10.5.0 was first released World of Warcraft users that added the app there had validation problems with Blizzard's online check and had to reinstall WoW. (The above Apple firewall doc has related info on this in the last paragraphs on the page.) I also enabled "Stealth mode" in the advanced settings (double checked that after the update.)

Force rebuild of prebindings: If you're having odd problems/errors, or sluggish performance - check the system logs for " Throttling respawn" messages. A tip is to try a force rebinding using the terminal - i.e. "sudo update_prebinding -force -root /" then reboot.

External Drives - got a mail from a reader that ran leopard from an external (USB) drive that said he could not boot from it after the 10.5.1 update. He said other ext. drive owners had reported problems w/10.5.1 in Apple forums (no links sent unfortunately). But of course few problems are ever 100% common - a Quicksilver owner said he's running 10.5.1 on his Firewire drive OK, although Leopard's Disk Utility reported "Volume header needs minor repair" errors on the drive as well as his Tiger drive (and attempts to repair in 10.5's DU show "Filesystem verify or repair failed") - but fsck and other utils reported no problems with them. And as a FYI, Matt wrote that per Alsoft, Disk Warrior 4 run from the boot CD is still ok to use, but personally I'm avoiding any 3rd party utilities 'fixing' anything that's not broken at this point.

Another reader had a problem with the Setup assistant repeatedly showing up - I sent him a link to this apple doc OS X 10.5: Setup Assistant appears after every restart (included in yesterday's long list of updated Apple TS docs) - he replied the tip in that doc helped.

The About the Mac OS X 10.5.1 Update lists many improvements/fixes by topic - but I didn't see any mention of a fix for what some of us PPC 10.5 users have experienced - major performance hits when shared volumes are mounted/used. (This was reported here the day 10.5 arrived on Oct. 26th and I saw this personally while copying a file from my G5 to a friend's iDisk public folder last week.) I'm going to test for this tonight now that I have 10.5.1 installed, but if any other PPC mac owners have already, let me know.

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    ATI Cards/30in Cinema Display problems in Leopard
    From a reader mail yesterday (knock on wood my original production run X800 card seems fine in 10.5/10.5.1 so far, but I've not used fast user switching for instance - but have used Spaces - and I'm not using a 30in Display. (And as mentioned in a tip/post a couple weeks ago - the ATI ROM Xtender file is present, some 9600 Mac/PC owners noted the lack of it in Leopard caused problems. See Oct. 31st news page Tip for anyone with Display/Sleep problems in 10.5 with ATI Radeon cards)

    " It still seems to be the case that the Radeon X850 XT doesn't really work with Leopard, even with 10.5.1. My systems are (with a fresh install on an external firewire drive, dual 2.7 G5) an unpleasant disappearance/reappearance of the dock when some applications quit, and a total freeze if I try fast user switching. The ATI ROM Extender doesn't seem to help.

    Have you contacted ATI about this? (I forwarded his mail to an ATI support contact - but this is the first X850 mail on 10.5 that I've had. Although as I mentioned earlier, there have been more than a few new build X800 owners with problems (not 10.5 specific), as well as some previous posts here on ATI Displays utility and OS X Leopard.-Mike) I seem to recall that other people had similar issues with the X800, but you seem to be using that card without difficulty. Any hints?

    (I replied with some questions, etc. - he later wrote)
    My first install was just an update to the internal hard drive; it exhibited the same problems (a little worse, since the whole screen would flash instead of just the dock disappearing.) I ended up wiping the drive and reinstalling 10.4 from a backup since I need this computer for my work. Then I tried a fresh install on the external drive.

    It's true that most of the complaints I've seen (many similar to mine, especially with regard to fast user switching) seem to involve the X800, but there are enough similarities out there to make me think it's a driver issue. Still, I'm surprised; have you tried fast user switching? Note that I'm using a 30" Cinema display; this may be an issue, since people say the problem doesn't occur with lower resolution - Haven't tried myself. (FYI - I'm using a 24in DVI 1920x1200 LCD display w/my early X800.-Mike)

    I guess I could hunt up the original card the computer came with which is in my attic somewhere, but I was hoping not to have to do this. If I could find out what to expect in the future... Thanks for the fast reply... If you can get any info from ATI, lots of people would be grateful.
    Thanks, -Arthur O."

    If anyone else has a suggestion or comment on this, let me know.
    A later mail from a reader w/X800 card and 30in Cinema Display wrote he's not had any problems with that combo in Leopard:

    " I'm using an ATI X800 with my Power Mac G5 dual 1.8 GHz and 3 GB RAM driving a 30" and a 17". OS X 10.5.1.
    No problems at all, but then I don't use fast switching.
    The only problem I had initially was no menu bars in any Apple Pro app, but doing a clean boot (Shift + Restart) brought them back and everything seems fine now, including Time Machine.
    Russell H.
    Director, The Multimedia Factory "

    Another reader said Apple's forums have other posts on the subject (and again there's been more than a few general X800 problem (vram/display artifacts) reports and also X1900 (Mac Pro) owners reporting problems also - this has been mentioned here previously in news posts, and even articles/pages on the X1900 for instance (see Video topics page, graphics card section - here's one for example on ATI X1900 XT Artifacts/Overheating Notes/Tips) - but the above mail mentioned Leopard specific problems which I've not seen (but again I don't use a 30in Display)

    " Hi Mike, regarding the issues with ATI graphics cards in Mac (Pro) towers: those seem to be well known, there are multiple threads in Apple's support discussion forums. Especially when using a 30 inch display, there are distortions when displaying Time Machine's starfield or playing Quicktime movies in fullscreen mode. Also, the menubar is not transparent. (FYI - per Apple that indicates no Core Image Support (see OS X 10.5: Menu bar appears solid instead of translucent) - which the X800 series of course normally does support - but if CI fails at higher res, that explains problems with fast user switching also.-Mike) Those quirks disappear when a lower resolution is selected.

    I have a 2003 G5 (Dual 2 GHz) with a ATI X800 and a 30 inch Apple Cinema Display. Feel free to contact me if you need further information.
    Cheers, Joerg
    (I asked for links to apple forum theads, as I'm up to my ears in mails and work and it's good to have links to posts with more details. But if Core Image isn't working at higher res, then that would cause a lot of image/display feature problems)

    There are several threads on graphics issues with Leopard:

  • Glitches still in 10.5.1
  • Fast User switching
  • Display glitches
  • Time machine graphic glitches
  • HUGE Thread about graphic artifacts "
  • I've sent a contact at ATI support all the above info and he's looking into the problem.

    I'm happy so far with my X800 in 10.5.x, but again I'm using a 24in LCD running its native 1920x1200 mode. (The 30in is very impressive but the slower response comments in the past (for fast moving content for instance) make the display I have a better choice for me.)

    (A bit off-topic but since Arthur has a dual 2.7GHz G5, I sent him a reminder to check for coolant leaks, as in the last few months I've had a lot of LCS G5 owners report on leaks (some that had been leaking for some time and not noticed until a major short circuit/damage happened.)

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    10.5.1 notes from G5 owner w/30in Display and Nvidia 6800 card
    (Updated 9:20PM)

    "I have found 5 bugs in Leopard day one, but I waited till 10.5.1 to see if Apple will correct any of them (I reported all via Apple feedback page). It seems I have no luck. The system is Dual G5 2.5GHz, 6800 Ultra and Cinema 30in Display. (Earlier today there's a post on problems seen by owners of 30in Cinema Displays and Radeon X8x0 cards. I wrote to verify he had not seen anything like that with his 6800/30in setup.-Mike)

    Nope, not a single problem of that kind yet! It must be ATI specific. I'll let you know if I notice something!

    1) New multithreaded OpenGL seems faster but it has nasty polygon bug that makes WoW unplayable on many locations. Blizzard tech support was fast on this one:

      "We are aware of some issues with leopard and Nvidia 6x00s with G4 and G5 systems. Unfortunately at the moment there is little that can be to remedy the problems you have reported but it has been reported and is currently under investigation by Apple and Nvidia. The only suggestion we can give would be to move back to OS 10.4 till a solution or update has been released."

    However, I have found a workaround to this and it works great, at least for me - you have to set in-game resolution to the native resolution of the display. Yes, you'll loose a few FPS but nothing major on a 2.5GHz G5 system. (only a few FPS drop running at the native 30in Cinema display res? Compared to what lower res? What detail settings?)
    Only about 5-7 down from my previous setting (1280x800) that worked nicely on Tiger, and as I am not a "FPS junkie" I keep almost all settings on high or very high with all shaders on. I guess that reason for such a low drop in FPS is the new multithreaded OpenGL - or the fact that I have already saturated the system with processor intensive options in lower resolution? Most of time I get 15-25 fps and that's perfectly playable for me. I am sorry that I haven't tested 2560x1600 resolution on Tiger (who could guess?) so that we can tell how much the new OpenGL is faster.

    2) USB Soundsticks bug. They worked flawlessly on Tiger but now Leopard ignores them after sleep. (the iSub reportedly is no longer supported either - even w/PPC Macs...) They are still listed on USB bus but the system ignores them. Reconnecting them solves the problem but that is very frustrating. Interesting part is that this problem shows only after a longer sleep (a few hours).
    (FYI - see below for a reader using a Ministack's Hub for soundsticks, saying he's not had any problems with them after waking from sleep.
    But as a FYI - Apple also has a doc on Shared Printers removed from printer list after sleep
    BTW - The other day (10.5.0) I had iTunes suddenly fail to recognize an iPod - it had just 5 min before sync'd it , but repeated restarts and even disconnect/reconnects did not help. Then I remembered an old tip to try a -different USB port- and that did it. Just a FYI in case anyone else sees that sort of thing.-Mike

    3) I have made SMB shared volume on a G4 Mac mini and it dismounts itself from time to time on Macs and PCs in my network. That happens for no obvious reason and even with active files in use. Similar setup on Tiger worked flawlessly.
    (I asked if he'd seen the AFP performance hit with PPC macs that some of us have. Apple also has some recent docs on Large file downloads timeout and need to be restarted and Supported router devices (OS X 10.5)-Mike)

    4) Movies stop playing when minimized on dock/ It seems so on every machine I have tested. (Movies audio continues to play but the Dock icon of the movie doesn't change)

    5) Hide (CMD+H) doesn't work on some old applications when Spaces are enabled (ICQ client for example).
    Best wishes, Davor P. "

    A reply from another reader regarding Leopard/Soundsticks/sleep:

    " My USB SoundSticks work great with Leopard. iMac G5 iSight, 2.1 GHz model. I put my iMac to sleep daily and the SoundSticks are always working when I wake it up. They are currently plugged into a NewerTech V2 MiniStack hard drive, which is always on for Time Machine.
    I have not tried plugging them into the iMac directly.
    -Peter H."
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    First feedback on (Alum) iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0
    First reader feedback on the (Alum) iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 listed in yesterday's news:

    " I got one of the new 2.8 GHz 24 inch iMacs on Monday. I have had a couple of the freezes people described. I was able to duplicate by going to the screensaver control panel and "trying" to select Arabesque. I would lose mouse control then.

    I've also had problems with my bluetooth might mouse and my logitech wireless mx700 after i woke the iMac from sleep. They would both stop working. A wired apple mouse worked fine. I couldn't get the logitech mouse to work even if i unplugged the base station and then back in. (BTW - I had a reader say you should avoid the Logitech LCC software with Leopard.-Mike) I couldn't open bluetooth connections to setup the mouse again (it crashed). Another time it did open but it did not see the bluetooth mouse.

    Another issue I had once is a frozen black screen in the middle of playing World of Warcraft (but the 2.3 patch came out yesterday (actually released the 14th) so maybe it was related to that).

    Anyways, I've got the firmware update installed. Here are some screenshots of the graphics screen from system profiler before and after. (here's the info from the before/after ASP info screenshots-Mike)

      Before Update:
    • ROM Revision: 113-B2250F-212
    • EFI Driver Version: 01.00.212

      After Update:
    • ROM Revision: 113-B2250F-219
    • EFI Driver Version: 01.00.219

    You can see the changes to the ROM Revision and the EFI Driver version.

    FYI- The updater said the update was installed but the firmware thing doesn't actually run until you quit software update. Software Update doesn't say a restart is required at all. But a restart is needed after the firmware runs.

    Oh and I'm running leopard 10.5 with all the updates and stuff. I have NOT done 10.5.1 yet. I have 1 GB ram.

    I haven't had any issues yet but then I just did the update. Oh and before I did the update I tried my normal test of going into he screen saver control panel. There were no problems. And there were no problems after the update either yet. If I get any weirdness, i'll let you know! *fingers crossed* Maybe this will fix it all!
    cya, Bill"

    If you missed the copy of it in yesterday's news, see the notes in the About iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 also.
    I welcome other feedback from anyone that's applied this update. If it helps with freezes or other issues you had previously, let me know the details. Thanks.

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    More feedback on Silicon Image chip-based cards/drivers and Leopard
    Follow-up to a post in the Nov. 13th from a (non-RAID array) user that had problems with his SI-chip based Cooldrives controller - a reader's reply that day included a link to a Silicon Image site drivers page:

    Here's Dan's reply that one of the drivers from the page link above helped:

    "The reader named Bruce was helpful with his post. The SI driver 2.0.3\ mentioned in his post fixed my problem. Thanks!
    (An AMUG reviewer had said the RAID driver had very poor performance on his RAID5 array, but Dan noted above he's not using RAID mode-Mike)
    I used the SiI3124 32 bit universal Mac OS X 10.4.x BASE driver v.2.0.3 dated 12/26/06. There are 5 different drivers on the page linked in Bruce's post - one may fit your needs. Good luck.
    -Dan F."
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    Updated Apple Support/Troubleshooting Docs
    Updated 9PM Friday, later added items first
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    Software Updates, Other News/Articles

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    Recent Articles and Reviews
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