News Archive for: Monday Nov. 19, 2007
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External Drives with OS X 10.5.1 (updated w/user solutions for hangs)
Updated with later replies/solutions to the hang at boot after the 10.5.1 update. Some questioned how long they had waited on the initial reboot after the update - not everyone using an external drive to run 10.5.1 had this problem. (All this reminded me of an old post (long before leopard) about initial reboot hangs after an update related to installer cleanup files left over (failed to complete process) but I can't recall the details now.)

" I noticed a post on your page about a (MacBook/Pro) user no longer being able to boot from an external usb drive. I have leopard installed on an external firewire hard drive (it's an acomdata hard drive) with my macbook pro. It stopped working after applying the 10.5.1 update -- it appears to hang at the gray apple screen forever.

(I asked David if he had any idea what the bridge board is in that drive (Check ASP - curious if it's an Oxford series or a Prolific series or some other brand/model). Also asked if he updated to 10.5.1 using Software Update or the download updater.<)
I can't say for certain what bridge it uses, but it is a firewire 400-only drive. System profiler reports "DMI" as the manufacturer, model "0x540", and it has an Hitachi Deskstar mechanism.
I initially used software update. After it wouldn't boot, I reverted back to 10.5 by an archive and install installation. Functionality was restored and I tried updating to 10.5.1 again using the .dmg installer from Apple's website. Same result -- hangs at the gray apple screen with the spinning gear. I have since reverted back to 10.5 using archive and install. Everything works fine at the moment.
There are a handful of reports at the Apple Discussions page from people experiencing the exact same issue with a MacBook and MacBook Pro (<- which is what I use). But at least one poster reported no problems using an external firewire drive with a Mac mini.
This appears to be a rather serious issue, but probably not too common. Hopefully it'll get sorted out soon.

(he later wrote)
I followed the suggestion from Apple Discussions member, which discovered the source of the problem causing some firewire and usb external hard drives to no longer boot after the 10.5.1 update is applied. This is what I did to fix the problem:

1. Boot my Tiger installation on my internal drive
2. Use Cocktail to show hidden files in the Finder
3. Browse to /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService on my external firewire hard drive and deleted the file .DSIsRunning
4. Reboot from my external drive in safe mode
5. Reboot normally

I am now sending you this message while booted from my external firewire hard drive in 10.5.1.
-David S."

BTW - One reader said simply running DiskWarrior (v4 I assume) on a drive that hung after the update solved the problem. Here's another mail with their solution:

" Hiya, After applying 10.5.1 update on my external FireWire 400 drive connected to my Intel iMac, I also got the gray screen. I solved the problem by:

1. Booted into Tiger and opened Disk Utility, and ran Repair Disk permissions on ALL the connected drives (Leopard and Tiger). (Not sure if this was actually needed or not.)

2. While booted into Tiger, I opened the Leopard /Library/Preferences on my Leopard drive (NOT the System/Library). I noticed that there were quite a few network and internet/airport type plists that had dates associated with the time I applied the 10.5.1 update.

I threw ALL of them away; all of them. Every .plist that had a date and time associated with the updated software install. (Ok, I was a tad careless as I didn't not save copies.) (Examples include:,, plist, and,) (NOTE: Do NOT throw away anything in PreferencePanes folder)

3. I rebooted into Leopard off the external without a hitch after that.

I think it is either a preference file or network-related cache file that is causing the problem, but caches are stashed in all kinds of locations and I was too lazy to search. ;-)
(she later wrote)
I am using a D-link router on a Comcast network (cable) with the built-in airport card in the iMac and I did NOT have to reenter a thing!
ilene hoffman
Macintosh Consultant/Writer "

I welcome other reports from those that are running 10.5.1 from an external (FW or USB) hard drive. Let me know all the details you can on your drive and system/setup. Thanks

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Request for feedback on Leopard Installs via PCI IDE (PATA) and SATA cards
Some readers have had problems installing Leopard on IDE PCI Cards (the most recent mail was from an ACARD 6280M user - note these cards are listed as SCSI in ASP, as they were in OS 9.x also - BTW - I asked if he had checked acard's website for any firmware updates for it - he later wrote updating the firmware solved the problem.)
I'm looking to create a list of known working and not working card models (and firmware revisions used).
If you own a PCI IDE card (or even SATA card) and have tried to install OS X Leopard on a connected drive, let me know the details. Please include:

  • Card brand/model (some companies rebrand Acard, SIIG, Firmtek models as their own)
  • Apple System profiler info on the card (which will include firmware 'revision')
  • If you have have a problem - does the card mfr's site have any updates for the card? (or are you running the latest already)
  • Mac Model card is installed in
  • Basic info on drives connected to the card

I know some of you may have already mentioned some basic info on previous mails on 10.5.x but if you could resend the info again with the details above I'd appreciate it. (thousands of mails with just 10.5 subject lines so this way I can spot those just related to PCI controller card connected drives.)

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More Feedback on Adaptec SCSI Cards in Leopard (SCSI Hard Drive problems)
(Updated) Although several 2930 and 2906 owners have reported the tip of reinstalling the last Adaptec OS X driver worked to get the cards recognized and working with their Scanners, I've had several owners that used SCSI hard drives with their Adaptec 29160 and 39160's say their connected SCSI drives either did not mount in Leopard or could not be formatted in Disk Utility.
A 29160 owner said the 10.5.1 update required another reinstall of the 2004 drivers and then the drive mounted as Read Only, and later wrote DU would not format it - all options grayed out. I also asked him to check (finder get info) to see if the drive was set to ignore user permissions or not (it was I believe he later said. I assume the drives are not jumpered to read only) A 39160 owner said the connected drives just didn't mount.
Update: The 39160 owner later that the problem was due to his ribbon cable (incorrectly connected to both card ports) - after correcting that he said both his IBM SCSI 36GB drives are mounting and can be used for read and writes. (I don't think he installed 10.5 to one of the SCSI drives - but good to hear they are usable for R/W. Years ago there were notes here on later Towers like the QS and MDD Macs needed a nvram tweak for the 29160/39160 cards to be bootable - that info is in the FAQ's SCSI Cards section.)
If anyone else has used SCSI drives with their Adaptec card in Leopard let me know. Thanks. (Note: I assume owners had used the cards/drives previously - to rule out any cabling/termination/drive jumper, etc. issues.)
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More Notes/Tips on WoW with Leopard
(Updated 11:35AM with more notes (below this post) on MT OpenGL/PPC macs.)

" Just thought I'd stop by and ask if the reader with the "polygon bug" in World of Warcraft (G5 Tower/6800 Ultra owner post in Friday's news - his workaround was to run the game at the native LCD res.-Mike) had tried these settings in the game to alleviate his problems. (I think I posted a link to Blizzard's post on 'glfaster' about a year or so ago IIRC.-Mike)

    /console glfaster 1

This sets the OpenGL acceleration to the default level, and is recommended on most Intel systems, and also when the next choice doesn't work properly, or if you have an Intel GMA chipset.

    /console glfaster 2

Maximum multi-threading power. Dramatic increase in FPS at the cost of utilizing multiple CPU cores. Can be buggy on certain systems, and on Mac Pros at least can slow down dramatically if you get "smoke" type particle displays *at your character's viewpoint location*. This setting however, makes Shattrath suck less...a lot less.

    /console glfaster 0

Completely turns off Multi-threaded OpenGL and reverts to the system used on single CPU G4/G5 systems. Noticeable drop in FPS (5-15%) from MT OGL mode, but known rock solid. (Note - see reply below for notes on this with PPC Macs)

Also, he should set his multisample rate to 1x to verify that the problem isn't in the way WoW handles texture sampling and compositing.

For those reading this, please note that the glfaster options are *Intel Mac specific*. They are not designed for PC or PPC systems and may crash PPC Macs if altered. (the reader from friday has a PPC (G5) Mac - Leopard adds Multithreaded OpenGL support for PPC macs but see the reply below also)

Have the reader I'm responding to check his file for a "glfaster" line and make note of its current setting so he can return to it later if he wants to (and to make a backup of the folder containing said file first).

Now if Blizzard would fix the bug where character models literally disappear in certain parts of instances until you move out of those spots...;)
- Chibi D. "

Another reply on this subject with notes on the PPC Mac bug:

" Hi Mike, I just read Chibi's notes on the GLFaster variable for WoW. It actually works on PPC systems now. Leopard finally included some new functionality for PPC machines which had been available only on Intel systems with Tiger, which includes MT-OGL. Now there is a bug in the PPC implementation of MT-OGL which causes WoW to crash if you disable it ( /console GLFaster 0) and then enable (/console GLFaster 1) but Blizzard knows about it and has already filed a bug with Apple. The default is GLFaster 1.

As the original poster mentioned, the flickering with the PPC and 6800 card is a known issue with Blizzard and they've filed a bug report with Apple.
Ciao!, A.J. "

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Other News/Misc. Software Updates/Apple support docs
later added items first (includes updated Apple support/TS docs)

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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