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December 2007

December 31

Workaround for Entourage/Exchange 2007 problem synching mail

Monday, December 31, 2007

Jeffrey Berman is also seeing the problem of Entourage failing to receive some email from Exchange 2007. He also discovered an error on the server and offered a workaround:

Yes, I can confirm this problem. What is unsettling is that the Exchange Server 2007 does not sync all received messages with Entourage 2004.

I can see certain messages in the inbox folder if I access the account using Outlook Web Access or use Outlook on a Windows machine. But these messages are never delivered to the Entourage inbox folder for the Exchange account...

Leopard problem with Banana VPN

Monday, December 31, 2007

Peter van Rijn reports a problem with Leopard and the Banana virtual private network system:

I was reading your articles on Leopard not being compatible with some VPNs. I just signed up with Banana VPN and it works perfectly on PC. I loaded it on my new Mac with Leopard 10.5.1 and it worked for about 2 hours and now I can't get I to connect. It says something about not being able to negotiate with PPP.

If you've seen this problem

Another case of Leopard VPN malfunction within VM

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bruce Johnson is another user having problem getting a virtual private network connection from Windows running in a virtual machine in Leopard:

I'm having the same issue with a newly installed Leopard 10.5 on a MacBook. I had to apply the libssl and libcrypto fixes to get it working with our Windows PPTP server.

I get the long pause on "Verifying username and password" followed by an error 721 "The remote computer did not respond" using the shared Ethernet.

I get an immediate error 800 "Unable to establish a VPN connection" using the bridged Ethernet.

I'm not connected via VPN in OS X when I do this, and I installed Parallels via their download this morning, Build 5582.0.

Other readers have reported that the problem also occurs with VMware Fusion, only with Leopard, with different VPN clients.

If you know of a workaround

Astaro solution enables iPhone connections over VPN

Monday, December 31, 2007

Astaro Corporation is shipping IPSec and PPTP virtual private network (VPN) solutions that enable iPhone users to connect through its Astaro Security Gateway VPN servers. The iPhone's email and web browsing capabilities will work through the Astaro VPN.

Astaro also offers a noncommercial, free, home user software license available for download. Step-by-step instructions on configuring iPhone and Astaro Security Gateway VPN settings are also available at the Astaro site.

Mark/Space releases Leopard-compatible Missing Sync series for Win Mobile, Blackberry, Palm

Monday, December 31, 2007

Mark/Space has released Leopard-compatibility updates to several of its Mac-to-mobile devices connectivity software. This includes The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4.0.2, The Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0.3, and The Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.2. All are free downloads for current version owners.

The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4.0.2 also includes improvements that benefit Tiger users, including performance enhancements and SMS log syncing improvements.

iArchiver utility converts between Unix, Zip archive formats

Monday, December 31, 2007

We've updated the third-party product listings on our Compression Solutions page to include iArchiver ($US 9), a shareware compression utility. Its notable feature is the ability to convert whole archives between several Unix formats (such as RAR and TAR), ZIP, and Apple's .DMG disk image format. iArchiver can also compress and decompress in various Unix, Zip, and Mac formats, including SIT, and can encode/decode MacBinary and BinHex. (.EXE archives are not supported.)

(Thanks to Philipp Mayerhofer for the tip.)





December 27

Thursby releases Leopard-ready ADmitMac 4.0, DAVE 7.0

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursby Software Systems has released ADmitMac 4.0, a new version of its Mac OS X software for integrating Macs into Active Directory environments. The company also released DAVE 7.0, a new version of the NTLMv2-compatible SMB file/print client/server for Mac OS X. Both new versions add compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard 10.5...

Remove older DAVE builds to avoid file share problems with Leopard

Thursday, December 27, 2007

As we have previously noted, DAVE 6.x and AdMitMac 3.x and earlier are incompatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Thursby has now released upgrades of both. J. Thierry reported a problem with the older version of DAVE, and notes that a complete removal was required:

Before upgrade to Leopard : no problem. After upgrading to Leopard, on my MacBook Pro, PC share icon appears in the shared computers of the Mac, but connection always failed whatever I did.

The problem was the older version of application DAVE 6.xx. I removed it using CleanApp, but it was not completely removed.

I performed a complete removal, and bingo, as in a dream, all is OK. The Mac has access to all the Windows shared folders.

(Theirry has not tried the DAVE 7.0 upgrade, which provides Leopard comptibility.)

Readers say workarounds for Leopard file sharing woes are unpredictable

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Two readers report that none of the many workaround for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard file sharing problems work all the time. Previously, some readers have said that one or another workaround works, while others report that they don't. Yet others say workarounds work only some of time...

Reader agrees Leopard file sharing chokes on special password characters

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lewis Parker verified previous reports (here and here) that removing certain characters from Windows file server passwords can clear up Leopard file sharing problems. According to these reports, password characters that were okay in Tiger no longer work in Leopard. Parker said...

I couldn't get to my shares from a Windows 2003 server after a recent password change. When trying to connect, the authentication dialog would pop up and after I entered the password the "Connecting to server..." message would just sit there and crank. It wouldn't fail but it wouldn't ever connect. I had to relaunch the Finder (through Force Quit) to get it to go away.

Sure enough, I had a percentage sign in the password that was causing the problem. No more special characters in passwords, and it works.

However, some other readers have reported that this tip has not helped them.

Equinux redesigns VPN Tracker 5 for enhanced speed, security, and workgroup features.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Equinux has released VPN Tracker 5, a new version of the universal IPSec-based virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The company has completely rewritten the software, offering an entirely new user interface, improved performance, a set of new workgroup features, and compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. (Previous versions of VPN Tracker are not compatible with Leopard.)

VPN Tracker 5's new user interface provides interactive help in configuring and making connections. VPN Tracker will scan the error log to suggest solutions to problems.

Equinux said that the new IPSec engine can establish VPN connections in one-third of the time of previous versions. Users can also now start and stop multiple VPN connections independently. New security features include support for SmartCards, PKI Tokens, and can storage of passwords and preshared keys in the Mac OS X Keychain.

VPN Tracker 5 is available in 3 versions:

  • VPN Tracker 5 Professional, which provides all features, including support for the AES-192 and AES-256 encryption algorithms. It also facilitates deployment on multiple workstations through the creation of disk images with the client. A voucher can automatically activate the client and e-mail a pre-configured connection file. Exported connections can be locked and encrypted.
  • VPN Tracker Personal is the standard for office users that want to securely connect to a company network over the Internet.
  • VPN Tracker Player connects to VPN connections that have been created and exported by VPN Tracker 5 Professional.





December 19

Moka5 releases beta Mac version of VM distribution engine

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Moka5, Inc., has released a preview version of Moka5 Engine for Mac OS X, a beta Mac version of its software for automatically distributing and updating virtual machines over a network or USB storage device. The company currently is shipping Windows and Linux versions.

Moka5 Engine enables users to create and configure LivePCs...

Reader success with nVidia driver in Boot Camp

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oystein Saebo recommends downloading the nVidia graphics driver from nVidia to solve problems with Boot Camp:

I had the same problem with the 1.4 Boot Camp as well as 2.0 Boot Camp nVidia drivers. These drivers are actually pretty old. Installing the latest nVidia beta-drivers from the nVidia web site will make everything work perfectly.

After booting the correct monitor will be the active one. All resolutions and dual view works just fine.

Watching the Apple nVidia drivers is just a waist of time as they are not updated very often. These drivers makes it possible to play Crysis as well.

Last month, Apple posted nVidia drivers at its web site, and one reader reported that it fixed the problems within Boot Camp that he was having.

Checkpoint VPN malfunction inside of a virtual machine in Leopard

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alejandro Lagar Salas is another reader reporting problems making a virtual private network client within a virtual machine in Leopard. This time, it's the CheckPoint SecureClient:

I have the same problem trying to connect in Fusion with CheckPoint's SecureClient, it either gets stuck in the user name and password or it wont start running at all. I'm using Leopard on a MacBook Pro and Windows XP Professional in Fusion all installed in their latest versions.

Other readers have reported this problem with Leopard with both VMware and Parallels, and with other VPN clients. Our Leopard Reports page lists some workarounds to the problem.

If you've seen this problem

Reader says Entourage is missing some email with Exchange 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Skip Sorrentino's Mac users aren't getting all of their email with Entourage:

We are a K-12 institution in Maine that uses Macs in a primarily Active Directory environment. We have recently upgraded the Exchange Server to 2007.

What we have been finding is that some of our users are finding mail in Outlook Web Access (OWA) that has not been delivered to the Entourage Exchange account, set up as an Exchange account with the OWA server.

I have done a test, by setting up that user's account with IMAP, and all the missing mail gets delivered.

We do not want to go this route, because we then loose the calendaring function, being saved on the server & not being able to have the same interaction we have come to take for granted.

If you've seen this problem

Tiger Server problem with Win clients user profile

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bill Earlywine reported a problem with Tiger Server and Windows clients' user profiles:

I have an OS 10.4.10 Server acting as a Windows PDC. I cannot create a local Windows user profile - roaming profile is set by default.

Existing Windows XP users can bind, login and authenticate to the domain. These users all have a LOCAL User Profiles.

When I setup a NEW Win XP user, I can bind them to the Domain, log them in and authenticate to the domain, but I CAN'T change their USER PROFILE type from "Roaming Profile" to "Local Profile". Local profile is greyed out.

Since I don't have the storage needed to store Roaming Profiles I need all users to have a Local Profile.

If you've seen this problem

Reader's Leopard file sharing problem not fixed by turning off IPv6

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ron McBeth previously reported that turning off IPv6 fixed his Leopard Windows file sharing problem. He now says it didn't take:

I may have spoke too soon. It worked the day I tried it. I have had to restart since then (added the new Apple updates) and now it doesn't give me the Windows computers on our network.

Prosoft Netware Client for Mac beta out

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Emily Herndon previously reported that the Prosoft Netware Client for Mac was not compatible with Leopard. She now reports that a beta is available:

Prosoft engineering now has a beta update of Netware Client for Mac. It solves the bug with Leopard.





December 17

TIP: Workaround for VPC7 CD bug in Leopard

Monday, December 17, 2007

Several readers responded to Friday's post with a workaround to Virtual PC 7's the CD incompatibility with Leopard. Microsoft's Virtual PC (virtual machine software for PowerPC Macs) cannot see optical discs when running in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The workaround is to create a disc image file of the CD or DVD and then access it from within Windows in VPC...

More reports that turning off IPv6 works for Leopard browsing of Windows shares

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two more readers reported success with turning off IPv6 to get file browsing to work in Leopard.

Brett Polakowski:

I used your hint, turned off IPv6 and I can now browse Windows 2003 shares via the mount that comes up in the sidebar. Previously, if I went to that mount point it would say "Connecting" for a moment then change to "Connection Failed." It's all much better now.

Ron McBeth:

After upgrading from Tiger to Leopard, I also lost the ability to see the various Window computers on our network. Your tip to turn off IPv6 worked for me.

However, another reader reported that this did not work for him, and recommended relaunching the Finder.

TIP: Another workaround for Leopard file sharing: re-launch the Finder

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jeff Schlegel tried without success some of the other tips we've reported for file sharing with Leopard. He then came with a new one:

I've been plagued with the Leopard share access problem. Everything worked fine for the first hour, but then all the Windows/NAS shares disappeared. Tried the IPv6 trick, firewall has always been off, basically tried everything but the shares wouldn't show up in Finder and I couldn't "go" to them either.

My fix? If I re-launch Finder, everything shows back up and works perfectly. I re-launch through Main Menu but I'm sure there are other ways to do it. It usually stays working until the machine goes to sleep, and then (randomly) the problem can reappear until I re-relaunch Finder.

If you've tried this if it worked for you.

Reader feedback on firewall Leopard file sharing workarounds

Monday, December 17, 2007

A reader named Zeno said the firewall suggestion worked to enable Leopard to access file sharing, but the SMP tip did not:

Hello, I tried the suggestions for turning off the internal Firewall and the shared PC machines on our network immediately showed up. I also tried the enable SMP in the allow only essential services and this didn't work. I have a G4 Dual 1GHz running 10.5.1.

More reports of VirtualBox Beta2 and Leopard

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two more readers report that VirtualBox Beta2 virtual machine software is incompatible with Leopard:

Sekou Abodunrin notes that the guest OS doesn't matter:

I have just upgraded my tiger to leopard. VirtualBox keeps crashing irrespective of the guest OS I try to install on it.

Glenn Dixon:

VirtualBox and Leopard -- no go. Had the same problem here: turned off all extra services, no audio, no network, etc. Could not get XP virtual machine to finish loading before crashing.

Apple rep recommends lobbying Apple to fix AD-Leopard incompatibilities

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jem Dowse in London was given some advice about getting Apple to fix Leopard's Active Directory bugs:

I asked someone I know at Apple today about the various Active Directory issues that persist with Leopard. His advice is to escalate the problems with AppleCare, especially if you have one of their premium accounts. Chances are everything you say will be a known issue, but escalating it will be another prompt for Apple to prioritize some fixes. I actually got an apology of sorts from him. He said that this is completely new code and problems should be fixed in the next dot-release or two, but couldn't comment on time scale.

Me, I'm waiting for the day when I can bind just one machine to our domain even once. Till then we have 350 machines here that are definitely sticking with Tiger!

The Mac OS X 10.5.1 update did not fix these problems.

Another report on editing hosts file for Leopard/AD issues

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jason Bennett sent us report on his progress with editing host files to get around the Active Directory problems in Leopard:

I saw your post on macwindows.com regarding the 10.5 binding and editing the hosts file. I edited /etc/hosts to force all nine of our domain controllers to a single IP. Then I tried to bind and got the invalid username/password deal. Then I pinged the different domain controllers and they were pointing back to their real IPs.

I restarted the computer and pinged again and everything went to the IP I had in hosts. I thought maybe I was in the clear so I tried binding again and I got the same error. I pinged the servers again and they were back to the real IPs.

So I restarted again and pinged the DCs and they were all going off my hosts file again. Opened a terminal and pinged a server as I was trying to bind and it stayed with the hosts file but the computer didn't bind. Stopping and restarting the ping changed it back to the real IP after the bind failure. I then tried this with all of the domain controllers pinging at once as I tried binding and still no luck.

So that's where I'm at now, trying to figure out why binding to AD breaks free from the shackles of /etc/hosts.





December 14

Microsoft to release Vista update before SP1, for improved performance

Friday, December 14, 2007

eWeek reports that Microsoft will issue a preview release of a Windows Vista update, to soon be available at the Microsoft Download Center. The update will address some performance issues, such as improving disk I/O speeds by up to 15 percent, among others. Microsoft expects to issue the official release via Windows Update in January.

This update comes in advance of Service Pack 1, which Microsoft plans to release in the first quarter of 2008. Microsoft also plans to issue a preview version of Service Pack 1 this week, according to eWeek.

Microsoft previously released a bug-fix update for Vista on November 26, which is also available at the Download center.

Whether the update will have an effect (positive or negative) when running on Macs with Boot Camp or a virtual machine isn't known at this time.

Reader review of CrossOver 6.2 generally positive

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hoby Van Hoose evaluated CodeWeavers CrossOver 6.2, the current version of the software that enables Mac OS X to run Windows applications without running Windows itself. CrossOver runs selected Windows applications, and in his review, Van Hoose describes which work and which don't. (This is also available at CodeWeavers web site.) Overall, Van Hoose is bullish on CrossOver. From his conclusion:

I really hope more people become either customers or helper coders for this project. I think this is really the best way to go regarding alternate OS compatibility on Intel Macs.

PC World says Vista runs faster on a MacBook Pro than a Dell

Friday, December 14, 2007

A PC World review of notebook computers concludes that the fastest notebook for running Windows Vista is a MacBook Pro using Boot Camp. From the summary:

The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year (through 10/25/07) is a Mac. Try that again: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year--or for that matter, ever--is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware. The $2419 (plus the price of a copy of Windows Vista, of course) MacBook Pro's PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88 beats Gateway's E-265M by a single point, but the MacBook's score is far more impressive simply because Apple couldn't care less whether you run Windows.

Microsoft won't support Virtual PC in Leopard; reader reports incompatibility

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mac Observer reported yesterday that Microsoft will not support Virtual PC in Leopard. Virtual PC is virtualization software for PowerPC Macs. Virtual PC does not run on Intel Macs, and Microsoft has said that it will not port it, though the company is still selling Virtual PC for users with PowerPC Macs, and now, Mac OS X 10.4.x and earlier. Virtual PC 7.0.3 is the current, and apparently last, version.

MacWindows reader Barbara Huits reported an incompatibility with Leopard:

I installed Leopard and since that time I can start Virtual PC 7 but the Virtual PC is not longer able to capture a disc that I put in the disc drive.

This incompatibility means that cannot install Windows software from CDs or DVDs.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Virtual PC, see our Virtual PC 7 Notes and Reports page.

Boot Camp 2.0 problem with FAT partitions

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jeff reports that Boot Camp 2.0 has a problem booting into Windows when the Windows partition is formatted in the FAT32 format:

I love the Boot Camp page at MacWindows. I wanted to add an issue with Boot Camp 2.0, which has been posted on the Apple Support site with no real solution available just yet. Basically, on a new MacBook with Boot Camp 2.0 set up, if the Windows partition is FAT32, the icon does not appear when booting while holding Option down. The only way to get into Windows is to restart the Mac OS into Windows.

Some URLs from Apple discussions to look at:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6027130 and http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1280429&tstart=30 and http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1275091&tstart=45

I'm surprised that not much more attention is devoted to this problem since this method the easiest way to get Mac proper read/write access to the Windows drive in Boot Camp.

Apart from this, once booted, Windows XP works absolutely fine.

If you've seen this problem

Positive and negative experiences with VMware in Leopard

Friday, December 14, 2007

We've had some more reports of VMware Fusion 1.1 running in Leopard. One reader is experiencing the crashing that we've been reporting. Another is reporting a slowdown with Leopard, and a third reader is having no problems at all.

John Farrell is experiencing crashing and locking up:

Similar to the reader report of Dec 5th I have experienced the same when using Win XP. Fusion 1.1 crashed when I shut down Win XP requiring a hard reboot. Since then Fusion spins the beach ball when attempting to open the Boot Camp virtual machine and becomes unresponsive. Uninstalling and re-installing did not help. Booting direct from boot camp partition works fine including shut down.

Gordon Fake is not experiencing crashing, but is seeing slower performance in Leopard than in Tiger:

I have been using Fusion for about 3 months. I have been running Windows XP SP2 in a Boot Camp partition on my MacBook for about a year. I purchased Fusion and installed it running Mac OS 10.4.9. It seemed to work pretty well, although it has never seemed quite as fast simply booting up from the Windows partition.

When I received an email from Apple saying my Boot Camp Beta was going to expire on Dec. 31 I upgraded to Leopard. I had already upgraded to Fusion 1.1. Windows now runs much slower. It takes much longer to boot up. I am also not getting DirectX graphics. I only run one program that uses DirectX graphics and I am used to not having them, but it would be nice if it worked. I have not experienced the crashes reported by others.

Steve Humiston is having no problem:

I have a MacBook Pro, 10.5.1 with 2 GB of RAM running VMware Fusion 1.1. I run Windows XP Pro and authenticate through our domain and use Outlook 2007 connected to our Exchange server. I run this from 8-5 M-F. I use a couple of other windows apps regularly as well. I have had ZERO crashes. Mine has run flawlessly.

I should note that we use the CA's Innoculate for company AV...that's always running in the windows session as well. I just did the Outlook 2007 SP1 update minutes ago. All seems fine.





December 12

TIP: Suggestion for Leopard binding to AD points to LDAP, Kerberos issues

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hugh Burt did some troubleshooting of Leopard's problems binding to Active Directory that many readers have been reporting. He found that Leopard was selecting different servers for LDAP and Kerberos. He discovered a way to get around it...

Leopard Active Directory problems continue with 10.5.1 update

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stephanie Renken reported that Leopard's Active Directory problems were not fixed with Apple's 10.5.1 update:

I upgraded my AD bound Tiger laptop to Leopard, and could not log in after the upgrade unless I unplugged my network cable. I unbound the machine to get past this issue, and have never been able to rebind it using my credentials. I get the "Invalid user name and password combination” error. However, another admin user can bind my computer with no error. I'm now running 10.5.1 and still cannot bind this computer using my credentials.

New Thursby beta builds of Leopard-compatible ADmitMac, DAVE

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Last week, Thursby Software posted new builds for its public beta program for upcoming Leopard-compatible releases. The beta releases included ADmitMac 4 Build 1152 and ADmitMac 2 for CAC Build 1145, and DAVE Build 1032.

ADmitMac integrates Macs in to Active Directory networks. ADmitMac 2 for CAC does the same using U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Cards. DAVE is a robust SMB/CIFS client and server for Mac OS X for file and print sharing with Windows users.

Reader confirms "turn off Automatic location" fix for Leopard browsing of Windows shares

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Patrik Fredriksson of Gothenburg, Sweden verified a suggestion from last week to enable Leopard to browse for Windows shares. The suggestion was to turn off auto-location and add a location manually. Fredriksson said:

I can confirm that (at least for me) this works.

Previously, I could connect to shares fine, but they would disconnect without any reason "just like that". After speaking to Apple support, this was suggested and the drives have not disconnected since.

I have also added a WINS name manually that I use at work.

Another reader verifies "turn off IPv6" fix for Leopard browsing of Windows shares

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ernesto Salcedo is another reader who could not browse Windows network shares after upgrading to Leopard. He verified a previously reported suggestion: "Turning off IPv6 worked for me!"

Windows problems accessing Leopard Server: 10.5 SMB turns off by itself

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sourabh Chakraborty has the file sharing problem with Windows clients accessing Leopard Server. He provides some detail:

We've been having similar problems with the Windows file sharing with the new Leopard server.

This is what happens. It looks like the SMB service on the Leopard server turns off on its own and then of course Windows connectivity to the server is lost. Surprisingly the SMB service turns itself back on after some time (anywhere from a couple of hours to six or seven approximately).

If you've seen this problem

Manually configured DNS helped speed Leopard networking

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A reader named Steve found our discussion of slow network performance with Mac OS X 10.4.10 being related to DNS issues. He saw the problem with Leopard and found a workaround:

I found your discussion titled Mac OS X 10.4.10 update causing net slowdown and other net problems useful. I recently fixed my problem and wanted to share it.

DNS lookups in Firefox and Safari have been slow at home, although it's fine on networks outside my home (such as the wireless network at work). My setup is a Leopard MacBook Pro, although problem also happened on Tiger, AirPort Extreme (n), with separate ADSL modem.

Reader problem with Entourage inbox syncing, other MS Office issues with Tiger 10.4.11

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Larry Fitzpatrick is having problems with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Entourage, Word, and Excel:

I am using Mac OS X 10.4.11 and office 11.3.6 (070618).

Issue 1: Entourage won't synch the inbox at all unless the cache is flushed before the synch. That is not a guarantee of reliability however, if the cache is flushed, synch is still very flaky. Sometimes it won't synch at all, sometimes it partially synchs, and rarely it fully synchs.

Issue 2: Word will only open one document. It will not allow the item to be edited, and many menu bar items are gray. It nags many times that “Word cannot create the work file. Check the amount of disk space your startup disk.” The startup disk has 20+ GB free. Once the nagging stops, the document is frozen and will not allow scrolling (so it is not even a sufficient viewer).

Issue 3: Excel will only allow one workbook open at a time.

If you've seen these issues

Mediafour to give away iMac, iPods in Dec promotion

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mediafour is running a December promotion that will give away an Apple iMac, several iPods, and set of 7 PC games. Customers who purchase the company's MacDrive 7, XPlay 2, or Media Boss before the end of 2007 will be eligible to win one of the prizes.

MacDrive 7 enables Windows (including Windows running in Boot Camp) to recognize, read, and write Mac-formatted drives. XPlay 2 is an iPod utility for Windows for backing up and organizing iPods from Windows. Media Boss enables a Sony PSP to store music, photos, videos, and other media.





December 10

Apple quietly permits server virtualization with Leopard

Monday, December 10, 2007

For the first time, Apple is allowing customers to run multiple copies of an Apple operating system in virtual machines. Apple's software license agreement for Mac OS X Server 10.5 (Leopard Server) allows users to run multiple copies on one Mac, provided that they pay for each copy...

Parallels update for Leopard speeds graphics performance

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last week, Parallels released an update for Parallels Desktop 3.0. The free update, called Build 5582, adds "enhanced compatibility" with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by fixing half a dozen or so Leopard issues, as well as minor bugs for all users. The company recommends the update for all Leopard users, but the new version also adds improvements that also benefit Tiger users...

Parallels Premium Edition bundles Windows utility apps with Desktop

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last week Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac Premium Edition (US$99), a bundle of the Parallels Desktop virtualization software along with three utilities for Windows XP and Vista.

Until December 27, Parallels is offering Parallels Desktop Premium Edition and a $25 iTunes gift card for $99.

The three Windows utilities included in the bundle:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security. Protects the Windows virtual machine from viruses, spyware (identity theft, confidential data leakage, etc), and malware. Also adds privacy and parental controls.
  • Acronis Disk Director Suite. Enables user to modify, move, and merge partitions without losing data. Also can even recover lost or deleted partitions.
  • Acronis True Image Home. A Windows backup program.

Reader reports success with Apple NVidia driver for Boot Camp

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ole Nils Feddersen in Germany reported success with the NVidia display drivers for Windows that Apple recently posted at its web site for use in Boot Camp. He said:

I tested the new display Driver of NVidia for Boot Camp and it works. My 23" Cinema works fine in 1920 x 1200 pixels (Boot Camp + Vista + MacBook Pro 15").

Previously, a number of readers reported problems with Boot Camp and the NVidia graphics hardware in some Mac. These are some of the problem reports that these drivers should address:

If you've tried these drivers how it works for you.

A report of VMware crashing in Leopard with Outlook

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dorian Garrick is seeing the problem of VMware Fusion 1.1 crashing in Leopard, but only with Microsoft Outlook:

I got my first Mac in September and ran Windows XP Pro on Fusion 1.0 on OS X 10.4 with no problems whatsoever. I have 4GB RAM with 1 GB for the VM. I upgraded to Leopard in late Nov and immediately afterwards to Fusions 1.1 and now have kernel faults when running Windows XP Pro. It is sometimes OK for a few minutes. Then I need to restart from VMware. This only seems to happen when I am running Outlook on the Exchange Server from within the Windows XP virtual machine.

If you've seen this problem .

Another report of VirtualBox crashing in Leopard

Monday, December 10, 2007

Simone Zoffoli in Bologna, Italy, is a second reader to report VirtualBox Beta 2 crashing in Leopard:

When I'm lucky it crashes on the boot of the virtual machine, if not it crashes when it starts up.

VirtualBox is prerelease virtualization software that can run Windows on Macs.

For more on this topic, see our VirtualBox beta Tips and Reports page.





December 5

Readers link Leopard's file sharing woes to firewall

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Two readers discovered that they could enable get around Leopard's problems browsing Windows networks by setting the firewall to "Allow all incoming connections." This is not ideal for security, as it is similar in effect to turning the firewall off.

Wes Hsu reported his finding:

I didn't read through all of the suggestions, but after getting down to Kevin Wheeler's suggestion to turn off the firewall's "stealth mode," I decided to look there.

In my Firewall, "Enable Stealth Mode" was already turned off. Instead, I turned on "Allow all incoming connections". I then connected through Finder (cmd-K) using smb://windowsComputer/C$. I authenticated and I was in...

Another Leopard file sharing problem fixed by turning off IPv6

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Diego Cantalapiedra verified a previous suggestion of turning off IPv6 to enable browsing Windows shares in Leopard:

Turning off IPv6 works for me. After enabling SMB File sharing and turning off IPv6, I can now see and browse all the PCs at my institution.

Turning off IPv6 is just one of many very different (and strange) workarounds that readers have reported for enabling Leopard to browse and connect to SMB file shares. (See our Leopard Tips and Reports page for more.) This workaround may have something to do with an inconsistency in how Leopard uses IP in file sharing. Last month, we reported a Group Logic tech article that stated that "the [Leopard] sidebar also seems to default to using IPv4 addresses whereas the Connect to Server windows default to IPv6 addresses."

If turning of IPv6 works for you

TIP: Manual IP, WINS config solves reader's Leopard file sharing problem

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nicholas Manzoli solved his Leopard file sharing problems by configuring IP and WINS manually:

Before upgrading to Leopard, I could see all PC's and network attached storage (NAS). Now, nada. I did see everything for a very short time (minutes) just after the upgrade, restarting for the first time. Same on four machines that I upgraded.

After a lot of frustration, I was able to fix my file sharing problem. I solved it by going into the "Advanced" options for System Preferences --> Network --> Ethernet and I changed the Configuration to 'Manual" then I entered the same IP address...

Adding a location (turning off auto-location) to fix Leopard file sharing

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tom Neff verified a previous suggestion to fix his Leopard file sharing problem:

I had the reported problem - couldn't see Windows/SMB file shares. Tried various of the tips, nothing worked. Then I tried the tip about turning off Automatic location and adding a specific Location. All of a sudden the WINS Workgroup and NETBIOS name changes that had been failing to "take," took permanently, and from that moment I saw all shares.

TIP: Getting the Juniper VPN client to work with Leopard

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jaume Llardén Prieto commented on previous reports that the Juniper VPN client update (Network Connect 6.0r2) works with Leopard. It did work, but only after some manipulation:

I'm using NC 6.0r2 on a PowerBook G4 without any problems, but I had to install the DMG manually, as the automatic installation didn't work properly (either as administrator or with my user without admin rights). After that, double click the Network Connect icon in your Applications folder, type the complete URL of your secure gateway, log in and you're done.

A second reader reports VMware crashing with Leopard

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

An anonymous reader is having a problem with VMware Fusion crashing in Leopard:

I have also had Fusion 1.1 crashing using Leopard and requiring hard reboot. It mainly happens when I shut down Vista and close the virtual machine. One of the error messages I get is "Syntax Error Line 56" when I try to open the Vista VM. I'm off to try Parallels, I've had enough.

If you've seen this problem

For more, see our VMware Fusion Tips and Reports and Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports pages.

Microsoft ships Exchange 2007 SP1

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Last week, Microsoft released Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1, an update for the mail and calendaring server. The company said the update adds improved support for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, better integration with Office Communications Server 2007, and expanded communications services and improved security. eWeek said that the release of SP1 could increase customer migration to Exchange Server 2007.

Free Windows utilities can edit batches of file names

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We've added Bulk Rename Utility to our list of file renaming tools on our File Translation/Manipulation Solutions page. Bulk Rename Utility is a free utility for Windows that can rename batches of files.

B. Keplinger recommends it:

I have used Bulk Rename Utility for quite a while now, and love it. It even allows renaming using regex and back referencing. I have used it to rename hundreds of files at a time and it has always worked flawlessly.

November 2007

November 29

Boot Camp in Tiger may stop functioning on Dec 31

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apple is emailing Boot Camp Beta users a message that says Boot Camp in Tiger will expire at the end of next month:

With the introduction of Leopard, the Boot Camp Beta program has ended. The Boot Camp Beta software will expire on December 31, and Apple won't offer further updates of Boot Camp Beta for Mac OS X Tiger.

If you'd like to continue using Boot Camp, Apple invites you to upgrade to Mac OS X Leopard.

The license to use Boot Camp in Tiger expired on October 26, the day that Leopard shipped. This message seems to imply that the software itself will expire or cease to function.

It is not known if Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion will still be able to access the Boot Camp Windows partition after this date.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp in Leopard and Boot Camp in Tiger Tips and Reports pages.

Reader verifies Leopard 10.5.1 binding to AD: avoid binding in 10.5.0

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Benn Kovco verified a suggestion from another reader for getting Leopard 10.5.1 to bind to Active Directory:

I've managed to get solid, functional AD connectivity after experiencing all of the issues describe in various forums. I finally got it to work by following Toni Weurlander's suggestion at MacWindows.

This worked for me, taking care NOT to even attempt to bind AD while still on 10.5.0. I posted more at the Apple Discussion forums.

Reader verifies Leopard/Cisco VPN tip; new Cisco VPN client helps

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ted August verified a previously reported fix for Cisco VPN client problems in Leopard:

I upgraded from 10.4.10 to 10.5, and, I had issues with both the Cisco VPN and Shimo after upgrading. However, re-installing both applications resolved all issues. In addition, Cisco has released a newer version of its VPN software. I've found this new version speeds up the connection process in Leopard.

Reader fixes VPN-in-VM problem

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Maksym Kortunov solved his problem with getting a virtual private network connection within Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion:

I just installed the most recent build version of Parallels [Build 5160] and it works now! I haven't tried reinstalling Fusion.

Last week, another reader suggested changing a security setting in Parallels.

More details on replacing .dylib files to fix Leopard VPN

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Andreas Gast took our advice on how to replace the libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb files to fix the Leopard VPN bug, and it fixed VPN for him. He sent us some additional information on the procedure.

Thanks for the details needed for me to successfully correct Leopard's VPN ills. In addition to replacing the two files with their Tiger (Intel) versions I needed a few additional steps to get it to work. I am now successfully reconnected into my corporate VPN network.

Here is what I did...

Prosoft NetWare client incompatible with Leopard

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Emily Herndon notes that the Prosoft Engineering NetWare client doesn't work in Leopard:

I just updated my loaner iBook G4 (for work) to Leopard this weekend without realizing that Netware Client for Mac isn't compatible. So now I can't access the servers that I need to, and I hear that there is no fix from Prosoft for a while.

RocketStream release Mac beta of file transfer accelerator

Thursday, November 29, 2007

RocketStream has released a public beta of RocketStream for Mac OS X, a software-only file transfer acceleration solution that can move files up to 100 times faster than an FTP file transfer. The Mac beta is designed for point-to-point transfer between two computers.

Windows versions of a server and a client were released earlier this year.

The company said that RocketStream also provides file transfer automation features, including synchronization, mirroring, and remote backup. It also features encryption and on-the-fly compression and decompression.

The company said that on a typical 100 Mbps Internet connection, RocketStream can increase TCP/IP network bandwidth utilization from a typical 3 percent to 96 percent. On this type connection, a 10-MB file could be transferred at about 30 times faster than with an FTP connection. The acceleration would be faster an higher-bandwidth connections. On a residential cable modem connection, the acceleration would be about 8-to-10 times that of an FTP file transfer, according to a company spokesperson.

Additionally, while network utilization (and file transfer speed) typically decreases with the distance between the computers, RocketStream retains a high file transfer speed.

The company said that it plans to ship the release version of RocketStream Mac by late December or early January.

Entourage Email Archive X 3.6.0 adds Leopard compatibility

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Softhing has release Entourage Email Archive X (EEAX) 3.6.0, an update to the Mac OS X software for creating Spotlight-searchable archives of email and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage. The new version adds compatibility with Leopard and Mac OS X 10.4.11, adds compatibility with Intego Virus Barrier, and fixes some bugs.





November 26

Group Logic releases Leopard update for ExtremeZ-IP File, Print Servers

Monday, November 26, 2007

Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server 5.1.1, an update for the AFP servers for Windows. The update provides compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard clients. The update to the high-performance server also adds other enhancements, including Leopard compatibility for the Dashboard widget called Zidget for discovering and accessing print and file servers, as well as improvements to Unicode compatibility.

At its web site, Group Logic lists issues that the update will fix, as well as issues that Apple will need to address in future upgrades to Mac OS X 10.5. Earlier this month Group Logic told us that documented bugs in Leopard are causing at least some of the networking problems that users are seeing.

Group Logic said that ExtremeZ-IP 5.1.1 is the only Windows-based server solution to properly support all Mac OS releases from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X 10.5. (Microsoft has so far not issued a Leopard update for its AFP server, Services for Macintosh.)

The 5.1.1 update is available free to owners of ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 who have an active Maintenance and Support Contract.

TIP: Replacing the libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb files to fix the Leopard VPN bug

Monday, November 26, 2007

Readers have previously reported (here and here) that Leopard erroneously installs PowerPC versions of two files on Intel Macs. Andreas Gast reports having the Leopard's virtual private network problem with Mac OS X 10.5.1. We also answered Gasts question about how to replace the files. Gast said:

I have a new MBP that was running 10.4.11 and my PPTP VPN worked fine. I cloned my Tiger config to a backup drive, then completed a clean install of Leopard (Erase & Install) and applied the 10.5.1 update, ran repair permissions (got the slew of "ACL found but not expected" errors and the SUID ARDAgent error), but no VPN. I need PPTP VPN access for my corporate network.

How do I apply the replacement of the Intel 10.4 libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb libraries)? I can't seem to navigate to the needed /usr/lib directory on my HD or my Tiger Install Disk.

You can get to the normally invisible /usr/lib directory from the Finder using the Go to Folder command in the Go menu. In the field, type /usr/lib. This will open the Directory as a folder, showing you all of the files.

On the Tiger installation DVD, you can get to /usr/lib directly. Insert the DVD (don't reboot) and double-click to open. Scroll down to the usr folder and double-click to open. Then double click the lib folder. Switch the folder window to list view to find the libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb files. You can then copy them to the hard drive /usr/lib directory with a simple drag and drop.

Does this work for you?

Readers on Leopard 10.5.1 Mail/Exchange syncing problem

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two readers responded to a report from last week about problems with Leopard's Mail 3.0 taking a long time to connect with Exchange Server. One reader said the problem still occurs with the Mac OS X 10.5.1 update; the other said the update fixed the issue...

Reader says VirtualBox Beta incompatible with Leopard

Monday, November 26, 2007

Irving Kanefsky reports the current beta of VirtualBox, a virtualization environment for running Windows on Mac OS X, doesn't work in Mac OS X 10.5:

VirtualBox Beta 2 ran very well on Tiger. It was fast and very polished for a beta. It of course was incomplete. Now that I upgraded to Leopard, it does not work at all on my MacBook Pro. It seemed to run faster than VMware Fusion and Parallels and probably would be my choice if it could work in Leopard.

If you've seen this problem

(For more on VirtualBox, see our VirtualBox Tips and Reports page.)





November 21

Apple posts Win NVidia drivers for Boot Camp video problems

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Last week, Apple posted NVidia graphics drivers for use in Windows running in Boot Camp on Mac models with NVidia graphics hardware, including the MacBook Pro. Apple said that installing the drivers in Windows Vista can fix a problem with a black screen (blank screen), and may fix other video drivers in Windows XP and Vista.

The Apple tech support article describes this is an issue for Boot Camp 2.0, which comes with Leopard, but many MacWindows readers reported this problem with the Boot Camp Beta for Tiger as well as with the Leopard version. We don't yet know if the Windows drivers at the Apple web site will work in Boot Camp 1.4 and earlier, which Apple isn't supporting.

These drivers may provide help with the following of NVidia video problems with Vista and XP in Boot Camp:

Note that in some instances in the above articles, workarounds are offered.

Also note that an Apple firmware update for certain iMacs fixes Leopard Boot Camp black screen problems.

Our Boot Camp in Tiger and Boot Camp in Leopard pages have reports of video problems and workarounds with other video hardware as well.

Reader says VMware Fusion 1.1 won't read 1.0 disk image

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

After upgrading VMware Fusion to version 1.1, Stephen Keese can no longer get Fusion to launch the virtual machine disk image (.vdmk file) that ran on version 1.0:

I'm running Mac OS X 10.5.1. After updating Fusion to 1.1, I can no longer get it to recognize the Windows XP .vdmk file that 1.0 used to run. The User Guide does not fit the set up procedure and there seems to be no place on the web site to get help or even suggestions on what to do. Haven't seen a solution at the Fusion forums.

Earlier this week, another reader reported that Fusion 1.1 was crashing when running in Leopard.

If you've seen either of these problems

Steve Humiston does not have any problems with Fusion 1.1 in Leopard:

I run VMware Fusion 1.1 at in Leopard with 3 different OS's, sometimes with two Windows XP Pro's running at the same time without a problem for many hours. I run the same versions on a Mac Pro, 6 GB, and a MacBook Pro, 2 GB, connected to our domain running many apps within Windows XP Pro without a problem for the full day.

TIP: Suggestion for Cisco VPN Client in Leopard

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Steve Humiston offered a fix for Cisco VPN client problems in Leopard:

My suggestion for anyone with a Cisco issue is to reinstall the client (making sure it's the latest version AND Intel).

I have had both working since the beginning. After the upgrade to Leopard I did have to reinstall the VPN client as I got the same message but after the reinstall I was fine. At work I must use VPN to connect to various school systems. 10.5.1 did not break it at work or at home.

MacBook Pro and Mac Pro both confirmed working.

If you've tried this suggestion how it worked for you.

TIP: Workaround for Leopard VPN malfunction inside of virtual machines

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Alin Pilkington offered a workaround for Leopard problems with virtual private network connections in Windows in a virtual machine:

I've seen this problem also in Parallels. I believe this problem arises only after I try to connect from Leopard to the same VPN network that I connect to from XP while running Parallels.

I got around it by changing the Parallel Security Preferences (not Leopard; the Parallels application) to have the minimum security between Windows (I'm running XP by the way) and OS X.

Robin Jackson doesn't have the problem with the SonicWALL Windows VPN client:

SonicWALL seems to be working fine on my version of Parallels (latest Leopard compatible beta) and 10.5.1.

if this tip worked for you.

Juniper VPN 6.0r2 may work in Leopard but is not the Leopard release

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Phil Benware verified a previous reader report about the Juniper virtual private network client in Leopard, but with a caveat:

We've been testing Juniper Release 6.0r2 for about 2 weeks now. It does work with Leopard (10.5 and 10.5.1), and seems to work well, so far. The only problem is that supposedly this not Juniper's official Leopard supported version. What this means, as I've been told by our network admin, is that a later client/firmware patch could break Leopard connectivity.

Another workaround for Vista PC accessing Leopard file sharing

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Brent Blumenstein offered another workaround for the problem of Windows PCs not being able to log into Leopard file sharing. (There is a previoulsy reported workaround here.) Here, Blumenstein is specifically talking about Vista:

On an XP machine I can logon to a Leopard file share and access the shared files without issues using just a Leopard user name, and this is so whether the XP machine is a member of "workgroup" or some other name. But on the Vista machine a weird syntax is required, and this is true whether the Vista machine is a member of "workgroup" or some other work group name.

Here is the Vista solution I found: When logging on to access the Leopard shares from Vista the user name must be in this form:

DOMAIN\username

NOTE: Capitalization of DOMAIN is essential!

I do not think this has anything to do with the work group name. When I default everything in Leopard it shows up as a member of "workgroup" when viewed from the Windows side, so Leopard is apparently set up to use "workgroup" as the default work group name.

The conclusion about naming work groups in peer-to-peer networking that I had come to even before starting to fiddle with Leopard (my first Mac experience BTW) is that being a member of the same named work group has been de-emphasized on the Windows side (if it ever was an issue): I can connect my XP and Vista computers easily whether they are a member of the same named work group or not. I am simply warned in the docs that discovery might take a little longer.

So, where did the DOMAIN token as required when logging on from Vista come from? Is it Leopard requiring this, or is it Vista?

Meanwhile, I am able to access my Leopard files from Vista (and XP) with approximately the same reliability I am able to share files among my Windows computers.

Note that our Leopard Tips and Reports page has a previously reported tip that differs from this one.

If you've tried either of these suggestions

Problems with Windows clients access to Leopard Server on Active Directory net

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Terry Druery from Australia reports this problem with Windows clients and Leopard server:

With Mac OS X 10.4 on our G5 XServe, Windows clients could mount a share with no problems using a logon script on the Active Directory server, Windows 2000. We upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5 and then to 10.5.1 and no go. The same user can connect to Leopard Server from a Mac without issues.

Windows machines give an error message about incorrect password in the text window that presents as the logon script is run. Same setup as before. Server not bound to AD users exactly the same passwords the same. The Windows users can log on IF I give them admin privileges in the Workgroup manager. Understandably I am reluctant to do this.

If you've seen this

TIP: Another workaround for Leopard file sharing: turn off SMB Relay Attack

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Neal Jackson offered another workaround for problems mounting Windows shares with Leopard:

I have found that my PC Firewall software allows Leopard unhindered SMB sharing by turning off SMB Relay Attack detection.

I'm no expert but I guess Leopard is using this networking protocol in a primitive manner that could render the network potentially vulnerable to SMB hijacking attack exploits.

If you've tried this suggestion

Random disconnections of mounted Windows Shares in Leopard

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Matt Sielski, like some other readers, noticed that Leopard file sharing worked at first, then it could no longer access Windows shares. When he did get it working, the mounted shares abruptly disconnect:

Shortly after the Leopard upgrade I could easily browse to my Windows 2003 Server shares with the SHARED area in the Finder. Now, a few weeks later, using the SHARED area just shows "Connecting..." when I try to browse my network. I have to mount the shares with Finder's Go > Connect to server > smb://IPADDRESS/sharename. Once I do that...

More readers with 10.5.1 problems writing to volumes via SMB

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We've had more reports of copying data to SMB file sharing volumes with Mac OS X 10.5.1.

Glenn Josephsons also sees the problem with writing to volumes via SMB with a USB drive attached to an AirPort base station:





November 19

Tiger 10.4.11 update improves VMware compatibility, AFP file sharing

Monday, November 19, 2007

On the same day last week that Apple released its first Leopard update (10.5.1), the company also released what may be the last Tiger update, Mac OS X 10.4.11, for Intel and PowerPC Macs. The update improves reliability when running VMware Fusion for Intel Macs. (A previous reader report described crashing with VMware Fusion on Mac OS X 10.4.11.) The update installs Safari to version 3, the same version shipping with Leopard, and improves some networking features on Intel and PowerPC Macs, including:

  • Enables other computers using AFP file sharing and Bonjour to better recognize the Mac's shared volumes
  • Fixes a problem with copying files from a Mac OS 9 AFP share to the Tiger Mac
  • Improves reliability when trying to authenticate to an AFP share using Kerberos
  • Improves compatibility with third-party wireless wide-area network devices (Intel Macs only)

Many readers found the previous release, Mac OS X 10.4.10, had networking problems that previous versions did not. These were slow network access, probably due to DNS issues, as well as problems with AirPort wireless networking.

If you've installed the Mac OS X 10.4.11 update if it fixes any of these problems.

Reader reports VMware Fusion crashing with Leopard

Monday, November 19, 2007

Greg Kyle reports that he can't get VMware Fusion to work with Leopard:

Fusion 1.1 crashes with OS X 10.5. I first installed Fusion 1.0 with OS X 10.4, and have since upgraded to 10.5 and Fusion 1.1. Fusion crashes and forces a hard reset on OS X every single time I use it. Sometimes I'm able to get 10-15 minutes out of it, other times none at all. I used the default of 512 RAM for the XP guest, and also tried bumping that up to 1GB with no luck. I have a new MacBook (3 weeks old) with 2 GB RAM.

If you've seen this problem

Leopard Tip: Turn off IPv6 to get Windows file sharing to work; previous password tip also verified

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christopher Ferrante found another workaround to Leopard problems with Windows file sharing:

By turning off IPv6 I was able to see all my Windows PC shares.

Ferrante didn't elaborate, but here's how to do this:

  1. Choose Apple > System Preferences, and then click Network.
  2. Select the network connection service from the list, and then click Advanced.
  3. Click TCP/IP.
  4. Click the Configure IPv6 pop-up menu and select Off.

If you've tried this if it worked for you. Another reader...

Reader says Leopard 10.5.1 does not fix SMB file sharing problems

Monday, November 19, 2007

David Searles reports that the Leopard file sharing problems are still occurring after the Mac OS X 10.5.1 update:

When I first installed this update and turned File Sharing back on, everything looked to be working. I was psyched! But the next day after a reboot, Windows networking is once again GONE and now turning File Sharing off does NOT bring it back. So until Apple fixes this disaster, I'm stuck without ANY access to my Windows network!

Christopher Ferrante also said that the 10.5.1 update did not fix the problem.

Please note that we have been reporting a variety of different workarounds, though no absolute fixes yet.

Leopard 10.5.1 problems writing to mounted Windows drives; 10.5.1 fixes at least one problem

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jean Robert Opgenort in The Netherlands reported Leopard problems copying files to Windows drives on both on a network and in a virtual machine. He also said that the 10.5.1 update fixes one problem...

Reader says 10.5.1 doesn't help AD problems, nor does turning off Bonjour

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brad Ong reported that the Mac OS X 10.5.1 updated did not fix Leopard's Active Directory binding problems. Turning off Bonjour, as another reader recommended, also did not help. In his report, Ong describes the procedure he used...

Mac OS X 10.5.1 update fixes Cisco VPN problem

Monday, November 19, 2007

Although we've had several reports of VPN clients not working with Leopard, Christopher Pearce is the first to report that the Cisco VPN Client for Mac OS X doesn't work with the first Leopard release. It does work, however, with the 10.5.1 update:

I could not get the Cisco VPN Client to recognize that my Leopard 10.5.0 Mac Book 2.2 GHz has a network connection. Hence it fails immediately with the message 'Cannot connect to VPN Subsystem'. Tiger has no problem with the VPN Client plus Remote Desktop connection to the Windows server at work.

With 10.5.1, it works!

If you've seen a problem with Leopard and the Cisco VPN Client for Mac OS X

Juniper VPN client update fixes Leopard problem

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brandon Edling reported that an update to the Juniper virtual private network Mac Client, Network Connect, fixes an incompatibility with Leopard:

This problem is only for Network Connect 5.5. As of 6.0r2, this problem has been fixed. Your VPN Administrator can get an update from Juniper, which will download automatically to the client when it connects and all will be well.

If you've used Network Connect 6.0r2 with Leopard

Reader experiences Leopard VPN malfunction inside of virtual machines

Monday, November 19, 2007

Maksym Kortunov's Leopard virtual private network problems occur not in Mac OS X, but in Windows running in a virtual machine:

I've seen your note about VPN problems in Leopard at the MacWindows Leopard Tips and Reports page. I have a problem with VPN inside VMWare Fusion and Parallels. When I connect VPN in Windows on these virtual machines, it connects and stuck during user name and password checking. After some pause it says that the machine did not respond and do not establish the VPN. The same is in both Fusion and Parallels.

If you've seen this problem

A review of Leopard Mail 3.0 with Exchange Server and IMAP: slow initial connects, faster IMAP

Monday, November 19, 2007

An anonymous reader (identified as "Macguitarman") commented on a previous report about Leopard's Mail 3.0 when using with Exchange Server and IMAP. The previous reader said "Leopard Mail now has a box for OWA, but I have not been able to get it working." Macguitarman replied with a review of what works and what doesn't with Mail 3.0 and Exchange...





November 16

Apple ships Leopard 10.5.1 update

Friday, November 16, 2007

Apple has released Mac OS X 10.5.1, the first upgrade to the Leopard release of three weeks ago. Apple didn't list fixes for the problems readers have been reporting about file sharing, Active Directory, virtual private networks, or other issues. The closest the Apple web page came was this:

Addresses an issue in which Microsoft Windows shared folders may be read-only when connected via SMB.

One interesting change was with the firewall. Apple had been criticized by security experts because the "Block All" setting did not, in fact, block all connections. In 10.5.1 Apple didn't enable it to block all connections, but changed the name to "Allow Only essential services."

if this update fixes any of the problems with Leopard that we've been reporting. (See our Leopard Tips and Reports page.)

Utility brings the first NTFS file system support to Mac OS X

Friday, November 16, 2007

Paragon Software Group has released NTFS for Mac OS X (US$30), the first solution to enable Mac OS X to read and write storage media formatted in Microsoft's NTFS file system. Mac OS X provides only read access to NTFS devices, such as external hard drives, but cannot write to NTFS. The version number is "6.0," but this is the first release of the product.

The company describes the product as a driver than enables Mac OS X to access NTFS natively. NTFS for Mac OS X is runs on Intel-powered and Power PC G4 Macs, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or higher.

If you've tried NTFS for Mac OS X

More reports of Leopard Mail 3.0 problems with Exchange and IMAP

Friday, November 16, 2007

We received more problem reports about Leopard's Mail 3.0. Marty Enerson responded to a report earlier this week about Mail 3.0 not being able to connect to Exchange Server:

I run our Exchange Server at work and I cannot connect to it with the new Mail client that comes with Leopard. I was able to with 10.4. Kind of a pain, because I am trying find any way possible to get rid of Entourage. I have been testing Outlook 2003 with Crossover, Parallels, VMware, but ultimately would love to use the Mail program.

William Forrest has a odd problem with IMAP mail:

All of my mail from IMAP accounts is being delivered to one of my junk mailboxes even after turning off junk mail filtering. I've tried to repair permissions etc to no avail. BIG bug.

If you've seen either of these problems

Reader verifies that Leopard's slow AD is solved by disabling Bonjour

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jeff Geerling verified that turning off Bonjour fixed a problem with slow Active Directory connections in Leopard. As with the previous reader, it cause other problems:

Like Leslie Wong (Nov. 7, 2007), I am having problems with how long it takes for a user to log in on either of two Macs after I bound them to our 2003 AD server. I disabled Bonjour by entering the following in the Terminal:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist

I can re-enable Bonjour by replacing 'unload' with 'load' in the above line.

This instantly made logins just as quick as they were in Tiger (10.4.10), but now I can't share printers as easily as I could with Bonjour. I'm also having trouble getting the users' home folders to mount over the network (though I haven't worked on that problem too much).

Suggestions for Leopard Active Directory binding: login settings and password complexity

Friday, November 16, 2007

Two readers sent suggestions for dealing with the problem of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard being unable to bind to Active Directory.

Albert Mowatt offered this setting on the Mac:

Here is something that worked from me. Under ACCOUNTS (on Mac OS X), go to Login Options, then Chose "Allow Network User" to login. I restricted to the assigned user and admins (to control remote and VNC access also) but you can allow all and see if that works.

Also, I noticed that the Realm name/Domain needs to be in uppercase.

(If you try to access the list and only the local users show, you are not correctly bound to Active directory.) I've used this to correct 5 miss logons so far.

Robert Liebsch recommends keeping the password simple in order to bind in Leopard. (A previous reader said the same thing about file sharing in Leopard.) Liebsch said;

One bug I have submitted many times is that certain characters in passwords when bound to AD will cause logon failure. I haven't dedicate the time to finding out which but some of the candidates are . / ! @ | \

I know this because my passwords are pretty secure, but I had to revert to alpha-numbs for password and I was able to log in successfully. I have very strong feelings that this could also be part of the "bad user pass combo" errors when attempting to bind to AD.

My experience this far is 8 laptops, fresh install from netrestore. I then bind the computer to the domain, without problem, then have the to-be-upgraded user log in, then copy the data from the old home directory on the old laptop via target disk mode.

If these suggestions worked for you

TIP: Leopard's libssl/libcrypt bug affects other networking

Friday, November 16, 2007

Corey Klass responded to a previous report about Leopard containing the PowerPC versions of two files, libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylib, even on Intel Macs:

With regard to your note "Workaround for Leopard VPN bug," I had a similar issue with the remote control program OSX2X on my MacBook Pro where the application would immediately quit upon startup. I traced the problem in the Console log back to some kind of version problem with the libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylib libraries. Replacing them with the versions from my back up of Intel 10.4 allowed the program to work properly under 10.5.





November 14

VMwares ships Fusion 1.1 with Leopard, Vista improvements

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

VMware yesterday released VMware Fusion 1.1 (US$60, free upgrade), an update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The upgrade offers compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Windows Vista, including support for Vista Boot Camp partitions in VMware Fusion virtual machines. There is also "experimental support" for Windows DirectX 9.0 graphics, though shaders are not yet supported.

This release version of Fusion 1.1 contains the features of the beta and of October's release candidate. These features are listed on our VMware Tips and Reports page.

Support for Microsoft's NAP announced for Mac and Linux

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yesterday, UNETsystem Inc. of Korea announced products that will integrate Macintosh and Linux system into Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) platform. UNETsystem said it would release Mac OS X and Linux versions of Anyclick for NAP, the company's NAP client, in the third and second quarters of 2008, respectively.

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows Server 2008, which Microsoft plans to release in February 2008. NAP is intended to protect networks from "unhealthy" policies by enforcing requirements for clients logon.

(See also this story from eWeek.)

Workaround for Leopard VPN bug

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

John Holley reports a bug with Leopard's virtual private network software, and a workaround:

For those running into problems with Leopard, on Intel machines, only installing the PowerPC versions of libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb libraries and hence causes apps that rely on them to fail. You just need to grab the libraries off a 10.4.x [Intel] system e.g. a backup or a 10.4.x install disk, from /usr/lib and replace them on your 10.5.

This had been bugged to Apple during the betas of Leopard but they still shipped it with the PPC only version of the libraries.

If you've tried this workaround

MS Messenger Mac 7.0 to support cross-platform sound, video

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Microsoft spokesperson sent us a statement about a new version of Messenger for Mac, which will be version 7.0:

Office 2008 for Mac will include Messenger for Mac 6.0 the box. Customers today can download this version for free from Microsoft.

The Mac BU just reached a milestone in the development process of the next version, Messenger for Mac 7.0, with the recent launch of a private beta for a select group of enterprise customers in an Office Communication Server 2007 environment who can try out the new Audio / Visual capabilities for business users.

The corporate beta is a noteworthy step towards full A/V functionality as the group continues to work closely with the Windows Live Messenger team to bring Audio / Visual to personal users. We will keep you posted on Messenger for Mac 7.0 progress in the coming months.

A suggestion for enabling Windows to see Leopard file sharing

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We've had one suggestion and lots of reports about the problem of Windows PC's no longer being able to access a Mac after an upgrade to Leopard. One reader is experiencing a loss of data.

J. Jason Burford offered a configuration setting suggestion:

More reports of Leopard not seeing Windows network

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We've had many more reports of Macs no longer being able to see Windows file shares after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Amir Zelcer says his networked computers disappeared:

After making a clean install of Tiger and then clean install of Leopard on my brand new MacBook Pro - no network computers are displayed. All are visible when Tiger was on, but they all disappear in Leopard. The support people here have no idea what's its all about.

Leopard Mail 3.0 problems with Exchange OWA/IMAP

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Posts to the Apple discussion forums are reporting problems with Leopard's Mail 3.0 accessing Exchange Server via IMAP, something that previous versions of Mail can do.

Chenoa Osayande found a potentially useful new feature in Mail 3.0 regarding Exchanage but can't get it to work:

I noticed that Leopard Mail now has a box for OWA, but I have not been able to get it working. This feature is available in Microsoft Entourage, as you are probably aware. The neat thing about it is that it allows you to enter the OWA settings in Entourage and be able to receive and send mail without having to be on the corporate network via VPN, or be concerned about proxies.

I called Apple support, and the rep read from a manual and told me that this is now supported, but it definitely does not work the same in Mail as it does in Entourage. This is the last thing that is holding me back from ditching Entourage.

If you've had problems with IMAP in Leopard Mail, or have a suggestion for OWA,

Fix for Tiger Boot Camp "blank screen" game problems

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A reader offered a fiix for the problem with Boot Camp in Tiger (the last version 1.4 beta) where the screen goes blank during a Windows game. We also received new reports of the problem with additional games...





November 9

A Decade of MacWindows

MacWindows.com turns ten years old this month

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In the fall of 1997, users were running the new Mac OS 8.0 on what Apple called "the world's fastest personal computer," a 350-MHz Power Mac. Microsoft had just shipped Windows 95C OSR 2.5, the equivalent of Service Pack 2 1/2. Windows NT Server 4.0 had done serious damage to NetWare's server market share. Steve Jobs, who had returned to Apple a year earlier, had just been named Interim CEO "until a new CEO is named."

At that time computer news was highly segregated by platform: PC Magazine only covered Windows-based PC and Macworld only covered Apple products...

Leopard file sharing workarounds not working, according to reader

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chris James reports that the suggestions readers have sent for Leopard's file sharing problems aren't helping him:

I am having much of the same problems of other users. I have tried many of the fixes, and none of them work for me. After upgrading to Leopard, I cannot see any of the Windows computers on our network at the office. We have many subnets etc. as we are a medium sized company with different departments and ministries. The "All" button on the sidebar definitely does not function the same as it did under Tiger. Before I would get a list of workgroups and could browse each workgroup to see the computers within each. Now, all I see is every Mac that we have in the place, no matter where in the building it is at or which workgroup it falls under. It appears that Bonjour is the only thing working, and Samba just isn't there at all in the finder. No other computers whether Windows servers or various windows peers show up at all. No Workgroups appear either. I can no longer print to the usual printer as it was through a Windows share. The IP printers work fine, but I had to "add" them all back to my list of printers as everything was gone from the upgrade for some reason. If any headway is made on this situation, please let me know. Luckily, however, Windows Remote Desktop still works and I am able to access our Scheduling server through that to keep the studio scheduling going.

Elizabeth Herzfeld gets error message -36:

I just installed Leopard today. Both my Mac and PC (XP Professional) are connected to a router with cables. I never had problems file sharing before, now when I try to connect it says the server doesn't exist. I also get an error code -36 saying some data could not be read or written. The PC does not show up on the sidebar. I also cannot access the Mac from the PC any more.

Reader confirms Leopard VPN issue

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two readers wrote to confirm a previous report that Juniper's VPN client for Mac OS X is incompatible with Leopard.

Scott Fannen wrote:

We use Juniper's Network Connect at our work too.

I just tried it on my Leopard upgraded laptop and it does not work - it starts up the application then the application crashes (even with the notorious firewall off).

However this is not an Intel/PPC issue - my version of Network Connect (5.4.0) is an Intel application.

Previous versions of Network Connect (it depends on what version you have at work) were PPC and would only run if you had your browser running in Rosetta.

Leopard definitely seems flaky in the networking department (in general - I've seen problems with AppleShare servers too).

Hans Petter of Norway, however, said the latest version is compatibile:

There is an issue with juniper-ssl-vpn under Leopard.

This works fine, as long as you use the latest client version 6. The older version 5 and 5.5 is not compatible with Leopard (or Safari 3 under Tiger).

If you’ve seen these issues

Leopard Boot Camp problem with Nvidia Graphics resolution in Vista

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sid Sytsma agrees with a previous report that that Boot Camp in Leopard still has a problem with Nvidia graphics hardware in Macs:

I've also installed Boot Camp 2.0 and the related Nvidia drivers in Windows Vista. The external DVI monitor problem has not been fixed. The external monitor still displays 1024x768 maximum resolution.

Except for this, the Leopard installs have gone well for me on the five I have completed:

  • G4 Mini
  • G4 15" Aluminum Powerbook
  • 2.16 GHz Macbook Core 2 Duo
  • 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo w/Nvidia 8600M GT graphics card & hi-rez display
  • 2.0 GHz iMac Core Duo

I am upset with the Apple Leopard release over two issues that impact me: (1) the Nvidia driver issue above and (2), the issue of using USB drives on the Airport Extreme for Time Machine backup. I invested in the gigabit AE and a pair of big USB drives and had them ready to go when Apple backed out of this configuration.





November 7

More bugs with Leopard on Active Directory and a workaround

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Readers are reporting more buggy behavior with Mac OS X 10.5.0 Leopard on Active Directory networks. Many readers have previously reported problems with binding to Leopard to Active Directory. Today, we have readers reporting some other strange behavior surrounding AD binding.

Leslie Wong verified a previous report of very slow AD connections, but offered an odd workaround. She also reports a problem waking from sleep...

Leopard bug can delete data with file transfers

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A number of sources around the Internet are reporting a bug in Leopard that deletes data when the OS is interrupted during a file move between volumes. If you are moving (but not copying) a file, group of files, or a folder between volumes and the connection stopped during the move, Leopard will delete the files/folder form the original volume as well as the new volume. The move can occur between local drives or between local and network storage.

The bug has been reported by Macintouch, eWeek, and others. The workaround is to do a copy instead of a move, then delete the original.

Reader verifies tip about Windows ISA Server and Leopard

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Brent Westmoreland updated his report from last Friday about Leopard problems with Safari crashing with Windows ISA Proxy Server with a note verifying a tip from another reader:

Authoxy is indeed a success! Thanks for the tip.

Rick Shields updated his previous report saying that the problem occurs with more web sites than he first thought, and reports a bug with QuickTime:

I can verify that the problem occurs with a lot more than just Apple's page. The first “standard” 20 pages I go to a day seemed ok, but now tons more don't work.

I have tried Authoxy in the past and never got it to work.

Apple also has not fixed the QT via Proxy either...I had submitted a bug to them last year on that via the developer side. Everything works on a Windows box but if you go to a Mac a lot of times you get the QT ? instead of the QT movie. The issue seems to be they use QT with anonymous connections. Which in our case, using an ISA proxy requiring passwords won't work.

Juniper Networks SSL VPN client not working with Leopard

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Aaron Weis reports of another VPN client that is incompatible with Leopard. A workaround that was available for Tiger doesn't work with Leopard:

We use the Juniper SSL VPN at work. The small client applet ("Network Connect") is no longer compatible with Leopard. Worked perfectly under Tiger. There are hacks, which sometimes work, but these only work for a Tiger working install which has been upgraded to Leopard. There is no way to install and run Network Connect on a clean Leopard install. Evidently libssl.0.9.dylib and libcrypt.0.9.dylb libraries included in Leopard are PPC only versions, rather than Universal (as in Tiger)... whoops.

On Monday, we reported that Leopard is not compatible with two other VPN clients, Equinux' VPN Tracker and Check Point SecureClient.

If you've seen a VPN problem with Leopard

Repairing Disk Permissions in Leopard broke Safari 3

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Anyen Ho reports that running Repair Disk Permissions in Disc Utility affected Safari 3 negatively:

I found a weird issue with Safari 3 in Leopard. I am using leopard on a MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz santa rosa. The disk utility found incorrect code, but after it fixed the incorrect code, friendster.com can't enter the new comment, new friend request. It worked before repairing disk permissions. Is Leopard or the dsik not compatible with OS X applications? It is fine with Netscape and FireFox, though. Weird.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: Make Leopard faster

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Albert Mowatt forwarded us Unix command to run in Terminal that to improve the performance of Leopard:

After an upgrade on several machines I noticed that the machines were sluggish, like a just fed cat. More than a few opened sometimes slower than Tiger. Then I remembered a fix!

sudo update_prebinding -debug -root / -force

Input your admin password (or root if your have a root). Whatever it takes to get the sudo working. Afterwards, run a few programs to test. They will spring to life. I noticed a few (acrobat, safari) still had to be opened at least once then from there on; Watch out.

Besides, it's never a bad idea to update your prebinding anyway.

We recommend backing up before using this procedure.





November 5

Leopard networking problems stymie third-party apps as well as built-in features

Group Logic readies Leopard release, but says Apple will have to fix bugs

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bugs in the Mac OS X 10.5.0 client are affecting third-party applications well as Leopard's build-in features, according to cross-platform integration developer Group Logic. Third-party networking software developers are currently preparing Leopard updates for problems that include include file and print sharing, Active Directory integration, and virtual private networks, issues that MacWindows readers have been reporting problems with for the past week with Leopard's buit-in networking features. Some developers thought Apple shipped Leopard too soon.

"Despite our bug reports, they didn't finish the AFP client before they shipped it out," said Reid Lewis, President and CEO of Group Logic. "They fixed a lot of them right at the end, but it was too much to finish off in the time frame they had..."

Centrify releases DirectControl beta for Leopard and a major update for Unix/VMware

Monday, November 5, 2007

Today, Centrify released DirectControl for Mac OS X 3.0.8 preview (beta) for Leopard compatibility. DirectControl is a solution for integrating Macs, Linux, and Unix workstations into Microsoft Active Directory Networks. The company said with would ship the release version of DirectControl for Mac OS X 3.0.8 at the end of this month.

"[The 3.0.8 release] makes all of the capabilities of DirectControl for Mac--Group Policy, smart cards, and other Mac-specific functionality--available for Leopard." said Tom Cromelin, a spokesperson for Centrify.

Tomorrow, Centrify will release DirectControl 4 for Unix, Linux, and VMware (US$60 per workstation and US$350 per server). This major new version adds a web-based administrative console that can run on non-Windows machines. The web console can manage Users and Computers for DirectControl 3 systems, including the current DirectControl for Mac.

DirectControl 4 also enhances cross-platform Group Policy features and includes program fixes and "significant performance enhancements," according to Centrify. The new version also adds support for Citrix XenServer, Red Hat's SELinux, and Novell's AppArmor.

Centrify said that in January 2008, it will ship DirectControl for Mac OS X 4.1, which will bring the 4.0 features to Macs, add new Mac-specific features, and include Leopard support.

Some VPN clients incompatible with Leopard

Monday, November 5, 2007

Equinux said that VPN Tracker 4, its universal virtual private network client, is not compatible with Mac OS 10.5. The company said it was entering a beta testing phase for a Leopard-compatible VPN Tracker 5 because it would not be able to patch version 4. Equinux is now accepting applications for beta testers at it's web site.

Reader Jean-Pierre Isbendjian reports that Check Point Software's VPN client for Mac is not compatible with Leopard:

As I was suspecting, Check Point Secureclient is not working with Leopard. Secureclient gets disabled once Leopard is installed and if you try to reinstall it, the installer will not install. I hope we won't have to wait 10 months or so as was the case when Tiger was issued.

If you've had problem's with add-in VPN clients and Leopard

Tips and workaround for Leopard accessing Win file servers

Monday, November 5, 2007

Several readers wrote with workarounds for Mac OS X 10.5.0 problems accessing Windows files servers. Previously, we reported suggestions that turning off file sharing enabled Leopard to see Windows shares. Other readers offered other configuration changes.

Gregg Guarnera offered an explanation as to why turning off file sharing works, and offered a file sharing tweak that does the trick:

I was having this same problem after I installed Leopard. My Windows file shares would sometimes show up but not be accessible or would not show up at all. There seems to be a bug in Leopard where it has problems connecting to Samba (Windows) file shares if you are sharing your Mac files without using Samba. This is why turning off file sharing helps.

The solution is to go to System Preferences | Sharing and select "File Sharing". If you have file sharing turned on click on the "Options..." button and make sure the option "Share files and folders using SMB" is checked...

More Leopard file sharing problems seeing or accessing content

Monday, November 5, 2007

Some readers are reporting different symptoms of Leopard file sharing problems. Here are some more. Kirk Rheinlander can't see inside network folders:

10.5 Leopard from a Powerbook G4 to a Win2003 server share point. The "connect to server" function works fine, giving me a mount point as specified (a blue disk icon on the desktop too), but none of the content of the directory is visible. A PC, same credentials, works fine, but my PB does not see any files. Get Info shows the volume as a SMB (NTFS) volume, with permissions reflecting read/write. However, attempts to create a folder or copy a file fail.

Another report of trouble seeing Leopard from Windows

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jochen Bedersdorfer verifies the problem of not being able to access Leopard shares from a Windows PC:

I got the exact same problem after upgrading to Leopard from 10.3 on my PPC Mac Mini. The net view on the Windows machine will display my machine \\minime, but trying to mount any shares (which worked before), results in System error 64: "The specified network name is no longer available."

If you've seen this problem





November 2

TIP: Configuring Leopard to see Windows file shares

Friday, November 2, 2007

A couple of readers sent us instructions on enabling Leopard to see Windows file shares and where to enter the workgroup name.

Matt saw the previously reported file sharing problem and described the settings to fix it:

I can confirm this problem as well. However, in my case I solved it by going into the "advanced" options for System Preferences --> Network --> Ethernet. Under the WINS tab I entered the workgroup name for our PC network and the DNS server address. All PCs on that domain then appear under the "Shared" list...

More symptoms of Leopard Windows file sharing problems, and a suggestion

Friday, November 2, 2007

Readers continue to report problems with accessing Windows file shares in Leopard. While some confirmed the previously reported symptom of not seeing Windows shares, other readers reported new symptoms, including not being able to use Connect to Server. One reader can’t print to a PC printer, and another reported that file sharing simply stopped working after a few days. For another reader, the Windows shares appear and disappear randomly.

Erik Ableson figured out a way to connect...

Suggestion for Leopard AD issue, and more reports of binding problems

Friday, November 2, 2007

Readers continue to report problems with Leopard binding to Active Directory networks. One reader got it to work after multiple binding/unbindings. Another reports seeing it with Micrsoft's Services for Unix. One reader saw the same problem with the Leopard betas.

But first, Erik Ableson has a suggestion...

More Leopard problems with ISA Proxy, and a workaround

Friday, November 2, 2007

More readers reported problems with Safari crashing with Microsoft ISA Proxy connections. Several readers said that the problem does not occur with the FireFox web browser.

Robert Carper recommends a third-party program:

I've had the same problem with Safari in Leopard crashing when attempting to access secure sites through our ISA proxy server. In the early days of OS X I had used Authoxy from HRSoftWorks to get functional proxy access. I just tried that again tonight and it does seem to work nicely in Leopard. I've gone to a few secure sites with no issues at all.

Rick Shields only crashes at one web site: Apple's .Mac:

I to can confirm that my Safari crashes when going through the MS ISA proxy. But it is not all the time. It happens exclusively when I try to log into my .mac mail via the webpage. So far that is the only page. And I can confirm the syncs for .mac are not working either.

Brent Westmoreland saw the problem with Tiger, and says it's worse in Leopard:

There is still no adequate support for using a Windows 2003 Proxy Server. The bugs e.g. Safari crashing when trying to connect via a proxy, are still there. Worse, as it now occurs as iDisk syncing using the proxy settings causing the Finder to lock up/crash! In Tiger, network apps would crash when trying to use a ISA proxy as set in network settings. The exception to this was FireFox, which specifies its proxy setup in the app and works fine.

Leopard is worse. Apps like Safari still crash but also processes like filesync crash and the Finder gets all screwed up. I cannot fathom why a proxy connection causes OS X apps to crash. I'm hugely disappointed that Apple has not fixed this known bug from Tiger.

The problem relates to HTTP Authentication. It is a significant barrier to Macs in Windows shops using ISA in a more secure mode.

This author is right-on and the problem did persist through 10.4. When you place a Macintosh behind an ISA proxy you inevitably get prompted relentlessly, applications crash and the entire system takes on an unstable feeling. In 10.4 it was possible to use squidman ( http://homepage.mac.com/adg/SquidMan/index.html ) as a local caching proxy and configure the ISA box as an UPSTREAM proxy. This is a mildly complicated workaround, but solved a lot of headaches. Unfortunately, squidman will not be ported to leopard for a few more weeks and my success at compiling squid from source on 10.5 has been disastrous thus far.

Daniel, like the previous reader, found that FireFox works:

I'm experiencing the same issue, on my company network I cannot connect via the ISA proxy server when using Safari. on the same system using either: Firefox within OSX 10.5 or MS Explorer within Parallels and Windows XP no problem! the problem has actually caused Safari to crash several times, reset did not help.

The same system worked fine under 10.4.

For older reports on Microsoft Proxy Server, see our Macs and Microsoft Proxy Server Special Reports page.

Boot Camp Leopard: Win display settings change to default when rebooting in Windows XP

Friday, November 2, 2007

Michael Politi reports a problem with Leopard Boot Camp, where the Windows display settings don't stick after rebooting Windows:

I am having a problem using my Apple 23" Cinema Display when rebooting my MacBook Pro. It works well, but I must reset the Windows Nvidia Control Panel display configuration to Clone every time I reboot the machine?

I am using the following system:

MacBook Pro 17" 2.4 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Windows XP Professional in BootCamp with Leopard

If you've seen this problem





October 2007

October 31

Many more reports of Leopard Active Directory binding problems

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Many readers are reporting the inability to bind to Active Directory after upgrading to Leopard that we first reported on Monday. Some are seeing dialogs that report an "unknown error." Others report an error message that says "Invalid user name and password combination." One reader said that his Macs freeze when they attempt binding.

Ryan Gilbert described his experience:

I am having issues with Leopard and Active Directory as well. After upgrading a system that uses AD auth I am no longer able to login with AD user accounts. Logging in with a local account and removing/re-adding to AD does not solve the problem...

Some Leopard users can connect to AD, but not without issues | Top of Page |

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A few readers did report being able to connect to Active Directory with Leopard.

Alan Auman said that his logins are "horrendously slow:"

While I've been able to bind my Leopard upgrades to AD, the login for an AD user account takes up to 3 minutes to complete. Disengaging screensavers when using an the AD account credentials also suffers from this delay.

Derrick Rashidi was able to bind after multiple attempts:

I'm having the same issue with some differences. I did manage to get the laptop to bind, however I didn't do anything different. It just decided to bind. I can see the pc in AD when I do a seach, but when I logon to the PC locally (because I cannot logon to the domain) and check the Directory Utility, My AD Domain show the "server is not responding" message. At times this will show Green and the server is responding but still unable to logon to the domain.

Ben Zvan was able to bind as well:

I thought I'd let you know that I'm experiencing a similar problem to that listed on your site. Under 10.4, I was able to grab a Kerberos ticket from our AD server and then connect to AD SMB shares on our network using that ticket. Now, I'm prompted for a password when I try to mount the shares. One of our other tech areas is working on it, but they don't have 10.5 yet.

Security analysts say Leopard firewall security weaker than Tiger's

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Security experts quoted in an eWeek story said that Leopard's firewall security holes that don’t exist in Tiger, the previous version of Mac OS X. The story quotes several researches who tested the new Mac OS X's built-in firewall.

One researcher discovered that Leopard's "block all incoming connections" setting does not in fact block all connections. He found that it allows several connections through the firewall, including ntpd (Network Time Protocol daemon) connections and NetBIOS name server connections.

Users do not have the option to tighten security by tweaking the configuration. As we've previously reported, Leopard has removed the configuration options that Tiger had, including blocking access to specific ports, restricting TCP or UDP access, or allowing only specific services, such as file sharing or FTP access. Users only have the "block all connections," choose applications to allow to connect, or allow all connections (turn the firewall off).

Another tester found some inconsistencies in the settings. He discovered that if file sharing was turned on, the "block all incoming connections" allowed other Macs to see the Mac, though not connect to it. This means that the "Block all" setting was allowing Bonjour broadcasts through the firewall.

Another noted concern was the fact that the Leopard upgrade installation deactivates the firewall by default, even if it was previously on. Tiger did not behave this way.

More readers report Leopard not seeing Windows shares

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A number of readers responded to Monday's report of problems mounting Windows shares with Leopard. Several readers reported that turning off file sharing allowed them to connect to Windows shares. For others, this didn't work.

Rob Groome:

Yes, I see this problem as well. By turning off Mac File Sharing, I can now see my Windows network and access shared files and printers. I wasted two days messing around with Windows IsDomainMaster and MaintainServerList registry properties with SOME success but the "ups" disappeared whenever a Windows machine was rebooted...

Read rest of story here

Reader problem accessing Leopard from Windows

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

J. G. Owen's Windows machines could no longer access his Mac after upgrading the latter to Leopard:

I just installed Leopard with a non-clean install but it seems to work OK *except* I can't see the mini from my windows XP machines anymore. The Windows command that used to work was:

net use m: \\JAMES-OWENS-COM\gregor

but now no soap.

Owen posted more about this problem at his blog.

If you've seen this problem with Leopard

Reader says Leopard/Safari crashes with ISA Proxies

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

John Holley of Auckland, New Zealand, reported problems with Safari crashing when trying to access a remote network through Microsoft Proxy Server:

There is still no adequate support for using a Windows 2003 Proxy Server. The bugs e.g. Safari crashing when trying to connect via a proxy, are still there. Worse occurs nows as iDisk syncing using the proxy settings causing the Finder to lock up/crash!

In Tiger, network apps would crash when trying to use a ISA proxy as set in network settings. The exception to this was Firefox which specifies it's proxy setup in the app and works fine.

Well Leopard is no different, in fact it is worse. Apps like Safari still crash but also as processes like filesync to crash and the Finder get's all screwed up. I cannot fathom why a proxy connection causes OS X apps to crash. I'm am hugely disappointed that Apple has not fixed this known bug from Tiger. After all, if Firefox has no problems, how hard is this to fix?

The problem relates to HTTP Authentication. It is a significant barrier to Macs in Windows shops using ISA in a more secure mode.

If you've seen this problem with Leopard





October 29

TIP: Updating Boot Camp Windows drivers in Leopard when MacDrive is installed

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thomas Tiedt sent us a tip on updating Boot Camp's Windows drivers after upgrading Mac OS X from Tiger to Leopard:

After I installed Leopard, to update Windows drivers, I put the Leopard DVD in while in Boot Camp Windows. The new driver install did not occur. I also could not find Windows drivers on Leopard DVD. And, while in Leopard and starting up Boot Camp Assistant, there was no longer any way to make a Windows driver CD (or folder).

Then I figured out the hurdle: I had to right-click the DVD drive in Vista, and choose Show Windows Files rather than Show Mac Files. Presto, the setup for Windows drivers appeared.

Tiedt didn't mention if he had Mediafour's MacDrive installed in Windows. If you do, Mediafour says that when you right-click the DVD, you should choose "MacDrive -> Show Windows Files." This is because the Leopard installation DVD is a multisession disc.

Apple posts Leopard Boot Camp 2.0 FAQ

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apple has posted an FAQ page for Boot Camp 2.0, which is what Apple is calling the version that comes with Leopard. It covers updating from Boot Camp Beta in Tiger as well as some troubleshooting issues. It also lists the Boot Camp drivers for Windows that are on the Leopard DVD.

iMac firmware update fixes Leopard Boot Camp black screen problem

Monday, October 29, 2007

Last week, Apple released a firmware update for 24" iMacs from late 2006. The update, called the iMac MXM Update 1.0, fixes a video compatibility issue in Boot Camp and Mac OS X Leopard. It fixes a problem where booting from the Windows XP installer CD produces a black screen (no video) instead of the blue installation screen.

Leopard's Boot Camp still hasn't fixed Vista Cinema Display problem

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jeff Foster reported that the new Leopard Boot Camp has not fixed some issues with Nvidia graphics in Windows Vista:

I ran out to get Leopard hoping the non-beta version of the Boot Camp Windows drivers for my MacBook Pro (NVidia graphics card) would have the correct drivers for an external Cinema Display, but still Apple's failed to support even their own hardware on Windows. The display control panel shows it's connected, but 1024X768 is the highest it will go, and the LED on the ACD just flashes every once in a while to indicate it can't use the input. I was able to make the ACD work with random inf files I'd found in forums, but they killed DirectX or some other video functionality, as all videos in any player would just be a black screen.

Also, in every version of Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro, Vista never seems to know whether it's plugged in to power or not-it indicates that it's running off battery after a while, which depending on your power settings can send it to sleep even though it's really plugged in. Works fine when booted to OSX (as does the external Cinema Display, incidentally).

Did the Leopard fix your Boot Camp display problem with Vista?

Leopard problem mounting Win servers when file sharing is turned on

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stacy Rothwell reports a problem connecting Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Macs to Windows servers. The problem occurs only when file sharing is turned on:

After a clean install of 10.5 on my Mac Pro, I was able to connect to my Win 2003 Server twice before it would just time out. Now it always tells me the server isn't responding. I can reach it just fine (under my account) from other Windows PCs and, in fact, if I run Parallels under 10.5 I can, indeed, get to the Win 2003 Server via Parallels.

The REALLY strange thing is in my home I have 5 Windows PCs and 2 Macs. One of the Windows PCs will automatically show up just fine under the new Finder but none of the others will. This Windows PC that shows up is no different than any other. It is on the same workgroup as all the others, etc.

It turns out if file sharing on the Mac is turned OFF, then all my Windows PCs will show up and connect just fine under SHARED in the Finder.

As soon as I turn on File Sharing, then it breaks. None of the Windows PCs will connect any more under their Windows names. Must go back to using IP addresses.

If you turn file sharing off and then REBOOT, it all works normally again.

If you've seen this problem with Leopard

Reader says Leopard's method of Win server access is a backwards step

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stacy Rothwell finds that Leopard's new method of connecting to Windows file servers has some holes in functionality:

In 10.4 when telling your Mac to work with Windows networking, there was a place you could specify the workgroup, and it just worked. I always got a NETWORK icon in the Finder and it ALWAYS connected no matter what workgroup a machine was on. It just worked.

Under Leopard, the network icon is gone and OS X will only show you machines that it can see. Otherwise you must go into CONNECT TO SERVER and type the silly SMB connection.

Also, I can no longer figure out where to set the default Windows workgroup and Windows PC name that was so easy to find in 10.4.

if you have these issues with Leopard.

Thursby posts public betas for ADmitMac and DAVE Leopard update

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thursby Software has released public betas of upcoming versions of ADmitMac and DAVE. The updates are for Leopard compatibility. The company said that the new versions would be "major updates."

ADmitMac is Mac OS X software that integrates Macs into Active Directory with needing a Mac OS X Server or changes to the Windows server registry. DAVE is Mac OS X software that provides an enhanced SMB file/print client/server.

Leopard Server’s wiki server can prevent AD binding

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apple tech article 306750 warns that when running Mac OS X Server 10.5 bound to Active Directory, using the Wiki Server can prevent users from authenticating to Active Directory. Apple's solution is to set authentication for Wiki Server that comes with Leopard Server (wikid) to clear text. The article explains how to use Terminal to set Wiki Server authentication in clear text.

Apple explains why this is needed:

This is required because, by default, the wiki server uses CRAM-MD5 authentication, which is not supported by the Active Directory plugin.

Because sending clear text passwords is not secure, Apple recommends configuring the wiki server to use SSL.

Reader can no long bind to AD after Leopard update

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dave McCristall's lost the ability to bind to Active Directory after a Leopard update:

I updated one of our Macs to 10.5 from 10.4 (as a test). Users were authenticating through Active Directory, but on this Mac, we've got nothing. I can't seem to get Leopard to bind to the Active Directory server.

If you've seen this problem





October 26

Leopard ships at 6pm today

Friday, October 26, 2007

Apple will release Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard today at 6 pm. The new OS, Apple's first in 2 1/2 years, includes a (non-beta) release version of Boot Camp for booting Macs with Windows. Although there are some improvements in configuring and using networking, Leopard doesn't add major new Windows compatibility features.

The Wall Street Journal is bullish on Leopard, having just published a review with the headline Leopard: Faster, Easier Than Vista.

Users in enterprise situations may decide to exercise caution in order to wait for reports of any problems with existing software. When Tiger was released in April of 2005, it broke most third-party virtual private networking (VPN) clients. A 10.4.1 release fixed a bug that enabled developers to update their VPN clients. Tiger had problems with the Cisco client, however, until Apple release 10.4.5 ten months later.

We'd like to about problems with Leopard, including issues about running Windows, connecting to Active Directory or Exchange Server, VPN, or other cross-platform issues. Also let us know if Leopard fixes any cross-platform problems.

A rundown on Leopard's cross-platform features

Friday, October 26, 2007

Although Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard doesn't add major new compatibility with Windows and Unix, there are a number of incremental improvements in usability, configuration, and functionality. Here's a list and description of the cross-platform improvements.

Boot Camp no longer available for download

Friday, October 26, 2007

Apple is no longer offering a download of Boot Camp at its web site. Although the Boot Camp Beta 1.4 page is still up (at least for now), clicking the download link brings up a Page Not Found page.

Apple will no longer offer Boot Camp for Mac OS X 10.4 users, and will not longer offer updates for the Tiger version or driver updates for 1.4. Apple said that the end user license to use Boot Camp Beta expires today when Mac OS X 10.5 ship. "To continue using Boot Camp at that time, upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard," according to an Apple tech article. Boot Camp Beta should, however, continue to function on Tiger machines.

VMware releases a Leopard-ready Fusion 1.1

Friday, October 26, 2007

VMware issued VMware Fusion 1.1 Release Candidate, an update to it's software for running Windows in Mac OS X. The company said it would do a final 1.1 release shortly after Leopard ships at 6pm today. Version 1.1 adds full compatibility with and optimization for Leopard, as well as adding a number of improvements. These include:

Improvements to Unity (which hides the Windows desktop). My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, Control Panel, Run, and Search are now available in the Applications menu, Dock menu, and the Launch Applications window.

  • Support for Microsoft Vista Boot Camp partitions in a virtual machine
  • Improved support for Windows Vista 32 and 64-bit editions
  • Automatically remount Boot Camp partition after Boot Camp virtual machine is shut down
  • Improved 2D drawing performance, especially on Santa Rosa MacBook Pros
  • Several bug fixes, including a problem where VMware Fusion would use more memory over time

Parallels has said that its recent Parallels Desktop 3.0 is already compatible with Leopard.

For more on these topics, see our VMware Fusion Tips and Reports page, and our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.

VPN Tracker 5 goes beta

Friday, October 26, 2007

Equinux has released a limitted beta of VPN Tracker 5, an upcoming version of its universal virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The company said that the version is a complete rewrite in the Cocoa environment and is optimized for and compatible with Leopard.

Other improvements in VPN Tracker 5 include:

  • More VPN gateways: Support for more than 300 gateways from different vendors
  • New user interface and new help system
  • Workflow automation, such as mounting servers, opening databases, checking for emails
  • Independent starting and stopping of VPN Connections
  • Support for the Mac OS X keychain





October 24

Leopard to support packet signing for Windows networks

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will support SMB packet signing, a Microsoft security technology, according to Apple's recently published list of 300 Leopard features. This enables Mac clients to use the Finder to access Windows file servers that have SMB packet signing turned on.

Currently, Mac users can either use the command-line smbclient program in Terminal, or Thursby Software's AdMitMac or DAVE to access SMB packet signing servers. The other option for pre-Leopard Macs is for Network admins to turn off SMB packet signing on the server.

Leopard Server will also support packet signing for better compatibility with Active Directory 2003. Apple will release Leopard Server this Friday along with the Leopard client.

Windows won't keep time in Boot Camp--more reports

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Several readers are also having Boot Camp problems with Windows clock settings, as reported on Monday. Patrick Brice:

Ever since updating to Boot Camp 1.4 the clock in Windows won't stay in time. When booting into Windows it is always set at the wrong time. I'll reset it and the next time I boot up it is wrong. There is no problem in OS X.

James Sheppard:

I too am having a problem with Boot Camp and the clock. When rebooting into OS X, my system clock is the wrong time. I have to open the Date & Time Preference Panel and then the clock resets appropriately. Seems to happen about every other time.

Bill Rosetti:

I saw the problem with the time being wrong in BC 1.2. The date was always right but the time would be off by an even number of hours when I returned to OSX. Opening and closing the Date and Time System Preferences always reset it. I no longer use BC so I don't know if it continues in newer versions.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

TIP: Fix for non-responsive keyboard in Boot Camp

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Several readers sent us fixes for the Boot Camp problem of the keyboard and mouse not functioning with Windows. Brian Johnson reported:

I figured it out. Once I connected the Apple keyboard directly to a USB port on the computer, rather than to my Apple display, AND used my Apple mouse rather than my MS Wireless IntelliMouse--the installation went w/o a hitch. When the installation was done, and I was in Windows XP, I switched back to my regular ports w/o incident, using the Microsoft mouse. Strange!

Jeff Line has another suggestion:

The same exact thing has happened to my Mac Pro. In fact the whole keyboard does not respond. The F3 button doesn't help at all. I had to restart via the Power button.

Try this:

Disconnect the mouse right before the system reboots the XPSP2 install disk. Your keyboard should be up and functioning and you're on your way to Windows XP land, blue skies and green grass.

If you've tried these suggestions

More reports of blank screens in Boot Camp during games

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two more readers report problems with Boot Camp where the screen goes blank while playing a game in Windows. Each reports the problem in a different game.

James Sheppard:

Have seen the same problem with Galactic Civilizations II Gold. Screen goes blank and the only option seems to restart the Mac Pro. I'm getting paranoid as it always happens when I'm not watching. I get up for ten seconds and it happens. I play the game for four hours and it behaves it's self. Weird!

Toni Fisler:

Same problem here about iMac aluminium 20" on XP. I can't run Oblivion. I just want to play. Is there a driver or something I could install for the 2600 to get the game to work?

We don't know of a fix, but if you do

Suggestion for VMware crashing; reduce memory setting

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lance Smith offered a fix for a reader's problem of crashing in VMware Fusion:

I've seen your problem before when I've over subscribed the memory for the guest machine. For example, I run a Mac Pro with 5GB of RAM with XP consuming 1GB of that when it needs to. The recommended for the Windows XP instance is 512MB so I double that and get no problems. If I take it up to the max 4GB I do experience issues if I'm running a load on Mac OS X and Windows XP.

If you've tried this

For more on VMware, see our VMware Fusion Tips and Reports page.

Reader problem: Windows won't boot in Parallels

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Curt Hinkle can't get Windows XP to boot in Parallels Desktop:

Windows XP won't launch at all. Parallels Build 5160 opens, but when I try to start Windows, it look like its going launch, then a blue screen appears with a series of messages, the last being "The system has shut down." Then Windows tries to launch again with the same outcome. This is with Mac Software OS X 10.4.10.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Parallels, see our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.





October 22

No MAPI for Entourage 2008, but Kerberos will be added

Monday, October 22, 2007

A source told MacWindows that Entourage 2008 will not be a native MAPI Exchange client, and will continue to connect to Exchange Server using WebDAV. But the new version will add support for Kerberos authentication, allowing single sign-on in an Active Directory environment. The lack of MAPI, and inclusion of Kerberos, are aspects of the current Entourage 2008 Beta 7, which is not public.

Readers have long complained that the lack of MAPI makes Entourage an Exchange client that is unequal to Outlook. (The old Outlook 2001 for Mac OS 9 was a MAPI client.) Kerberos has also been a feature frequently requested by network administrators. Currently, users are authenticated to Active Directory via OS X's support provides a single sign-on to most services, while Entourage continues to ask for it's own password.

Microsoft has only disclosed one new feature of Entourage 2008, a stand-alone program called My Day. Microsoft’s Office 2008 preview web site describes My Day as displaying appointments, tasks, and messages in a small space. My Day lets users add a task or print a schedule, and has a button that can launch Entourage.

Entourage 2008 is scheduled for release in January 2008 as part of the Office 2008 suite. It will be Intel- and PowerPC-native.

Click here for more cross-platform issues with Office 2008.

Reader has problem with VMware crashing

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rainer's copy of VMware Fusion is hard crashing his Mac:

I am a Mac user for more than 15 years and need to run two programs for which there are no Mac versions. I bought VM Fusion three weeks ago together with a new MacBook Pro and I am not too happy with it.

The problem is that every day Fusion crashes fatally leaving me no other choice than to hard reset the computer. Support is very helpful and responding to my mails, but so far it does not help, still the same error pops up.

When it works it is brilliant, easy to combine Mac OS and Windows XP, drag 'n drop, right-click, everything works perfectly. Unity view is nice, but I have problems to start programs from my dock, I work mostly in single window view to move files from one os to the other. All this works very neatly. Unfortunately, if I can't get it to stop crashing I will have switch to something else.

I have a MacBook Pro 17-inch, Mac OS X 10.4.10, Windows XP Pro.

If you've seen this problem

See our VMware Fusion Tips and Reports page for more on Fusion.

Free utility fixes Boot Camp brightness setting issue

Monday, October 22, 2007

Winson Chu updated his report from last week about not being about to get the brightness setting to stick in Windows Vista and Boot Camp. He said

"I fixed it by updating to Input Remapper 1.0.4."

Remapper is a keyboard mapping utility that runs under Windows.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Keyboard stops working with Boot Camp 1.4

Monday, October 22, 2007

A couple of readers reported that their keyboards stopped working with Windows in Boot Camp. Bo Pierce saw the problems begin with version 1.4:

I upgraded from whatever the original Boot Camp was when I brought this MacBook Pro to 1.4. When I boot Windows, the log in screen appears but neither the keyboard nor the touch pad work. Subsequent reboots eventually result in the ability to type in the user name/password and use the touch pad. This morning, after about 10 reboots, I still cannot get the touchpad or keyboard to function.

Otherwise, the keyboard lighting works. The screen brightness works but drops about 50 percent on the first click from high. Then each successive click reduces it a little more until the screen is dark. Once I can log in - it works great. However, I wonder if I will ever get logged in again after this morning.

Brian Johnson can't get the keyboard of mouse to work with Windows:

I have a new Mac Pro that I want to install Boot Camp with XP Pro. I first ran Disk Utility from my MacPro install disk; ran DiskWarrior 4.0 for good measure; made my Drivers' disk; then set up a 45GB partition. All went well until I had to use my "Enter/Return" key during the XP setup routine - no response! My XP Pro disk is good because I used it first on my MacBook Pro, and the Boot Camp installation went perfectly w/o any issues.

I normally use a MS IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0, so I switched to the "Mighty Mouse" that came with the computer: no change. I tried plugging the stock Apple keyboard directly into the computer. Nothing changed.

What might be causing my keyboard to go dead? Everything is working fine in OS X.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Key mapping error in Boot Camp 1.4

Monday, October 22, 2007

Joshua May reports having keyboard mapping problems with Boot Camp 1.4. We've reported this problem (and fixes) with version 1.3. May is having it again with 1.4:

I mentioned I'd seen this problem with Boot Camp 1.3. My key mapping is all messed up again after installing the updated drivers from Boot Camp 1.4.

If memory serves, the only driver that wasn't updated from 1.3 was the keyboard driver, which I reinstalled from 1.2 inline with your advice.

Any suggestions for overcoming this really, really annoying issue? Rollback to 1.2 drivers again?

If you've seen this problem with version 1.4

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Boot Camp problem with clock, hidden file settings

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tan TT discovered that Windows running in Boot Camp isn't keeping certain settings:

I have Windows XP running in my Mac Book using the Boot Camp 1.4 beta. I have been running it for a few weeks now and realized I just can't keep the settings for my clocks. Each time I log in, the dates and time will change.

Further, I can't activate view hidden files option in Windows XP. Not sure if I am being over-reactive, but my Mac seems unable to keep certain file handling settings after I have installed boot camp. I can't have Adobe reader to be the default handler for .pdf files despite activating the "Change All" option.

If you've seen these problems

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Boot Camp screen goes blank during game

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rory Shillington found that running a particular game in Windows with Boot Camp causes the screen to go blank:

I have a graphics problem with 2600 in 24" iMac Boot Camp with Windows XP. I have had C&C Generals Zero Hour go blank screen during game play after working fine for a while on several occasions. Did some probing, was able to remote desktop on and after various log on remote/locally (blind) sequences it came back. (Game quit when logging out).

Looked at system events, lots of errors with ATI2MTAG which is a .sys file relating to the driver. I have yet to find a different ATI driver that will install but will keep trying. I've tried the catalyst one so far.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Windows/Boot Camp losing file associations

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tae Jin Kim has a degenerative problem with Windows in Boot Camp 1.4, which eventually ends up with a Windows reinstallation:

I've been running Windows XP on my 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro for a while now and experiencing this funny problem. I have to reinstall Windows every now and then because all the applications running in Windows won't start up one by one. In the beginning stage of this problem, when I double click on icons/files on my desktop, it will not start the application that is associated with that file. The icon would change to Windows default/unassociated icon. But if I start the application, Photoshop for example, and open that psd, it will open. Then, few days later, same thing happens to a different type of file and so on, eventually, it gets to a point where I am not able to open any applications. When I try to open an application, I get this command screen for a split second and disappears then nothing happens. Today, I can not open any files or applications and will go ahead and reinstall Windows again.

This could be a Windows specific problem, not related to Boot Camp. If you've seen this happen

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Troubleshooting AirPort and printers

Monday, October 22, 2007

Apple tech article 107418 describes techniques for dealing with problems printing using the AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme base stations. This is a topic we often get questions from readers about.

For a tutorial and information about using Macs and Windows PCs in wireless networks, see our Cross-platform AirPort Wireless Networks page.





October 17

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 adds file policies, increases scalability

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP 5.1, an upgrade to the AFP Windows-based server solution for supporting Mac clients. ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 File Server adds file-naming and storage policies. ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 5.1 increases scalability and adds new management capabilities. A new device discovery widget is also included.

With the new version, administrators can now define and enforce policies that prevent Mac users from using filenames that are incompatible with Windows users. Policy enforcement features have also been expanded to prohibit the storage of certain file types on the server.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 includes a new Dashboard widget called Zidget for discovering and accessing print and file servers. Group Logic said the widget enables administrators to completely eliminate AppleTalk, which is still sometimes used with Mac clients to access network-based Postscript printers.

ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 5.1 can now support up to 1,500 simultaneous print queues without degrading performance, according to the company. This allows sites to consolidate multiple print server software solutions into a single server, thus lowering licensing and management costs. The Print Server enables single-point management of enterprise-wide printing.

ExtremeZ-IP file and print server are also now IPv6 compliant. The company said that ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 supports all releases of the Mac operating system, from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, to be release from Apple on the 26th.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 is a free update for ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 users who have an active support contract. A free trial version is available at Group Logic's Web site.

TIP: Binding OS X 10.4 to AD when it fails at Step 5

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rich Hinds sent in two suggestions for binding Mac OS X to Active Directory. The failure occurred at Step 5 in our tutorial How to use Active Directory and Macintosh Clients without Schema Changes. Hinds describes the problem and the fixes...

e2sync adds Nokia phones for Entourage syncing

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yesterday, e2Sync, Inc., added support for dozens of Nokia phones to its e2Entourage software for Mac OS X. e2Entourage is a plugin for Apple's iSync that lets you sync contacts, tasks, and calendar items between Entourage and several dozen Nokia phone models. e2Entourage also can sync Entourage with an iPhone. e2Sync's e2Entourage is normally US $39, but is now available for US $29.

StuffIt 12 adds the ability to compress MP3, PD

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Smith Micro has released version 12 of the Mac versions of StuffIt Deluxe (US$80), StuffIt Standard Edition (US$50), and StuffIt Expander (free). The new version of StuffIt Deluxe adds the ability to compress cross-platform file formats that are already compressed, including MP3, PDF, TIFF, PNG, GIF, and BMP. The new version also increases compression of JPG files to 30 percent, and can re-compress zip archives.

StuffIt is a cross-platform compression and encoding utility that supports many Mac, Windows, and Unix/Linux compression and encoding formats.

Apimac compression utility supports new Leopard archive format

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yesterday, Apimac released Compress Files 3.0, a new version of its compression utility for Mac OS X. The new version adds the ability to create XAR (eXtensible ARchive format) archives, a new open source archive format that Apple will use in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for software installation, according to Apimac. Compress Files 3.0 also supports encrypted and normal zip archives.

For a list of cross-platform compression utilities for Mac OS X and Windows, see our Compression Solutions page.

Utility turns the Windows Taskbar into a Mac-like Dock

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No need to give up the Mac Doc when running Windows in Boot Camp. Aqua Dock is a free utility for Windows XP that makes the Taskbar look and act like the Mac OS X Dock. Items are minimized with Dock-like icons that will zoom when you mouse over them. Aqua Dock can be customized using settings for the look of each Dock icon. You can also change the type of animation when you mouse over the Dock.

We've added Aqua Dock to our Front End Solutions page, which lists third-party products that make Windows look and act more like Mac OS X, and vice versa.

(Thanks to Chris Breshears for the tip.)

Word crashing Intel Mac minis

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Derek Smith reports of a problem with Word and Mac minis:

We have a slew of Dual-core Intel Mac minis in a lab and in two classrooms that are throwing panic crashes when Word prints.

This link gives me a clue as to what is going on here:

http://mactip.blogspot.com/2007/07/dependent-dylib-is-not-prebound.html

Do your readers have any hints or tips on how to fix this problem?

If you've seen this problem





October 22

No MAPI for Entourage 2008, but Kerberos will be added

Monday, October 22, 2007

A source told MacWindows that Entourage 2008 will not be a native MAPI Exchange client, and will continue to connect to Exchange Server using WebDAV. But the new version will add support for Kerberos authentication, allowing single sign-on in an Active Directory environment. The lack of MAPI, and inclusion of Kerberos, are aspects of the current Entourage 2008 Beta 7, which is not public.

Readers have long complained that the lack of MAPI makes Entourage an Exchange client that is unequal to Outlook. (The old Outlook 2001 for Mac OS 9 was a MAPI client.) Kerberos has also been a feature frequently requested by network administrators. Currently, users are authenticated to Active Directory via OS X's support provides a single sign-on to most services, while Entourage continues to ask for it's own password.

Microsoft has only disclosed one new feature of Entourage 2008, a stand-alone program called My Day. Microsoft’s Office 2008 preview web site describes My Day as displaying appointments, tasks, and messages in a small space. My Day lets users add a task or print a schedule, and has a button that can launch Entourage.

Entourage 2008 is scheduled for release in January 2008 as part of the Office 2008 suite. It will be Intel- and PowerPC-native.

Click here for more cross-platform issues with Office 2008.

Reader has problem with VMware crashing

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rainer's copy of VMware Fusion is hard crashing his Mac:

I am a Mac user for more than 15 years and need to run two programs for which there are no Mac versions. I bought VM Fusion three weeks ago together with a new MacBook Pro and I am not too happy with it.

The problem is that every day Fusion crashes fatally leaving me no other choice than to hard reset the computer. Support is very helpful and responding to my mails, but so far it does not help, still the same error pops up.

When it works it is brilliant, easy to combine Mac OS and Windows XP, drag 'n drop, right-click, everything works perfectly. Unity view is nice, but I have problems to start programs from my dock, I work mostly in single window view to move files from one os to the other. All this works very neatly. Unfortunately, if I can't get it to stop crashing I will have switch to something else.

I have a MacBook Pro 17-inch, Mac OS X 10.4.10, Windows XP Pro.

If you've seen this problem

See our VMware Fusion Tips and Reports page for more on Fusion.

Free utility fixes Boot Camp brightness setting issue

Monday, October 22, 2007

Winson Chu updated his report from last week about not being about to get the brightness setting to stick in Windows Vista and Boot Camp. He said

"I fixed it by updating to Input Remapper 1.0.4."

Remapper is a keyboard mapping utility that runs under Windows.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Keyboard stops working with Boot Camp 1.4

Monday, October 22, 2007

A couple of readers reported that their keyboards stopped working with Windows in Boot Camp. Bo Pierce saw the problems begin with version 1.4:

I upgraded from whatever the original Boot Camp was when I brought this MacBook Pro to 1.4. When I boot Windows, the log in screen appears but neither the keyboard nor the touch pad work. Subsequent reboots eventually result in the ability to type in the user name/password and use the touch pad. This morning, after about 10 reboots, I still cannot get the touchpad or keyboard to function.

Otherwise, the keyboard lighting works. The screen brightness works but drops about 50 percent on the first click from high. Then each successive click reduces it a little more until the screen is dark. Once I can log in - it works great. However, I wonder if I will ever get logged in again after this morning.

Brian Johnson can't get the keyboard of mouse to work with Windows:

I have a new Mac Pro that I want to install Boot Camp with XP Pro. I first ran Disk Utility from my MacPro install disk; ran DiskWarrior 4.0 for good measure; made my Drivers' disk; then set up a 45GB partition. All went well until I had to use my "Enter/Return" key during the XP setup routine - no response! My XP Pro disk is good because I used it first on my MacBook Pro, and the Boot Camp installation went perfectly w/o any issues.

I normally use a MS IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0, so I switched to the "Mighty Mouse" that came with the computer: no change. I tried plugging the stock Apple keyboard directly into the computer. Nothing changed.

What might be causing my keyboard to go dead? Everything is working fine in OS X.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Key mapping error in Boot Camp 1.4

Monday, October 22, 2007

Joshua May reports having keyboard mapping problems with Boot Camp 1.4. We've reported this problem (and fixes) with version 1.3. May is having it again with 1.4:

I mentioned I'd seen this problem with Boot Camp 1.3. My key mapping is all messed up again after installing the updated drivers from Boot Camp 1.4.

If memory serves, the only driver that wasn't updated from 1.3 was the keyboard driver, which I reinstalled from 1.2 inline with your advice.

Any suggestions for overcoming this really, really annoying issue? Rollback to 1.2 drivers again?

If you've seen this problem with version 1.4

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Boot Camp problem with clock, hidden file settings

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tan TT discovered that Windows running in Boot Camp isn't keeping certain settings:

I have Windows XP running in my Mac Book using the Boot Camp 1.4 beta. I have been running it for a few weeks now and realized I just can't keep the settings for my clocks. Each time I log in, the dates and time will change.

Further, I can't activate view hidden files option in Windows XP. Not sure if I am being over-reactive, but my Mac seems unable to keep certain file handling settings after I have installed boot camp. I can't have Adobe reader to be the default handler for .pdf files despite activating the "Change All" option.

If you've seen these problems

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Boot Camp screen goes blank during game

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rory Shillington found that running a particular game in Windows with Boot Camp causes the screen to go blank:

I have a graphics problem with 2600 in 24" iMac Boot Camp with Windows XP. I have had C&C Generals Zero Hour go blank screen during game play after working fine for a while on several occasions. Did some probing, was able to remote desktop on and after various log on remote/locally (blind) sequences it came back. (Game quit when logging out).

Looked at system events, lots of errors with ATI2MTAG which is a .sys file relating to the driver. I have yet to find a different ATI driver that will install but will keep trying. I've tried the catalyst one so far.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Windows/Boot Camp losing file associations

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tae Jin Kim has a degenerative problem with Windows in Boot Camp 1.4, which eventually ends up with a Windows reinstallation:

I've been running Windows XP on my 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro for a while now and experiencing this funny problem. I have to reinstall Windows every now and then because all the applications running in Windows won't start up one by one. In the beginning stage of this problem, when I double click on icons/files on my desktop, it will not start the application that is associated with that file. The icon would change to Windows default/unassociated icon. But if I start the application, Photoshop for example, and open that psd, it will open. Then, few days later, same thing happens to a different type of file and so on, eventually, it gets to a point where I am not able to open any applications. When I try to open an application, I get this command screen for a split second and disappears then nothing happens. Today, I can not open any files or applications and will go ahead and reinstall Windows again.

This could be a Windows specific problem, not related to Boot Camp. If you've seen this happen

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Troubleshooting AirPort and printers

Monday, October 22, 2007

Apple tech article 107418 describes techniques for dealing with problems printing using the AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme base stations. This is a topic we often get questions from readers about.

For a tutorial and information about using Macs and Windows PCs in wireless networks, see our Cross-platform AirPort Wireless Networks page.





October 17

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 adds file policies, increases scalability

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP 5.1, an upgrade to the AFP Windows-based server solution for supporting Mac clients. ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 File Server adds file-naming and storage policies. ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 5.1 increases scalability and adds new management capabilities. A new device discovery widget is also included.

With the new version, administrators can now define and enforce policies that prevent Mac users from using filenames that are incompatible with Windows users. Policy enforcement features have also been expanded to prohibit the storage of certain file types on the server.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 includes a new Dashboard widget called Zidget for discovering and accessing print and file servers. Group Logic said the widget enables administrators to completely eliminate AppleTalk, which is still sometimes used with Mac clients to access network-based Postscript printers.

ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 5.1 can now support up to 1,500 simultaneous print queues without degrading performance, according to the company. This allows sites to consolidate multiple print server software solutions into a single server, thus lowering licensing and management costs. The Print Server enables single-point management of enterprise-wide printing.

ExtremeZ-IP file and print server are also now IPv6 compliant. The company said that ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 supports all releases of the Mac operating system, from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, to be release from Apple on the 26th.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.1 is a free update for ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 users who have an active support contract. A free trial version is available at Group Logic's Web site.

TIP: Binding OS X 10.4 to AD when it fails at Step 5

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rich Hinds sent in two suggestions for binding Mac OS X to Active Directory. The failure occurred at Step 5 in our tutorial How to use Active Directory and Macintosh Clients without Schema Changes. Hinds describes the problem and the fixes...

e2sync adds Nokia phones for Entourage syncing

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yesterday, e2Sync, Inc., added support for dozens of Nokia phones to its e2Entourage software for Mac OS X. e2Entourage is a plugin for Apple's iSync that lets you sync contacts, tasks, and calendar items between Entourage and several dozen Nokia phone models. e2Entourage also can sync Entourage with an iPhone. e2Sync's e2Entourage is normally US $39, but is now available for US $29.

StuffIt 12 adds the ability to compress MP3, PD

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Smith Micro has released version 12 of the Mac versions of StuffIt Deluxe (US$80), StuffIt Standard Edition (US$50), and StuffIt Expander (free). The new version of StuffIt Deluxe adds the ability to compress cross-platform file formats that are already compressed, including MP3, PDF, TIFF, PNG, GIF, and BMP. The new version also increases compression of JPG files to 30 percent, and can re-compress zip archives.

StuffIt is a cross-platform compression and encoding utility that supports many Mac, Windows, and Unix/Linux compression and encoding formats.

Apimac compression utility supports new Leopard archive format

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yesterday, Apimac released Compress Files 3.0, a new version of its compression utility for Mac OS X. The new version adds the ability to create XAR (eXtensible ARchive format) archives, a new open source archive format that Apple will use in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for software installation, according to Apimac. Compress Files 3.0 also supports encrypted and normal zip archives.

For a list of cross-platform compression utilities for Mac OS X and Windows, see our Compression Solutions page.

Utility turns the Windows Taskbar into a Mac-like Dock

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No need to give up the Mac Doc when running Windows in Boot Camp. Aqua Dock is a free utility for Windows XP that makes the Taskbar look and act like the Mac OS X Dock. Items are minimized with Dock-like icons that will zoom when you mouse over them. Aqua Dock can be customized using settings for the look of each Dock icon. You can also change the type of animation when you mouse over the Dock.

We've added Aqua Dock to our Front End Solutions page, which lists third-party products that make Windows look and act more like Mac OS X, and vice versa.

(Thanks to Chris Breshears for the tip.)

Word crashing Intel Mac minis

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Derek Smith reports of a problem with Word and Mac minis:

We have a slew of Dual-core Intel Mac minis in a lab and in two classrooms that are throwing panic crashes when Word prints.

This link gives me a clue as to what is going on here:

http://mactip.blogspot.com/2007/07/dependent-dylib-is-not-prebound.html

Do your readers have any hints or tips on how to fix this problem?

If you've seen this problem





October 11

TIP: Entourage password problem caused by proxy settings

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shan Younker sent us a tip to fix an Entourage password problem with a few Macs:

I used to have problems with Entourage asking for a password 2 to 3 times. Entourage was trying to log into our proxy server. I spoke with a Microsoft rep at MacWorld and he gave me a tip. Once I set up my network preferences to "Bypass proxy settings" for our internal domain, Entourage stopped asking me for multiple passwords. If only some of your computers are having the issue, make sure your account settings in Entourage match and your Network preferences match.

If you've seen this

Brightness setting changes with Boot Camp 1.4, Vista

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Winson Chu can't get the brightness setting to stick in Windows Vista and Boot Camp:

I have a MacBook pro running Boot Camp 1.4 running Vista and Mac OS X. If I change the brightness, it always automatically resets to one level below the max brightness within a few seconds. This problem goes away if I shutdown and go into Mac OS, and shutdown and go into Vista. But if I reboot again into Vista or hibernate, the problem is back. The damn brightness setting keeps resetting to the same level with a few seconds of me changing it.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

SFU and Mac OS X and AD integration, and Map Group GID

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Peter Kloss has further insight in to UID/GID problem with Services for Unix, Mac OS X, and Active Directory. He also shared how he got around a problem with the "Map Group GID to attribute" option:

Many thanks for posting my question and for posting the hints by Steve Meyers and Dedrick Allen. By combining the logic in their answers I have now got a working login that meets my requirements.

What I hadn't realized was that I need not tick all three UID / GID mapping options. I had assumed it was all or nothing, and just unchecking the "Map Group GID to attribute" option (and leaving the others ticked) allows the local home to mount and my blue screen problem has gone.

Another issue in our environment prevented us from using the "Map Group GID to attribute" option. We have a hierarchical root and child domain AD, and we make extensive use of universal security groups, which contain members from many of our child domains. SFU didn't understand this, and complained if we tried to set the GID of a group that contains members outside your local NIS domain.

After more testing with SFU and my Mac I got everything working. I should have realized at the outset that using an existing account (my own) in our cloned VM-ized AD environment was a bad idea. Our AD has an "empty" or null root domain with many children that hold the child accounts. Due to sizing limitations our virtualized clone test lab only has 3 out of 10 child domains present. I am the member of 28 windows groups, many of which have members outside our own child domain, and many of which are from domains not actually present in the VM'd clone. I also discovered I am a member of a universal group homed in another child domain which also happens not to be present in the clone! Any process that tries to evaluate the groups in this AD forest is going to have problems. (This clone works very well for a wide range of tests that we have been doing on recoverability and future upgrades to AD).

Using a 'scratch' account which only belongs to two groups in the local domain I was able to log in and mount a local home with the Map Group GID to attribute' option set and when creating a local file I was able to 'get info' and read the GIDs of all the reachable groups in AD, and those which had assigned GIDs showed them. Groups without assigned GIDS just showed '-2'.

So it looks like the failure of my own account was due to the complexity of its group memberships, the unreachability of the referenced domains and the inability of the AD plug in to handle all that elegantly. So there are obviously limitations to this feature that people need to be aware of in complex AD setups.

We have also found a way to assign the same NIS domain name to several child domains so it is possible to assign GIDs to universal groups with the correct configuration.





October 9

Leopard to include read-only ZFS support

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Last week Apple acknowledged that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard would include support for Sun's ZFS file system when the new OS is shipped this month. According to a Computerworld report, Apple said that the support would be limited to read-only access and only through the Unix command line, and not through the Finder.

Last June, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that Apple would make ZFS the default operating system, replacing HFS+. Apple said that HFS+ will continue to be the default file system in Leopard.

Success using Parallels with a USB-serial adaptor

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jean-Philippe Borel is using the lastest release version of Parallels Desktop to connect to equipment through a USB-to-serial adapter:

The installation of Parallels 3 Build 5160 was practically without problems. Parallels runs well with Windows software, and with USB and serial cables to different measuring and control equipment through Lindy serial adapter.

My Laptop: MacBook 2 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.10.

Readers says CrossOver update improves speed

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Barry Smythe thinks the new CodeWeavers' CrossOver 6.2 is an improvement over the previous version:

I have found 6.2 MUCH faster opening and running Microsoft Project Pro.

CrossOver is software that runs Windows applications on an Intel Mac without the need for Windows. However, it runs a select group of Windows applications.

If you've tried CrossOver 6.2

For more on CrossOver, see our CrossOver Reports page.

Side effect with fix for Entourage password problem

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An anonymous reader said that a fix that we reported works for the Entourage "Invalid Password" problem, but has a side effect:

Attempting the solution provided by Ronald Bledsoe appeared to resolve authentication errors. However, it had the side effect of prevent shared calendar syncing from completing which hampered the display of new inbox mail receipt. I was forced to backout the authentication solution to resolve the calendar sync.

Centrify, Group Logic coordinate integration in white paper

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Centrify posted a 10-page PDF file called Centralized Mac Home Directories with ExtremeZ-IP, which describes how to integrate Centrify's DirectControl with Group Logic's ExtremeZ-IP. A spokesperson for Group Logic said that the white paper is "the culmination of coordination and testing by both firms."

Centrify describes the document:

This application note describes how to configure both DirectControl and ExtremeZ-IP to enable users to log in to an OS X system with their Active Directory user ID and password to gain access to their home directory stored on a Windows server.

DirectControl is Mac OS X software for integrating Macs into Microsoft Active Directory. ExtremeZ-IP is an AFP file and print server running on Windows to support Mac clients.





October 5

Reader report on CrossOver 6.2

Friday, October 5, 2007

Robert reviews on some of the aspects of CrossOver 6.2, the new version of the software that runs Windows applications on an Intel Mac without the need for Windows. (This makes it an inexpensive solution). Robert wrote:

CrossOver 6.2 works OK with the listed approved applications. With unsupported applications, it is very much a hit and miss affair. Unfortunately, there has been a retrograde step with version 6.2, which no longer runs Radmin 3.0 from Famatech. Codeweavers also has a VERY odd support system where users have to 'pledge' (financial) support by buying copies of Crossover to get unsupported applications possibly added at some unspecified future date. I did this to get Radmin support but now it is broken again!

It is OK when you just want to use IE to view a site that is broken in Safari (Netclassroom for example), but for serious work with a Windows application, it is Boot Camp as first choice and Parallels as second.

Having said that, all three applications have enabled me to get rid of the Windows box I used to keep in my office for the very infrequent times I needed to run Windows to do something because the Macs couldn't.

If you've tried CrossOver 6.2

For previous coverage of CrossOver and a version history, see our CrossOver Reports page.

Parallels Build 5160: wireless mouse disconnects in Coherence mode

Friday, October 5, 2007

Earl Peel notes a problem with the latest build of Parallels Desktop:

I've noticed with a wireless mouse, specifically the MS wireless laser mouse 6000, you lose the ability to see and control the mouse properly in Coherence mode.

If you’ve seen this problem

For more on Parallels, see our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.

TIP: Suggestion for SFU and Mac OS X native AD integration

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dedrick Allen responded with a suggestion to previous reports of Active Directory problems with the user identification (UID) and group identification (GID) using Services for Unix (SFU):

I have seen the problem Mr. Peter Kloss describes. I use SFU for OS X integration as it works better than OS X's native support. However, if you do this you have to make sure all the windows groups that your users could possibly be a member of has an NIS Domain and GID assigned on the UNIX Attributes tab of the groups properties.

Please if this works for you.

Another theory on slow OS X due to DNS

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nicholas has a theory about the network slowdowns Mac OS X 10.4.10, which are likely due to problems with DNS lookups. Irias also comments on previous suggestions to use OpenDNS:

I have seen this problem on both of the 10.4.10 iMacs that I have access to, one on my home DSL and the other on the company network. OpenDNS seems to help but that is just a band-aid and Apple still needs to fix this bug.

We had one of the company's two internal DNS servers offline for a day and all OSX web browsing became glacial. But nslookup was fast at the command line, via the browser on Windows boxes, and even via the Parallels instance on the same iMac.

My speculation: I think the issue is that Safari and Firefox both use some Apple API for address resolution that does a horrible job of dealing with an unresponsive primary DNS. If the first DNS they hit happens to be down or is temporarily unable to respond, that API goes into a coma for 30 seconds or so instead of rapidly proceeding to a secondary DNS. Using OpenDNS only helps because their DNSs have a generally high availability so that horrifically bad DNS algorithm rarely needs to go to a secondary DNS. If the API was fixed the browsers would resolve addresses as quickly as nslookup does.

More on Casablanca time zones with Entourage

Friday, October 5, 2007

We have more reports of the Entourage problem where time zones for events get changed to "Casablanca, Monrovia," which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

J.B. Zimmerman, who previous sent a report, clarifies:

Just FYI, in my case it is *all* events, not just all-day ones.

Justin Rogers reports:

I also have this problem. It's a PITA. All-day events created in iCal get put into Entourage as all day events in Casablanca, Monrovia, but they look like it's on one day in my calendar. In Outlook/Exchange/Blackberry, they span two days, and it's very annoying to have that on my Mobile and everywhere else. I'm in the same time zone as the server, and everything is set for GMT. Not sure what a fix is, other than to go into entourage and create everything, or once created in iCal, go to entourage and change to EST.


If you’ve seen this problem




October 3

CrossOver 6.2 improves Outlook on Mac and Team Fortress II gaming

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Crossover 6.2 improves Outlook and on Mac and Fortress II support

Yesterday, CodeWeavers released Crossover Mac 6.2, an update for the software that enables Windows applications to run in Mac OS X. The company also released Crossover Linux 6.2. Unlike virtual machine products such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, CrossOver does not run Microsoft Windows. Instead, CrossOver enables Mac OS X to run selected Windows apps natively.

The new version includes some "major work" for support of Outlook, which is 50 percent faster than in version 6.1 when run on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which Apple will release this month. Version 6.2 also has a number of bug fixes for Outlook support, including the fixing of time-zone issues, as well as bug fixes for other applications.

The company also said that CrossOver 6.2 is the first and only solution available that can run Valve's Team Fortress II "out of the box" in Mac OS X.

Other improvements include:

  • Fixed font rendering in several apps, including Quicken 2007
  • A new Dock presence for running Windows applications. This provides some Mac-like interfaces for applications, including the activation of apps and quitting via the Dock.
  • Fixed problems with Flash Player 9
  • Fixes for printing to printers without default fonts
  • DirectSound support
  • Preliminary MIDI support
  • Improved audio input

CrossOver 6.2 is available for US$60 as a download, US$70 for a CD. CodeWeavers is offering a 10 percent discount through October 31 for orders at the company website, using the "special deal" code of "zomg".

If you've tried CrossOver 6.2

For previous coverage of CrossOver and a version history, see our CrossOver Reports page.

Boot Camp in Tiger to end with Leopard

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Apple tech article says that users currently running Boot Camp in Mac OS X 10.4.x Tiger will have to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard when Apple ships the new operating system this month. Article 306583, updated on September 30, now says:

The license to use Boot Camp Beta expires when Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is available to the public. To continue using Boot Camp at that time, upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

This implies that Apple will not make Boot Camp available to Tiger users, either free or for a fee. It is not known whether the current Boot Camp Beta 1.4 and version 1.3 expire and cease to work on the Leopard ship date, which Apple has not announced other than to say it was in October. It is also possible that Boot Camp Beta 1.3 and 1.4 will simply become illegal to run. Boot Camp Beta 1.2 expired on September 30.

Boot Camp is Apple software for enabling Macs to boot natively into Windows. For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Entourage/Exchange "Casablanca" time zone problem can block events

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

J.B. Zimmerman also has the Entourage problem where time zones for all-day events get changed to "Casablanca, Monrovia." He described the problem this causes:

Oy gevalt, do I have it. All Entourage users in our firm have their time zone set to Monrovia; I *think* it has to do with the fact that the Exchange server uses GMT for its time zone and Entourage doesn't know how to handle that other than finding a Mac time zone that is GMT. The problem comes when that time zone is then applied to events, and the delta is *re*applied at some point in the process.

In my case, I will see events "blocked" at the proper time for my time zone, but whenever I *view* the event (or get the alerts) it lists it using 'local' Monrovia (GMT) time. So basically I have to do mental gymnastics whenever I get a meeting request or change alert.

If I go into my calendar view, they all show up at the proper (local) time, i.e., with the offset from GMT applied.

It drives me crazy. We're on Exchange 2003, with all current service packs.

If you've seen this problem

Thursby upgrades for Leopard in the works

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thursby Software said that its DAVE and ADmitMac software is currently being upgraded Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The company said that Leopard will require the upgrades, which are now in beta testing, and which will be free for licenses purchased after July 31, 2007.

DAVE is cross-platform file/print sharing software for Mac OS X. ADmitMac integrates Macs into Microsoft Active Directory.

SFU and Mac OS X native AD integration

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Peter Kloss sent some more information about the problem with Macs, Active Directory, and Services for Unix and the user identification (UID) and group identification (GID):

I'd like to clarify that the only file system that I need to mount is the home directory; It can't even manage that. The only file system option I have to work is "portable account" which creates a local file system on the Mac for each AD user. The test lab I'm working with, which is a clone of our AD infrastructure in a VM environment, lacks some configuration to allow me to use networked homes.

To clarify the actual symptom: with the option to read the SFU attributes, the authentication succeeds, but after seeing the "logging in <username>" window, the system is stuck with a blank screen, and the only escape is to power off. If this was the first time the user was ever logged in on the Mac, a new home directory is made for the user with the attributes defined in the SFU UID/GID definitions, but this never mounts. Uncheck the option to read the SFU attributes and the login proceeds to completion with the home folder visible and usable, with the SFU defined UID/GID applied. So something is hanging the tail end of login with the option to read the SFU attributes.

If you've seen this problem





October 1

Workarounds for Boot Camp problem booting into Windows

Monday, October 1, 2007

A pair of readers offered workarounds for the Boot Camp problem where Windows occasionally would restart when trying to boot the Mac into Windows.

Jenna Cross offered this:

Dan Kessler reported having a problem with his Boot Camp where Windows will start to load and then go to a black screen and restart. I have had the same problem with my MacBook Pro laptop. I thought it might be something to do with the video driver, but reloading it didn't fix the problem.

The best way to deal with it that I've found is to NOT press the Option key when it restarts. It will start up the Mac side just fine. Then I shut it down or restart it from there. Windows usually works for me on that second full start up. However, I don't know of any real solution, so I'm considering switching to Parallels or Fusion.

Anyen Ho Ho offered another workaround:

It happens to me. I have MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Santa Rosa. My solution is to unplug the external USB2 had drive. This approach did not fix the problem for the previous reader who reported the problem. He thought it might be bad RAM.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Play it again, Sam: Entourage/Exchange events reset to Casablanca time zone

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ben Morris in Australia has a problem first reported last year with Entourage where all-day events get changed to "Casablanca, Monrovia:"

I am writing about the weird problem with the Entourage/Exchange/iCal/.Mac and all-day events combo where the event gets stretched and the time zone gets changed to Casablanca, Monrovia.

I note that another user has had this problem, but I am unable to find a resolution on the web, apart from changing all day events to timed events.

Another odd thing is that Casablanca is in Morocco. Monrovia is in Liberia, well over 1000 miles away. Both are in Greenwich Mean Time.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Entourage, see our Entourage/Exchange Server Reports.

Another workaround for Entourage logon repeatedly asking for password

Monday, October 1, 2007

Mucai Kunyiha offered a different workaround for the the Entourage/Exchange logon problem where it continually asks for a password. In this case, the problem was Exchange server:

For four days, I had a persistent problem with Entourage and my Exchange mail service at the office showing the error below:

Mail could not be received at this time. The server for account "Exchange Server" returned the error "Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password." Your username/password or security settings may be incorrect. Would you like to try re-entering your password?

The message seemed to pop-up every 10 minutes or so. I was also not receiving or sending mail consistently, and the Exchange folder in Entourage does not show mail in my server accurately.

We tried the suggestion by Ronald Bledsoe: set the username to be domain\username and leave the domain field blank in Entourage. But with no luck.

We then re-started the Exchange Server and presto, No more error messages! Our guess is the server was clogged up with some temporary files and the delay in authentication was causing the error.

I am running Entourage 11.3.6 (070618) on Mac OS X Version 10.4.10. Our office runs Exchange 2000.

If you've tried this fix

For more on Entourage, see our Entourage/Exchange Server Reports.

TIP: Win 2003 settings to help Mac AD binding

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lorenzo Buresta in Italy had problems binding Macs to Active Directory when he upgraded his server to Windows 2003. Some configuration changes fixed the problem:

I had no problems when I was running the AD domain on a Windows 2000 Server. Binding OS X clients was straightforward. Some months ago we upgraded to Win 2003 and problems began to pop up.

When I tried to bind an OS X client to our AD domain using the Directory Access panel, the AD Forest field could not be changed and showed the same gray writing: -Automatic- Trying to bind only filling the other fields (domain) didn't work, resulting in a "Invalid Domain" warning" "An invalid Domain and Forest combination was specified. You should enter a fully qualified DNS name for the domain and forest."

Our AD domain server is a 2003 SP2 server. The domain name entered is valid, so is the domain administrator name and password. The Forest name is the same as the domain name. Server and clients belong to the same network. DNS servers of client/server are the same. Clocks are synchronized.

I succeeded in binding my OS X 10.4 clients to the AD domain using suggestions from a Discussion Thread in the Apple Support Site.

It seems that Windows Server 2003 is more 'touchy' than Windows 2000 Server as to some parameters I did not used to consider before.

I checked that DNS entry of the Clients is the same of the Win2003/AD server. At the same time, when filling the fields in the Directory Access AD plugin, I managed to specify an AD DC and its IP number (instead of typing its FQD name, as I used to do with the old Win2000).

If you've seen this problem

For more on Active Diretory, see our report Integrating Macs with Active Directory.

Another report of UID/GID problem with AD and Services for Unix

Monday, October 1, 2007

Steve Meyers reports having the previously reported Active Directory problem with user identification (UID) and group identification (GID) on Mac OS X, and Services for Unix:

I'm having the same problem. I have UID mapped to uidNumber, and GID mapped to gidNumber. I've found that memberd doesn't crash if I don't have groups mapped (I still need to have the primary group ID mapped). I'm not mounting any file systems on login, so that isn't relevant; I'm just using a home directory in Users at login.

For more on Active Diretory, see our report Integrating Macs with Active Directory.





September 2007

September 26

VMware Fusion Beta 1.1 promises DirectX 9.0 3D graphics

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last night, VMware published a VMware Fusion Beta 1.1, a public beta (prerelease) version of the next version of the virtual machine software for Mac OS X. The new version promises "experimental" support for Windows DirectX 9.0 3D graphics (though without shaders), which is required with some games and to use some of Windows Vista’s featuers. Also in this version is the ability to sync iPhone to Outlook from within Windows.

Other improvements include:

  • Option to show or hide the Windows taskbar and Start menu in the View menu
  • Improved functioning of the Unity feature (which hides the Windows desktop) in Windows Vista 32 and 64-bit editions and Windows XP 64-bit edition
  • Improved Boot Camp partition detection to work around issue where the partition type is incorrectly set
  • User interface improvements
  • Bug fixes

For more on VMware, see our VMware Tips and Reports page.

Suggestion for Parallels Build 5160 upgrade and another report of lower system resources usage

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Volker Laska had some trouble updating Parallels Desktop to the lastest Build 5160, until he received some advice from Parallels:

I had a bad start with this version, as it wouldn't update but required an uninstall. I then got an important hint from Parallels support: uninstall Parallel Tools first, then uninstall old Parallels version, install the new release, reinstall Parallel Tools, and voila, everything works!

Fred Plautz agreed with Parallels claim that the new Build 5160 uses fewer hardware resources in the Mac:

I upgraded to build 5160. It does use fewer resources. iStat Pro numbers have gone from the mid 40's to the mid 20's on average. It also feels quicker and is very stable.

Reader Boot Camp problem: variation on "endless boot cycle"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dan Kessler is having a Boot Camp problem that is somewhat similar to the "endless boot cycle" issue, though not exactly:

I have an 8-core Mac Pro with three internal drives, the ATI 1900XT video card and 4GB of RAM). One of the drives is dedicated to Windows XP Professional.

Restarting the computer, and holding the Option key brings up the expected operating system choice. But if I select Windows, it sometimes doesn't work. The screen will go black, the fans will whir up then stop, it will sit there for a while. Then the computer will automatically restart itself. If I hold down the Option key after this automatic restart, and select Windows startup, the whole process happens again.

I go through this cycle 3 or 4 times. Eventually I get a Windows screen telling me it had a serious system error and would I like to startup in Safe Mode or continue a normal startup process. I select normal startup and everything works.

I don't get any "blue" screen as described on your website as the "Endless Win boot cycle" problem. In fact, I don't get any video at all until I go through the reboot cycle I described about 2 to 5 times (the number of times varies for some reason). So, no error message telling me "the image olecnv32.dll" might be corrupt.

I do have several USB devices plugged in, but I tested this with only a mouse and keyboard, and the problem is still there. And, I tried swapping the hard drive bays around.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a problem with the RAM I bought.

Not a solution, but I've selected both startup in "last known good configuration" and "start Windows normally" after the multiple reboot error identifies itself. Either one brings me successfully to Windows.

Once Windows completes the boot, I get the error message asking if I'd like to submit the error to Microsoft.

If you've seen this

Verification of Entourage "invalid password" logon fix

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Denis Lessard verified a previously reported fix for the problem where Entourage repeatedly asks for a password with an "Invalid Password" message. Lessard said:

We're running OS 10.4.9 and Entourage 11.3.6. It connects back to our Exchange 2003 servers. The solution provided by Ronald Bledsoe settles the issue definitely: set the username to be domain\username and leave the domain field blank in Entourage. Thanks for the solution!

RDC with Cisco VPN Client 4.9.01 interrupts connection w/ network drive

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eric Andreen reported a problem where Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac seems to disconnect his network-connected storage:

I use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) along with Cisco VPN 4.9.01 to connect to my employer's Windows network. So far, this has worked very well, but with one irritating problem: The connection with my network drive (which stores ALL of my families documents, media files, etc.) is interrupted and disconnected when I connect. This is inconvenient, as I like to be able to go back and forth between my RDC connection and working on my home network.

The problem does not seem to be Cisco VPN, since nothing seems to happen when I connect. My network drives do however disconnect when I open RDC and connect. I get a message "Server connection interrupted." My Internet connection stays operational (obviously it must for RDC to stay connected).

I wonder if this is a port issue, or something related to my router? It is interesting to note that when I startup to Windows XP, and connect with Cisco VPN and RDC the connection is successful, and my network shares remain connected. So this problem seems to be specific to OS X.

If you've seen this problem

(For more on RDC, see our RDC Reports and Tips page.)

4D v11 SQL adds Vista, Mac universal binary support, new database engine

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4D SAS has released 4D v11 SQL for Mac OS X and Windows (starting at US $349), the first major release from the database company in three years. The new version adds 200 enhancements, including compatibility with Windows Vista and native support for Intel-based Macs (as a universal binary release).

4D v11 SQL also adds a new database engine that is compatible with existing 4D applications, but which includes native integrated SQL that is more easily scalable than before. 4D v11 SQL also adds support for SQL, SVG, and Unicode, as well as enhancing its support for ODBC, XML and SOAP based Web Services. There are a also number of new developer tools, a new design environment, and an integrated maintenance center. 4D v11 SQL also provides a new component architecture that the company says wil enable developers to deliver code that is secure, high performance, and modular.





September 24

TIP: Using AirPort and a non-Apple base station

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nello Pensieri in Rome, Italy, describes how he fixed a problem with AirPort and a non-Apple base station:

I got a MacBook Pro a month ago with 10.4.10 pre-installed. For three days I searched for the reason why AirPort wasn't communicating with my Linksys WRT54G. While I saw some of net problems discussed at MacWindows (slow browsing, connection dropping every 10 minutes and so on), I didn't see a fix, and found nothing at the Linksys web site.The trick was changing the wireless channel of my AirPort to nr. 5 (2.432GHz). Now everything's working fine. Anyone with a problem working with AirPort and a base station other than Apple's Airport Base Station must try to optimize her AP configuration to meet the best of client.

Verification of fix for Boot Camp booting into Windows only

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jennifer Lum was having the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X unless the PRAM is reset. She wrote to report verify a fix we previously reported: I just wanted to let you know that your solution to highlight Mac for startup disk but not restart at that time seems to have cured my MacBook from defaulting to Windows. Thanks for the help, this has been driving me bonkers!

Boot Camp 1.4 fix for nvidia Vista drivers and Apple 30"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oystein Saebo is another reader reporting that the Boot Camp 1.4 update disabled Windows Vista's Nvidia graphics drivers. He solved this by reinstalling and then updating the driver, and found a way to get the Apple 30-inch display to work:

I had the same problem. I just ran the Boot Camp driver install again, choosing Repair, and the correct nvidia driver was back. I also updated the driver with the latest driver for mobile Nvidia gpus from laptopvideo2go.com.

Another bigger problem is to get the external 30-inch Apple Cinema Display to work with Vista and Win XP on a new MacBook Pro. It seemed like the Vista Nvidia driver is not dual-link capable. I got it to work now. Check out my reply in this thread at the Apple Discussion Forums.

In previous reports, some readers have had success with non-Apple drivers from the Nvidia web site.

Boot Camp 1.4 problems with Radeon 2600 graphics in iMac

Monday, September 24, 2007

Max Mars has problems with graphics in Boot Camp 1.4 and the new 24-inch iMac:

There are many problems with ATI Radeon 2600 Pro in a new aluminum iMac running Windows XP and Vista. There's video noise and stuff like that. I can't play many games. I've installed a Medal of Honor Airborne. It starts to run great, with good FPS, but then it always crashes.

If you've seen this problem

Reader UID/GID problem with Mac OS X, AD, and Services for Unix

Monday, September 24, 2007

Peter Kloss has a problem with Macs, Active Directory, and Services for Unix and the user identification (UID) and group identification (GID):

I'm having problems trying to use Microsoft Services for Unix (SFU) assigned UID / GID and Mac OS X native AD plug-in. SFU components installed on a DC to allow assignment of UID and GID to 'msSFU30UidNumber' and 'msSFU30GidNumber'. The Mac OS X Native AD plugin is set to read these attributes in the Directory Access utility, AD plug-in Advanced Options mappings. Authentication works fine, as the file system for new a user is created with correct attributes, but file system never mounts. It's left stuck with a blank blue screen and the only way out is a hard reset. Logs indicate that memberd has crashed. Unchecking the mappings option and log-in followed by file system mount is very fast, the UID/GID set is remembered.

If you've seen this problem

Entourage time zone problems with printing calendars

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chris Phelps reports printing problems printing calendars when users are in different time zones:

Weekly calendars don't print correctly for meetings set up in time zones that are not local. If someone in the EST time zone sets up a meeting from 1:00-2:00 it shows up correctly in my on screen calendar and on a daily printed calendar as being from 11:00-12:00 MST. If I print a weekly calendar, the meeting shows from 11:00MST - 2:00MST. It looks like it is simply not adjusting the time zone for the ending time. When colleagues in Europe set up meetings my calendar is a mess since all meetings appear to be at least 9 hours long.

If you've seen this problem

Fix verified for Vista authentication to Mac OS X Server

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mark Caban verified two suggestions for fixing the problem of Windows Vista authenticating to OS X Server:

I used Hayward Kong's and Rich White's suggestions and they worked for me. I have a wired home network with two iMacs running OS X 10.4.10 and one PC running Vista Basic. Vista would not recognize the username or password until I tried the above mentioned suggestions that I found on your site.





September 20

Virtualizing OS X: Is Apple Missing the Boat?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Opinion: Virtualization is the hottest trend in enterprise IT, but Apple customers are missing out on the most enticing benefits. It's not a cross-platform compatibility hurdle, but Apple's desire to hold on to its growing hardware market share. But the prohibition could backfire.





September 19

Parallels Build 5160 uses less processor power

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wil Nelson reports that the new version of Parallels Desktop 3, Build 5160, uses less of the Mac's processor than previous versions:

I downloaded Parallels Build 5160 and noticed that idle CPU usage generally is in the single digits spiking to mid teens and sometimes twenty percent or higher. Overall, this appears to be down from the constant mid-20 to mid-30 percent range. With one browser running, usage is about the same. My download, upgrade and installation required two reboots to get it all working but was not a big deal. I no longer use Boot Camp due to Parallel's performance increases since Parallels 2.x.

If you've tried Parallels Desktop Build 5160

More suggestions for Vista authenticating to OS X Server

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We have two more reports from readers about problems with Windows Vista connecting to Mac OS X Server.

Peter Fletcher altered his logon:

I saw the Vista authentication issue posted by Christian Jacob on September 6th 2007. I too had this problem, but was able to solve it by adding the IP address of the OS X Server before my Vista Users login.

Example:

Login: 10.0.1.201\pete
Password: ********

Not sure why you have to do it that way, but it has worked for me. By the way, I am running Mac OS X Server 10.4.10.

Gary Minato had an explanation about NTLM in Vista, some advice from Microsoft, and some more links:

Vista uses a later version of SMB than does Mac OS X Server. The issue here is that the authentication in Vista's version of SMB has been upgraded and only accepts authentication from requests from clients that meet this newer version of SMB authentication. There are workarounds this for this issue for some versions of Vista ABOVE Home Premium and not so simple workarounds for other versions.

I've got some links to info on the web on this topic:

  • At VistaX64.com, from Michael Bishop (MS) - "Basically, the issue with Samba and Vista is that Vista no longer permits LM or NTLM authentication by default; only NTLMv2. Samba versions 1.x and 2.x only support LM and NTLM, so there's an issue there.

"[MS] Recommended solution: upgrade to Samba 3.x and enable NTLMv2 by adding "client ntlmv2 auth = yes" to your smb.conf file. Because of another issues with previous versions, I strongly recommend upgrading to 3.0.22 or later regardless of your choice for this particular instance."

You can read previous reports and suggestions for this issue on our Mac OS X Server/Windows Clients report page.

TIP: Macs unable to see new folders created by PC clients

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jarran Rapsey reported that his Mac users could not see folders placed on a Windows Server by Windows users. The problem was similar to an older problem where Windows files placed on AFP shares were invisible to Macs. Rapsey found that previously reported fix for the problem worked for him. Rapsey also sent some additional clarifying instructions:

I recently connected a Mac client to our SBS Server 2003 network and ran into the problem where the Mac client was unable to see any new folders or files created by PC clients.

However, I have just followed Craig Overboe's fix, as posted on Aug 28, 2006, and it appears to have successfully resolved the issue - fantastic!

One extra thing to note: You need to make sure that when you create then new Mac share (i.e. point 6 of Craig's process), that you ensure that it is enabled for read/write access. We found that when we recreated the share it defaulted to read only and although we were able to see all of the files, we still couldn't modify them on the Mac client.

If you run into this problem, you need to enable read and write on the new Mac share that you created while following Crag Overboe's instructions. To enable read/write after the fact, follow these steps:

  1. On the server, click the start button and then right click My Computer and choose Manage.
  2. Once the Computer Management dialog is visible, click shared folders and then shares.
  3. Then right click on the Mac share folder that you previously created and select Properties.
  4. Unclick the 'This volume is ready only' option.

These and other reports are on our Windows 2003 Server Reports page.

VPC 5.0.4 on Mac OS X 10.4.10--It works

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ken Cluff reports running a five-year-old copy of Connectix (pre-Microsoft) Virtual PC 5 on the latest version of Mac OS X:

I bought a copy of VPC5.0 from eBay. Installed it on a Dual 500 G4 PowerMac, Gigabit of RAM The Power Mac is running 10.4.10. Virtual PC runs without a hitch. I'm running Windows 98 to keep the RAM requirements down and the Windows overhead as light as possible. I get a network kernel extension error of some type when VPC starts, but since I'm not interested in networking the virtual machine, it's a non-issue for me.

Not bad for a piece of virtual machine software that hasn't been tested for Mac OS X in half a decade. Virtual PC 5 is incompatible with the PowerPC G5 processor (and any Intel processor), but works with the G4. We've had previous reports of VPC5 running in earlier releases of Tiger, but this is the first in over two years. The current version of Virtual PC, 7.0.3, is still sold by Microsoft for PowerPC Macs.

EU decision against Microsoft could improve cross-platform compatibility

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On Monday, a European Union court rejected a Microsoft appeal to an anti-trust decision against the company. As a result, Microsoft will have to pay a fine of 497 million euros (US$613 million). Microsoft will also have to open up its server protocols so that competitors' servers are "able to interoperate with Windows domain architecture on an equal footing with Windows operating systems."

eWeek quotes several analysts as saying that Mac OS X Server could gain features for managing and locking down Windows clients, should Microsoft publish its server protocols.

One could speculate that published protocols for Exchange Server and Active Directory could also help Mac clients work better on Microsoft-based networks.





September 17

Parallels releases stable upgrade with dozens of features and fixes

Monday, September 17, 2007

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 3 Build 5160, an upgrade to the software for running Windows and Linux on Mac OS X. The new version is a final version of the last two betas, Builds 5060 and 5144, incorporating dozens of new features and improvements. (The previous stable release was Build 4560.)

This includes improvements to Coherence, the feature that hides the Windows desktop while displaying the Windows programs. Each Windows program window opens as a separate Mac window. Build 5160 now supports the Mac OS X's Exposé feature and the overlapping of Windows and Mac windows. You can now boot the virtual machine directly into Coherence mode, without first showing the Windows desktop. Transparent windows are now supported.

Other improvements over Build 4560 include:

  • Windows application windows can minimize to the Mac OS X Dock
  • Syncing between an iPhone and Windows (contacts, scheduler, mail and media)
  • Improved performance and lower system overhead, including better DirectX and OpenGL performance
  • Maximum memory size available for a virtual machine increased from 1.5GB to 2GB, and support for more than 4 GB or RAM for multiple virtual machines
  • The ability to use Documents, Pictures, and Music folders as the My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music directories in Windows
  • Map Mac folders to a Windows letter drives (a feature that Virtual PC had)
  • Boot Camp compatible key mapping - Boot Camp key combinations substitute specific Windows keys like Insert, Print Screen and so on
  • Configurable audio lets you use headphones within a virtual machine with highest sound quality. You can also now change input and output sound devices connected to virtual machine on the fly
  • Parallels Transporter can now migrate a Linux PC (in addition to Windows) to a Parallels virtual machine
  • The Parallels Image Tool lets you change the virtual hard disk's format between plain and expanding disk
  • Parallels Mounter: Double-click Parallels virtual disks and mount them to Mac Desktop to access Windows files and folders using Finder, even if the virtual machine is not running. (Another Virtual PC feature)

The new version also includes several dozen bug fixes and stability improvements.

If you've tried Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5160

TIP: A fix for Parallels blue-screening with Boot Camp partition

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alberto Macías found a fix for a Parallels problem with a Boot Camp partition:

I have found the solution for a bug with Parallels working with the Boot Camp partition. The error is a Blue Screen of Death when you try to load Windows. With a number ending in 7b.

The easy solution is to open Windows natively (in Boot Camp) and click in START/execute REGEDIT

OPEN THE KEY LOCAL MACHINE

OPEN THE KEY SOFTWARE

DELETE THE FOLDER PARALLELS (is a program with an incorrect Parallels Tools installation).

Then you can start Boot Camp through Parallels and update the Parallels Tools.

A lot of people have this problem and don't know the solution.

If you've seen this

TIP: Fix for VMware not finding Boot Camp partition

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alberto Macías sent us a fix for the problem he reported last month with VMware Fusion and a Boot Camp partition:

I found a workaround for VMware, when it can't find the Boot Camp partition. The solution is easy:

The partition table has the wrong file system type. (For example you have NTFS but internally sometimes thinks that is FAT32)

Try doing this in Terminal (assuming your partition is #3):

sudo fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0
setpid 3
Choose 07 as the partition type
write

Extracted from this thread in the VMware bulletin board. It works!

If you've tried this

Readers use non-Apple drivers when Boot Camp 1.4 disables nvidia drivers

Monday, September 17, 2007

We’ve received more reports of Boot Camp 1.4 problems with nvidia drivers in Windows. The symptoms vary. Today's readers fixed the problem by installing a non-Apple driver.

Kip Beatty reported:

I've had the same experience others have written about. I updated my Boot Camp drivers from 1.3 to 1.4, and suddenly lost the ability to display Aero. The culprit is the missing or improper Nvidia graphics drivers.

Sid Sytsma lost his second monitor’s output:

I have a similar problem: MacBook Pro 2.4gz, Vista Home Premium and Boot Camp 1.4. The MS driver will not recognize the external monitor. I've installed the Nvidia 8600 GT driver from the Nvidia website. It installs OK, the external and internal monitors both work, but the maximum resolution is 1024x758 on both monitors. I can't live with that, so I went back to the MS driver.

Suggestions for slow DNS: install DNS server in OS X

Monday, September 17, 2007

Edgar Kleindinst passed along a tip to prevent slow DNS networking that readers have been reporting with Mac OS X 10.4.9 and 10.4.10:

The first thing I did after getting my first Mac was to install a caching-only DNS server in OS X (10.4.10). It lets my Mac do its own DNS lookups and cache them rather than depend on other DNS servers.

I have mine set to go straight to the root DNS servers for the lookups but supposedly to play nice you should have it contact another DNS server for the initial lookup and subsequent lookups come from the local cache. I wanted all the speed I could get so I cheated.

With this set up, I have never had a delay in my DNS lookups; they are almost instantaneous. I am on Comcast.

I have the rest of the computers on the network point to my Mac for their DNS lookups so they can enjoy the speed and add their lookups to the cache too.

Peter Westley agrees with previous reports that OpenDNS helps, and added a tip:

Hi, I've gone with OpenDNS, and found much improvement. I've also enabled some web site filtering, and some URL-line keywords. For instance just type "google" in the URL slot and it takes me direct to the Google advanced-search window configured how I like it!





September 13

Group Logic MassTransit 5.1 adds AD integration

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This week Group Logic released MassTransit 5.1, an upgrade to its cross-platform enterprise file transfer solution. The new version adds two dozen new features, including support for Active Directory-based passwords and Single Sign On (SSO) through MassTransit's web browser-based file transfer client. MassTransit accounts can be linked to Active Directory for password and account management. Active Directory-based users can now also to access the AD-based log to search for file transfer histories and file delivery information. The company referred to the Active Directory support in version 5.1 as a "first phase."

The web-based client in MassTransit 5.1 adds native support for Intel Macs and Windows Vista, and now supports the Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 browsers.

Version 5.1 also improves workflow automation in the form of new Actions for the automatic moving of files in transit, as well as new Actions that trigger scripts for custom automation.

New user features include the ability to send SMS text messages to a cell phone for automatically reporting file transfer events. It is also now easier to successfully send large folders.

MassTransit 5.1 is a free update for licensed MassTransit 5.0 users who have an active support contract.

Beta app virtualizes Mac OS X in Windows; first VM to support DirectX 9

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Software that can run a Mac OS X virtual machine in Windows XP is being demonstrated at VMworld in San Francisco this week. Redwood City startup Moka5 is previewing a public beta of Moka5 Engine, software that creates virtual machines and deploys them on multiple PCs over a network. The company is demonstrating Mac OS X 10.4.3, Linux, and Windows running in Windows XP SP2 at its booth at the tradeshow.

Virtualization vendors such as VMware and Parallels have said that they don't facilitate running Mac OS X in their products because it would violate Apple end user license agreement. Apple requires users to run Mac OS X on Apple hardware.

Moka5 Engine creates virtual machines on an administrators PC via a simple graphics user interface. Windows XP, Linux, and Mac OS X appear in a drop-down menu.

Moka5 Engine then copies the virtual machines to multiple users computers. Maka5 refers to its virtual machines "LivePCs" because Moka5 Engine will automatically update the virtual machines/LivePCs as the admin makes changes. Moka5 Engine also checks for modifications to the LivePC every time it is booted. If it detects software modifications, such as malware or unauthorized software installed by the user, Moka5 Engine resets the LivePC to the system's original state when the LivePC is rebooted. User documents are retained.

The LivePCs that Moka5 Engine creates run in VMware's free VMware Player on the users' PCs. (VMware Player can run virtual machines, but can't create them.) In order to run Mac OS X, the PC must have a processor that supports the SSE3 instruction set, which is common today. (The free CPU-Z utility can determine if the processor in a PC supports SSE3 instructions.)

Unlike VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, the virtual machine/LivePC resides on the user's computer, not a server. This means that Moka5 Engine can be used for notebook computers.

Another notable feature of Moka5 Engine is that it is the first virtualization product to support DirectX 9, 3-D graphics acceleration. VMware Player does not have DirectX 9 support, but Moka5 Engine adds some virtualization of its own to the LivePC virtual machine. Moka5 founder and principle engineer John Whaley said that Moka5 accomplishes this by working with graphics hardware at the DirectX API level instead of at the driver level.

Whaley said that the Moka5 started as a project he worked on as a student at Stanford University.

The public beta of Moka5 Engine can be downloaded at Moka5.com.

Vista can connect to Macs running ADmitMac, DAVE

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A spokesperson for Thursby Software reported that problems with Windows Vista connecting to Mac OS X Server don't occur with the ADmitMac 3.2.2 and DAVE 6.2.2 updates from last June:

We had to update both DAVE and ADmitMac to properly work with the Vista client. I assume that the current Apple [Mac OS X Server] release is probably having similar problems to what we experienced. All of our products now support Vista.

DAVE is Thursby’s enhanced SMB file transfer and print server/client for Mac OS X. ADmitMac is Active Directory integration software for Mac OS X that also includes the file and printer sharing features of DAVE.

Our Mac OS X Server Cross-Platform Issues page contains suggested workarounds for connecting Vista to Mac OS X Server.

More on the "endless Win boot cycle" problem

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We've received more reports of the endless Windows boot cycle in with Boot Camp and Parallels, and each reader traces the problem back to a different event.

Christian Sidak's problem started with new RAM:

I have the same problem. It first occurred after a RAM upgrade on my MacBook Pro. The only difference is that I did not get a blue screen, it just reboots without any warning. The only solution so far is resetting the SMC and booting Windows XP SP2. It works but sometimes I have to reset the SMC [power manager] several times before running Windows successful.

Laurentiu Padeanu blames a Windows settings file:

I'm having a similar problem. Shutting down Windows unexpectedly has destroyed some allocation file info - in CMD-EXE.pf file and CHKDSK-EXE.pf, so every time I try to start Windows in Parallels tries to scan the disk, get's an error an reboot in an endless loop. I think I have to re-install Windows VM in Parallel/BootCamp.

Jordan Berliant blamed a Windows update:

I'm having the same problem since installing the recent Windows update. I'm on an Intel MacBook Pro.

Our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page contains some suggests for fixing the problem.





September 10

TIP: fixing Vista's problems connecting to OS X by changing NTLM settings

Monday, September 10, 2007

A change in the way Windows Vista does authentication may be the cause of Vista's problems connecting to Mac OS X Servers. Readers sent us a number of different procedures (or links to procedures) to fix the problem. One reader said that the problem is caused by the "NTLMv2-based authentication Vista uses when Kerberos fails."

You can read the rest of this story here.

if any of these solutions worked for you.


September 6

Microsoft promises better Exchange support for Entourage 2008; details to be released this month

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This week Microsoft hinted that Entourage 2008 in Exchange environments will be the most reliable version to date. The company said that there will be improvement to the Entourage database, changes in the Entourage calendar, and a method for Mac users to work with SharePoint. Entourage 2008 will also include a setting to create an "out of office" message without needing to use Outlook Web Access.

At the company's Mac Mojo web page, Microsoft Mac Business Unit General Manager Craig Eisler said on Tuesday "I am delighted with the stability and reliability of our Exchange support and how well the calendar interoperates with my assistant, who uses Outlook."

Starting on September 18, Microsoft will be periodically announcing the new features in Entourage 2008 and the other Office 2008 apps. So far, Microsoft has said little-to-nothing about Entourage 2008. It was the only Office 2008 app that Microsoft did not preview last January at Macworld Expo.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it was delaying the US release of Office 2008 for Mac OS X until mid-January 2008. This week, the company said that it would release Office 2008 to manufacturing in December of this year.

The current Office 2004 is not Intel-native and is not compatible with the new file formats (.DOCX, .XLSX, and .PPTX) of Office 2007. However, Microsoft has said that it was dropping support for VBA macros in the new version.

(See our Office 2008 Special Report for more on these cross-platform compatibility issues.)

What feature would you like to see in Entourage 2008?

Another case of disappearing Excel

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Winston Mar responded to our reports of Excel disappearing when updating Office 2004:

Same thing happened to me last week when I updated Office 2004. This was with the 11.3.6 update.

We've also had reports of this problem with the 11.3.5 update. (The current update is 11.3.7.) Several readers have also reported no problems with updating.

OpenOSX Office 2.0 released for Mac OS X

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This week, OpenOSX released OpenOSX Office 2.0 for Mac OS X, a new version of the low-cost office suite (US $40 for CD, $30 download, $15 upgrade), which is a Mac version of the Linux GNOME Office applications. Version 2.0 is now native for Intel and PowerPC Macs.

OpenOSX Office 2.0 adds a new personal finance management module, Gnucash, which can import most Quicken files. Version 2.0 adds database support to the Gnumeric spreadsheet app. There is also read/write support of Microsoft Word and Excel file formats.

Other parts of the suite include Inkscape (replacing SodiPodi in previous versions), a vector image manipulation program that can edit SVG and Adobe Illustrator files. There's also flowchart software called Diagram.

Problem with Vista authenticating to OS X Server

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Christian Jacob has a problem with a Windows Vista client and Mac OS X Server:

Our Macs and PCs up to Windows XP work just fine with Xserve G5 running Mac OS X Server 10.3.9. Now, a new laptop with Windows Vista installed won't authenticate. I can ping the server but I cannot login. The same userprofile on a different Windows client with XP can login successfully. The individual workgroup is set, username+password is correct, and IP configurations are set correctly as well. Defender, Firewall and everything is deactivated in Vista.

If you've seen this issue

(For previous reports of this nature, see our Mac OS X Server Cross-platform Issues page.)

Vista in Boot Camp-heat issues, brightness adjusting

Thursday, September 6, 2007

David Malandain comments on the temperature of Windows Vista running in Boot Camp 1.4, and reports a problem with trying to adjust the screen brightness:

Hi just thought I'd give you feedback on Boot Camp 1.4. I have a MacBook Pro Core Duo 1.83Ghz running OSX 10.4.10. As far as I can tell everything works fine for me. It does seem to run hotter in Vista Ultimate but then it runs hot in Mac mode too, I must say though it runs a damn sight hotter when it's charging. It runs cooler on batteries. iSight works fine, as doe the keyboard backlighting.

There is one weird thing I have found and that is that it reboots if you try to adjust the screen brightness via F1 or F2 key in Vista, but only if you push the button a few times in a row. Somewhat annoying so I just use the Boot Camp assistant instead as that seems to interface better than 1.3's assistant did.

If you've seen these issues

Another Nvidia/Boot Camp/Vista driver problem

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Barbara Sweet has a problem with the Nvidia graphics driver in Windows Vista and Boot Camp.

I am having a similar problem with Windows Vista/Boot Camp/Nvidia driver/display using a (brand new) Mac Pro and a View Sonic 22" display. When I install Vista using Boot Camp 1.4, the display reverts to VGA/4 bit color. Not improved when installing the Apple driver for Windows. When we update the driver from Nvidia, it says it's already installed, when we override and reinstall it makes no difference.

We've had previous reports about Nvidia/Boot Camp problems, but not with these symptoms. If you've seen this problem

Another report of OpenDNS helping with OS X net slowdown

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Michele Monroe corroborated a report from Monday about OpenDNS helping with the network slowdown problems of OS X 10.4.9 and 10.4.10:

Based on a discussion I found on Apple's support site, I added the DNS server addresses from www.opendns.com to my Internet configuration and that seems to be working.

If you've tried this suggestion





September 4

Parallels Beta 5144 improves performance, Mac OS X integration

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Parallels last week released Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5144, which the company is calling Beta 2 and a release candidate for the next version. (Build 5060 was called Beta 1. The current shipping version is Version 3.0 Build 4560.)

Parallels said that Build 5144 improves overall performance, and supports over 4 GB of RAM for multiple virtual machines. There are also a number of features that improve integration between Windows and Mac OS X.

The Coherence feature, which hides the Windows desktop, now supports the overlapping of Windows and Mac windows, and supports Mac OS X's Exposé feature. This Beta 2 version also has the ability to boot directly into Coherence mode, without first showing the Windows desktop at all. Also new is the ability to use Documents, Pictures, and Music folders as the My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music directories in Windows.

The Parallels' Transporter utility can now migrate Linux into a virtual machines on the Mac.

(See our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page for more on Parallels.)

TIPS from the publisher of TSclientX, an RDC alternative

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Daniel Milisic, the publisher of TSclientX, sent us some new information as well as clarifications of previous reader reports. TSclientX is an alternative to Microsoft's RDC, for operating Windows applications remotely from a Mac. Milisic's advice:

Glad to hear others have been able to benefit from open source software like CoRD and TSclientX.

TSclientX is essentially a bunch of apps from the Unix/Linux world -- primarily rdesktop and tsclient -- skinned-out to look as Aqua-native as you'll get out of an X11 app. (Everything that makes it up is open-source so if someone said they "paid for" TSclientX I'd suggest they're being taken for a ride.) I originally bundled this together for the Mac because RDC was so frustrating. I've got faith in the Microsoft Mac BU folks that we'll have a better RDC, but hey, for now, choice is good!

There's also a checkbox for "Attach to Console" in TSclientX. Note only RDP5 boxes (Win XP and newer) support this. Folder redirection is also supported and there's a (non TSclientX specific) note on the site on how to deal with printing.

One more thing: TSclientX is all self-contained in a .app bundle so you don't need to install rdesktop or anything else (besides Apple-supplied X11). Seemed like there was some confusion on that issue.

See our RDC Tips and Reports page for more on RDC.

Another fix for slow AirPort in 10.4.10

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dave Hanks told us how he dealt with his slow AirPort connection:

I definitely saw slow web page load times and even repeated stalls. I ended up deleting some Airport preference files and resolved the issue. That particular solution is documented in several places on the web.

Last week, a reader fixed his problem with a 13-character WEP Password.

More data, hints for dealing with slow net access in OS X 10.4.9 and 10.4.10

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Readers responding to previous reports of network slowdowns in the Mac OS X 10.4.9 and 10.4.10 updates sent us additional observations and suggestions. Mark Issacs describes the issue:

I experienced it beginning with 10.4.9 and it continues unabated in 4.10. My Internet connection is an extremely fast, 7 meg/sec cable modem...

Before, most web pages literally popped onto the screen complete. No waiting. Now, when I go to a new web page there is a two or three second delay before anything happens or begins to happen.

Michele Monroe can get around the problem using Windows and Parallels:

I have also been having network connectivity problems with 10.4.10. I can hardly get any web pages to load on my MacBook Pro and instead get a message to run network diagnostics. When I do, it says nothing is wrong.

This seems to be caused by Mac OS X because I have no connectivity problems with any browser used through Windows while running Parallels Desktop.

Bob Morel sees the problem only when his Mac wakes from sleep:

I see this problem as well with 10.4.10. When I wake my computer (I never shut down, it always sleeps) it now takes up to two minutes to be able to access any web site. Once accessed, everything seems to work fine. (Verizon FIOS, dual-processor G5.)

Craig Chambers uses OpenDNS to help:

I have been having problems with OS 10.4.9 and 10.4.10 and DNS. I have noticed that my Macs seem to stall while surfing websites during the DNS lookup. Once the site has been resolved, the subsequent loading of other pages in that domain happens much faster (unless those pages have things like ads that need to be resolved from other domains). I tried moving from a Netgear to a D-Link router and still had the same results.

Moving to OpenDNS has helped a lot. I still experience some slowdowns, but these may just be busy times on Comcast's network. I have experienced this on both my laptop and my G5 desktop, both connected wirelessly with excellent signal strength.

The problem occurs when I am using a standard consumer router at my house. I do remember that if I plugged my computers directly into the cable modem the speed improved greatly. I also don't seem to have the same problems when I take my laptop to the office Ethernet (not wireless) where we have our Windows 2003 Server doing our DNS.

This leads me to believe that it may be some combination of my Mac and the DNS handling of the routers. But why using OpenDNS would help has me baffled.

Chambers apparently hasn't tried the suggestions we've previously posted for fixing this problem for AirPort Connections.





August 2007

August 31

TIP: Make Windows XP look and act like OS X

August 31, 2007

If you're a Boot Camp user who'd rather be booted up into the Mac side, check out FlyakiteOSX, a free “transformation pack” for Windows XP that turns XP in a Mac OS X near-look-alike, even including a working Dock. PC World Downloads describes FlyakiteOSX:

FlyakiteOSX…goes beyond skinning to transform your entire XP interface into a near-perfect replica of Mac OS X. FlyakiteOSX converts sounds, cursors, title bars, icons, startup and log-in screens, and more. It even has an OS X-like dock for launching and managing running applications.

In some of the screen shots at the FlyakiteOSX web site, we noticed that it moved the XP Taskbar to the top of the screen, gave it a Mac-like color, and changed to start button to an Apple icon. Even the boot screen has an Apple icon.

We’ve added FlyakyteOSX to User Interface Solutions page.

(Thanks to Kirk Rheinlander for the tip.)

Reader agrees that Mac OS X DNS slowdown began with 10.4.9

August 31, 2007

Roger Harris responded to our report earlier this week about network slowdowns with recent Mac OS X updates. He agrees with the theory that this is a DNS problem and that the 10.4.10 update wasn't the first with the problem:

I agree with Alexander Gibson that this problem started with 10.4.9. I switched to OpenDNS' servers from Verizon's servers and it was a big improvement; But I don't know why.

what you think.

TIP: Editing Windows to enable Mac access to SMB shares and printers

August 31, 2007

Randy Whitney edited the Registry on a Windows XP box to enable his Mac OS X 10.4.10 box access SMB shared folders and SMB printers over a network. He sent us his procedure:

My problem was the inability to print to and mount share drives on my MacBook from my XP box (XP Pro - Media Center Edition 2005). I could see the printers and even save them, but printing would fail. I could see the share drives, but the mount would fail.

After trying numerous options on the Mac, including editing /etc/smb.conf, using smb://user:pwd@..., setting smbpasswd, verifying the encryption options on the XP box I continued to see the same results: the ability to see the resources but not use them.

I decided to troubleshoot from the PC instead. I opened the Event Viewer from the Admin Tools menu under Control Panel. When I opened the "System" report, I noticed an error message with a source of Srv with Event ID of 2011 and user of N/A that seemed to coincide with my attempts to mount the share on my Mac. I did a click through to the Microsoft site and it identified a registry key of IRPStackSize that needed to be modified. I did a regedit search and did not find the key, so after re-reading the Microsoft Help file and assisted with a Google search which incorrectly pointed me at a Symantec Virus Checker as the Source app, I added the Key with the suggested decimal value of 15 then rebooted.

On reboot, I tried to mount the share drive again, noting that the error message once again appeared. After another google search for "IRPStackSize" I found that you can set the value as high as 50, so I gave it a shot, although setting it to decimal 48 (hex 30) rather than 50. After reboot of XP box, viola! Shares mounted and Printers printed!

To summarize my solution:

"regedit" on the XP box

search for (or click down to):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer \Parameters\

look for key "IRPStackSize" If it exists, change the value to hex 30 or decimal 48 (same value)

If it doesn't exist, right-click and add New "DWORD Value", type IRPStackSize and enter hex 30/decimal 48 as previous. NOTE: Keys are CASE SENSITIVE!

Perhaps this solution can help others not helped by the other suggested fixes. Fortunately for me, it only took me 2.5 *frustrating* evenings to troubleshoot this!

If you've tried this what you think of it.





August 29

Mac Kerberos Authentication on Virtual Win 2003 Servers

August 29, 2007

Miguel Chan sent us a link that he used to get his Macs to authenticate to VMware virtual servers:

We were having problems with our Mac OS X 10.4 machines connecting to all of our VMware ESX virtual servers running Windows 2003. The Kerberos token would not work. We had to destroy the token then authenticate via NTLM.

We then used information we found at MacOSXHints.com.

And all works now. We did the adjustments on all of our ESX based servers and all is working now. Thought others may benefit from this.

Reader says Win apps in Fusion VM faster than PPC apps in Rosetta

August 29, 2007

Luke Bai sent us his impressions of VMware Fusion 1.0. He says it is faster to run Windows applications in Fusion than to run PowerPC applications (non-Universal) in Mac OS X:

I find it smoother to run Windows XP Pro in full-screen mode rather than with Unity or in a window. Office 2007 is working like charm, flying speed. It actually puts Office 2004 Mac to shame, which runs under Rosetta emulation, which sucks a lot of memory and CPU, and is unbelievably slow.

I also deleted all my non-universal Mac programs, such as Dreamweaver 8 and Flash 8, and installed the native Windows editions. They work far better than Mac non-universal editions. I don't have budget yet to upgrade to CS3. I also run Microsoft OneNote, a Windows program I've relied on and used on PC for years.

What I would love to do is to get an OS X theme for XP, so the programs blend better with my desktop environment.

I would love to upgrade to 2G RAM, then allocate 1G to Windows XP, to make the VMWare Fusion experience even smoother. At moment, as soon as I start VMware, all my other Mac OS X programs start to struggle.

Last word: don't forget about Ubuntu. Mac aficionados now can take advantage of VMware to experience the true power of Ubuntu. I installed it two days ago; it is another mind opening experience.

My iMac has 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB external hard drive on USB 2.0, Intel 950 GMA graphics card. I am running Windows XP Pro with 512M of RAM and a 20 GB virtual machine image (on external hard driver).

More on Boot Camp 1.4 and Nvidia driver and other issues

August 29, 2007

Steven Jones responded to Monday's report of the Boot Camp 1.4 update disabling the Nvidia driver. He got around that, but had some other problems as well:

I installed Boot Camp 1.4 and lost my Nvidia driver. I lost the Windows Vista Aero interface. And to top it off, I had to re-validate Windows through the phone due to the hardware change. I re-downloaded the driver from Nvidia and all is well.

I have an iMac 24-inch running Windows Vista Premium and Mac OS 10.4.10.

Office 11.3.6 update deleting Excel

August 29, 2007

Craig Brozinsky told us that "Microsoft Office 2004 For Mac Update 11.3.6 deleted Excel from my computer." This is a problem that readers previously reported with the 11.3.5 update. If you've seen this problem

Entourage Email Archive X 3.5.0 supports Exchange accounts

August 29, 2007

Yesterday, Softhing released Entourage Email Archive X 3.5.0, an update to its Mac OS X software for creating Spotlight-searchable archives of email and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage. The major new feature is that the new version now supports Exchange accounts. Dialogs and internal messages have also been improved, and there are many internal optimizations in the new version, according to Softhing.

Microsoft launches Office Mac-themed Web 2.0 site

August 29, 2007

Microsoft’s Mac Business unit has launched a new Office-themed, Web 2.0 web site called Art of Office. Microsoft said that the intent is to give users a place to post “artistic and/or useful content” created with Office for Mac.

Although it’s probably not the next YouTube, Art of Office is billed by Microsoft as an “online community [that] allows people to share, rate, remix and discuss user-submitted content with other Office for Mac users around the world.” Microsoft is stressing artistic content, but if you have a drive to share your Excel spreadsheets and piecharts with the world, you now have a venue.





August 27

Venerable old Virtual PC gets a security update

August 27, 2007

Microsoft has released Virtual PC 7.0.3, the first update in over two years for the emulator/virtual machine software for PowerPC Macs. Microsoft describes the update as one that “fixes a vulnerability that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code.”

Virtual PC 7 is still the best way to run Windows on a PowerPC Mac. A year ago, Microsoft announced that it would not port Virtual PC to the Intel Mac platform. Microsoft released the Virtual PC 7.0.2 in June of 2005.

(Thanks to Paul Steunebrink for the tip.)

TIP: Triple-Boot Mac-Win-Linux with Boot Camp

August 27, 2007

OnMac.net has a blog that describes how to use Boot Camp to create a triple-boot Mac with three hard drive partitions to boot from Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The post is a little old, describing using Boot Camp 1.1. (The current version is 1.4.)

Report of Boot Camp 1.4 update disabling Nvidia Vista driver

August 27, 2007

Adrià Bosch Bou has this problem with Boot Camp 1.4:

I’ve got a brand-new MacBook Pro. I installed Windows Vista Home Premium using Boot Camp Beta 1.3, and it was fine. However, after installing Boot Camp 1.4, Windows doesn’t recognize the Nvidia 8600 GT anymore (it thinks it’s a standard VGA chip), dxdiag.exe crashes, I cannot use Aero, etc.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: Fix for AirPort problem with OS X 10.4.10

August 27, 2007

Michael Hurwitz passed on a workaround for problems with AirPort brought about by the Mac OS X 10.4.10 upgrade:

I too had this problem. AppleCare tech support helped me find the solution. I was using a WEP password, but not 13 characters. Once I changed my wireless password to 13, and I do mean exactly 13 characters - dropouts went away!

Readers have been reporting various network problems with the Mac OS X 10.4.10 upgrade.

Report of 10.4.10 update blocking web browsing

August 27, 2007

We’ve had previous reports of the Mac OS X 10.4.10 upgrade slowing web browsing, but Tim Allison said the upgraded disabled it. He suspects his router, but backgrading fixed it:

When I updated to 10.4.10 on a 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo, I was no longer able to browse the web in any browser (Safari, Firefox, nor Camino). However, I was able to send/receive e-Mail and was able to ping IP addresses and Internet domain names without fail. This was on my own network, using a Netgear Wireless WGT624v3 router.

I then went to another location that was using an Apple Airport Base Station, and was able to surf the web, and everything else just fine well as.

My suspicion is that the problem is with third-party routers (Netgear in particular). I called Netgear's tech support, but their support was not able to help. A quick search of the Apple support website didn't provide any help.

I tried reinstalling as a clean install and tried adjusting the security settings on my router to no avail. Ultimately, I chose to downgrade to 10.4.9.

If you've seen this issue

DNS theory on OS X network slowdown

August 27, 2007

Alexander Gibson has a theory about the network slowdown that some readers are reporting. Unlike other readers, his problems start with the OS X 10.4.9, not 10.4.10:

I experienced a net slowdown starting with the 10.4.9 upgrade. I'm sure Apple is working on it because things are better with the 10.4.10 upgrade. The problem seems to be in the DNS communication. Something was done to improve security which messed-up the DNS lookup.

Think this is a DNS issue?

DirectControl 3.0.7 adds new platforms, policies for AD integration

August 27, 2007

Centrify has shipped DirectControl 3.0.7, an update to the software for Active Directory integration and management of non-Microsoft clients and servers. The new version improves group policy support for Mac OS X adds group policies and support for additional Unix and Linux versions.

Administrators can now control Mac OS X desktop login and logout scripts with Group Policy. The company said the new version will also improve mobile user configuration management capabilities. DirectControl 3.0.7 also improves integration with Apple Remote Desktop Administrator as well as Workgroup Manager, according to Centrify.

Centrify has added new group policies for all of the supported platforms, including policies to centrally configure the security settings of OpenSSH. For Windows clients, the new DirectControl will add Group Policies for the PuTTY open source SSH.

The company said that the version adds Active Directory support for 25 addition more flavors and version numbers of UNIX and Linux, bringing the number to over 100. Newly support OS’s include Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server 6.06 and 7.04, Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, and OpenSUSE 10.1 and 10.2.





August 22

TIP: enabling AD users to establish accounts with Exchange 2007 and Entourage

August 22, 2007

Jeffrey Sheldon had to add some folders to Exchange 2007 Server in order to get Entourage users accounts established on an Active Directory network:

I will gladly share this headache that occurred to our organization.

Exchange Admin created a new Exchange 2007 with Rollup 3 applied to a new server. Active Directory users assigned to that Exchange 2007 Server were unable to establish their accounts via Microsoft Entourage 11.3.6. Any combination of trying to enter the account information would result in very bland, useless generic errors:

"The action could not be completed. HTTP error. The resource is not found" and "The action could not be completed. An unknown error (170) occurred..."

Click here to read rest of story.

New MacWindows VirtualBox page

August 22, 2007

We've consolidated our previous coverage of Innotek's VirtualBox on a new VirtualBox Beta Tips and Reports page. VirtualBox is new commercial virtualization environment for Intel Macs based on open source code. Unlike Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, VirtualBox is still a pre-release beta application.

Reader notes VirtualBox Beta 2 lack of audio/video I/O

August 22, 2007

Domenico Ceglia points out a flaw in the current beta of the VirtualBox virtual machine software:

I am using the Virtual Box Beta 2 on my MacBook for to use Windows XP, it works well, only audio in and video in/out doesn't supported at the moment, I hope in the future that they are supported.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

Reader says adding a hard drive breaks Windows in Boot Camp

August 22, 2007

Seppo Helle Paimio in Finland is looking for a fix to a problem where Windows won’t run properly in Boot Camp with three hard drives in a Mac Pro:

I have a Mac Pro, OS X 10.4.10. Disk configuration so far: Boot disk 160 GB, journaled HFS+; second internal disk 250 GB with a Mac partition which is a copy of the boot disk (maintained with SuperDuper) and a Windows XP partition made with Boot Camp Assistant. Win XP (Home edition) works fine with this configuration.

Now I wanted to add a third disk for Mac use only. Got a Samsung 250 G drive, put it in into the third internal slot, and formatted with the Disk Utility (again journaled HFS+). In OS X it works perfectly, I moved data there and can use it.

But Win XP gets crazy. Booting takes a lot of time and many system management functions seem not to work. I can open Device Manager and in there see all three drives listed, but opening properties (and many other functions) does not work. If I try to disable the problem drive nothing happens. Task manager says the Device Manager does not respond.

I had Boot Camp version 1.3 when I first added the drive. Upgrading to 1.4 did not help with this one (but did help getting the new Apple Keyboard to work with XP).

Looks like XP does not understand the new drive and for some reason tends to stop working. If I take the new drive out and reboot, XP works again. I believe there should be a way to disable the new drive the same way as the boot drive - XP does not care about it, and it's a similar kind of device.

If you have a suggestion

Reader reaction to Boot Camp Beta 1.4

August 22, 2007

A couple of readers wrote with impressions of boot Camp Beta version 1.4. Cal sees an improvement over version 1.3:

Works great - simply ran the setup.exe from Vista Ultimate (1.3 installed). I now have iSight working and no issues (except it does run hot, but frankly it does in OS X). This is a brand new 15-inch MacBook Pro,

Osoliman reports that backlighting still doesn’t work:

Still no keyboard backlighting with Boot Camp 1.4 on a 15" Core Duo 1.7 GHz MacBook Pro.

if Boot Camp 1.4 fixed any 1.3 problems for you.





August 21

Latest Parallels Build fixes OS X 10.4.10, Mac mini issue

August 21, 2007

Harald Herchen reports that the lastest Parallels Desktop beta version, Build 5060, fixed a problem he had with Parallels, the recent Mac OS X 10.4.10 update, and a Mac Mini:

I have a Mac Mini, 2GByte RAM, OSX 10.4.10, and I yesterday I downloaded Parallels from their web site. Everything went per their documentation, but when I got to the point of saying "Ok" after entering the Windows activation code, then my Mac froze. Not Windows, not Parallels, my Mac. (I had a multilingual kernel panic come up).

I found relevant documentation on the Parallel's forum. On a Mac mini and 10.410, you need to use the next build, 5060.

If you've seen this problem on a Mac mini and have seen this build fix the issue

Reader report on VirtualBox Beta 2 virtual machine

August 21, 2007

Eric Cooper shared his thoughts on the most current VirtualBox Beta 2, an open source virtualization program for running Windows on Intel Macs:

VirtualBox works pretty well. I just installed it on a MacBook and installed Windows XP. It is pretty responsive. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Parallels and VMWare, but it does a decent job.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

Microsoft releases Office Mac 11.3.7 Update

August 21, 2007

Last week, Microsoft released Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.7 Update, which the company says fixes security and stability issues. Computerworld has a description of the security updates.

Readers confirm report of OS X 10.4.10 network slowdown and other net problems

August 21, 2007

A number of readers have confirmed our previous reader report of the Mac OS X 10.4.10 slowing network performance. The original reader report described the problem as one of SMB file sharing, but other readers are seeing slowdowns with other types of networking, including wireless Internet access, web browsing, Active Directory login, and when connected to Exchange Server.

Earl L. Williams fixed the problem by back-grading to 10.4.9;

I experienced the same problem with system 10.4.10 on my Mac Book Pro except that it didn't just slow down, it stopped working altogether. If the computer were rebooted, the network would work fine for about two or three web pages and then would just quit. After calling technical support about five times, I was finally told to use archive-and-install 10.4.9 using the Mac Book Pro OS X Installation disk that came with the Mac Book Pro computer. So far, this seems to have cured the problem.

Arnan de Gans in the Netherlands sees the problem with wireless Internet access:

I have noticed that on my MacBook Pro, which I bought in January this year since 10.4.10 was installed, my WiFi is maxing out at 2-2.2MB transfers. Before this it was more like 4.5-5MB (MegaByte/sec). I'm only a few (3-6meters) away from the Base Station, which is a 3com Officeconnect 11g.

This behavior does occur to any server. I sometimes connect to a Windows PC but not often. Usually I copy data to my NAS, which runs Linux and has a Gbit port. Most of my LAN is Gbit.

I did some further testing on my mum's MacBook Pro and on a MacBook 13" we have lying around here, last week. Also those computers are slower on Wifi.

Jan Jensen sees the slowdown with web browsing:

I have the same problem of my access network being slow. My browser takes a long time start and find the things it I look for on the net.

Mark Belfanti sees the problem with Active Directory login:

I’ve seen this problem since upgrading to 10.4.10 and it is causing serious pain in my environment. We use ADmitMac to authenticate to AD in our 98% Windows environment. Login is now taking about 3-10 minutes or it just completely locks up. I get periodic freezing or complete application lockup if they are trying to write across the network or browse across the network. As reported, Apple does not see this as an issue.

An anonymous reader sees the problem with Exchange:

I have seen this problem, but I don't have any proof. It seems to be a larger problem when I am on the local network connecting to the Exchange Server. I don't think the problem exists when I connect from a remote location.

Jiri Sahula of Australia:

Well it happen to me too before the upgrade it was fine after slowed down.

Jim Gaffney also has slow Wi Fi access:

Hi, I don't know if this is the same thing, but my AirPort wireless network has been having signal problems. After having Comcast here and spending a couple of hours on with AppleCare (Buy the Plan, worth every penny!), it was determined that I had an interference problem using my MacBook Pro. In this neighborhood, who knows. Now that they have me up and running it seems like I have a dial-up connection. The signal indicator in the menu bar drops at least one bar when attempting connection.





August 11

Mac OS X 10.4.10 update causing net slowdown

August 11, 2007

Thomas Paulsen of Norway noticed that networking slowed down significantly after upgrades to Mac OS X 10.4.10:

I spent most of today researching an issue that struck my client a few days ago, where all traffic from their iMacs and MacBooks to Windows Server 2003 will crawl, while the Mac Pro is unaffected. Also, one other iMac had not yet upgraded from 10.4.9 to 10.4.10 - this one is also unaffected. I called Apple Care to see if it's a known issue, but they couldn't confirm the break, and wouldn't help me report the incident. They could, however, confirm my fear that the 10.4.10 upgrade can't be uninstalled.

If you've seen this problem

VMware 1.0 issue with DirectX games

August 11, 2007

Richard Tamesis thinks VMware Fusion 1.0 is fast, but had a problem with Direct X:

Fusion runs Windows XP Professional much faster than Parallels 3.0 on my Mac Book Pro. Unfortunately, all my PC games that require DirectX fail to run on XP under Fusion, so I can't abandon Parallels just yet.

VMware Fusion 1.0 supports DirectX 8.

If you've used VMware 1.0

VMware issue with Boot Camp partition

August 11, 2007

Alberto Macías has a problem using VMware Fusion 1.0 with a Boot Camp partition:

I found a bug while using VMware 1.0 for booting (detecting) a Boot Camp partition. With other virtual machines no problem.

Error when preparing for Boot Camp partition. After I write my user password this message comes up:

A failure occurred during preprocessing Unknown error

If I retry then the message is different:

Bootcamp preprocessing failed

Drivers for Boot Camp partition may be not loaded

And if I continue:

Cannot open the disk

The file specified is not a virtual disk

If you've seen this problem

Boot Camp 1.4 nVidia video driver issue

August 11, 2007

Thomas Tiedt has a problem with the nVidia drivers for Boot Camp 1.4 :

Updating the Windows drivers as recommended by Apple removed the nVidia video card control panel....therefore, modifying brightness, contrast, gamma and a whole lot more is not possible.

I then uninstalled and installed the latest nVidia 'Forceware'...got the control panel back, but sliders for brightness, contrast, gamma etc now do nothing; same experience with uninstalling/installing the nVidia driver from Boot Camp 1.3.

If you've seen this problem

Author of RDC Menu describes future plans

August 11, 2007

Gil Burns, the primary author and programmer for RDC Menu, notes that the current version does note work with Remote Desktop Connection Client 2.0 Beta:

I saw the comparison on your website of the RDC + RDC Menu vs CoRD or TSclientX. I would like to mention that the current version of RDC Menu was written for use with MS RDC 1.x, not for MS RDC 2.0 beta.

Microsoft made lots of changes between the releases. The setting file format is completely different. (Though 2.0 beta mostly works with the old settings files.) Go ahead and open a 1.0 and a 2.0 settings file with TextEdit, and you will immediately see they are very different. RDC 1.0 used sort of a MS version of a plist file. RDC 2.0 is actually just a real Apple plist file. You can open it and look at it in Apple Property List Editor if you want to.

The way they store RDC passwords on the Keychain is completely different. The way they handle the Console connect option is also different. The issue with "Login seems to be broken, auto-login always fails" is primarily because of these changes MS made between RDC 1.x and 2.0. I really just want to let you know that I am working on an update to RDC Menu that will correct that issue (and others) when using RDC Menu with the new RDC 2.0 beta. It should be available sometime in the next week. ( I got access to the new RDC 2.0 public beta the same day as everyone else.)

TIP: Macromedia Director and AD networks

August 11, 2007

Joseph Swenson responded to our previous report of Macromedia Directory problems with Active Directory:

Macromedia Director really does not like network drives. Period. The only way to successfully save Director projects is to save locally first, then copy up.





August 10

Boot Camp 1.4 is out; backlit keyboard promised again

August 10, 2007

Apple has released Boot Camp Beta 1.4, a new version of its software for booting Intel-based Macs in Windows.

Apple said that Version 1.4 includes support for backlit keyboards in Windows on the MacBook Pro, a feature Apple had claimed was added to version 1.3, but which readers said did not work. The new version is also has updated graphics drivers. (Readers reported problems with video drivers for version 1.3.) Version 1.4 also promises an improved Boot Camp driver installer, which Apple also listed as a fix in 1.3. Other v1.4 improvements include and updated Windows Help for Boot Camp, improved international keyboard support, and various bug fixes.

Apple warns that when updating Boot Camp with version 1.4, “it's very important to update the Boot Camp Assistant software, create a new Mac Drivers CD and install the updated software it contains onto Windows.”

David Zinkin, who had video problems with version 1.3, had problems with 1.4:

The latest in the saga of my Mac Pro and Boot Camp. I didn't think it would be possible for 1.4 to be worse than 1.3, but it is. Now, even the initial text-only XP install screen is thoroughly corrupted. If I hadn't remembered that F3 canceled the install process, I'd have had to forcibly shut down the machine because not even that much was readable. Resetting PRAM didn't help, and there was no difference in behavior when I retried the process after applying the new Mac Pro firmware update.

If you've tried Boot Camp 1.4

Microsoft: Linux users don't want Vista virtualization

August 10, 2007

Yesterday, eWeek reported that a Microsoft official said that the company would not allow Windows Vista or Windows XP to be run in virtual machines on Linux. eWeek changed the story later in the day to read that "Microsoft is not working on optimizing the virtualization of Windows Vista or Windows XP on top of Linux." eWeek said that Microsoft said that this was because Linux users are not interested in running Windows.

The official made the comments at a session at LinuxWorld in San Francisco this week. In another story, eWeek reported that a Dell analyst told show-goers that problems with Vista are creating oportunities for Linux desktop system to gain marketshare.

Windows Vista updated to address performance issues

August 10, 2007

Microsoft has released updates for Windows Vista that is aimed at improving performance and stability. The update fixes several problems, including an issue with copying or moving large files and waking from hibernation mode.

e2sync adds iPhone support

August 10, 2007

e2sync (US $29 during August), the Mac software for synching Entourage and Exchange data with Apple iCal and Address Book, now supports synching with Entourage with iPhone. e2sync uses Mac OS X's iSync to communicate with Entourage.

Old Macromedia software may have problems with Active Directory

August 10, 2007

James Boyle reports an Active Directory issue with Macromedia (now Adobe) Director and ADmitMac (Thursby Software):

Wonder if you've seen any problems in reliably mapping users home directories (using latest rev of ADmitMac) on OSX 10.4.8 (PowerPC > Emacs) to a Windows 2003 file server (running AD). While it seems to work most time, some apps such as MM Director seem to get temperamental about seeing the network home drive. If you create a local user Director runs fine, but it complains if the home share is on the remote windows server.

We asked Thursby Software about the issue, and they pointed to a bug in the Adobe software. A spokesperson said upgrading the Adobe software fixes the problem:

We used to have reports of problems with the way certain Adobe and Macromedia apps dealt with network accounts, specifically when saving files directly to network volumes. After a lot of research, it was determined that the problem was with the way the Adobe applications handled temporary files, requiring local admin access if the user's home folder was not located in "/Users/". Adobe resolved the issue with updates to their entire CS Suite, and we have had no reports of this type of problem since.





August 8

Reader verifies "faulty video driver " fix for Parallel Tools crash

August 8, 2007

John Shenk reported success with using one of the previoulsy reported fixes for the problem of Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3.0 while installing Parallels Tools. The fix that Shenk used involves installing WinNT video drivers instead of XP drivers.

That worked! I had to work my way through the instructions carefully, but I did it and it worked. I don't know how he figured that out - but it worked! Thank's so much Matthew Levy: you are a genius!

First reader reports of VMware Fusion 1.0 are positive

August 8, 2007

The first reader reviews of VMware Fusion 1.0 are in and are generally positive. Dan Eveland likes it better than the old Virtual PC for running Windows and Linux:

I have been using VMware Fusion since RC1 every day. Only once have I had a problem. I use Windows XP and Ubuntu and downloaded a cool LAMP appliance. All run great. Even over a wireless network they see the Internet and LAN perfectly. One time, I tried to minimize a window to the dock just as I was booting Ubuntu (it was flashing that BIOS stuff as I did it) after updating the VMware tools. It totally locked up my whole Mac. Other then that, it is super-stable and I rely on it every day.

My previous experience was Virtual PC for Mac 7.0.2 [on a PowerPC Mac]. I found that great, but horribly slow. This is so fast, it's almost stupid. I love it. I am on a 17" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz with 4GB of RAM.

Donald Poorman runs VMware on a Mac OS X server, with a Citrix MetaFrame Windows application server running in the virtual machine:

I was more impressed with it than I was with Parallels. Each product has its strengths, but VMware was much more focused on working in a production environment than Parallels. This is, at least at the time, because the newest version of Parallels had yet to be released. Some highlights of the advantages of Fusion:

Multiple VMs could run at the same time on an OS X platform. Parallels was limited to one at a time. 4 GB RAM per VM allocation. Parallels limited the RAM on its VMs to 1.5GB. VMs could run without the VMware console open, thus allowing a server to run VMs almost as a "service."

Those demands meant a lot to me at the time, because we were actually successfully running a Citrix MetaFrame virtual machine on a Mac OS X Xserve, with 20 concurrent users connected throughout the day.

Talk about integration! It was a great experience.

If you are using Fusion 1.0 what you think of it.

TIP: Another workaround for Boot Camp driver install hanging

August 8, 2007

A reader called BraveHeart reported having the previously reported problem of Boot Camp hanging while updating drivers. BraveHeart offered a different workaround:

I had the exact same problem with my Mac when I tried to install Boot Camp: when updating drivers for the Intel Chipset, the process just hangs my entire computer, probably due some hardware conflict that effects the DVD driver.

I found a workaround, though: Copy the entire content of the Mac installation DVD to the hard drive and install everything from there.

If you’ve seen this

Reader problem with Active Directory, ADmitMac, and Director

August 8, 2007

James Boyle has a problem with Active Directory access via Thursby Software’s AD client, ADmitMac, and Director:

I wonder if you've seen any problems in reliably mapping users home directories (using latest rev of ADmitMac) on OS X 10.4.8 (PowerPC eMacs) to a Windows 2003 file server running Active Directory. While it seems to work most time, some apps such as MM Director seem to get temperamental about seeing the network home drive.

If you create a local user Director runs fine - but it complains if the home share is on the remote windows server.

If you’ve seen this problem

TIP: another approach to the Entourage login problem

August 8, 2007

A recent Microsoft hotfix solved a problem with Entourage login failures with Exchange Server, but for those who don’t like to install hotfixes, Cliff Berger has a workaround:

I too have had this login problem on occasion with the Exchange Server running Window SB 2003. I am running Entourage 11.3.3 on a MacBook OS 10.4.10, but the problem also happens with older machines and older versions,

I tend to shy away from patches such as these. I am just waiting for the new version to arrive and see if some of the issues that we have will be resolved. In the meantime, my method takes very little time and I don't have to worry about how the patch might affect other things on the computers.

The fix I have used successfully on three occasions now is to spoof Entourage into looking for a different exchange server. I did this by going to Account Settings, Exchange, open an account and change the exchange server to a fictitious named server. If you have more than one account, then you must do this for all the accounts.

Quit Entourage. Then restart Entourage. Open each account again and change the exchange server back to the correct setting. Close Entourage. Restart and you should be good to go.

Using a Playstation as a file server for your Macs

August 8, 2007

Helios has released a free Yellow Dog Linux server implementation for Sony PlayStation 3. Helios, the maker of cross-platform servers for Unix, said that this port is meant to be a test-drive platform for its file, print, PDF and image server software. The company said that the installation of the operating system on the PlayStation 3 takes six minutes.

(See also this press release.)





August 6

Parallels Beta 5060 adds Expose, iPhone support

August 6, 2007

Last week, Parallels issued Parallels Desktop Build 5060 Beta for testing. (Parallels warns that this version is still in beta testing and is not bug free. The current release version is Build 4560.)

The prerelease build of the virtualization software for Mac OS X adds some new features, some of which are included in the new VMware Fusion 1.0, Parallels’ direct competitor. For instance, Mac OS X’s Expose is now supported in the Coherence features, which hides the Windows desktop. And like VMware Fusion, Parallels Build 5060’s Coherence mode can now overlap Windows and Mac windows.

A Transporter tool allows you to import a Linux installation from an actual PC into a Parallels virtual machine. Build 5060 Beta now supports iPhone in iTunes for Windows. Currently, Parallels reports that the USB device is in use by another application.

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop Build 5060 Beta

VMware Fusion 1.0 ships today

August 6, 2007

As we reported last week, VMware Fusion 1.0 begins shipping today. (See the previous report for details of the release.)

We want to know what you think. If you are using Fusion 1.0 what you think of it.

Apple releases Safari for Windows 3.0.3

August 6, 2007

Apple released Safari 3.0.3 Public Beta for Windows and Mac OS X, Apple said the update for Windows version improves stability and includes the latest security updates. The Mac version adds only the security updates. Safari 3 Beta is Apple's first web browser for Windows.

Centrify DirectControl update improves Mac AD Group Policy support

August 6, 2007

Today, Centrify announced that it will ship a new version of DirectControl that would improve group policy support for Mac OS X and add support for more Unix and Linux versions. DirectControl is software for Active Directory integration and management for non-Microsoft clients and servers. Centrify, which did not divulge a version number, will release the update on August 15.

The new version will add Mac OS X desktop lockdown group policies. Administrators will be able to control login and logout scripts with Group Policy. The company said the new version will also improve mobile user configuration management capabilities. The DirectControl update will also improve integration with Apple Remote Desktop Administrator as well as Workgroup Manager, according to Centrify.

Centrify will also add new group policies for all of the supported platforms, including policies to centrally configure the security settings of OpenSSH. For Windows clients, the new DirectControl will add Group Policies for the PuTTY open source SSH.

The company said that the new DirectControl version will add Active Directory support for 25 addition more flavors and version numbers of UNIX and Linux, bringing the number to over 100. Newly support OS’s include Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server 6.06 and 7.04, Oracle Enterprise Linux 4, and OpenSUSE 10.1 and 10.2.

Office for Mac release slips into 2008

August 6, 2007

Microsoft announced last week that it is delaying the US release of Office 2008 for Mac OS X until mid-January 2008, a year after it first previewed the suite. Availability outside of the US will be sometime during the first quarter. The company also said that it would be showing new “sneak peak” previews beginning in September.

The current Office 2004 is not Intel-native and is not compatible with the new file formats (.DOCX, .XLSX, and .PPTX) of Office 2007. However, Microsoft has previously said that it was dropping support for VBA macros in the new version.

(See our Office 2008 Special Report for more on these cross-platform compatibility issues.)

Microsoft releases RDC 2 beta, supports multiple sessions

August 6, 2007

Microsoft has released the first public beta of Remote Desktop Connection Client 2.0 for Mac OS X. (RDC enables Mac users to operate Windows PCs and applications over a network from the Mac.)

RDC for Mac 2.0 Beta is Intel- and PowerPC-native (universal binary), improves compatibility with Windows Vista, and supports Remote Desktop Protocol 6.0.

The new version also supports multiple sessions, the ability to connect to multiple Windows PCs simultaneously. (We recently posted information on getting multiple sessions using alternatives and add-ons to RDC.)

Other new features include dynamic resizing of the screen, increased security, an improved user interface, and support of non-Postscript printers connected to the Mac.

For more on RDC, see our RDC Reports and Tips page. (Thanks to Brad Anderson for the tip.)





August 2

VMware to ship Fusion 1.0 on Monday

August 2, 2007

After a seven-month beta period, VMware, Inc., will ship VMware Fusion 1.0 (US $80) next Monday, August 6, according to a spokesperson. VMware Fusion can run Windows XP and Vista, and about 60 other operating systems in Mac OS X on Intel-powered Macs. The company said that Fusion supports dragging and dropping of files between the Mac and the guest OS for most of these 60.

When running Windows, VMware Fusion includes a feature called Unity that hides the Windows desktop, leaving only the Windows applications and document windows displayed. Unity can be used with Mac OS X’s Expose to switch between any Mac or Windows application. Unity also lets you interleave Mac and Windows application windows, so that you could have a Mac window with a Windows window on top of that, and then another Mac window on top. VMware Fusion also let’s you minimize Windows apps to the Mac OS X Dock.

VMware Fusion supports 64-bit operating systems on 64-bit, Intel-based Macs. (Every Mac shipping today is 64-bit. Macs with the older Core Duo processors are 32-bit.) VMware Fusion supports virtual SMP, and can make use of the multiple cores in Intel processors.

VMware is the biggest virtualization software company in the industry, and is a leader in the server-virtualization. But on the Mac, VMware’ release comes over a year after the launch of Parallels Desktop.

VMware Fusion will be the company’s first retail product, and will be available in Apple’s retail stores, CompUSA, and other outlets later in the month. On Monday it will be available at Apple’s online store, Amazone.com, and other web outlets, as well as VMware’s own web site.

VMware is still offering Fusion at half-price (US $40) as a pre-order. This offer ends Sunday.

For reader reports on the beta versions of Fusion, see our VMware Beta Tips and Report page.

TIP: Fix for Boot Camp colored-line display problems

August 2, 2007

Reader named John sent in his fix for the Boot Camp 1.3 problem of colored lines on the screen. His secret is to log on remotely:

Like many readers/users of Boot Camp that have the ATI X1900 XT with the ATI drivers, I have had numerous problems getting Windows to boot with a viewable display (tearing/color problems) but found a workaround that works for my situation.

The first thing is IF you can actually ever have at least one successful boot where everything looks good, make sure to turn on “allow users to connect remotely” from Windows Control Panel if it’s not already on. Then get your IP adress, you're going to need it. I boot up with a tearing screen but can still see the login. I login and the screen usually goes to black but I can hear the Windows boot chime and then I know I have successfully booted windows.

Then from a different win XP machine, we login remotely and that has forced another login screen after about 5 to 10 seconds on the Boot Camp XP which was previously black. We then login Boot Camp XP and I'm in. Usually comes up VGA but that can be switched. Occasionally, Boot Camp will boot up at 1920 x 1200.

Another thing to try is booting up in VGA mode or F8. Sometimes this works and with my system I can switch the resolution once windows has booted. In theory, I shouldn't be able to switch out of 800 x 600, but under the settings tab for whatever reason the ATI drivers always display rather than Microsoft's VGA default drivers. I have tried switching my widescreen back to vga mode before shutting down to see if it would boot next time correctly but that was a vain attempt. Remotely logging in has been consistently working for me.

MacPro 3.0 GHz, 6 GB RAM. Windows XP via BootCamp 1.3 ntfs, Dell 2407 wfp. 3D Studio Max 9

If you 've tried this fix how it worked.

Fix for Boot Camp/Vista external monitor verified

August 2, 2007

Felix had success with the Chuck McGinley’s tip for using Boot Camp with Windows Vista and an external projector. This involves using a Driver Modder tool for ATI Radeon chipsets. Felix used it with an external monitor:

For a moment, I thought I threw my money into the drain with my monitor until I chanced upon this site. This fix worked for me as well on a MacBook Pro 15.4", X1600 and running Windows XP Home. The driver detected my LG CRT monitor as well but like one of the users here, I had to select the analog monitor rather than the detected monitor for the fix to work. Although it took some effort to get it to work, it is still a great fix.

I used the nine steps described at MacWindows. During the setup wizard, selecting Analog Monitor as my 2nd display worked for me so I just kept it as that.

Note: I have no idea what MSXML 4.0 does but I just heed my instincts and followed the instructions from driverheaven.net. I also tried to download drivers for my LG CRT from the LG website, but the product was a bit ancient. So the drivers were not there and I didn’t go down that path.





August 1

Readers verify fix for Parallels Tools crash

August 1, 2007

Several readers reported success with the previously reported fix for the problem of Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing when installing Parallels Tools.

Kevin Dougherty:

Your fix worked, thank you. On the upgrade to 4560 the tools installation crashed XP every time. Booted in Safe Mode uninstalled Tools, rebooted, reinstalled Tools except for shared apps. No more crashes.

Richard Tamesis

I isolated and solved the problem by unchecking the button "Share Mac applications to Windows" in the Shared Applications resource in the configuration editor.

Brad Schrick:

I tried the fix for Parallels crashing: Safe Mode, F8, in Windows XP. This fixed the very deterministic 'Parallels Crashing' problem I was having on my MacBook.

I removed all of the Parallels Tools. Parallels Tools installation had stalled and crashed many times before, but Win XP would still start.

Then I tried Custom Install, not choosing Shared Applications, and then on restart Parallels would crash every time.Looking in the Parallels Tools folder, it seemed that Shared Applications or some part of it had been installed already. Befuddled and not amused, but it seems to be operational again.

TIP: MS RDC Client, connecting to live console session

August 1, 2007

Michael Curtis sent in this tip for using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac:

I am not sure if anyone had mentioned this, but with MS RDC, if you hold down the Apple key when you hit Connect it will connect you to the live console session and not a secondary session. This can be handy if you want to control an app that is already running in the live session.

For more on RDC, see our RDC Reports and Tips page.

More comparisons of MS RDC Client with RDC Menu, CoRD, and TSclientX

August 1, 2007

Several readers responded to reports earlier this week about alternatives to Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac.

Dave Halln compared CoRD to Microsoft RDC Client with the RDC Menu add-on:

I think I still prefer MS's RDC, with one add on: RDC Menu. I am a registered user and like the response from the developer. However, was interested in your article about CoRD and gave it a go. My thoughts:

RDC:

  • Plus: You can add to the menu
  • Plus: Good speed and works through Netgear VPN
  • Minus: Login seems to be broken, auto-login always fails

CoRD:

  • Plus: I like the paned approach
  • Minus: Full-screen mode seems clunky
  • Minus: Cannot add to the menu
  • Minus: Speed through VPN seems slower than RDC

Markus compared using RDC Client with RDC Menu to using TSclientX:

I have been using RDC Menu for quite some time, and I really like it. Particularly if you have to connect to a number of computers, it is very convenient. It stores all your settings for the connection in bookmarks. Always worked flawlessly for me.

I have also used (and paid for) TSclientX, as initially RDC was rather unstable on Intel Macs but since discovering RDC Menu I have not used it anymore.

Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4 adds support for Win Mobile 6, video encoding

August 1, 2007

Yesterday, Mark/Space released The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 4.0 (US $40 download, US $50 CD, US $25 upgrade), a new version of the software for syncing Mac OS X and smartphones and mobile devices running Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system.

The new version adds support for Windows Mobile 6 devices, including the HTC Touch, Motorola Q9 and upgraded Samsung Blackjack. It also adds the ability to import video taken with these devices into iPhoto or a folder. Version 4.0 can also encode video for moving movies from the Mac to the mobile device for playback.

Also new is the ablity to move SMS text messages to the Mac for backup and for searching with Spotlight. A new feature Call Log feature stores a list of calls sent and received and works with Apple’s Address Book to provide addition information on contacts.





July 2007

July 30

TIP: Adding Multiple sessions for RDC

July 30, 2007

Robert Liebsch commented on previous reports about alternatives to Remote Desktop Connection Client (RDC) for Mac OS X. (RDC enables Macs to operate Windows PCs and applications over a network.) Liebsch found an add-on for RDC that lets you create multiple sessions:

Regarding CoRD, TSclientX and RDC. I’ve tried them all and they are all sufficient.

I think I still prefer MS's RDC, with one add on: RDC Menu. It installs a Menu bar addition that will allow you to spawn multiple RDC sessions without cloning the application. And, as long as you don't go full screen, you can use expose or simple Apple-Tab to navigate between the sessions/systems.

It even supports bookmarks now.

If you 've tried RDC Menu what you think of it.

Clarification on fix for OS X Server unbinding from AD

July 30, 2007

Sochet Ly previously reported the problem of Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from Active Directory. Ly had success with the suggested fix from June 26, but makes a note about its implementation:

I first tried the suggestion, but not straight after rebinding it to AD: that doesn't seem to work. Now I just unbind and rebind to AD, then ran dsconfigad -enableSSO.

After nearly 3 week without have to rebind to AD, I am happy to report that running dsconfigad -enableSSO command straight after rebinding to AD did the trick. So the key thing for me is ran dsconfigad -enableSSO straight after rebinding OD-AD.

AD Groups on Mac not showing on PC Properties

July 30, 2007

Bob Nance has an issue with Active Directory GUID names for Macs:

I have a Mac OS X Server (10.4.9) connected to AD on a Windows 2003 Server. Files were copied from the PC to the Mac using ditto. Security descriptors copied correctly and AD usernames show up in the ACEs on each file or folder while running Workgroup Manager on the Mac.

PCs connecting to the Mac-shared files, however, see the GUID number and no name map. (101660-238940283904-512, for instance, instead of "Administrator")

Windows administrators can set the permissions from the desktop of the PC on the Mac server share, but after hitting "Ok" and then re- opening the Properties window (and checking the Security tab) the name that was just applied is also just a number.

It appears that the Mac is not handing back a number that the Windows computer recognizes, so the PC cannot show a name.

The Admins want to be able to edit permissions from their Windows machines or from WGM.

Logically, it seems like it should work. I think it's related to the "random GUID" for the AD groups. The tool provides a way to set the GUID, but it caused problems for me when I set it.

If you can shed some light

Kerio MailServer groupware gets iPhone syncing

July 30, 2007

Last week, Kerio Technologies released Kerio MailServer 6.4.1, an update to the groupware server that adds iPhone synchronization of email, calendars, and contacts for Mac and Windows users. (See also the press release.) Kerio MailServer also synchronizes Windows Mobile, Treo, Symbian devices, and BlackBerry devices.

Kerio offers Kerio MailServer as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Outlook and Entourage clients can access shared calendars, shared contacts and email on Kerio MailServer.

We’ve added Kerio MailServer to our list of cross-platform-enabling products on our Network Solutions page.

Resizing a Boot Camp partition

July 30, 2007

TC Gore has wrote about the different options for resizing a normally non-resizable Boot Camp partition. He described it to us as his “trials and tribulations in attempting to re-size my Boot Camp partition.”





July 27

Reminder: Check out the fix for Parallels Tools crashes

We’ve received more reports Parallels Desktop crashing with the 3.0 upgrade when installing Parallels Tools. However, the readers who have written have not tried the suggested fixes we’ve previously reported. Two readers tried two other approaches that didn't work, but didn't try our reported fixes.

Tony Gott tried something new, including the most recent bug-fix Build 4560, to no avail:

Regrettably Build 4560 of Parallels did not fix the problem with Parallel Tools, as even though I uninstalled the previous version of Parallels, then installed 4560. It still did not give me either keyboard or mouse control within the Windows environment.

Richard Tamesis:

After updating to Parallels 3.0 and its Tools, both Vista and XP crash all the time as soon as I reboot them. I've tried uninstalling Parallels and repairing permissions without any success in getting Parallels 3.0 to work.

We encourage you to try out the suggested fixes and if they worked for you.

Boot Camp/Vista iSight/ problem

July 27, 2007

Robert Stokes reported having the previously reported Boot Camp problem with the Mac’s built-in iSight camera:

I have exactly the same problem with the iSight on my MacBook Pro when running Windows Vista Ultimate under Boot Camp Beta 1.3, as Donald McDaniel in the post on your site date 12th July 2007. I have the most up-to-date firmware updates installed as well as all available Apple software updates.

The Mac Windows Drivers disc that Boot Camp created updated all other drivers perfectly - the only device in Device Manager that is not showing correctly is the iSight, although it is showing up with the correct name ("Built-in iSight") but under "Other devices".

We have not had any reports of this happening with Parallels Desktop, which has supported iSight since Build 3186.

More alternatives to Microsoft RDC

July 27, 2007

Several readers wrote to comment on Wednesday’s report about alternatives to Microsoft’s free Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac (RDC) for operating Windows applications remotely from a Mac. (The PCs need to have Terminal Services turned on.) One reader vouched for TSClientX, and two other readers recommend another option, called CoRD, which features multiple sessions.

Adrian Burgess commented on Wednesday’s report on TSClientX:

TSClientX is a great RDC client. Well, it is a great front end to the Unix rdesktop application which is needed to be installed first. TSClientX runs in x11 and provides a nice interface to connect with. It is very stable and has been a great tool for administering a mixed environment. It also handles VNC connections.

Joe Russell found another alternative to RDC called CoRD, which he likes for its multi-session abilities:

Just thought I'd mention another RDC/RDP client that I came across recently: CoRD.

We've honestly been happy with Microsoft's RDC client for it's reasonable (however not flawless) stability for occasional use. But one person in our group needs to work with multiple sessions (and encoding farm) and that's when he's forced to use VNC -which we all know how pleasurable that is.

With CoRD, we're able to maintain several sessions all thru a pretty simple interface that also has a few nifty features.

The developer has a few mentions on requirements, that being it only works on OS X 10.4 (not 10.3 or 10.5) and only Windows machines running built-in terminal services. And VNC and the built in OS X remote desktop server aren't supported by CoRD.

Brad Anderson also likes CoRD:

You mentioned on your site a alternative application to take the place of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Client for Mac (TSClientX). I thought I would let you know of another one, CoRD, is pretty good as well.

I’ve been using it for a while and absolutely LOVE it. Biggest plus is the fact that you can be connected to multiple terminal sessions at the same time.

It has a couple issues (crashes once in a while), but it’s still in beta as far as I know and hope that all will be fixed soon. Check it out.

If you 've checked out CoRD or TSclientX what you think.





July 25

MacWindows network & file utility Solutions pages updated

July 25, 2007

We've updated two of our cross-platform product listings pages, Network Solutions and File Translation and Manipulation Solutions. We fixed broken links and deleted links to obsolete products.

Network Solutions is a list of cross-platform file sharing and other network software, with descriptions of the products and links to the manufacturers' web sites. File Translation Solutions lists products for Mac and Windows that can convert files of various types (including fonts), automatically change filenames, or perform other tasks related to files in Mac OS X and Windows.

Another suggestion for corrupting AD accounts

July 25, 2007

John Klimeck thinks corrupt Mac preferences files are the cause of the problem with spinning beach ball when logging into Active Directory, which causes the user account to corrupt. Other readers have previously blamed corrupt cache files locationed in different folders. Klimeck reported...

An alternative to Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac

July 25, 2007

David Rays told us about TSclientX, a Windows Terminal Services client for Mac OS X. Like Microsoft Remote Desktop Client (RDC) TSclientX lets you control a Windows XP machine from a Mac. The developer says it is faster and more stable on Intel and PowerPC Macs than is RDC, and has a few additional features. Rays recommende it:

I've recently fallen in love with TSclientX. It's a huge improvement over Microsoft 's current RDC client. Having said that, I just read the other day that Microsoft is coming out with a new and improved RDC client for the Mac.

If you 've tried TSclientX what you think of it.

Readers confirm Boot Camp crashes with wireless turned off

July 25, 2007

Three readers confirmed the previously reported problem of Boot Camp crashing when wireless networking is turned off.

Hiro Hakozaki saw it on two new Macs and told us how he turned wireless on:

I confirmed that turning off wireless will freeze Windows XP Pro SP2 on my MacBook Pro with Boot Camp. It even locked during boot camp driver installation. I exchanged my first MacBook Pro because of this problem. But second one still had same issue.

I pushed F8 during Windows boot and selected latest worked setting to turn wireless back on in order to boot.

This is the latest 15" 2.2GHz MacBook Pro Core2Duo.

Matt Reeves saw it on three MacBook Pros:

I have three 2.4 GHz 15" MacBook Pros running Boot Camp with Windows XP at work. All have this same wireless lockup problem: if you disable wireless it locks.

Ernest Durbin

I was getting our brand new MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz set up with Boot Camp and Windows XP Pro when we ran into the same freezing issue with wireless disabled. I initially thought it was related to a Bluetooth connection we were using (it seemed to happen only when connected to Bluetooth devices).

After reading your report and playing around a little bit more, I have to believe this is the same issue.

If you've know of a fix for this problem (other than turning wireless on)

More on Boot Camp problems with Vista and external monitors

July 25, 2007

Terrence Town’s MacBook Pro in Boot Camp and Windows Vista won’t recognize an Apple Cinema Display. He tried a suggested workaround that we previously posted, but it had no effect.

I've been pulling my hair out trying to get Boot Camp 1.3 to work with my Apple Cinema 23" display on my Santa Rosa MacBook Pro. The fix that some have reported for the ATI drivers does not work with my Nvidia-equipped Macbook Pro. When I boot into Vista, my Apple Cinema display does not register a signal at all. The white light just pulsates and nothing appears on the screen. It's as if Vista does not even see the monitor. I've tried playing with Vista's settings of external monitor. (Strangely Vista does recognize that there is a second display - it just can't drive it!)

I've tried that work-around. Strangely, I was able to get a Dell LCD panel display to work as an external monitor at a lower resolution (1024 x 768 I think), but the Apple 23" Cinema display fails to be recognized at all and I get no picture - just a pulsating white power light.

File renaming utility adds sorting capacities

July 25, 2007

Today, publicspace.net released A Better Finder Rename 7.9, a new version of the file renaming software for Mac OS X. Version 7.9 adds a second order of sorting capabilities, which the developer described this way:

This is especially useful when working with digital image files that were shot using the "rapid fire" continuous shooting mode of modern digital SLR cameras. In these situations, multiple shots may be taken with the same timestamp leading to ordering problems during renaming. The new feature gracefully deals with such situations.

A Better Finder Rename can be used to rename a batch of Mac files to strip out characters that are illegal in Windows.





July 23

A Parallels success story:
Using a USB security dongle and medical software and hardware

July 23, 2007

Andrew McKenzie reports that Parallels Desktop can do something that Virtual PC could not do: use a USB security dongle in Windows. His medical office scans eye retinas and uses a retinal camera. McKenzie says it all works in Parallels despite being told otherwise by the medical software and hardware manufacturers...

VirtualBox Mac Beta 2 available

July 23, 2007

Last week Innotek released VirtualBox for Mac OS X Beta 2, a new version of the pre-release virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs. The company did not indicate what changes were in the new version. The company did note, however, that the beta does not yet support flash memory from inside the virtual machine. no audio input.

VirtualBox is commercial software based on GPL open-source code. The company said that VirtualBox can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this past January. Innotek released the first Beta for Mac OS X in April.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

VMware RC1 fixes OS X 10.4.10 USB problem

July 23, 2007

Ben Gertzfield of VMware responded last week’s report of a reader having booting problems with VMware Fusion Beta 4, an slightly older version of the pre-release virtualization software. Gertzfield said the current version fixed the problem:

Just a friendly note: I saw the comment on macwindows.com ("Reader VMware beta won't boot").

The user probably upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4.10. Apple introduced some USB incompatibilities in 10.4.10, which could cause a problem like this with the original Beta 4 release.

VMware worked around these incompatibilities in VMware Fusion Release Candidate 1. (The workaround was also present in the Beta 4.1 refresh build, released expressly to fix this issue.)

The company says that it will ship the finished version of VMware Fusion in August.

If you've used VMware Fusion RC1 what you think of it. (For more on VMware, see our VMware Fusion Beta Tips and Reports page.)

Resetting PRAM helps some Boot Camp color problems, some not

July 23, 2007

Calvin Anderson had success fixing his Boot Camp 3 color problem with resetting PRAM, as suggested by a reader last week. Unlike the others, Anderson was having his color problems in Mac OS X as well as Windows:

…This problem occurred only since I installed Boot Camp 1.3. Basically what happens is when I boot my mac up into any OS I get these weird, inverted-like colors on the screen… I reset the PRAM and it is totally fine.

David Zinkin, who first reported the problem of colored lines in Windows, found that resetting PRAM had no effect:

Just thought I'd let you know that Farah Sabeeh Al-Essa's workaround for Boot Camp's problem with colored lines didn't work on my Mac Pro. I still think that it's primarily a problem with Boot Camp and the Radeon X1900, given all of the reports so far.

Back to Parallels.

Workaround for getting out of blue screen/reboot cycle, Boot Camp and Parallels

July 23, 2007

Several readers reported being able to get out of an endless cycle of Windows blue screening then rebooting. This is a problem that users are reporting with both Parallels Desktop and Boot Camp on Intel-powered Macs. Another reader caught an error message that said “The image olecnv32.dll is possibly corrupt.” Most readers also believe that the recent Entourage update was not related to the problem...

Compress Files 2.0 supports encrypted Zip files

July 23, 2007

Last week, Apimac release Compress Files 2.0 (US $10) a new version of the Mac OS X utility for compressing, archiving, and encrypting files in Windows and Unix/Linux formats. Compress Files will also omit Mac-specific invisible files (such as the .DS_Store files). The new version adds support for encryped Zip archives.

Compress Files can also create Zip compressed files; TAR archives; Gzip compressed archives; Bzip2 compressed archives; compressed and encrypted Zip files and compressed and encrypted disk images.

We've added Compress files to our list of cross-platform compression and archiving products on our Cross-Platform File Compression and Encoding Solutions page.





July 20

Workaround for Boot Camp / colored lines issue

July 20, 2007

Farah Sabeeh Al-Essa found a workaround to the Boot Camp 1.3 problem of colored lines on the display:

I recently starting having the same problem with my MacBook Pro 2.1. It gets resolved when I reset the PRAM.

To reset PRAM, start the Mac while holding Command-Option-P-R until the startup sound chimes twice.

Endless blue-screen reboots: related to Entourage?

July 20, 2007

Mark Kawakmi reports problems with Windows on a Mac going into an endless cycle of blue screening then rebooting. He sees this with Parallels, but we’ve also had a report that it occurs with Boot Camp. Kawakmi says his troubles began after the recent Entourage update.

I'm experiencing the same problem with my Parallels Desktop installation. Parallels ran fine yesterday and today it isn't. The only major change that I know of (but one that I'm naturally suspicious of) is that Entourage ran the Microsoft Updater this morning.

I did have Parallels running for a few minutes earlier today, and then it started the cycle.

If you’ve seen this problem, if it started occurring after the Entourage update. A correlation seems like a long shot, but stranger things have happened.

Boot Camp driver install hanging, and a workaround

July 20, 2007

Simon Homer’s Boot Camp driver install kept stalling. He found a trick to get the installation finished:

I was unable to install the Boot Camp drivers after installing Windows XP Pro SP2 on my new MacBook Pro. The driver install hangs at the Intel chipset drivers section and despite leaving it for over 30 minutes it still wont work. In addition to this, the keyboard and trackpad stop working.

I tried again on Saturday and burned a new Boot Camp drivers disc. At the point where it starts to hang on installing the Intel chipset drivers I cancelled the install (while the mouse was still working) then fired it up again and it worked - installed all remaining drivers and its all working fine. Not an exact science but all seems okay.

If you’ve seen this problem and this workaround

Reader VMware beta won't boot

July 20, 2007

William Wu has a problem with the VMware Fusion Beta:

I have been using VMware Fusion Beta 4 for some time now to run Windows XP on my Mac.

I cannot start up XP anymore. I try to start it up, and there is no error message -- it just doesn't respond. This is the fourth time that this has happened. In the past, I just reinstalled Windows (about an hour). This time, I'm in a foreign place and I don't have my Windows CD on hand.

Please note that the most current version is VMware Fusion RC1. If you’ve seen this problem

Problems saving Excel files with long names to Win Server 2003

July 20, 2007

Andrew Armstrong in Austrailia has a problem saving Excel files to a Windows server:

We save our files to a shared directory on our SBS Server2003 using Services for Macintosh. Excel 2004 files with names longer than 20 characters (I’m not sure what the minimum is) can’t be saved on the server. We get a message that the file cannot be saved with the particular name and the system generates a name, about 8 characters long of alpha/numeric characters. Then it asks you to close your file and reopen the file it saved and to save the file away again with a new name. Interestingly, before you do this it shows your original file name in the file name bar at the top of the workbook.

I’m uncertain as to whether this happens with Word files.

If you’ve seen this problem





July 18

Parallels releases Build 4560 bug-fix update

July 18, 2007

Yesterday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 4560, an update to the virtualization software for running Windows and other OS’s on Intel Macs. The update fixes a large number of bugs and improves functionality, several dozen items in all. Among the improvements:

  • Parallels can better detect Windows installed in a Boot Camp partition.
  • Fixes some problems with the way CAD/CAM programs work, including AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
  • Other video fixes and improvements
  • Fixed a problem where a USB device in configuration increased the CPU usage by 30 percent with Windows Vista.
  • Fixes several problems with the SmartSelect feature, which lets you open files in Mac OS X or Windows with any available Mac OS X or Windows application.
  • The Image Tool has been added back into the product. Image Tool allows you to increase the capacity of the virtual hard drive.

The update Readme file does not mention if the update fixes the problem of crashing Windows during the installation of Parallels Tools or the problem of USB devices that don't work with Parallels. If this update fixes these or other problems for you

See also our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page for previous reports on Parallels Desktop.

Office 11.3.6 Update fixes Entourage/Exchange folder bug

July 18, 2007

Microsoft has released Office 2004 11.3.6 Update aimed at Entourage and Excel. The update fixes an Entourage 2004 problem with Exchange Server. From the Readme file:

Microsoft Exchange public folder data loss issue is fixed: This update fixes an issue that causes data loss when public folder users who have a permission level of "Editor" or greater use Entourage to empty the cache for all public folders on the server running Exchange Server.

The update also plugs a security hole that left Excel 2004 vulnerable to an attack that could overwrite the Mac memory with malicious code.

Microsoft said that the previous update, 11.3.5, should be installed before 11.3.6.

If you've tried the Entourage 11.3.6 if it fixes (or causes) and problems, such as those listed on our Entourage/Exchange Tips and Reports page.

Another fix for OS X Server losing AD connection

July 18, 2007

Erik Zimmerman suggested another way to fix Mac the problem of OS X Server periodically losing an Active Directory connection. Eric was the first of several; readers who reported this problem. His suggestion was to delete a corrupted preferences file, which also fixed some other problems:

What finally seemed to fix this problem for me was deleting the preference file for Active Directory. An Apple Tech I talked to recommended this and said that the plist file can become corrupt if the domain is changed in anyway (either name change or AD level, ex 2000 or 2003). Our's was upgraded from 2003 Mixed to AD2003 in December...exactly when this problem started happening.

1.) Unbind the Mac Server from domain
2.) Delete the following file

/Library/Preferences/DirectoryServices/ActiveDirectory.plist

3.) Rebind the computer to the domain

The preference file is recreated with the correct settings.

Our server's been up and running for 3 weeks now and the users say that other minor problems (not being able to disconnect from mapped drives) have been fixed too.

If you’ve tried this fix

Previously, readers have reported success with running dsconfigad -enablesso after binding.

See our Active Directory Reports page for more on integrating Macs with AD.





July 16

Recap of suggestions of Boot Camp display tips

July 16, 2007

We've been receiving a lot of reports about problems with external displays and Boot Camp 1.3. Our Boot Camp Beta tips and reports pages lists three previously reported suggestions regarding Boot Camp and displays: a tip from May, another from June, and another from July.

If you've tired these, if they did or didn't solve your problem.

More readers report colored lines w/Boot Camp on Mac Pro

July 16, 2007

Three readers have verified a previously reported problem with the Mac Pro, Boot Camp 1.3, and colored lines on a display.

Daniel McKleinfeld:

I'm having the exact same problem as David Zinkin: a mess of colored lines when I try to boot my Mac Pro into Windows with an ATI Radeon X1900 video card. Weirdly, it doesn't happen every time. Every so often, it'll boot just fine. When it does work, I log into my Windows user account and am told that Mom.exe (an ATI driver program) failed to load.

Once I got a blue screen, and was told that ATIdvag had an "infinite loop error", and that physical memory was being dumped. But that didn't change anything.

Dave Weller:

I have the exact same problem that David Zinkin has with the colored lines when booting into Windows via Boot Camp. I have a Mac Pro (4-core, 3 GB RAM) with the ATI Radeon X1900 video card and a Samsung Monitor. I find that if I totally shut down the system and let it sit for a few minutes, it will usually boot ok. I also have bluetooth problems with the Apple Keyboard and Mouse in Windows. Everything works fine in OS X.

Rob Burgers only sees the problem with switching from OS X to Windows:

I own a 4-core Mac Pro with 2 GB RAM, an ATI Radeon X1900 and a 20" Cinema Display and have more or less the same problem David Zinkin reported.

Sometimes when booting Windows XP my screen will show colored artifacts during startup and the login window will be distorted and unresponsive. I have to reboot (sometimes several times) for the problem to go away.

However, to my experience, this only happens when going from OS X to Windows XP. Booting Windows when the computer was shut down or restarted under Windows always seems to works fine. Since otherwise the video card works perfectly well under OS X and Windows I would guess that the problem lies in choosing the right video driver when going from OS X to Windows.

If you can shed any light

ExtremeZ-IP 5.0.2 maintenance release for file server

July 16, 2007

Group Logic has released ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server 5.0.2 an update to the company's AFP file and print server for Windows, designed to support Mac clients. The company recommends that all 5.0.x users update to version 5.0.2, which includes several bug fixes. You can view the update readme file for more information the fixes in the new version.

The update is available free to customers who own an ExtremeZ-IP 5 license and who have an active maintenance and support contract. The update can be downloaded from the Group Logic update page.

iLinc web conferencing goes cross-platform

July 16, 2007

iLinc Communications has released iLinc 9, a new version of its Web conferencing suite. The new version adds iLinc's first Mac OS X client. Mac Users can now join and lead iLinc Web conferencing sessions along with Windows users. Other new features include the ability to show multiple participant videos simultaneously and a new user interface. Users can also now Pause application sharing to modify your screen, while only allowing attendees to see the last image sent.

USB devices that don't work with Parallels

July 16, 2007

Two readers reported problems with different USB devices running in Windows XP in Parallels Desktop. Eugene Dadlani reports that Parallels doesn't recognize a flash drive and also restarts Windows when he tries to print:

First, a USB flash drive is not being recognized on connection when it was working fine previously.

Second, when connecting USB printers to USB port and trying to print, Windows restarts every time. Windows printing on the network is working fine but not with USB.

I am running Windows XP SP2 on Parallels Desktop 2.5 Build 3214, Mac OS X 10.4.10. Macbook 13.3" 1,1 (1.86GHz Core Duo w/ 1GB RAM and.

Andrew Gurney’s TonePort music-computer interface isn’t working with Parallels Desktop 3.0:

USB device Line 6 TonePort kb37 is not being recognized.

Line 6's update utility, "Line 6 Monkey" will not load the appropriate drivers or even connect to the device at all. It gives a Code 10 error. It all works well with Boot Camp but not with Parallels Desktop.

I’m running Parallels Desktop 3.0.4128 on Mac OS X 10.4.10. This is on a Mac Book Pro Core2 Duo 2GB RAM running Windows XP Pro as a virtual machine.

If you've seen these problems





July 13

Slow Windows client access to OS X Server due to VIA chips

July 13, 2007

Joel Amar found that some of his Windows clients had very slow access to his Mac OS X Server 10.2. He discovered the problem to be the Ethernet cards in the PCs:

I have a suggestion for slow Windows client access to Panther Server. I was struggling to resolve the same issue with our two OS X Servers and HP Procurve 10/100/1000 switches with no success. After a while it came to my attention that only PCs with VIA Ethernet chips where connecting and transmitting data very slowly to the servers, clients with Realtek and Intel Ethernet chipset were acting fine. After installing Intel/Realtek Ethernet PCE cards, without changing anything on the switches or the Server, the problem disappeared.

Previous to this, I tried installing different network card in the OS X server, and changing the settings -- I tried everything and every combination (Duplex/10/100/half/full/autonegotiotion/TCP-IP, DNS setttings software updates 10.3, 10.4 etc.) on the Wintel and Server unsuccessfully.

(See additional Mac Server/Windows client issues on our Mac OS X Server Cross-platform Issues page.)

Apple buys CUPS, printing system in OS X, Linux/Unix

July 13, 2007

It was revealed on Wednesday that in February, Apple quietly purchased the CUPS printing system from its author. CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) is freely distributed software and source code distributed under the GNU General Public License. The cross-platform print system has been bundled with Mac OS X since 10.2 Jaguar, and is standard with most Linux and Unix distributions.

CUPS creator Michael Sweet announced at his web site that Apple purchased the CUPS source code, licensing, and trademarks, and that he would become an Apple employee. Sweet said that Apple will continue the free distribution of CUPS under the GNU GPL license, and that Sweet will continue to develop it.

For more information, see this Linux Watch/eWeek story.

Parallels Coherence feature vs. VMware Unity

July 13, 2007

Eric Tung commented on the difference between Parallels Desktop’s Coherence feature and VMware Fusion’s Unity. Each hides the Windows desktop while displaying on Windows applications in Mac OS X. Tung observed:

Although Coherence is similar to Unity, it does not work with Exposé like a user might expect - Coherence places all the guest windows together, so they are not individually selectable during Exposé.

Endless Win boot cycle seen with Boot Camp and Parallels

July 13, 2007

Two readers report a problem where Windows on a Mac goes into an endless cycle of blue screening then rebooting. It sounds like a Windows problem to us, since one reader is using Parallels Desktop and the other is using Boot Camp.

David Lewis is using Parallels:

I updated a few days ago and Parallels 3.0 worked smoothly for a couple of days. Once it crashed from hibernation and a restart solved that. But today (of course, on a business trip) Windows has crashed and enters an endless cycle. It boots, shows a blue screen with two lines but I can’t read it because it immediately boots again for a second and again the blue screen.

Mike Montgomery sees the same with Boot Camp:

I successfully installed Windows XP SP2 and Boot Camp Beta 1.2 on my MacBook with Mac OS X 10.4.10. I added Firefox and some games with downloaded patches. Now every time I startup in Windows, it stalls, shows me GMT, then automatically reboots. The next time it shows me the correct local time, but goes to a blue screen for about 1-1.5 seconds and reboots again—endlessly.

If you’ve seen this, either on a Mac or a PC,

Reader says wireless setting causes Boot Camp crash

July 13, 2007

Casey Muratori reports that Boot Camp 1.3 freezes his MacBook Pro when wireless networking is turned off:

My MacBook Pro was freezing literally every few minutes while running Windows in Boot Camp 1.3 (and it's a real freeze, not a blue screen). It was essentially unusable.

It took me quite some time to track down the instability, but it turned out to be whether or not wireless is enabled or disabled. If the wireless driver is enabled, then regardless of whether or not it is connected, the machine is relatively stable. One crash every few days, no worse than any other laptop might be. If I disable the wireless driver, then it crashes several times an hour.

With everything enabled the MacBook Pro is reasonably stable. I can capture movies with Windows Movie Maker and the iSight camera, connect to Bluetooth devices, use the keyboard backlight, whatever.

If you've seen this problem

Update to SMB Duplicate folder fix

July 13, 2007

Dan Ball comments on a fix that he provided us regarding the duplicate folder problem with Tiger and SMB servers:

Yes, Gregory Floro's feedback is correct. That’s what I meant on my post but said it wrong. So deleting the hidden .DS_Store file within the folder that is showing the duplicate folders fixes the issue. That is, at the root of the folder that was showing the issue not the root of the share, as in my previous post.

Intego offers parental control bundle for Boot Camp, Parallels users

July 13, 2007

Intego has released Intego ContentBarrier X4 Dual Protection (US$60), a bundle of two programs, one for Mac OS X and another for Windows, which block certain Internet content from access by children. Intego is targeting the bundle to families running Windows on their Macs with Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, or other virtualization software.

The ContentBarrier X4 DP bundle contains Intego ContentBarrier X4 for Mac OS X and Parental Filter for Windows from Editions Profil. ContentBarrier X4 can set different profiles, corresponding to their age or maturity, determining access to newsgroups, peer-to-peer software, e-mail, chats and the web. ContentBarrier X4 also blocks predatory language used in chat rooms, and can send parents e-mail, automatically, when certain events occur. Parental Filter filters web pages, by URL and by category, and via filtering algorithms and can limit or block selected programs. Both provide schedules and time limits.





July 12

TIP: Win sys restore to restore Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard

July 12, 2007

Sandy Luebker said that a Windows system restore fixed keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3:

I was having similar issues with Boot Camp 1.3 with no icons in my taskbar to control display and sound along with no keyboard backlighting. It worked flawlessly when I originally installed drivers. I did a Windows system restore and I think the problem started when I networked my MacBook Pro to another notebook in Windows or when I changed the name of my MacBook Pro when networking the 2 notebooks. Anyways, Windows system restore and presto, full 1.3 functionality.

if this approached worked for you.

More info on iSight failure in Vista w/Boot Camp

July 12, 2007

A couple of readers added some details to the previously reported problem with Boot Camp Beta 1.3 where the Mac’s iSight Camera doesn’t work under Windows Vista. It does work with Windows XP. Donald McDaniel described the issue:

I'm also experiencing the lack of iSight under Vista in Boot Camp.

My iMac: Apple Intel iMac 20" 2.33Ghz, 2GB (Rev 2). My Vista is a "Microsoft Vista Home Premium System Builder Kit."

While the Apple driver installs with no trouble from the Boot Camp Drivers Disk, the camera simply refuses to appear in "Control Panel->Scanners and Cameras". I am unable to add it using the "Add" button, even though I am able to choose the driver from a list using the "Add Device" button (click on the "Have Disk" button). The driver is usually named something like this:

"C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileaRepository\isight.inf_xxxxxxxx".

Are there other files which must also be installed along with this one?

It works great under Windows XP (but not as well as my Logitech QuickCam 5000 Pro, which has light-leveling software as part of its driver kit).

As McDaniel reported, iSight does work for Casey Muratori in Windows XP, though there are some oddities:

The Windows XP SP2 install went perfectly with no interruptions other than one slight glitch, which is that the iSight camera doesn't seem to install properly. It works, in that you can actually access it in Explorer and see the picture coming back. But for whatever reason, it is consistently reported in the Device Manager as a ? instead of a properly installed device. So something is slightly off there, but I have yet to notice a practical problem arising from this.

If you've seen the problem with Vista

Boot Camp backlit keyboard suggestion doesn't work for some readers

July 12, 2007

Several readers commented on previously reported registry edit fix for enabling a backlit MacBook keyboard while booted from Windows with Boot Camp 1.3. Two said that the registry string was already at the recommended setting. A third reported that his backlighting and other keys were working as advertised.

pcAnywhere 12 remote control is cross-platform

July 12, 2007

Starting with version 12.0, Symantec’s pcAnywhere remote control software now includes a Mac version. (The current version is 12.1.) The Mac software runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Intel or PowerPC. There is also a Linux version.

Like Motorola’s Timbuktu Pro, pcAnywhere is software that installs on the users computers, and lets a user control another computer of the same or different operating system, including running applications.

(See also this PC Magazine review.)

If you’ve tried pcAnywhere in a cross-platform environment what you think of it.

For more remote control solutions, see the product listings on our Virtualization, Emulation, and Remote Control Solutions page.

(Thanks to Tom Knipp for the tip.)





July 11

Another fix for Parallels 3.0 crashing with Windows XP with Tools: Faulty video drivers

July 11, 2007

Matthew Levy has a fix for the problem of Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3.0 while installing Parallels Tools. He blames bad video drivers and recommends installing the WinNT video drivers. (On Monday, we reported a different suggestion.) Levy sent us step-by-step directions:

Fix verified for OS X Server periodically unbinding from AD; a 2nd fix offered.

July 11, 2007

Bob Nance has verified a previously reported fix for Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from Active Directory:

As reported, this problem has beens solved with the command:

dsconfigad -enableSSO

It appears that the problem was that the Kerberos ticket getting ticket was not being renewed without the additional command. Now, it all works as it's supposed to.

If you can shed further light

TIP: Use Remote to boot into OS X when Boot Camp disables keyboard

July 11, 2007

Donald McDaniel offers a suggestion for Boot Camp users who can’t boot back into Mac OS X because Boot Camp 1.2 disabled their keyboards. He suggests using the Apple Remote that comes with all Mac models except the Mac Pro. Here’s how:

While I've not seen this problem (I use non-Apple keyboards), I have had great success using the Apple Remote to choose boot partitions from the Apple Boot Menu.

To do this, simply press and hold the "Menu" button when the grey Boot screen appears (immediately when the music starts), until the Boot Menu appears.

Then use the "Previous/Next" button to navigate between devices/bootable partitions, and press the "Play/Pause" button to boot into your chosen OS .

The Apple Remote does work properly (with iTunes or Windows Media Player only) under Vista, BTW.

Suggestion for Boot Camp dual display problems

July 11, 2007

Responding to our reports of problems with Boot Camp and external displays, Donald McDaniel told us how to set up a second display for use with Windows in Boot Camp:

I've been using dual displays with Boot Camp since it was first released, first with Apple Cinema Displays on XP, then with Dell LCD displays under Vista. All work fine for me with the Boot Camp drivers.

Under Windows, dual displays MUST first be setup in the installed Video driver (the Boot Camp ATI video driver for Vista does NOT include The Catalyst Control Panel, so it must be setup from the "Displays" Control Panel App, or the Desktop).

You MUST choose one of the displays as the Primary display, making absolutely certain you check the "primary" check box BEFORE adding the second display.

My Mac: iMac (Rev 2) Core 2 Duo, 2.33Ghz w/2GB, ATI x1600 Pro w/256MB. Secondary Display: Dell 20" LCD [Model 2007WFP]. Both displays set to 1680x1050x32. Mac OS X Tiger (latest updates] and Windows Vista Home Premium (System Builder Kit w/ latest updates).

If you tried to solve your Boot Camp dual-display issues





July 9

VMware Fusion Release Candidate 1 is close to shipping version

July 9, 2007

VMware has issued VMware Fusion Release Candidate 1, an upgrade to the Beta 4.1 version of the virtualization software for Mac OS X. Although still a prerelease version, RC1 includes all of the features of the shipping version that VMware will release at the end of August.

Like Parallels Desktop (which has been shipping for a year) VMware Fusion can run Windows and other operating systems within Mac OS X on Intel-powered Macs.

VMware Fusion RC1 adds the ability to drag and drop files fr om OS X Finder windows directly onto Windows applications and into Windows Explorer windows. You can also now launch a Windows application by Control-clicking the Fusion Dock icon to open the Launch Application window, where Windows program icons now appear.

There are also a number of keyboard improvements. Fusion now supports all Mac system keyboard shortcuts, including the Exposé function keys and Command-Tab to switch between Fusion and other Mac apps. Mac OS shortcuts can also be disabled. RC1 supports Control-click for right-button functionality within Windows and Command-click to send a middle mouse click to Windows.

VMware Fusion RC1 fixes a number of bugs, including USB problems with Mac OS X 10.4.10. Suspended-state virtual machines now resume more quickly. Release Candidate 1 also adds a setting that gives you the choice of optimizing memory for Mac OS X applications or for the virtual machine’s virtual disk.

For more details on what’s new in VMware Fusion Release Candidate 1, see VMware’s release notes.

If you’ve tried VMware Fusion Release Candidate 1 how it worked for you.

Possible fix for problem of Windows crashing with Parallels Tools 3.0 installation

July 9, 2007

We found a suggestion at VersionTracker.com that claims to solve the problem of Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing Windows while installing Parallel Tools. Previously, many readers told us that back-grading to the previousl version stopped the problem. John Steele is one of many who described the problem:

I upgraded to Parallels 3.0 and ever since, the Parallels Tools installer comes up when I restart Windows. If I try to do the install, Parallels crashes every time.

The VersionTracker fix, by Desmond Foulger, includes this suggestion:

I have definitely tracked it down to that part of the installation that is contained within the installation of Shared Applications. I cured it by booting [the Mac] into safe mode with networking (Press F8 at start-up) and navigating into /Program Files/Parallels/Parallels Tools and removing to the Recycle Bin, the whole contents of that folder. Next restarting normally, Win XP comes up normally. Next Install Parallels Tools using a custom install. By a process of elimination I found that installing everything EXCEPT Shared Applications provided the fix.

If you’ve tried this procedure if it solved the problem.

Fix for Boot Camp external projector will hinder Parallels

July 9, 2007

Charles Mcginley previously sent us a tip on how to use an external projector with Windows running in Boot Camp. In this followup, Mcginley notes that while this fix is fine for starting up with Boot Camp, it also prevents Parallels Desktop from using the Boot Camp partition...

More on Boot Camp 1.3 display problems

July 9, 2007

Several readers wrote concerning last week's reports of problems with Boot Camp 1.3 and external displays.

Sam Prud'homme expanded on his report from last week, noting that reverting to the previous version didn’t help. He also speculated on the cause:

I've reverted from Boot Camp 1.3 to 1.2 just to see what would happen. Neither seems to work anymore.

On further examination of the display control panel, it seems I'm running the VgaSafe display driver, which I believe is a fallback software solution when a problem exists with the chipset drivers. It has resource conflicts with several pci ports, so that may be part of the underlying problem. The thing is, I can't even get the ATI or nvidia install programs to work, since they aren't able to find a valid device. VgaSafe doesn't show up in the windows device manager, so I'm assuming it's not a proper hardware driver.

I've tried reinstalling the Boot Camp drivers multiple times. I've tried downloading drivers from Intel and ATI and nvidia and those don't help either.

It just seems like some fundamental element isn't installing or communicating properly. Almost like a problem with the Windows BIOS that the Mac is emulating, only I don't know enough about the Windows system to really know what I'm talking about.

Joseph Reafsnyder has also thinks the problem is more than just drivers:

X1900 video card. I have the same problem as the last poster. I have a Quad 2.6 Mac Pro with an ATI. Four out of five times I start Boot Camp there is severe graphic tearing on the screen. I used to have this problem in Windows when I would overclock a videocard. The Apple forums are full of people have the exact same problem. It obviously is not a driver problem with Windows as the OS hasn't even loaded before the garbled graphics appear on screen.

A reader named Tancs found a way to boot back into Mac OS X:

I'm also having this colour problem on my MacBook Pro Core Duo. I find that I have to select Restart from XP rather than Shutdown and then hold down the Alt key. The screen is completely black so I can't see the choice of Boot Camp or OS X but my default is OS X, so I hit return and the OS boots with the correct colours. It’s really frustrating. It’s got to be some driver problem since installing Boot Camp 1.3. It’s really annoying as it effects the whole computer, OS X and XP, so I think the Boot Camp graphics drivers must effect some setting which is held in VRAM. Resetting VRAM helps (Option P + R on boot).





July 5

ADmitMac for CAC 1.1 meets new DoD security standards

July 5, 2007

On Tuesday, Thursby Software released ADmitMac for CAC 1.1, an update to its Mac OS X software for integrating Macs in Active Directory using U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC). Among the improvements are a new utility that enables Entourage 2004 users to access Microsoft Exchange without passwords, as well as the improvements included in the recently released ADmitMac 3.2.2. The version now meets the U.S. Government's DISA Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) DoD requirements for Public Key Enabled software. The upgrade is free.

ADmitMac for CAC gives Macs Active Directory Integration using encrypted LDAP connections, and Public Key Enabled, Kerberos, single sign-on with CAC cards. It also provides a network file sharing client with SMB signing and Distributed File System access.

Advice for AD User login issues: synchronize clocks

July 5, 2007

James Wood shared his solution for Mac login problems with Active Directory:

We experience a similar issue. By making sure the Mac clock and the AD server clock were within a 1 minute time difference we were able to resolve the issue. We simply set the Macs to automatically update their time and the issue no longer occurred.

Report of VMware Fusion Beta 4.1 and Linux

July 5, 2007

Preben Lauritzen Duus of Denmark sent us his assessment of VMware Fusion Beta 4.1 running Linux. He also talked about running Windows in Parallels Desktop:

I have VMware Fusion Beta 4.1 on my iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, that is the 24 inch model with 2.16 GHz CPU, 3GB RAM, 250GB hard drive and 128 MB RAM on the Graphics Card.

The purpose is to run Ubuntustudio Linux 7.0.4 Feisty Fawn (Current Version) and by October of this year also a Ubuntustudio Linux 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon...

Video Display problems with Boot Camp

July 5, 2007

Three readers reported Boot Camp problems running external displays when booted from Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Michael Politi discribed it:

I’ve been unable to connect a 23" HD Apple Cinema display on a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Book Pro 17" running Boot Camp 1.3 with Vista. The HD display appears in the display configurations but will not light up...

Reader verifies fix for Boot Camp/Vista external projector issues

July 5, 2007

Gabe Warren reports success with Chuck McGinley's tip for solving problems with an external projector in Boot Camp with Windows Vista:

This fix worked for me on a MacBook Pro 15.4", X1600 with 256 MB and running Windows Vista Enterprise x32. The driver detected the HP MP3130. I had to select the analog monitor rather than the detected HP MP3130 digital monitor the driver defaulted to but it works like a champ.

Another reader evaluation of Safari for Windows 3.0.2

July 5, 2007

Fred Horvat updated his previous report about using Safari for Windows 3.0 with a report about the current 3.0.2 version:

OK I gave 3.0.2 a spin the past couple of days. Overall much improved in almost all regards. Speed it feels much better than 3.0 and 3.0.1. Not quite up to speed of the other mature browsers under Windows but getting closer. It crashed much less also, only once in 3 days. I forget what page(s) I had open at the time but it's all the normal 6-8 sites that I hit on a normal daily basis. The issue of www.weather.com is not resolved. I emptied the cache but the site still only gets a banner and nothing more.

Overall going from 3.0.1 to 3.0.2 was a big improvement for me.





July 2

Registry edit fixes Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard issues, including backlighting

July 2, 2007

Steve Clothier reported a fix for the Boot Camp Beta 1.3 keyboard problems. He found that a registry edit in Windows brought back all of the keyboard functionality, including backlighting on the keyboard. Last week, we reported that replacing the drivers with version 1.2 restored all of the functionality except the backlighting.

Boot Camp 1.3 problem with iSight Camera, Vista

July 2, 2007

Robert Baptist isn’t seeing the keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3, but can’t get the built-in iSight camera to work in Windows Vista:

I purchased latest top-of-the-line Mac Book Pro and am running Vista Ultimate with Boot Camp 1.3. Issues:

1) I have no problem using "Alt" to boot into Vista/Mac, though if I don't use "Alt", the system will always boot into Windows even if I last booted into OSX

2) iSight camera drivers not are working on Vista: If I use the Apple drivers the "!" appears in the devices screen (and the device won't work); if I use the Microsoft USB camera driver the "!" doesn't appear but the device still won't work.

If you've seen this problem

VMware Fusion Beta 4.1 adds support for 10.4.10 USB, MacBook Pro, and Leopard

July 2, 2007

VMware has released VMware Fusion Beta 4.1, an update to its pre-release virtual machine software for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. Version 4.1 adds fixes a USB problem with Mac OS X 10.1.10, and fixes USB issues for the new (“Santa Rosa”) Mac Book Pro. The update also improves support for running on the developer beta version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard that Apple released last month.

VMware Fusion Beta 4, released earlier this month, added a number of features, including the ability to hide the Windows Desktop, the ability to open Windows applications from Mac OS X, and the ability to add Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock. VMware says that it will ship the first finished release version of VMware Fusion by the end of August.

If you've tried VMware Fusion Beta 4.1

For more information and reader reports, see our VMware Fusion Beta Tips and Reports page.

Reader mouse, vanishing VM problems with VMware Beta 4

July 2, 2007

Andrew Johnson reported several problems with VMware Fusion Beta 4, with VMware Tools installed:

I've just installed VMware Fusion Beta on my iMac C2 Duo. The program seems to work faster than Parallels, but has bugs that include:

1. Mouse is often freezing in Fusion window.

2. Even when the clock synchronization option is checked, the time is not synchronized. Clock has to be setup in XP manually.

3. Keyboard CD rejecting key not working.

4. And the worst from many other bugs is fact that sometimes XP can disappear completely. It was fine for a couple of days, and then was gone. Not a trace of it! I had to install another copy of XP.

If you've seen these problems

FIX: Corrupted Mac cache is the cause of AD corrupted user account

July 2, 2007

Several readers report that one or more corrupted cache files in Mac OS X can cause the problem we reported last week of a spinning beach ball when logging into Active Directory, which causes the user account to corrupt.

Jason Westlake said the culprit was a bad the font cache file.

MS Exchange 2007 Rollup 3 addresses Mac, iPhone issues

July 2, 2007

Last week, Microsoft released Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2007, an update to the collaboration server. According to eWeek, the Rollup 3 update fixes problems with Mac OS X Mail and the IMAP4 email protocol. eWeek said that the problems could have prevented iPhone users from receiving email from Exchange Server 2007.

(Thanks to Jamie Stotz for the tip.)

VPN Tracker 4.9.3 adds more VPN device compatibility

July 2, 2007

Last week Equinux released VPN Tracker 4.9.3 (US $89, free upgrade) an update to the universal virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for three new VPN gateways: D-Link DFL-800, Netgear FWG114P, and ZyXEL ZyWALL 2WG. It also updates device profiles for Netgear's FVX538, FVS338 and FVS124G routers running firmware 2.x. Version 4.9.3 also contains minor bug fixes.

Equinux said that VPN Tracker currently supports more than 300 VPN gateway systems, including those by Cisco, SonicWALL, and Watchguard.





June 2007

June 28

TIP: Keeping a MacBook Pro cool running Vista with Boot Camp 1.3

June 28, 2007

Peter Presti sent us some tips for keeping a MacBook Pro cool when booted from Windows Vista using Boot Camp 1.3 beta.

Presti did not have the serious keyboard and booting problems that others have been reporting with version 1.3, but recommends a Windows utility for finer controls with keyboard settings. Presti did report an issue with external displays and found USB to be slow...

Fixing Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard problem -- only one driver back-grade needed

June 28, 2007

Michael Sneider, who first reported the keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3, reported success by going back to the version 1.2 keyboard driver.

Just a quick follow up on my initial MacBook Pro keyboard problems. While I was never able to get the 1.3 driver running, I was able to restore function (without backlight) by reinstalling the keyboard driver from Boot Camp 1.2. I left all the other Boot Camp 1.3 drivers intact.

Earlier this week, another reader reported back-grading drivers, but didn't specify which one.

TIP: Using SigmaTel audio with Boot Camp 1.3, Vista

June 28, 2007

Philip Beni wrote about using the SigmaTel audio driver in Windows Vista with Boot Camp 1.3 beta:

Boot Camp 1.3 on my MacBook Pro 15" Core Duo (the original) has problems with the SigmaTel audio driver; it’s not working. Windows Vista Ultimate doesn't recognize it as an audio device, even though the driver is installed.

I fixed it: Open the drivers folder on the CD and manually use the SigmaTel installer.

Another fix for the SMB "delete alias / fix alias" problem

June 28, 2007

Eric Aden forwarded another fix for the delete alias/fix alias file sharing problem that we’ve been reporting on our Tiger Cross-platform Reports page. We’ve reported several techniques that readers say works for them. Aden found his at another web site:

I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.10 and this just solved the "delete alias / fix alias" error message and I'm now able to access my office's file servers...

Active Directory -bound Mac corrupting user account

June 28, 2007

Mike Norval reports a problem where a Mac user gets a spinning beach ball when logging into Active Directory, which causes the user account to corrupt:

We have had issues where a user account when you log-on to an Active Directory-bound Mac (10.4.9) after the log-in window all that appears is the desktop background and the spinning ball, sometimes the Spotlight icon appears in the upper right corner and nothing else. It can set I guess all day nothing.

The big issue is you can't restore that user to that machine, if I back-up the account files and delete the user, recreating the user account I get the same thing. Currently I have user that I created a local account and moved her files into it so she could work but have not been able to get back her AD account.

If you've seen this problem

Snerdware updates Groupcal, Exchange Server access from iCal

June 28, 2007

Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.9 (US $55), an update to the Mac utility that enables Apple iCal to access and manage calendars on Microsoft Exchange server. Groupcal can synchronize events and tasks between iCal and Exchange, send and receive meeting invitations, book resources, and view free and busy times as iCal calendars.

Version 3.90 fixes some problems, including:

  • Fixes several issues with recurring and detached events
  • Fixes a Free/Busy calendar problem where the e-mail address could be used instead of the name
  • Fixes a problem accessing the sync-delaying entry in the Menu Extra
  • Minor user-interface improvements

Entourage email archive tool update adds FileMaker access

June 28, 2007

Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.4.0 (EEAX), a new version of the OS X application for archiving email and attachments received or sent with Microsoft Entourage. The EEAX archives are Spotlight-searchable files. The new version allows you to use a FileMaker Pro database to manage archives.





June 26

Fix for Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard problems: back-grade drivers

June 26, 2007

David Moss found that the keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3 were caused by the new drivers:

I found that I could put the driver from 1.2 on and re-boot and all came back.

If this worked for you

Joseph Gasdia doesn't have the problem, but has a suggestion:

I ran the Boot Camp driver disk in my Windows on my Mac Book Pro. Everything works as they said it should. My keyboard lights up and my volume and brightness keys look and work as the do in OS X.

You do have to hold the 'fn' key in Windows, or else XP thinks your hitting 'F1' or 'F2" , etc. Other than that Boot Camp 1.3 works nicely.

Ludger Heide of Germany has an observation:

Since I installed Boot Camp 1.3, I saw a little icon at the left of the start bar, but not in the tray area. When I clicked on it, I found out it was the keyboard scheme control. It showed two options: Deutsch and Deutsch (Apple). So believe this Computer is in the keyboard scheme English and not English (Apple), in which the special keys are active. That's my guess.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Back-grading from Parallels 3 reverses crashing issues

June 26, 2007

A large number of readers confirmed our previous reports of problems with Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing when installing Parallels Tools, with both Windows XP and with Vista. Sometimes Mac OS X also freezes as well. Other readers experienced crashes latter, when running applications. Many readers found that they could replace version 3.0 with an older version of Parallels Desktop to eliminate the problem with no other ill effects. Today's reports describe these problems with advice on how to go back to an older version...

Graphics issues with Parallels Desktop 3.o

June 26, 2007

Nathan Bowen did not have the problem with Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3. But he did report some graphics problems. He was able to back-grade to the previous Build 3188. His report:

I installed Parallels 3 on my Mac Book Pro Core 2 running 10.4.9 and everything went smoothly, except for some strange graphics issues....

AdmitMac and DAVE, updated

June 26, 2007

Yesterday, Thursby Software releases ADmitMac 3.2.2, an update to the Mac OS X software for integrating Macs into Active Directory networks. Thursby also released DAVE 6.2.2, an update for the SMB file and print sharing software for Mac OS X. (ADmitMac includes DAVE’s functionality.) Thursby also offers a version of ADmitMac that supports the US Department of Defense Common Access Cards.

The new versions boost performance and improve functionality for support of Windows Vista, as well as fix minor bugs. ADmitMac 3.2.2 adds the ability to use certificates instead of passwords to authenticate to a domain. Another new feature is the ability to assign local administrator rights using nested groups.

Both ADmitMac and DAVE upgrades are Intel and PowerPC native.

Fix for Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from AD

June 26, 2007

Jose Richard sent us a fix to the problem of Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from Active Directory:

Here's a solution to permanently correct the periodically loses of AD connection. Next time you do an unbind/bind to correct the problem, after the bind step do the following:

- Run dsconfigad -enablesso after binding

- Verify the following options in /etc/smb.conf:

  • workgroup = WGP [# this should be the netbios]
  • name of your AD domain
  • security = ads [# use "ads" for this value]
  • "domain" will periodically change the computer trust account and break your binding to AD.
  • netbios name = computername [# this should be the same as the computer name you used in Directory Access/Directory Utility to bind to AD]
  • use spnego = yes [# this should always be "yes" -- it enables negotiation of the authentication methods]
  • realm = WGP.COMPANY.COM [# This should be your AD domain in all caps: it is case sensitive!

If you’ve tried this

Bob Nance is another reader who reports the problem:

I have the same problem as Mr. Zimmerman. It happens weekly (on Thursday, actually). I have unbound and rebound the Mac Xserve server on Thursday, and it happens the next Thursday. I have unbound and rebound the server on Monday and it happens the next Thursday (3 days later). It doesn't seem to be related to the XSERVE$ username in the domain.

For more on Active Directory issues, see our page called Integrating Macs and Active Directory.





June 25

TIP: Windows key remapping customization for Boot Camp

June 25, 2007

Casey Muratori sent us an edit to the Windows Registry that changes the way keyboard mapping works when Windows is running in Boot Camp:

I wanted to share a nice change to the keyboard mapping which makes the Mac keyboard much more like a Windows keyboard.

You can modify the following registry entry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]

to have a key called "Scancode Map". In it, you can put arbitrary remappings that map one key to another.

Readers verify Boot Camp 1.3 problems with keyboards

June 25, 2007

Readers verified a problem we reported last week that upgrading Boot Camp to v1.3 disabled some of the keys and doesn’t support the backlit keyboard on the Mac Book Pro. One reader offered a suggestion.

David Moss describes the issue:

Same problem as Michael Sneider. No keyboard control of volume, eject. I’m using a Mac Pro with latest current security patches.

An anonymous reader sent a suggestion for a Mac Pro:

Another Safari Windows 3.0.2 plugs more security holes, increases stability

June 25, 2007

Apple released Safari for Windows 3.0.2 Beta, the second update to the Windows version of the web browser released by Apple earlier this month. The new version adds security fixes and improves stability, as will as addressing text problems for non-English systems.

Last week, MacWindows readers and reviewers around the web reported numerous security holes and bugs and crash-prone behavior in the 3.0 and 3.0.1 versions.

If you’ve tried Safari for Windows Beta 3.0.2

TIP: Safari for Windows 3.0.2 works in Virtual PC

June 25, 2007

Dennis Hill found the new Safari for Windows Beta 3.0.2 update stable enough to run in Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

I tried running Safari for Windows in VPC v.7. It was a good idea to get more browser speed under emulation. The Safari beta for Windows will not launch, even after reinstall and reboot. The 3.0.2 updater for the Safari beta on Windows now works in VPC on my PPC Power Mac 2Ghz with OSX 10.4.9.

Report on Safari Windows Beta 3.0

June 25, 2007

Fred Horvat reports on Safari for Windows 3.0 Beta, and gives several reasons why one should upgrade to 3.0.2:

I installed the initial release of Safari on a Windows XP Pro machine (Dual Core P4 3.4ghz, 1Gig RAM). Safari runs on the slow side with rendering pages and resizing screens. It does crash way more often than one would expect. Once or twice a day of normal use where my other browsers on the same machine IE7, Netscape 9, Seamonkey 1.1.1, and Opera 9.2 may crash once a month. I am hitting all my normal sites with Safari so I'm not throwing anything new browsing wise at it. I did the Apple updates to update to the latest version and www.weather.com no longer works. I get just a banner and nothing more. I didn't try clearing cache and cookies.

Overall it feels like it's stuck in the mud performance wise. Overall not ready for prime time.





June 21

VMware announces Fusion 1.0 ship date, pricing

June 21, 2007

VMware has announced that it will ship the first finished release version of VMware Fusion by the end of August. VMware will sell VMware Fusion for US $80, but is taking pre-orders for US $40 up until the ship date.

VMware Fusion is a virtualization environment for running Windows and other operating systems in Mac OS X on Intel Macs, similar to Parallels Desktop. VMware Fusion is currently available as a public beta testing release. Beta version 4, released earlier this month, added a number of features, including the ability to hide the Windows Desktop, the ability to open Windows applications from Mac OS X, and the ability to add Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock.

Microsoft decides against reversing Vista-in-VM prohibitions

June 21, 2007

eWeek reports that Microsoft was ready to announce a lifting of prohibitions against running certain versions of Windows Vista and certain Vista features. Microsoft was to have made this announcement yesterday, according to eWeek.

Instead, Microsoft said that it would retain its ban on running Windows Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in virtual machines. Microsoft will also retain the prohibition on using Vista’s information and digital rights management features in a virtual machine."

Microsoft’s prohibition applies to Mac virtual machines such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion as well as to virtual machine products running on Windows PCs.

Safari Windows beta off to a rocky start; update addresses some problems

June 21, 2007

News outlets and MacWindows readers reported that Apple’s first public beta version of the Safari web browser for Windows contains a number of bugs in the areas of security and stability. Apple has responded with an update called Safari for Windows 3.0.1 beta that addresses a few of the security issues.

eWeek reported that in the day following the browser’s release two weeks ago, a number of bugs had been identified, including two memory corruption bugs, one command execution vulnerability and two remote code execution bugs, and three DoS flaws. ComputerWorld reported that the 3.0.1 update fixed only three of the bugs.

An Ars Technica review emphasized instabilities:

The most glaring flaw of Safari 3 on Windows is its utter lack of stability. The prerelease beta status of Safari 3 obviously must be taken into account when evaluating the program's reliability, but the problems I faced during testing really exceed tolerable limits for beta software.

An eWEEK Labs' review said that the Safari Web for Windows beta is “on par with Internet Explorer, but a good distance behind Opera and Firefox.”

Several MacWindows readers also reported problems. Al Brady couldn’t install it in Windows Vista:

I downloaded Safari beta and Windows Vista will not let me install it. It says Windows Installer cannot be accessed.

Dennis Hill couldn’t install it in Windows XP running in Virtual PC, Microsoft’s virtual machine for PowerPC Macs:

The Safari beta for Windows will not launch, even after reinstall and reboot. This is running on a PPC PowerMac 2Ghz with OSX 10.4.9. Always just get the error: Sorry, application quit.

It was a good idea, to get more browser speed under emulation. But it’s a beta after all.

There are other Windows programs that don’t run in Virtual PC (see our VPC Conflicts page), but this is the first web browser that we know of.

If you've tried Safari for Windows

Update on fix for duplicate folders on SMB servers

June 21, 2007

Gregory Floro offered a refinement to a fix we reported for the problem of duplicate folders seen on SMB servers.

We had a similar issue with Mac OS X clients connecting to a Windows Server SMB seeing a duplicate folder. Though in our case the clients were PowerPC Macs, it was a Windows 2000 SP4 Server, and the duplicate folder went from all lower case to initial cap.

Deleting the .DS_Store file at the root of the network share didn't solve the problem, but deleting the .DS_Store within the folder that contained the duplicate folder did.





June 12

Safari goes cross-platform

June 12, 2007

Yesterday, Apple has entered the browser wars by releasing a public beta of Safari for Windows, which is now available for download. At Apple’s Worldwide Develop’s conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Safari was the fastest web browser for Windows XP and Vista, claiming that it was twice as fast at rendering HTML than Internet Explorer, and 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.

One question that Windows Vista users will have is how Safari’s security features will compare with Internet Explorer 7. Safari doesn’t have Internet Explorer’s legacy code that malware creators like to exploit, and Safari for Windows supports a string of security protocols. But it isn’t yet clear whether Safari has the tight integration with Windows Vista that Internet Explorer 7 has.

There are several motivations for Apple’s porting of Safari to Windows, and most point to iPhone. Safari is the web browser in iPhone. eWeek’s David Morgenstern pointed out to us that since Safari is the web browser in iPhone, Apple will want sites on the web to work well with Safari. The best way to get web site developers to make sure their sites work well with Safari is to turn Safari into a major browser on Windows.

Another reason to port Safari to Windows is that Safari is the software development platform for iPhone. Third-party iPhone applications will run in Safari. With Safari running on Windows, developers can try out their iPhone apps without having to own a Mac. Apple will ship iPhone on June 29.

Boot Camp in Leopard: no driver disk burning required

June 12, 2007

Steve Jobs yesterday repeated previous statements that Boot Camp will come preinstalled with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard when Apple ships the new in October. Users won’t have to burn a driver disc, as they do now. The drivers for Windows will come on the Leopard installation disc. Jobs spoke about Boot Camp and Leopard as part of his keynote address at Apple’s Worldwide Developers conference (WWDC).

It is still not known if Boot Camp will continue to be available for Tiger users.

Jobs noted that there have been 2.5 million downloads of Boot Camp Beta so far.

In a rare node to competing softare, Jobs said that Boot Camp was “a really great complement to Parallels and VMware” for running Windows on a Mac.

“If you need native speed and total compatibility, Boot Camp’s the thing,” said Jobs. “But Parallels and VMware are fantastic.”

Jobs did not comment on Sun’s statement last week that Leopard would use Sun’s ZFS file system as the default. Developers may get details on Leopard’s file, but Apple isn’t confirming or denying Sun’s claim at this point.

For more on these issues, see our Tips and Reports pages for Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and VMware Fusion.

TIP: Resolving Active Directory group membership

June 12, 2007

Oliver Block told us how he solved a problem where Mac OS X would not properly resolve Active Directory group membership:

I thought I would share the solution to a problem I recently troubleshot for a customer involving Macs integrated into a Windows Small Business Server 2003 environment.

The customer has a Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 server bound to an Active Directory (using the AD plug-in) hosted by a Windows Small Business Server 2003 server. When the Mac server queried Active Directory to find out which Active Directory security groups users belong to, it was able to obtain all the group information for some users, but for other users it only received a partial list of the groups that the user belong to. The problem was evident when using 'id' to view the user's group memberships or when querying Active Directory using dscl.

Interestingly, the Mac server was able to access all group information for users who were members of the 'Domain Admins' security group.

I solved the problem by going into Active Directory Users & Computers on the Windows server and assigning 'Read' access to the 'Authenticated Users' group. After I made that change, the 'id' command and queries of the directory service using dscl returned all the AD security groups that the users belong to.

Usual Disclaimer: I recommend that you familiarize yourself with Active Directory and make a good backup before making changes like this.





June 11

VMware Fusion Beta 4 chases Parallels, Boot Camp upgrades

June 11, 2007

VMware last Friday posted VMware Fusion Beta 4, a new pre-release version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. VMware Fusion Beta 4 adds integration features found in Parallels and improves performance over the Beta 3. The update came a day after major upgrades to Parallels Desktop and Book Camp 1.3.

A major new feature called Unity hides the Windows Desktop....

Boot Camp 1.3 fixes Mac OS X boot bug

June 11, 2007

Brian Kneebone reported that Boot Camp 1.3 (released last Thursday) fixes the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X unless the PRAM is reset:

FYI, Boot Camp 1.3 resolves all of my Windows not booting back into Macintosh issues on my Mac Pro. It's not posted on Apple's website, so they must have slipped this in quietly. Regards,

Kneebone was the first to report the problem with version 1.2, and other readers confirmed it.

Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard driver problem on MacBook Pro

June 11, 2007

Michael Sneider discovered that upgrading Boot Camp to the new version 1.3 disabled some of the keys. It also doesn’t support the backlit keyboard, a feature that Apple says is supported. Sneider wrote:

I've installed the Boot Camp Beta 1.3 drivers on my rev. A 15" Core Duo 2.13 GHz MacBook Pro, Windows XP SP2 with all current updates. I cannot get the keyboard driver to work properly. I have no access to the special function keys (volume up/down, brightness up/down or eject), nor does the keyboard backlighting work in any way.

TIP: Microsoft Win XP hotfix for Boot Camp, AirPort problem

June 11, 2007

Apple Technical Article 305275 describes a problem with Boot Camp Beta 1.2, where Windows XP SP2 is unable to connect to an 802.11n wireless router or the AirPort Extreme (802.11n) Base Station. Apple said that the problem is in Windows XP, and that the fix is to install a Microsoft hotfix.

Report of Parallels 3.0 crashing Win XP

June 11, 2007

Two readers shared their experiences about the new Parallels Desktop 3.0, one good, one not so good. Harry Erwin said the upgrade would not run:

Parallels 3.0 introduces a show-stopper. When I try to upgrade the Parallels Tools from within the Windows XP session, the session crashes reliably during the reboot. The XP crash then causes Parallels to crash. I’m using Mac OS X 10.4.9.

If you’ve seen this problem

Paul Lustgarten had an easy upgrade:

Just a quick note about Parallels 3.0. I just upgraded my Windows XP installation and everything went quite smoothly.

For more information on Parallels 3.0, see our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.

Reader's Win XP in Parallels won't ask for password

June 11, 2007

Karl Olav Jaegtnes of Norway noticed that Windows XP Pro isn't asking for a password in Parallels Build 3188 (the version previous to 3.0):

I am using a MacBook Pro with Parallels (Build 3188) and WIN XP Pro, SP2. When booting XP it starts up in administrator mode without asking for a password. I have set passwords for both admin and regular users in XP. If I log off Admin I end up with the normal log on window where I have to give the password and start XP as a regular user. All applications I have tried in XP work fine.

If you've seen this problem





June 8

Parallels 3 adds 3D hardware acceleration, integration features

June 8, 2007

Yesterday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3, a new version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. The new version adds support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration as well as some new Mac-Windows integration features. The price remains the same at US $80, but the company is now charging a hefty US $50 for an upgrade from previous versions.

The new 3D graphics capabilities include support for OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 9, which allow Parallels Desktop to run a large number of games. Parallels Desktop 3.0 is the first virtual machine environment for Mac OS X that supports DirectX 9, which is also required to run Windows Vista’s Aero features. Parallels did not say if Desktop 3 will support of the Aero, however. While Parallels claimed that the new version can run “3D CAD programs such as 3DMark,” it did not list AutoCAD among the supported graphics applications.

A new feature called SmartSelect lets you set defaults so that a Mac program opens a type of file when you double-click a file in Windows. For instance, you could double-click .doc files in Windows and have Parallels Desktop launch Word for Mac. You can set another file type to launch a Windows application when double-click in the Mac Finder. You can also select a Mac or Windows application to open a file by right-clicking (or Control-clicking) that file.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 also adds several features that are similar to those in Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs. Parallels Explorer is a Mac OS X utility that lets you see into and add or move files to or from the virtual hard disk, without running the virtual machine. (Virtual PC does this from the Finder, without a special utility.)

Another VPC-like feature (though more advanced) is Snapshots, which saves the state of a virtual machine, including settings and configurations. You can get back to this state and erase all changes at any time. (Snapshots is similar to Deep Freeze from Faronics Technologies, which does the same for Mac OS X.)

For more info, see this Parallels press release.

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop 3.0 about your experience, particularly if it fixes any of the bugs previously reported on our Parallels Reports and Tips page.

Boot Camp 1.3 adds support for new MacBook Pro, new drivers

June 8, 2007

Yesterday, Apple released Boot Camp Beta 1.3, a new version of the software that enables you to natively boot an Intel-based Mac with Windows XP or Vista. The new version will run on the new MacBook Pro models released earlier this week, which could not run earlier versions of Boot Camp. It also supports the keyboard backlighting feature of the new MacBook Pros from within Windows.

Other features include:

  • New graphics drivers
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Updated Windows Help for Boot Camp
  • Bug fixes

If you’ve tried Boot Camp 1.3 , particularly if it fixes any of the bugs previously reported on our Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page.

Apple to replace default file system in Leopard

June 8, 2007

Computerworld reported that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will use Sun’s Zettabyte File System (ZFS) when the new operating system ships in October. Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week, Apple will announce that ZFS will replace HFS+, Apple’s default file system since the days of Mac OS 8.1 in 1998. ZFS is the file system for Sun’s Solaris operating system.





June 6

Simplification for adding PCs to AirPort networks

June 6, 2007

Brandon Edling responded to Monday’s tutorial about how to connect a Windows XP PC to an all-Mac AirPort wireless network. He offers a simplification of one of the steps:

With regards to the "Getting the Passcode for the Mac" section: It's a heck of a lot easier to launch the Airport Utility, go into the configuration of the base station, and choose "Equivalent network password" from the Base Station menu.

Incompatibility with AutoCAD licensing and Boot Camp/external drive

June 6, 2007

Bill Helm has a problem with AutoCAD running Windows with Boot Camp, but only when an external drive is connected to the Mac:

I am running a full registered license of AutoDesk’s AutoCAD and Revit using Boot Camp 1.2 on both my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. There is some sort of an incompatibility issue between AutoDesk’s licensing code and the use of external hard drives. I found that anytime I had my external FireWire drive attached to the computer I was using, my AutoDesk license would error out when launching the software. This annoyance required my taking time out of my day to call AutoDesk for a new activation code each time this happened. So long as the external drive is not attached there are no problems. So far I have not found a workaround for the problem, I just have to live without the use of my external in Windows.

If you’ve seen this problem

Fix for Boot Camp problems with Vista and external monitor

June 6, 2007

Last week we reported a way to fix a problem with using external projectors from Windows Vista under Boot Camp. Ted Edmondson found a different solution for doing the same with an external monitor:

I have a MacBook Pro 15.4", 2.33GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256 RAM and I had this problem--or at least the problem with the external monitor.

I think it is related to the ATI display drivers. ATI do not release generic drivers for Mobility Radeon cards on their website. The drivers that Boot Camp installs don't work very well, and Windows then installs the MS driver over the top.

This works fine for the laptop screen, allowing Flip 3D and all the other eye-candy that Vista offers, but shows the external monitor problem.

I went to this Packard Bell’s site and downloaded the Packard Bell drivers.

The ATI Catalyst control centre is now fully installed and working, and I am writing this email on my extended desktop on my secondary monitor.

If you’ve tried this fix

Thursby utility fixes OS X login hang with ADmitMac

June 6, 2007

Thursby Software has released a utility that fixes a problem with Mac OS X’s login screen and ADmitMac (the Active Directory integration tool for Mac OS X). The problem occurs when a user attempts to log out, the Mac freezes before the login windows appears. Thursby says that the problem is caused by bugs in the Mac OS X login screen. The company describes the fix:

We've created a utility that monitors the system log looking for this situation [an error message]. If found, this utility restarts the loginwindow process so that the hang condition is corrected.

MS hotfix for Exchange fixes Entourage login failure issue confirmed

June 6, 2007

Alex Passey confirmed that the recent Microsoft hotfix for Exchange server fixes the Entourage login failure issue we've been covering:

This hotfix works! I’ve been battling this issue for the last past year. Users are now able to login properly.





June 4

Tutorial: How to add a PC to an AirPort Express Mac established Network

June 4, 2007

Piper Karie sent us a tutorial about how to connect a Windows XP PC to an all-Mac AirPort wireless network. You can read it on our Cross-Platform AirPort page.





May 2007

May 31

MS hotfix for Exchange fixes Entourage login failure issue

May 31, 2007

A hotfix for Exchange Server issued by Microsoft last week fixes a problem we’ve been reporting regarding Entourage login failures, according to a reader. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 935973 describes the hotfix as the solution to a problem with Outlook Web Access (OWA) for Exchange Server. In this case, OWA users can’t read email messages that contain a mixture of Japanese and roman characters in the subject line. Users who try get an "Access is Denied" error message.

The issue we’ve reported with Entourage somewhat different. The user is prompted for a password, which is rejected, prompting the error message "Login failure: unknown user name or bad password."

There are similarities between the Entourage problem and the OWA problem that the Microsoft hotfix addresses. The Entourage problem seems to be caused by non-roman characters in email (spam) messages. Readers have reported success when deleting email with non-roman characters. The other similarity is that Entourage and Outlook Web Access both use the WebDAV protocol to communicated with the Exchange Server.

Shane Palmer said that new hotfix does indeed fix the problem with login failure problem with Entourage:

I have many users that were having the Entourage/Exchange login problems described on the MacWindows Entourage page as well and have had a trouble call in with Microsoft for several months. Our issue was narrowed down to specific Spam messages with Japanese characters in the subject field. The problem was found to be with the Exchange server and not Entourage. Microsoft released an official hotfix to patch Exchange 2003 for this issue.

Further information can be found at Knowledge Base Article 935973.

If you've installed this hotfix if it fixed the Entourage login issue.

Update on the fix for Entourage clients slowing Exchange

May 31, 2007

Robert Liebsch has an update to his report about the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. Liebsch was the first to report the problem, then responded positively to a suggestion by another reader. He sent us another update:

Now that it has been a few weeks, many thanks to Rod Austria for the solution. So many problems have been resolved by adding the DAV key to the registry with the 800MB value.

Entourage is faster sending and receiving mail updates (faster than Outlook at times). Blackberry deliver latency has dropped to insignificant levels. My road warriors no longer time out or have unresponsive Entourage clients. Attachment downloads and uploads have improved significantly. My Administrative staff can move through the calendaring system with appropriate responsiveness.

John Zsakany saw the issue, tried the fix, and had success:

I knew the Macs users were the issue. When they are logged in my disk queue goes up to 800! Turn off the store, and it’s below 1.

So in my environment I moved the Mac users over, 20 of them. Brand new quad core 2 RAID 1 drives and a raid 10 drive, iSCSI drives. 20 users killed the resources.

I attempted the reg entry fix, which seemed to fix it. The Disk queue peaked 4-5 times in the last few days and I moved almost everyone over Sunday (about 50 mailboxes).

Exchange options for Mac clients laid out

May 31, 2007

In a TechXworld article called Supporting Macs on Exchange Server, John Rizzo describes the various options for using the Mac as a client to Exchange Server. The story describes the different approaches for Intel and PowerPC Macs and the pros and cons of each.

Suggestions for OS X Server periodically losing AD connection

May 31, 2007

Several readers responded to our report earlier this week of a Mac OS X Server that periodically loses Active Directory connection. Robert Brown had suggestions:

I have seen this issue a few times, the first thing is to make sure you have the proper DNS and Search Domain entries. The other issue could be time drift, as the server and the Domain controller get to far apart the binding is affected, so you should specify a time server to rectify this.

Jose Richard also sees the problem:

Hi we have exactly the same problem as Erik Zimmerman. It will correct with a bind/unbind. But for us it happens every week.

Sochet Ly does as well:

I have the same problem, but with Windows 2000 Server, and it happened once a week.

If you’ve seen this problem, or tried Brown’s suggestions





May 29

Tip: Solution to Boot Camp/Vista external projector issues

May 29, 2007

Chuck McGinley sent us a fix to enable projector displays to work with Windows Vista and Boot Camp:

Last month I contacted you about my problems with getting external projectors to work under Boot Camp 1.2 and Vista. I found the solution with the help of some people on the web. Here is what to do:

You can read about McGinley's fix on our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Tip: getting VMware to recognize Windows after reinstalling Boot Camp

May 29, 2007

Paul Lee reinstalled Boot Camp after he had set up VMware Fusion to use Boot Camp's copy of Windows. He then found a way to enable VMware Fusion to locate Windows:

I've been using Boot Camp and VMware Fusion Beta 3 on the first Mac I've ever had, a MacBook Pro 2.33GHz. I've never tried Parallels, but I’m really satisfied with VMWare Fusion, except for one problem so far.

If I re-install the Boot Camp partition, VMWare Fusion gives me an error message saying it could not find partition or the partition is under use.

The solution what I found was to remove all *.lck file or folders under "/Users/username/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot Camp/.... partition.vmwarevm" and then it works fine.

For more about VMware, see our VMware Beta Tips and Reports page.

Reader's OS X Server periodically loses AD connection

May 29, 2007

Erik Zimmerman reported a problem with his Mac OS X server, which periodically loses it's connection to Active Directory:

We have one Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 on a Windows 2003 Active Directory. The problem is that every two weeks the server will lose its connection to the Active Directory and fail to authenticate any domain users from either Mac or Windows machines. A quick unbind and rebind of the server to the Active Directory fixes the problem.

I've setup a separate OU in the directory and used group policy to disable machine account passwords and signing requirements to "only if client agrees." The server is not restarting in the middle of the night or anything like that (I know because our backups keep running, using the root user). In the syslog it shows that all of the sudden user authentication fails and it always seems to happen at night.

The server can resolve all hosts on the domain, DNS reports no errors, no Windows clients are having any issues with the domain.

The Mac OS X server is bound to the directory and both Mac and Windows clients access the server. AFP and Windows are the only two services that are being used on the Mac.

If you’ve seen this problem

More on Active Directory binding and firewalls

May 29, 2007

Corey Baldwin commented on our reported fix for a problem with binding to Active Directory through a firewall:

This is in response to Scott Dungan fix. What if some computers work and some don’t, and some computers fail the first time and you change the name and then it works, or they fail for a few days and then work with no changes? If some work and some don’t then UDP port 464 has nothing to do with the binding issue.

One thing I’ve found interesting is, at an advertising agency I worked for, they had AD setup with companyname.com and never once had an AD binding problem. Since then I’ve worked at two other companies that had AD setup with companyname.local and have had nothing but problems binding. And yes, I an aware of adding local in the search domain for Tiger and the procedure in Apple Tech Article 107800 for Panther to work with domains setup with .local.

You can find further discussions of this topic and others on our on our Active Directory Reports and Tips page.

Duplicate SMB folder issue also seen with OS X server, older Tiger

May 29, 2007

More reports on the problem of Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes point the finger at Tiger, not the server or the Mac hardware. (Last week, a reader offered a workaround.)

Martin Sammtleben sees the problem with a Mac OS Server and older Macs, but in his case, the issue is more than annoying:

We have been experiencing the Duplicate Folders issue in an all-Mac environment.

Clients are on Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4 (these are all PowerPCs) and the server is on 10.3 with all the latest updates.

Sometimes, when moving a folder on the server to a new location, it will appear in the new *and* the old location simultaneously. When one trashes the "old" one *both instances* are trashed and need to be recovered from the backup. This is a most disturbing bug.

Ben Vigil see the problem accessing a Windows workstation and Linux:

It happens on any SMB mounted share. It happens with Macs accessing my Windows XP Pro shares as well. I also share a little portable drive on a Linux/Samba server. The Macs are OS X 10.4.9.

See our Tiger Cross-Platform Issues page for other reports regarding Tiger file sharing.

CDFinder 5.0 integrates with Toast, Filemaker Universal Binary

May 29, 2007

West-Forest-Systems last week released CDFinder 5.0, (US $39, free update), a disk cataloging tool for Mac OS X. CDFinder can work together with CDWinder for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog hard drives, CDs, and DVDs on a Mac and a PC. CDFinder can also catalog the contents of archive files, including, StuffIt, ZIP, TAR, and Apple Installer files.

Among the new features in version 5.0:

  • Can catalog and display thumbnail previews for photo and image files
  • Integration with Roxio Toast Titanium 8.0: After Toast burns a CD or DVD, it will launch CDFinder and pass on the information
  • integration into applications such as Apple Pages, Apple Keynote, Adobe InDesign, and Quark XPress
  • Improved integration with FileMaker Pro
  • Full support of Unicode file names, comments, and other data
  • New user interface
  • Native to Intel Macs





May 23

Suggestion for Boot Camp 1.2 problem with OS X booting

May 23, 2007

A few more readers commented on the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X unless the PRAM is reset. Ray Waggoner found a way to put an end to the problem:

I too experienced the Boot Camp problem also on my Mac Pro. Unless I pressed the Option key at boot time and manually selected OSX the system would boot into Windows.

I installed a third hard disk drive and installed a copy of OSX on that drive. After installation the new OS X install drive suddenly became the default boot drive instead of windows.

Oddly enough, opening System Preferences/System/Startup Disk and selecting your boot volume of choice and clicking "restart" had no permanent effect on the way the Mac booted. It would, of course, restart with whatever boot volume you selected, but at the next reboot the changes simply would not stick and it would default back to previous settings.

Finally I discovered the cure! Open System Preferences/System/Startup Disk and select your boot volume of choice and DO NOT click Restart. Simply close the window. The next reboot your Mac Pro will boot the Partition you selected.

If you've tried this if it worked for you.

Bruce Showalter has to reset the PRAM with every boot:

I have the same issue as reported on your site. I have a 2x2.66 GHz Dual Core-Intel Xeon running Mac OS X 10.4.9. I just recently (Saturday in fact) installed XP SP2 after installing Boot Camp 1.2 In my case zapping PRAM is only good for the session. Once I boot back into XP the cycle begins again. As such, the Option key at boot is the more reasonable short term workaround.

Fix for duplicate folders on SMB servers

May 23, 2007

Dan Ball says the problem of Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes is not limitted to Intel Macs. He also found a fix:

We just had this happen to us a few weeks ago, but we run on all PowerPC Macs, so it’s not just the Intel Macs that have this problem. We are connecting to Windows 2003 servers using SMB.

My fix was to delete the .DS_Store file at the root of the network share that showed the duplicate folders.

So far we haven't had the issue since then, but it was a very strange one.

If you've tried this if it worked for you.

More 11.3.5 disappearing Office apps & Entourage issues

May 23, 2007

We are continuing to receive reports of the Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear, as well as other Office applications.

Jeremy Matthews is experiencing Entourage hanging on multiple Macs:

We just had a Mac "lose" its copy of Excel after the 11.3.5 update. And, we're seeing additional Entourage hanging/crashing on both PowerPC and Intel Macs after the update as well.

We've put out notes to all clients to NOT install the 11.3.5 update...as it causes some serious issues!

Bill Vader saw Entourage and Excel disappear, but fixed it:

I had one on Friday. A Mac OS X 10.3.9 client used Microsoft AutoUpdate to install the new patch and lost both Excel and Entourage. I reinstalled the entire suite and re-updated from a downloaded patch and it worked fine.

On Monday, we reported that a user saw all of the Office apps to vanish. Two more readers are also seeing this. Al Keller:

Yep, after the 11.3.5 update, all Office apps mysteriously disappeared!

An anonymous reader saw this on several Macs:

A case of all Office apps vanishing: I had the same calls with all Office for Mac apps vanishing with the new upgrade. I had to uninstall the apps and reinstall them.





May 21

Another case of Boot Camp 1.2 not booting Mac OS X and PRAM reset fix

May 21, 2007

Daryl Altenhof had the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X, and verified the solution we reported.

I was having the same issue. I had to press the "Option" key when starting my Quad 2.66 with Boot Camp. I had tried both in Windows and OS X to set the start up disk but had no luck. Thanks for the tip of resetting the PRAM. Cleared the thing right up.

I'm also using Parallels with this partitions and was wondering if that was a contributing factor.

If you've seen this problem .

A case of all Office apps vanishing with 11.3.5, not just Entourage

May 21, 2007

Patrick Spargur responded to our previous reports of the recent Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear. In his case, all the apps disappeared:

We went through a similar issue with our Mac, but the update deleted EVERY Office application. Interestingly though, when we re-installed the software from the original disks, and then ran the update again, all her emails and original docs were unaffected.

This whole thing caused a lot of fun around the house when I told her it would be virtually impossible for a software update to delete all her applications.

If you've seen this problem .

Intel Mac Duplicate folders on SMB not limited to Windows servers

May 21, 2007

We’ve had a couple of more reports about Intel Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes.

In previous reports, users were connected to Windows server. Geoff Williams sees the problem with a Unix server:

I have had this problem too, but I'm using a FreeBSD server running Samba. I don't have a Windows server at all, so it’s not a Windows issue - more likely within the OS X code.

Although the problem was regular on 10.3 (OS X client) it's only rarely on latest 10.4. So I would attribute the problem to OS X samba implementation which improves with each new software version. To avoid (most) problems make sure client is updated to 10.4.9.

Matt Kirchhoff verified the problem:

I too can confirm the mysterious "duplicate" folder issue: same folder name, one with uppercase first letter, one with lower-case.

Specifically, I've seen this when connecting my Mac Book Pro (2 GHz) via SMB to our Windows 2003 SP2 fileserver.

Tip: sharing a Mac's second drive from Windows

May 21, 2007

With Tiger, non-admin users can only mount the boot volumes of Macs on the network; You cannot mount any additional volume, such as a FireWire drive or second internal hard drive, over the network.

If you log on from the PC using your Mac's admin name and password (instead of the guest account) you should be able to see the other drive.

If you don't want to do this, you can add a program to the Mac called SharePoints. This will allow non-admin accounts to access the other drive.





May 18

More reports of duplicate folders on Windows Server 2003

May 18, 2007

More readers have provided details of the problem of SMB folders appearing to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server.

Louis Gephardt described the issue:

I've seen this issue as well. One of our primary file servers runs Windows 2003 and my Intel-based Mac connects to it using SMB with Kerberos authentication. When I open the root of the share I will sometimes get two folders with the same name but one w/ a capital first character and the other with a lowercase first character. If I double click on either of them it takes me to the same place. None of our PowerPC based Macs (all 75 of them) have the same issue. Only our 2-3 Intel based Macs experience it. I haven't seen the issue get any worse and it's more of an oddity than anything else. Regardless, I can definitely confirm this phenomena.

Erik Bowling sees the problem with and without Active Directory:

I have seen the same thing using Intel Macs attaching to Windows 2003 file server for their mapped "user folder." The Mac uses Active Directory to connect, but I also see the problem when logging in locally to the computer and attaching to the user drive. The thing that seems to stand out is that the users also use Windows machines and utilize the OFFLINE files feature.

Bill Porter sees the problem, but can’t duplicate it:

We are working off of a Windows Server 2003 and we have seen duplicate folder names in all caps appearing on the server. This does not occur all the time and it is currently on the list of things we are trying to track down. We have around 50 Macs on the network, and have not been able to totally duplicate the problem consistently.

Removing LDAP plugin to fix slow Mac startup on AD networks

May 18, 2007

Barry McInnes verified a previously reported fix for Macs connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. The problem seems to be caused by the LDAP version 3 plugin. McInnes verified that removing it does the trick:

We had the same problem moving to AD, we left LDAP plugin and configuration in Directory Access configuration. Startup was extremely slow, and the blue progrss bar would just stay at the end, and eventually give a Login screen. We removed the plugin and the LDAP setup from Authentication and Contacts and restarted. Now it boots up very fast.

Other reports of this fix are on our Active Directory Reports page.

Mac Pro: Boot Camp 1.2 won't boot into Mac OS X until PRAM reset

May 18, 2007

Brian Kneebone has to reset the PRAM in his Mac Pro in order to boot in Mac OS X with Boot Camp 1.2 Beta:

When selecting the Macintosh hard disk in the "startup disk" on a Quad-core Mac Pro (dual dual-core Xeon with 2 GB RAM), the system ignores and continues to boot into Windows. The only work-around is the clear parameter RAM to boot back into Mac OS X. I have the latest version of Windows XP (SP2 with latest hotfixes) and a fresh install of Boot Camp Beta 1.2.

If you've seen this problem .

Joining an encrypted wireless network

May 18, 2007

A reader sent in this problem:

There is an AirPort network with WEP enabled with an ASCII password with 8 characters length (probably WEP 128 Bits). When I try to connect with my Windows XP PC, I get this message: "The network needs to be 40 bits or 104 bits depending on your network configuration. This can be entered as 5 or 13 characters or 10 or 26 hexadecimal characters." I can connect any Apple computer typing the 8-character password.

Apple has an article that might help. It’s article 106424, AirPort: Joining an encrypted wireless network. It has to do with the differences between Apple and non-Apple wireless hardware in terms of how the treat passwords.





May 16

CrossOver Mac 6.1 improves Outlook 2003, 3D game support

May 16, 2007

Yesterday, CodeWeavers shipped version CrossOver Mac 6.1 (US $60 download, free upgrade), an upgrade to the software that allows you to run Windows applications on a Mac, without Windows. The new version improvements support for Outlook 2003 for Windows and 3D PC games and includes a number of bug fixes. CodeWeavers also released CrossOver Linux 6.1, which runs Windows applications on Linux.

With the new version, Outlook 2003 will support RPC over HTTP, which enables users to check email from outside of office firewalls. CrossOver 6.1 also improves authentication support in Outlook 2003 and fixes bugs with Outlook.

CodeWeavers said that the new version also fixes a “major bug” with running FrameMaker 7.1 (related to font issues), and that FrameMaker 7.1 is now “usable” with CrossOver 6.1.

Running PC game in CrossOver is improved with a “major update” of DirectX support, including 3D graphics. There are also a few more games supported, including the EVE Online and Call of Duty 2 (through Steam). For other fixes in CrossOver 6.1, see CodeWeavers’ changelog.

CodeWeavers said that for the next update, it would focus on further improvements Outlook and for Adobe applications, as well as enabling more games to run.

For more information on CrossOver, see our CrossOver tips and reports page.

CrossOver is available as a free trial. If you've tried CrossOver 6.1 .

New Microsoft beta converter turns Word .docx files into RTF, but can't save to .docx

May 16, 2007

Yesterday, Microsoft posted for download Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac Beta 1, a prerelease version of a one-way file converter. The utility allows Mac users convert .docx and .docm (macro-enabled) files to Rich Text Format (RTF). The two new Word formats are native to Office 2007 for Windows, but are not yet supported in Office for Mac.

The new converter utility cannot convert .docx files to .doc files, nor does it convert files to the new Word formats. Microsoft recommends that Mac users who need to return files to Office 2007 users should save to the .doc format. Office 2008 for Mac, due later this year, will support the new file formats natively, with both read and write functionality.

Microsoft said that it will offer beta versions of similar converters for PowerPoint and Excel sometime this summer. It will ship a final version of the full-suite converter six to eight weeks after it releases Office 2008 for Mac.

See our Office 2008 preview report for more on these and other cross-platform issues.

Reader verifies Entourage's disappearing app trick

May 16, 2007

Paul St-Pierre responded to Monday’s report of the Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear. He also had other problems with Entourage and the other Office apps:

My Entourage problems occurred with the upgrade for Office 2004.

I first lost everything I had on Entourage (files, addresses, even trash) Then later, I could not print any files with either Entourage, Word, Excel or Power Point. In my 20 years with Mac, I never got anything close to this.

I spent quite a lot of time visiting sites to benefit from users' chatting on similar experiences, but didn't go anywhere…

So, with an iMac (3 months old), Mac OS X 10.4.9, Office 2004 (brand new), the student version. I upgraded to 11.3.5 and then wasted 2 full days. To fix it, I had to rebuild the computer. It now works. I however lost some software because the sellers probably think I'm freely installing this on other computers.

Conclusion: I will now be quite late in upgrading Office again.

If you’ve seen these problems with the new update

Webcast on cross-platform file servers, Active Directory integration issues

May 16, 2007

MacEnterprise.org has posted a webcast of a talk by two Group Logic representatives regarding the company’s ExtremeZ-IP server software for integrating Macs with Windows files servers. The webcast looks at the issues that IT managers deal with. It also covers Active Directory integration, clustering, performance monitoring, and the new scalability and performance enhancements in ExtremeZ-IP 5.0.

Verification of SMB folder duplication from Intel Macs on Win 2003 Server

May 16, 2007

Todd Austin responded to our report from Monday of SMB folders appearing to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server:

Yes, I have seen this problem on occasion in our environment. The duplicated folders are named in all CAPS, like Folder and FOLDER. They have exactly the same content and all other views from other platforms seem fine. This does seem like a Mac bug.

If you’ve seen this problem





May 14

Reports of problems/fixes with Office/Entourage 11.3.5 update

May 14, 2007

A reader named Deetjen couldn’t open Office documents or install software after last week's Microsoft Office 11.3.5 update, but a reinstall eliminated the problem:

Last night after I installed the update I began encountering several problems. First, I was unable to open any Microsoft document or program. Secondly, I was unable to install any new programs (i.e. AOL Instant Messenger). I am an advanced Windows user who recently switched to Macs (15” MacBook Pro with all the goodies).

The quick fix for this problem was to reinstall the Office update. After that, everything went back to normal.

Discussion boards around the web are reporting instances of the Entourage application disappearing after installing the 11.3.5 update. For instance, see this thread at microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage.

Of this problem, Dan Pearson remarks:

I've read that the update can cause Entourage to disappear. I consider that a very important improvement...

If you’ve seen either of these problems

Another take on Entourage/Exchange login failure

May 14, 2007

Brian Benton sent us an update to his previous reports on the problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error. Like other readers, deleting email with non-roman characters fixed the problem. But he also made an adjustment with user account permissions which affected the issue:

We seemed to have resolved the issue, but we made two significant changes:

1) Like other people we deleted non-roman spam/emails (Asian fonts in this case). This, of course, was done via Microsoft Outlook.

2) We correctly set the permission’s for the users account. The Exchange administrator noticed that the users’ permissions were not set up correctly. Actually, it appears the user had no permission to his own account, but that did not seem to cause any problems before (unless it was inadvertently changed). So I’m not sure why setting up the account generated zero errors (authentication works when setting up the account).

In any event, I would suspect other Mac/Entourage users have non-Roman email (or spam), but it does not seem to be causing a problem. So we have had no more issues like this – since we fixed the one account. We are still on the 11.3.4 patch, but should test and upgrade to 11.3.5 soon.

SMB folders appear to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server

May 14, 2007

Asger Højland has an odd problem with folders that appear to be duplicated on a server, though they really aren’t. The problem only occurs with Intel Macs using SMB file sharing:

I have a problem with two Intel Macs (MacBook Core Duo and iMac Core2 Duo) running 10.4.9. I have a Windows 2003 Server set up as a file server. An SBS2003 handles authentication.

Once in a while when I create new folders on the Win2003 share, when clicking on folders the names suddenly begin to behave strangely. Folder names suddenly appear twice or more in the same folder like: Folder 1, Folder 1, Folder 1 right next to each other, When I re-log on the problem usually disappears.

Read the rest of this story on our Intel Mac Cross-Platform Issues page.

Another view of Safari and Citrix issues

May 14, 2007

An anonymous reader isn’t seeing all of the problems that other readers have reported with Safari and Citrix:

Saying Safari doesn't work at all for All Citrix based apps is too general, from our experience.

Safari works just with the Citrix PowerPC and Intel client. the Intel client is not 128-bit encryption, however, so that can be an issue for Citrix apps requiring 128-bit.

Citrix and Java both load fine in Safari and we are presented with the application (quite a huge application for us here in our hospital).

There is one issue: one cannot copy and paste from within Safari. I am sure there is something broken within Safari on this, but the Firefox copy-and-paste functionality works fine.

All of this on Mac OS 10.4.9 and latest Mac Citrix clients.





May 9

Office/Entourage 11.3.5 update focuses on security

May 9, 2007

Yesterday, Microsoft released Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.5 Update, a free download that adds security fixes for Entourage, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft describes the fix:

This update contains several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. In addition, this update includes all the improvements released in all previous Office 2004 updates.

The developer of E2sync said yesterday that Entourage 11.3.5 also includes changes to its sync services that improve syncing. E2sync is a utility that can sync Entourage with iSync, moving Entourage contacts, calendar items and tasks to over 60 cell phone models, iPods and PDAs, and to iCal, AddressBook, and .Mac.

If you’ve seen the update positively or negatively effect Entourage and Exchange Server

Readers agree: don't use Safari with Citrix Mac client

May 9, 2007

A pair of readers wrote to say that they agree with a suggestion earlier this week that moving away from Safari will fix the problem of the Citrix ICA Mac client not opening Windows applications. (The client downloads a launch.ica file and stops.)

Michael Wilmar:

Andy Fragen is right. The basis rule is it is generally not a good idea to use Safari with Citrix. The Java client doesn’t work very well (at least not for me). I would advise anyone using Citrix to use Firefox.

Richard Heend:

I can confirm that, when connecting to a Citrix server, Firefox handles the launch.ica download transparently and launches the Citrix client flawlessly. Safari chokes on the file and it does not seem to work reliably to launch it manually. So if you connect to Citrix with your Mac (and 10.4.x) use Firefox.

Another suggestion for Tiger AD binding problem

May 9, 2007

Thomas Finley responded to a previously report tip for getting around problems with Macs binding to Microsoft Active Directory:

I had a similar problem, but before deleting user accounts, make sure the local machine's clock preferences are set to synch up with your server's clocks. This was preventing me from logging in (and it was hiding my local user directories).

If you've tried this, please how this works for you.

We have more information and tips regarding binding on our report Integrating Macs and Microsoft Active Directory.

Apple article addresses a cross-platform wireless issue

May 9, 2007

Apple Support article 106424, AirPort: Joining an encrypted wireless network, provides some guidance in avoiding password problems when trying to access an AirPort wireless network using PCs. The introduction the article describes it like this:

When joining a password-protected wireless network, passwords may be treated differently by AirPort and non-Apple wireless products. Learn what you need to know to use your password correctly.

DocHaven, cross-platform document management system

May 9, 2007

David Cox is the developer of DocHaven 2.0 ($US 100) a document management system that gives multiple computers access to files over a network. Cox said:

I searched so long for a Mac-like document management system that runs on Mac/Win/Linux for my old church that I gave up and wrote one myself and have commercialized it.





May 7

TIP: How to move Boot Camp Windows into a virtual machine

May 7, 2007

Ed Welsh bought a MacBook Pro to use as a Windows machine in Boot Camp. After discovering Mac OS X, he moved his Boot Camp-installed copy of Windows into a virtual machine in VMware Fusion. He was then able to delete the Boot Camp drive partition: 

I have been using VMware Fusion for about a month and really like it. (I have never used Parallels.) I first started using Apple computers about 6 months after the Intel MacBook Pro came out. I've used Windows and Linux since the beginning of time.

Read the rest of this story on our VMware Fusion Beta Tips and Reports page.

A simpler Fix for Citrix "launch.ics " problem

May 7, 2007

Andy Fragen sent us a fix for the problem of the Citrix ICA Mac client being unable to open Windows applications. His solution is simpler than one we posted last week:

I've seen the Citrix Mac problem in just having a 'launch.ics' file download. This happens in Safari. My solution is to use Firefox when I need to access the Citrix client. On the first download attempt of the launch.ics file Firefox asks if you want to open this file in an application. Simply select the Mac Citrix ICA Client and you're off.

If you've tried this fix

More on Entourage login failure, non-roman email text

May 7, 2007

Edward Earle, who first reported the problem Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message, sent us a follow-up note. He said that the suggestion from Sasha Segan of PC Magazine did the trick:

I just wanted to thank you for the range of responses that came in since my note of March 26. While we has some success with the laborious export, new account creation, and import, the final key was Sascha Segan's note about non-roman characters. We purged several accounts of Asian email messages, killed the cache and sure enough, the mail account came back up. As soon as a new non-roman message came in, the mail stopped syncing. Once that was removed, and Entourage was restarted, the program worked well without the need to remove the cache a second time.

I am now searching for a way to block all non-roman email (or simply change Entourage's formatting to ASCII). Apple mail has worked well with Exchange server as an alternative but missing that critical calendar application that is so central to Exchange.

Eddie Storey said the problem doesn’t happen with Outlook Web Access:

I have the password problem too. It works flawlessly from home using Outlook Web Access over cable modem. Using Entourage, either CAT5 or Wireless, I get the repeated prompt for password only when I'm on local network or on VPN to the same network as the Exchange Server.

MacBook OS X 10.4.9 and Entourage 11.3.3 on Windows 2003 Server with Exchange 2003.

Problem with MacFuse write-access to NTFS

May 7, 2007

Gi youl Kim reported a problem with MacFuse with NTFS-3g, open source software that gives Macs read/write access to NTFS and other file systems:

I installed MacFuse with NTFS-3g. As you know, Mac OS originally support NTFS with read-only access. But it has a bug in which some files/directories are missing (these are not supposed to be hidden files). I found that happens in MacFuse & NTFS-3g also. Even you can create a file with same name as an already-existing file, either file will be deleted. It may be a common bug of NTFS-3g and innate in NTFS both. But I think there is something else in iterating meta data of NTFS.

If you've tried MacFuse how it worked for you.





May 4

MacFuse enables Mac OS X to read/write NTFS

May 4, 2007

MacFuse is a free open source program that enables Mac OS X to run file systems that OS X doesn't normally support. This includes Microsoft's NTFS, the standard file system for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Mac OS X can read NTFS-formatted drives, but cannot write to them. With MacFuse and NTFS-3G, a read/write NTFS driver, Macs gain full NTFS access.

Installation is not self-evident, but the LifeHack.org website has instructions.

Robyn Webb tried to use MacFuse with Parallels Desktop, and found that it worked with the most recent Parallels Build:

I installed MacFuse so that my Mac could read and write to my NTFS backup drive. However, I found that MacFuse was incompatible with Parallels. That is, my Mac could read & write the NTFS drive, but Parallels couldn't see it.

Then I upgraded to the current 3188 build of Parallels and everything is fine. It’s all compatible.

We've added MacFuse to our list of cross-platform drive solutions.

If you've tried MacFuse how it worked for you.

Removing Entourage attachments on Exchange Server

May 4, 2007

Luis Antezana described how Entourage's Remove All Attachments only works on local email, not email stored on Exchange Server. He also gives a provided a workaround.

Read this story on our Entourage Reports page.

Another reader confirms the fix for Entourage and Exchange 2003 performance issues

May 4, 2007

Adam Blevins confirmed the previously reported fix for the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server:

I was also seeing the exact same performance issues on our Exchange Server. We have about 500 Entourage 2004 clients and 200 OWA clients.

It has been over 5 weeks now working with Microsoft on this issue. Microsoft stated in KB329067 to set the value to 50MB. This did not resolve our problem.

Only modifying the registry value set to 800MB = 838860800 Decimal fixed the performance issue.

Issue:

  • Disk I/O over .700
  • RPC over 300
  • Current Disk Queue Length over 150.

Needless to say server was crawling by. After registry fix:

  • Disk I/O under .020
  • RPC under .010
  • Current Disk Queue Length under 8

Steve Jobs stock scandal moves to Apple's board;
Forbes says Jobs is highest paid CEO

May 4, 2007

The San Francisco reported yesterday that Institutional Shareholder Services placed blame on Apple's Board of Directors in the stock option backdating scandal that involves Steve Jobs. Apple's Board includes such big names as Al Gore, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson. Institutional Shareholder Services advises shareholders on how they should vote on proxy issues.

This news came on the same day that Forbes Magazine reported Jobs as the highest paid CEO of the top 500 largest companies. Jobs received $647 million last year despite his $1 annual salary. Forbes said it came from vested restricted stock.

The Chronicle said that "the Cupertino maker of iPods and Macintosh computers now admits that more than 6,400 grants might have been improperly backdated from 1997 to 2002, including two large grants to Jobs in 2000 and 2001."

In a report to Apple stockholders, Institutional Shareholder Services blamed the Apple board for its lack of oversight. "A cult-like devotion to any CEO can be a huge downside risk to shareholders."

The firm also said that "the board has taken insufficient steps to assure investors that insiders will not profit from the favorable timing of equity grants. Such behavior sets an unacceptably low bar for corporate conduct at Apple."

Additionally, a lawsuit by shareholders "alleges that the board knew about the backdating scheme and was aware of the breakdown in internal controls at Apple," according to the Chronicle.

Last Week, the Security and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against former Apple executives, former Apple General Counsel Nancy Heinen and former Apple Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson. Anderson said last week that he had warned Jobs about the backdating in 2001.

In its warning to Apple shareholders, Institutional Shareholder Services said that "The window into current and past compensation practices at the company provided by the board is best described as opaque."





May 2

MacBook battery firmware update: related to the Parallels issue?

May 2, 2007

Adam Fields noted that Apple has a recently posted Battery Update 1.2 for MacBooks and MacBook Pros. We wondered if this has any relation to the issue of the most recent Parallels Desktop update triggering battery failure. That is, did the update play a role in causing the problem? Does the update fix the problem?

If you've installed this battery update if you think it had an effect on the Parallels battery issue.

Another type of hardware fix for MacBook battery

May 2, 2007

Several readers have previously reported that replacing the battery fixed the problem of battery failure triggered by Parallels Build 3188. Chris Smyrnos said that Apple replaced other hardware:

This seems to be a hardware issue with the Macbooks (at least it was in my case). I do have Parallels installed on my computer and had the same issues mentioned (battery not being recognized after discharge). I also had the problem of my computer not going to sleep when I closed the lid. I tried a fresh install of OS X to no avail. I sent my computer in the Apple and they replaced the DC-in board. That fixed both the battery issue and the lid-closing issue. Not sure if it's related, but that was my experience.

Suggestions for Citrix Mac problem accessing Windows apps

May 2, 2007

Several readers sent in suggestions for the reported problem of the Citrix Mac client being unable to run Windows applications. The client downloaded a file called launch.ica that didn't do anything.

William Harrison sent two suggestions, the second using Terminal:

This sounds like a Launch Services error.

Make sure a copy of the Citrix application is not in the Trash.

If not, try rebuilding the Launch Services database:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchSe rvices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -f -domain local -domain system -domain user

Michael Pardee has two suggestions, noting the lack of high encryption in the Intel-native version:

Something to check: make sure the .ica files are associated with the Citrix ICA client. When I went to the Intel-based MacBook Pro I also had to go back and use the PowerPC version of the ICA client as the Universal Binary does not support high encryption, so watch for that one as well.

Ric Washer pointed out that in general, but the Inte and PowerPC clients should work on Intel Macs:

I support over 50 macs, 6 of them Intel Macs. We have not seen any issues with running Apps via Citirx. For the Intel Mac we have downloaded the Intel Client update. But we also have been using the PowerPC client on Intel Macs.

Verification of Entourage/Exchange performance tip, and a correction

May 2, 2007

Robert Liebschs reported success with suggestions we reported on Monday for fixing the issue of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. Liebschs was the first to report the problem. He said:

I'd like to update that Rod Austria's work and recommendations are making a difference. I did the registry addition and the early numbers are looking quite promising. RPC averaged latency has dropped from nearly 200 to consistently under 50 (hovering under 10).

This is the first work day after the addition of the key and updating the OS to SP2 (W2K3).

Disk I/O and Queue length have decreased substantially, and when they do jump, the arrays recover much more quickly.

Again, it is early, but I am going to remain hopeful.

Meanwhile, Rod Austria informed us of a typo in one of the two Knowledge Base articles that he referenced in his April 26 article about Exchange performance problems caused by Entourage. KB320967should be KB329067. We've made the change to the text of the article and the link.

Centrify web broadcast will cover Active Directory integration

May 2, 2007

Next week, Centrify will run a webcast entitled Regulatory Compliance Using Active Directory in a Heterogeneous Environment. The company said that the webcast will cover a variety of topics for using its DirectControl product, including:

  • Developing and maintaining an Active Directory compliance strategy that's integrated into the day-to-day operations of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure
  • Optimizing infrastructure with consistent Group Policy management for Windows, UNIX, Linux and Mac
  • Enhancing compliance with SOX, PCI, HIPPAA and other regulations through consolidated reporting across heterogeneous systems and applications

The webcast will be held next Tuesday, 5/8/2007, 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. The web cast is free, though viewers need to first register here.





April 2007

April 30

TIP: Fix for Entourage's "no response" on accepted meetings

April 30, 2007, updated May 2, 2007

Andrew Rouner told us how he solved his problem with Entourage shows "no response" for the "view attendee status." He added a slash in the right place:

I had same problem. The free/busy server usually has "fully qualified servername/public." All I did was to add an additional slash at the end of this address after "public" and at least in one instance, this seems to have fixed it. Only time will tell if this actually did completely fix the issue.

In this case, I used the same name for the free/busy server (in the Public Folders Server field of the Advanced tab of the Accounts drop down menu under Tools) as for the Exchange Server itself (also in accounts, in the first tab, account settings, in the "Exchange Server" field).

However, Rouner, just told us that he discovered that the "fix" didn't stick:

On second thought, I'm not sure what happened with the one event (where it DID seem to work) but I haven't been able to duplicate it, and from what I've seen on other postings, it's an issue that can only be corrected by changes on the Exchange server (not on the Entourage client). Sorry for the red herring.

First reports of VirtualBox are guardedly optimistic

April 30, 2007

A pair of readers sent reports on the VirtualBox beta, a new vitualization product for running Windows on Mac OS X on Intel Macs.

Nik Sands compared it to Parallels Desktop:

I've been trying out the new VirtualBox beta for Mac OS X and found it to be quite polished for a pre-release product. Its performance is vastly superior to that of Parallels (at least on my MacBook), particularly when switching between the virtual machine and any other Mac OS X applications. This is instant with VirtualBox, but usually requires some waiting with Parallels. It sure boots Windows a lot faster than Parallels, too.

There appears to be a few features that are not working or limited in this beta version (such as the folder sharing doesn't seem to work and requires command line to set up, networking restricted to NAT). But it promises to be an excellent means of running Windows applications on Mac OS X when the final version is released.

John Melby said USB doesn't work yet:

I installed Windows 2000 Pro on the Virtual Box Mac beta yesterday and was surprised at how well it works, especially for a first beta. It's missing several important things, such as USB support (although the blurb suggests that there is USB support, there appears not to be) and audio support, but it seems to be a great start. I'm looking forward to future releases.

If you've tried the VirtualBox beta what you think of it.

Boot Camp keyboard drop out may be related to Apple keyboard

April 30, 2007

Sheila Hall said she doesn't see the problem of the keyboard not working in Boot Camp when using a Dell keyboard with Windows:

One of the issues I have seen from the beginning is the keyboard will "drop" or stop responding. You will hear the sound that Windows makes when something disconnects and then a short time later you will hear it make the "reconnect" sound. So far the only way I've found to fix it is to either disconnect or reconnect the keyboard (physically) or to replace the Apple keyboard with a Dell keyboard. I installed BootCamp 1.1.1 and then upgraded to 1.1.2.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page.

Boot Camp problem with Vista and projectors

April 30, 2007

Chuck McGinley can't get projector displays to work with Windows Vista and Boot Camp:

After installing Boot Camp 1.2 and Vista, I can not get external projectors to work with my MacBook Pro 17". This worked with under Windows XP when I toggled the display in the ATI control panel to the correct settings.

But when you plug a monitor into Vista in Boot Camp it seems to think a monitor is there but never displays anything.

I am required to demonstrate my company's software in Windows. Without being able to use an external projector in Vista I was forced to switch back to XP.

If you've seen this problem

Reader can't access Windows apps with Citrix Mac client

April 30, 2007

Michael Brooks can't launch Windows applications from a Citrix server:

I am having problems launching applications over Citrix accessed from my Mac. I can log into the network successfully but when I try to launch an application on the Citrix desktop a file called launch.ica downloads onto my Mac desktop. When I try to open this file I get notification of an error 10660.

I was previously able to access this network from my mac but my work recently upgraded Citrix and I now get this problem. I have downloaded the latest Mac Client from the Citrix website and I have tried using the java client configuration. However neither fix this problem.

I am running OS X v10.4.9 on an Intel-based iMac.

If you've seen this problem

For previous reports about the Citrix Mac client, see our Citrix Reports page.

Maintenance update for Missing Sync for Windows Mobile

April 30, 2007

Mark/Space has released Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 3.0.2 (US$40 download, free update), and update for the software that enables Macs to sync with Windows Mobile devices. The new version no longer requires Windows Mobile devices to be placed in "flight mode" prior to connecting to the Mac. The update also adds support for the Orange M3100 and HP RX 19xx series devices.





April 26

VirtualBox, new virtual machine for Mac, goes beta

April 26, 2007

A German company called Innotek has released a free public beta version of VirtualBox for Mac OS X, new virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs.

VirtualBox is commercial software based on GPL open-source code. The company said that VirtualBox can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this past January.

If you've tried the VirtualBox beta what you think of it.

TIP: Suggestions for Boot Camp 1.2 Bluetooth keyboard issues

April 26, 2007

Lee Graham has serveral suggestions for users with Boot Camp 1.2 who are experience problems with Bluetooth keyboards. He references a Microsoft hotfix for Windows Vista to fix a problem where Bluetooth devices don't work when Vista wakes from sleep. He also points to a Boot Camp installation requirement:

First of all, this Microsoft hotfix may be of interest at least for the Vista users. I no longer saw the black screen on restart after installing it. As it's a hotfix, the users will have to call MS to get it.

Secondly, I will point out that the documentation for Boot Camp points out that users should use a wired keyboard when installing Windows. Until you install the Bluetooth drivers in Windows, that Bluetooth keyboard will not be visible. Also, I found something saying to make sure that you have paired your device on the Mac first, and then again in Windows once you've installed the drivers.

As for the delay when Windows comes up, that's probably the drivers still needing to load in the background after a restart.

See our Boot Camp Tips and Reports for more information on Boot Camp.

Keyboard and trackpad stop working on Boot Camp 1.2

April 26, 2007

Jason Siemens' keyboard and trackpad stopped working after installing the Boot Camp 1.2 update, a problem others readers have previously reported. Seimens said:

I experienced the same problem as several other users with Boot Camp 1.2 on a 15" MacBook. The keyboard and trackpad work fine until the Boot Camp Drivers are installed. Afterwards the keyboard and trackpad are complete unresponsive.

Centrify update adds new Active Directory group policy security features for Macs

April 26, 2007

Centrify has released DirectControl 3.0.6 for Mac, an upgrade to the Microsoft Active Directory integration system for non-Microsoft operating systems. The update adds dozens of new group policy objects that extend desktop lockdown security and configuration control for Mac OS X.

New features include the ability to require a login in order to reactivate the Mac from a screensaver. Administrators can also require authorization to mount a blank CD or other removable media or a hard disk. Version 3.0.6 also can control access to file sharing and firewall settings. There is also administrator's guide with Mac-specific information.

Active Directory group policies allow administrators to set security settings and configuration options for the client system. DirectControl allows administrators to include Mac and Linux in policies set for Windows machines. Centrify said that DirectControl for Mac OS X is the only solution Active Directory integration solution that supports group policies.

Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X sells for US $60 per workstation and $350 per server. The 3.0.6 upgrade is free to customers with maintenance agreements.

Reader confirms link between non-roman spam and Entourage login problem

April 26, 2007

Jeremy Matthews confirms a report from earlier this week that email containing non-roman characters cause Entourage login failures with Exchange Server. Matthews says:

We've seen this before, and its definitely caused more than a few problems within Entourage.

The fix is on-par with our solution: delete non-roman spam. Unfortunately, this usually means going through pages and pages of spam and deleted items and sometimes an inbox or two in webmail (Outlook Web Access).

Best thing you can do is to find out the exact date they began having difficulties/errors, and purge non-critical emails (in any folder) during/after that date.

We've seen a variety of problems stemming from this. A real pain.

Sheraz Daya has a somewhat different workaround, but related to email:

Since my last communication I have discovered that removal of all email from the Inbox and transferring these to a main folder (not a subfolder of the InBox) seems to rectify the problem for a while. When the problem recurs, I again transfer all messages out. This suggests that there really it is a received email message in the Inbox that causes the problem.

Readers have previously offered a number of workarounds and fixes, including deleting email or deleting user accounts. (See our Entourage Reports page.)

More insight into Exchange performance degradation from Entourage

April 26, 2007

Two more readers told us how they got around the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. They also provide more information as to why it happens.

Nick Pitman decided to dump Entourage altogether and have the Mac clients use Outlook for Windows via an application server:

We discovered the effect Entourage has on Exchange servers about 18 months ago. On our site under 10% of users have a Mac. If memory serves me correctly one Entourage user was estimated to be creating the same Exchange server load as several hundred PC clients. We found same issues as your correspondent Robert Liebsch. After investigation our only solution was to remove Entourage support and give our Mac community Outlook email access via Citrix. This was not as popular as native Entourage for our Mac community but a blessing for our many PC users who were having serious exchange performance issues prior to this decision.

Rod Austria worked with Microsoft engineers and made several discoveries about the problems. He has a detailed report and some suggestions which you can read on our Entourage/Exchange report page on this issue.





April 23

New at MacWindows: Boot Camp Reports page

April 23, 2007

We've consolidated our coverage of Apple's Boot Camp on a new Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page. It contains information about the various builds as well as all of the tips, problems, and fixes that we've reported since Apple released Boot Camp beta a little over a year ago.

Suggestion for fixing keyboard freeze in Boot Camp 1.2

April 23, 2007

Daniel Robinson sent us a fix for the keyboard freeze seen in Windows booted with Boot Camp 1.2 that occurs after the upgrade:

Me too, keyboard and mouse, don't work, however they will intermittently work and they did for about the first 10 boots! But I did manage to fix it.

Its not exactly a foolproof method and my problem has been intermittent so I'm not sure if it's long lasting. All I did was totally disable Bluetooth on the Mac OS X side of things and booted up in Windows. My keyboard was functioning which meant I could hit Enter for the mouse driver install, which then got that working. (Also I had the original Mac driver disc created by Boot Camp in the CD-ROM drive.) I have an Intel Core 2 duo 17" iMac with Windows XP SP2.

If you've tried this fix

Non-roman spam may be at root of Entourage login problem

April 23, 2007

Sascha Segan of PC Magazine told us that non-roman characters in emails, such as Chinese spam, cause the Entourage login failures that we've been reporting. Segan wrote about it in his blog and sent us this note:

I ran into the Entourage login problem at PC Magazine Labs recently. I talked to a senior tech support person at Microsoft and they gave an interesting explanation.

At least, that's what they SAY is causing the problem.

In his blog, he offers a fix:

The solution is to delete all of those non-Roman messages, and then use Outlook Web Access via Safari -- not Entourage -- to purge your Deleted Items folder.

Readers have previously offered a number of workarounds and fixes, including deleting email or deleting user accounts. You can read these on our Entourage Reports page.

Another twist to Entourage and Exchange 2003 performance issues

April 23, 2007

Tim Wilton responded to our reports about Entourage causing performance degradation on Exchange Server. While other readers reported the problem with large numbers of Mac clients, Wilton only has one:

I found your article interesting in that we have experienced exactly the same performance hit on our SBS 2003 server running Exchange 2003 SP2. With only one Mac user, we have found that performance almost grinds to halt when this client connects to the mail store. Disk Queues averaging about 150 to 200 on an IBM X205 with 5x80GB drives in a raid 5 set with a 5i raid controller!

This had us stumped for a while until I noticed that when Entourage started in the morning and logged in, BANG, up went the disk queues. So now I am looking for a resolution. I might try to move the mailbox to a separate store on another disk to free up the other users.

Another reader previously pointed to a Microsoft Knowledge Base article with some information about the issue.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.0.1 maintenance update available

April 23, 2007

Last week, Group Logic released ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server 5.0.1, a free maintenance update to the AFP file and print server for Windows, designed to support Mac clients. The update adds the ability to configure shares so that moved files and folders inherit permissions from their new parent folders, rather than retaining their old permissions, as is the default for Windows. The update also fixes a number of minor bugs. A list of improvements can be found in the update readme file.

New CrossOver beta fixes game bugs, spruces interface

April 23, 2007

CodeWeavers has just released CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 3, a new pre-release version of the future 6.1.0 version. CrossOver is software for Mac OS X on Intel Macs that runs Windows applications without running Windows itself.

CodeWeavers said that the new beta fixes bugs that have caused crashes in Half-Life 2 and other games, improved support for composed characters, refined the user interface, and added a software update feature.

If you've tried the current Beta 3 what you think.

(See our CrossOver special report for more about CrossOver.)

Reader posts CrossOver review

April 23, 2007

Tom Terry is a fan of CrossOver and has posted a review of version 6.0, the current release version, at his blog.

VMware Fusion Beta 3 clean under the hood

April 23, 2007

In his blog, Andre Pang looks under the hood at what Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion Beta 3 do to Mac OS X at a low level, claiming that VMware has less effect on Mac O X than Parallels. He also compares the two:

VMware Fusion Beta 3: even in beta, it’s a lot better than Parallels so far. Far better host operating system performance, better network support, hard disk snapshots (albeit not with Boot Camp), and DirectX 8.1 support to boot.

If you've tried VMware Beta 3 what you think.

(See our Parallels and VMware special report pages for more info and tips.)





April 16

TIP: Fix for Tiger SMB server access problem (error -36)

April 16, 2007

Edward Moy sent us a link to Apple Support article 301580, which provides a fix for the old problem where Mac OS X 10.4.x produces an error -36 message when trying to connect to an SMB server. The problem occurs after upgrading a Mac from Mac OS X 10.3 to 10.4.

The problem is that while Mac OS X 10.3 defaults to unencrypted passwords, Mac OS X 10.4 defaults to encrypted passwords. If the Samba or Windows (SMB/CIFS) server only supports plain text passwords, you need to use Terminal to tell the Mac to use plain text passwords. This Apple article describes how to do this.

Moy says that this does the trick:

I just updated to 10.3.x Macs up to 10.4.9 and encountered the "can't access SMB server" problem. I tried the steps at the Apple article and when I was done and rebooted, voila, I was able to connect to my SMB server with no problem.

Our Tiger Special Reports page has a long list of suggestions and workarounds, some of which point to the encryption issue. One reader reported in 2005 that the fix only partial worked.

Reader says Database Utility can fix Entourage/Exchange login failures

April 16, 2007

Regarding the problem of login failures with Entourage and Exchange, several users previously suggested deleting the database, but Craig Doran said that using the Microsoft Database Utility that comes with Office solved the problem:

Ultimately, verifying the database using the Database Utility showed that there were some problems and using the utility to repair them fixed this problem.

Lewis Riley, however, reported that this and the other suggestions we've reported didn't work for him:

Out of 15 Mac clients, I only have one experiencing this issue (G5 1.8 GHz running 10.4.8 with all Office updates). I have followed a few of the easier suggestions (repairing database, recreating Entourage account, deleting junk) to no avail. I also tried recreating the keychain, but that did not help either. The user reports that restarting the machine will allow them to connect to their email account again. I suppose the next step is to try reinstalling the application, and then the OS. Lovely.

Reader points out that VMware doesn't support Aero

April 16, 2007

Martin White refutes a claim of a reader report last Friday that VMware Fusion Beta 3 can run the Aero effects of Windows Vista. White is using the copy of Windows Vista that is used by Boot Camp:

I wonder how Chris Holmes is achieving full hardware acceleration and Aero with his Boot Camp-installed Vista using VMware Fusion beta 3. This is most certainly not what I see.

After installing Vista Ultimate in Boot Camp and acheiving all the lovely Aero effects with Vista running Boot Camp, I then boot the partition from the Mac and run Fusion and see none of it. Performance appears to be exactly the same as running the VM from an ordinary virtual disk but the Vista performance rating is actually slower.

No other issues so far incidentally.

It appears unlikely that VMware Fusion beta 3 can support the Aero effects of Windows Vista. Vista requires DirectX 9 to support Aero, but VMware Beta 3 only supports DirectX 8.1.

Fix for alias problem with AFP share from Win 2003 Server

April 16, 2007

Daniel Weikert fixed a problem with a problem with aliases on Windows servers. We've reported the problem with Mac OS X 10.3 and with Mac OS X 10.4. His approach:

I just thought I'd share one cause I discovered for the "The alias [servername] could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found" error. My server has two NICs and if both have the AppleTalk Protocol enabled, you need to verify which one has "Accept inbound connections on this adapter" selected. It can only be enabled for one adapter at a time and if it's enabled for an adapter that's disabled, or doesn't have a network cable plugged in.

Right click on My Network Places and select Properties. Right click on the appropriate Network adapter and click Properties. Click on AppleTalk Protocol and click Properties. Verify the checkbox for "Accept inbound connections on this adapter" is checked.

Even if the second adapter is disabled, I've had it revert to the other adapter. To play it safe, I only have AppleTalk enabled on one adapter.

I have a Window Server 2003 R2 (though I don't think the R2 makes any difference).





April 13

CrossOver 6.1 beta 2 focuses on Outlook 2003 and games

April 13, 2007

CodeWeavers has just released CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2, a new pre-release version of the future 6.1.0 version. CrossOver is software for Mac OS X on Intel Macs that runs Windows applications without running Windows itself. (See our CrossOver special report for more about CrossOver.)

CodeWeavers said that with this release the company focused on getting better support for running Outlook 2003 (as an alternative to Entourage). In addition to bug fixes and increased stability with running Outlook 2003, the new CrossOver Beta has improvements in RPC over HTTP, which enables remote users to access Exchange Server through firewalls.

CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2 also includes improvements for running PC games. It improved support for DirectX 8.1 and 9.0, which the company said will allow more unsupported games to be playable in CrossOver. The company said that game rendering and performance has also improved.

Other fixes include new support for installing a set of Windows-specific TrueType fonts, fixing font problems with FrameMaker 7.1, and the ability to automatically download and install localized versions of some installers and service packs, including IE.

If you've tried CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2 what you think.

More positive reader reviews of VMware Fusion beta 3

April 13, 2007

Several readers wrote about their experiences with VMware Fusion beta 3, the recent pre-release version of the virtualization software for Mac OS X.

Chris Holmes sees a big improvement over previous betas with advantages over Parallels Desktop:

I'm another VMware convert. After installing VMware today and Boot Camp 1.2 with Vista, I am really, really impressed. I tried VMware 1.0b1 and b2 and both times I thought it was sluggish. Not this time. Beta 3 is very responsive and using the Boot Camp partition is significantly easier than when setting up Parallels. VMware knew Boot Camp was there; I clicked to start it up and bam, Vista was running with full hardware acceleration in OS X. Vista could run full Aero in VMware--like in native Boot Camp mode -- a 4.4 rating which is better than 98 percent of the PC's in my office, but still was very responsive.

I really like VMware and compared to the most recent release of Parallels, which I feel is buggy compared to some of their beta releases. I will not go back to Parallels. Performance, interface, and general satisfaction will keep me with VMware.

VMware says, however, that it is not supporting Windows Vista in this Beta 3 release, though it did in previous betas. (See these release notes.)

Eric Tung responded to a previous report with advice on how to get audio working:

Getting sound working in Vista requires the installation of VMware Tools in Windows. Also note that Vista in Boot Camp is not supported since Apple released the update too late for VMware to fully test it - in the VMware forums, the project manager for Fusion explicitly asked users not to try Vista yet because of "weird issues in our internal limited testing."

For more on VMware, see our VMware Fusion Notes and Reports page.

More on flawed WebDAV in Entourage degrading Exchange performance

April 13, 2007

Readers responded to Wednesday's article about large numbers of Entourage users degrading Exchange Server performance. After some testing, the author concluded that there is a problem with the way Microsoft implemented WevDAV. Several readers agreed, pointing to Microsoft knowledgebase articles and their own experience. Several readers also provide some techniques that help. One reader, however is not seeing the problem with 120 Entourage clients....





April 11

Readers say VMware beta 3 compares well to Parallels

April 11, 2007

A pair of readers wrote to say that the new VMware Fusion Beta 3 compares weill to the shipping Parallels Desktop. Steve Palm likes the fast startup and use of less hard disk space. Steve Humiston tried using VMware with the Boot Camp installation of Windows, which is a new feature of Beta 3. He also was impressed with the speed and its ability to run Ubuntu Linux smoothly.

If you tried VMware Fusion Beta 3

Another reader says resetting SMC is no help for Parallels disabling batteries

April 11, 2007

Like many readers, John Wild's MacBook battery stopped working after installing the Parallels Desktop Build 3188 update. He tried resetting the System Management Controller (as a previous report suggested), but found that it did not work.

I've also experienced the MacBook disabled battery issue after upgrading Parallels desktop. I can not say for sure that this caused the problem, but my experience does match others on your site.

My white MacBook had worked flawlessly for 9 months, with no battery issues whatsoever. Up until 3 or 4 days ago I would still get a good 4 hours or more out of it with the screen on low-brightness.

I upgraded to build 3188 of parallels a little over a week ago. 3 days ago I noticed that the charge light was flashing green and amber. I'm not sure if this is the first time it occurred but it was the first time I had noticed it, so I decided to calibrate the battery. I let it run to zero and let the computer sleep, in the morning when I attempted to turn the computer on it booted with an 'x' through the battery indicator and said 'no batteries available'. I've tried resetting all the ram's, smc's etc. Nothing worked.

I'm now off to the Apple store.

The Parallels update is the only thing that has changed on the computer over the past 3 months.

If you tried resetting the SMC to fix this problem

TIP: Connecting Windows Vista to Mac OS X server

April 11, 2007

David Harland sent in an observation about connecting to Mac OS X Server from Windows Vista:

We were trying to connect a Windows Vista Home Premium computer to a Mac OS X Server.

We entered the correct Server Address and got to the point where we enter our User Name & Password but the Vista Operating system adds the computer name as a prefix to our user name and we get a message "Logon Unsuccessful. Windows is unable to log you on. Be sure you user name & password are correct." The user name was shown in the entry box as: Computer name\User name.

We could successfully connect to the same server with a Windows XP computer.

The answer was that on the Mac OS X Server each user has a User Name and the system creates a 'Short Name' i.e. Bill Smith becomes billsmith. You have to use this short name in the Vista log-on dialog box. In Windows XP, you use the normal name.

Exchange preformance degrades with large numbers of Entourage clients

April 11, 2007

Robert Liebsch, an IT Manager with a large set of Entourage users, reports that his 75 Entourage users are taxing the Exchange server, causing performance problems. He sent us an article he wrote that looks at the technical issues involved. Based on some analysis, he offered this observation:

I think MS implemented WebDAV in Entourage in a way that isn't jibing with Exchange 2003. I don't think the volume of data, number of Mac users on Exchange, etc, were thought through. I would guess that not only are Mac users suffering, but Windows users are seeing degraded performance.

He also offers some strategies for dealing with the problem. You can read Leibsch's article here.

Fixes for Entourage login problems don't work for everyone

April 11, 2007

A couple of readers commented on the Entourage login problem when trying to retrieve email. Ron Gonzalez tried the suggestions described on our Entourage Reports page, to no avail:

I thought the problem was isolated to one client, but it's happened to a second in our organization. Both users have the same first name, strangely. I've tried turning off the AirPort, recreating accounts, changing passwords, removing mail from all mailboxes, deleting the local MSOffice database, reinstalling MSOffice 2004, and routing through OWA, but nothing resolves the issue. The web client still functions normally with both accounts, but it's limited in functionality, as you know. Both clients are fairly high up in the chain of command around here, and it doesn't look good for me if this can't be resolved. One client has given up entirely and is using Gmail as their primary mail program. I've even considered an early adoption of Exchange 2007 as a possible solution.

Sheraz Daya has also tried a number of things without fixing the problem:

I have been experiencing this problem for a couple of months (mid Jan or so onwards) and have tried all sorts of solutions including, moving all items out of the inbox, deleting junk, creating a new account, new databases clean installation etc. etc. Just when I think the problem has been sorted, it happens all over again.

I look forward to hearing of any further ideas about fixes. At this stage I am so exasperated, I am considering dumping Entourage altogether. Are there any other integrated software alternatives for Macs?

One alternative to Exchange is Kerio MailServer, which works with Macs and Windows PCs. For Macs only (without Exchange Server), there's Now Up-to-Date.





April 9

VMware Fusion Beta 3 supports Boot Camp, adds speed

April 9, 2007

On Friday, VMware released VMware Fusion Beta 3, a new preview version of the Mac OS X virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on a Mac. The new version adds several features, including the ability to use the copy of Windows installed with Boot Camp. Virtual machines are now consolidated into one package file, enabling you to move a virtual machine to another Mac or PC by copying the file from one computer to another. Installation of Windows is also more automated, and you can turn debugging off for faster performance. VMware has added a new user interface feature called the Virtual Machine Library for managing multiple VMs. (See also VMware's release notes.)

To download VMware Fusion Beta 3, register at the VMware web site.

If you tried VMware Fusion Beta 3

(See our VMware Fusion Beta 3 Notes and Reports page for more on Fusion.)

Boot Camp 1.2 wireless keyboard freeze

April 9, 2007

A reader named Mark reports having the same problem with Boot Camp 1.2 and wireless keyboards that we reported last week:

I run Boot Camp 1.2 as well and the wireless keyboard freezes on booting up Windows XP. If I click the mouse buttons rapidly on start up it operates sooner. The keyboard will only operate if I turn it off then on again.

If you know a way around the problem

Parallels battery issue fix doesn't work for reader

April 9, 2007

Vaughn Cordero responded to last week's suggestion to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) did not work for him to fix the problem of Parallels Desktop disabling MacBook batteries. Cordero reported:

Mine began exhibiting this same problem somewhere between Parallels 1970 and 3170. I left the machine running Parallels and when I got back, instead of sleeping, the machine had shut down. I later noticed that the fully-charged battery was showing an X in the menu bar (after pulling the plug tipped me off in the obvious fashion). No amount of SMC or PRAM resets has set this MBP to rights and Im tethered to AC since.

Helios free utility creates UDF disk images

April 9, 2007

Helios Software has a free command-line utility called Helios mkisofs that can create UDF disk images for creating file archives or backups that can be moved to other operating systems. Archives will preserve Mac snd Windows file attributes. The utility is scriptable to create scheduled backups and other tasks.

The Helios page contains a link to a graphical interface for Helios mkisofs, which is called UGSoft mkisofs Tool.





April 6

More confirmations of Parallels disabling batteries; workarounds offered

April 6, 2007

In response to our previous reports, we are now receiving many reader reports of the latest Parallels Build 3188 disabling MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries. (The older 1970 also seems to have the problem.) Several readers offered workarounds.

The latest Parallels Build appears to be affecting the motherboard's System Management Controller, or SMC (which was called the Power Management Unit, or PMU, in PowerPC notebooks), causing the battery to not charge or to believe that it is not charged. Removing Parallels does not fix the problem. Some readers reported that resetting the SMC cleared up the problem, although one reader said it didn't work.

A Parallels spokesperson said that the company was not aware of the problem but would look into it.

James Topoleski saw the problem on multiple Macs, and found that resetting the SMC helps:

Seems resetting the SMC fixed the issue. Not the greatest solution to the problem, but the battery isn't cutting out anymore.

I didn't realize the reason a few of our machines where getting funky with the battery was because of Parallels. I reset the SMC on my personal MacBook Pro and I'm going to see if this fixes the issue.

Even with Parallels removed, the issue will still remain. I only had Parallels beta builds installed for testing purposes for our district and even with it removed I continued to get battery dead issues and charging problems. After resetting PMU it has taken almost 4 hours to charge my battery.

Ken Sherman says resetting power management (the SMC) doesn't work:

After letting my MacBook go to sleep due to a discharged battery and not plugging in for 10 hours or so, I noticed the battery was not taking a charge. I reset parameter RAM and reset power management to no avail. The power cable is not showing a red light, the battery menu bar entry shows an 'x' and reads "no batteries available". The battery test light shows a fast flashing light on the lowest LED when the test button is pressed. I do have Parallels version 3188 installed but it was NOT running at the time. This happened 5 days ago, the problem still exists.

Matthew Gadd found a different workaround:

I got this problem on my MacBook, the X through the battery when I upgraded to 3188 build of Parallels. After rebooting the MacBook the X continued to appear and nothing I could do seemed to remove it. I tried running the MacBook without a battery in it, draining the battery to empty but the X remained.

I found that after doing a complete cycle of the battery (drain from full to empty and then charged up) out of desperation I shut the machine down and reset the PRAM by removing the battery and then holding the power button down for 10 seconds or more.

After that it seemed to fix the problem, I've got Parallels 3188 working fine with the battery monitor working perfectly for the MacBook.

Dale Cockrum says the problem could be either Parallels Build 3188 or Mac OS X 10.4.9, or both:

There were 3 or 4 times over six months when the MacBook would just die unexpectedly (and only while unplugged), but then it would work fine for weeks. But following the upgrades to 10.4.9 and 3188 it happened almost all the time. (Well, for a couple of days; then I took it to the shop--what good is a laptop that only works while plugged in!)

Parallels 3188 came out on March 7, and 10.4.9 came out on March 13, 2007, and I installed each of them on the day they came out. My computer began quiting crazily on March 18.

Heather Swan describes the problem:

I would like to add that I have also encountered this problem which was on your website, with build 1970. If I put my laptop to sleep while Parallels is running XP, when I come back I will find that my laptop has powered down. I don't have any problems when I quit Parallels before putting my computer to sleep. I'm running a MacBook Pro 2Ghz Core Duo with 2GB RAM and the current OS.

If you've used tried any of these fixes

Reader comments on VMware beta 2

April 6, 2007

Ian Daniel sent us his thoughts on Running Windows on a Mac using VMware Fusion beta 2 and Parallels:

I'm using the VMware beta right now and it seems to work fine. Installing Windows XP worked. Parallels Desktop hung at 33 Minutes to complete and stayed there for 2 hours until I killed it and loaded the Vmware Beta.

I've logged a call with Parallels as I like their interface. Parallels isn't Beta but unless a fix is forthcoming quickly I'll buy the VMware Fusion product when it's released provided the pricing is roughly the same.

If you've used VMware Fusion beta 2

See our VMWare Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page for more info.

Boot Camp 1.2 keyboard issue also seen with Bluetooth

April 6, 2007

Resonding to previous reports of keyboard problems with the recent Boot Camp 1.2 update, Shelly Helfand has a problem with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse:

Problems I've had with Boot Camp 1.2 have to do with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Installed Vista on my iMac and the Mac drivers. Installed the keyboard and mouse in Vista with no problem It recognized both. Problem occurs when I shut down and restart Vista. Keyboard won't work at all and it takes about a minute for the mouse to work. The keyboard and mouse both show up as installed.





April 4

TIP: How to use Nokia on a Mac with VPC, Parallels

April 4, 2007

Sven G. sent us a link to a page that describes how to use the Nokia PC Suite on a Mac with in Parallels Desktop on a Mac. Sven G. tried it with Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

Here's a very interesting link that I recently found, which finally solves the Nokia PC Suite USB communication problem: I've tested it in VPC 7.0.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.9 and it works!

The correct OS X-like way to do this would, of course, be:

sudo sh usbfix.sh

(Instead of logging in as root, which is quite unnecessary.)

Sadly, the Nokia PC Suite window still has distorted colours in VPC, especially on the icons: but maybe this has something to do with the old S3 emulated video card, I don't know.

Our Virtual PC 7 Reports page describes the problem.

More on Parallels disabling batteries

April 4, 2007

Readers continue to report instances where a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery stops working after upgrading Parallels Desktop to Build 3188. How the update could have an affect on a battery isn't known, but we can speculate that the update could be breaking the battery monitoring mechanism in MacBook's software. The Mac may shut down because it thinks the battery is empty (even if it isn't), because a damaged battery monitoring software entity told it to. The Parallels update could also be inflaming a problem with Apple's software or batteries.

Greg Bosse reported:

Same problem, very recently. MacBook with Parallels, almost always plugged in. I just noticed that battery icon has an X thru it. Unplugging immediately shuts down the MacBook.

Brad Allen sees the problem with the most recent Parallels build, and also with an older build:

Wow, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I am having the same symptom as described on April 2. It has now happened to me four times; twice while running on Parallels build 1970, and twice right after upgrading to 3188 just a few days ago. I am running a MacBook 2GHz Core Duo with 2GB RAM on OS 10.4.8.

The power down only occurred after closing the laptop to put it to sleep--it never happened while I was working.

If you've seen this problem

Another report of keyboard, trackpad freeze in Win XP with Boot Camp 1.2

April 4, 2007

Bob Gitre responded to our report of the new version of Boot Camp causing problems with the keyboard, trackpad freezing up within Windows.

I am having the same issue, MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz, Boot Camp 1.2 with Windows XP Pro.

Keyboard and mouse seemed to work fine. I then began the windows update process. After the first reboot, the keyboard and pad are not operable. Nothing to do but hard reboot back into OS X.

I can run Win XP in Parallels just fine.

If you've seen this problem

Observations on Entourage attendee status problems

April 4, 2007

Luis Antezana sent us a reminder regarding the issue of Entourage not showing Attendee status:

I’m sure this isn’t the case for the majority of people saying they have the problem of not seeing individual invitation responses but it is worth mentioning. If you send out an invite to a group address from an Exchange GAL, you do see the individuals’ responses but they will not be listed individually in the attendee status window. I believe this is a general limitation of Entourage when working with Exchange. The only time you should see individual responses listed in attendee status is when you invite individual addresses.

Andrew Plant, who previously reported having the problem, sent us another observation:

I forgot to add that the Exchange Server may not be the same for mail and the Free/Busy info. We upgraded our server recently and now we have two different servers. And since our server sits in another location, I had to find this out by trial and error.

More thoughts on Entourage/Exchange login failure

April 4, 2007

Brian Benton adds to his previous post about problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message.

I can setup the account that has problems and will have no problems setting up, authenticating and verify the user and his (or her) account. The account may even appear to work for the first five minutes, so there is definitely something different with how Entourage connects during setup vs. actual use.

I first noticed this problem with VPN users (not sure if I mentioned this before). We have two VPN setups - one where users connect to our VPN URL (via their own router) and other setup where we provide a configured router that automatically and always connects to our VPN (these have different subnets as well). Users connecting to the main VPN (regular router) can have this authentication issue, however it is not consistent - sometimes it goes away with no server side action. I have not seen this issue with users on the configured router (they are CISCO I think, though it shouldn't matter). We only have two Mac users using the CISCO routers (configured to connect 24/7/automatically to our network).





April 2

Boot Camp 1.2 adds Vista support; reader reports keyboard problems

April 2, 2007

Last week, Apple released Boot Camp Beta 1.2, an update to the software that enables Intel Macs to boot directly from Windows. The major new feature is support for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista. Boot Camp 1.2 beta includes updated drivers for better Windows support of trackpads, the iSight camera, audio, graphics, and other devices. Apple also said the new version improved keyboard support for several languages. Version 1.2 also adds Apple Software Update for Windows XP and Vista, which can download updates to drivers or other software that Boot Camp adds to Windows.

Reader Eric B. reports that the new drivers broke the trackpad and keyboard functionality, and worse:

I installed Boot Camp 1.2 beta on my MacBook Pro. However, I can’t get the keyboard drivers nor the trackpad drivers to work. While the drivers install fine in Windows XP, after the restart, keyboard and trackpad are frozen. I did a complete re-install (recreated Boot Camp disk, installed Windows XP), and again everything went fine including the drivers install until the reboot. Now I got the famous Black Screen of Death. I tried several fixes, but could not get the keyboard nor the trackpad to work.

If you've seen this problem

More reports of Parallels killing batteries

April 2, 2007

We've had more reports of the latest Parallels Desktop update disabling MacBook batteries. In these cases, the battery and Parallels were working before the user installed the update 3188.

Lisa Angstreich reported:

I too have experienced major battery problems with my Mac since I upgraded with the latest version of Parallels Desktop. I have a MacBook and the battery will only show an "X" and if I disconnect the power cord, the computer shuts off immediately.

Parallels and cursor issue with CAD-based software

April 2, 2007

Stephen Wheat, a developer of Windows software, has a problem with Parallels Desktop that doesn't occur in Boot Camp:

We develop a CAD-based software for estimating floor covering materials. The drawing tools have unique cursors. In Parallels they do not show correctly in either Windows XP or Vista. It makes it almost impossible to draw accurately.

I have sent multiple emails to Parallels support with no response. I would gladly give a license of our software to them if they would just fix it. Indications are it is a driver issue. We cannot recommend Parallels at this time due to this matter. The only thing we can offer Mac Intel users is to run in Boot Camp, which handles the cursor correctly as designed.

More workarounds for Entourage/Exchange login failures

April 2, 2007

Many readers are reporting the problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message. Readers are also reporting different workarounds, including turning off AirPort, deleting email, deleting accounts, emptying the junk mail folder, and others.

Edward Earle who first reported the problem, says his workaround no longer works:

Our "work around" did not work this time. We created a new account on Exchange, imported the brick-level data, and the Entourage client still failed. Other Entourage clients continue to work just fine. Strange behavior. We are going to try https: as a more secure method. My feeling is the an MS update in January or February for Win 2003 must be a culprit.

Suggestion for Entourage not showing attendee status

April 2, 2007

Andrew Plant has a suggestion for the issue of Entourage not showing Attendee status:

I found that I had to use the fully qualified domain name/public, then the attendee status showed up again. Before, it was just grayed out.

If you tried this





March 2007

March 29

Fix for Parallels freezing with USB

March 29, 2007

Carol Prentice learned of a fix for the problem of Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezing when a USB device is connected:

Parallels Support finally responded and sent me a fix that worked:

  1. Start Windows go to Device Manager and in a brunch Universal Serial Bus controllers uninstall all devices.
  2. Shut down your VM.
  3. In VM Configuration delete USB controller and then boot your Windows.
  4. Wait about 10 minutes till Windows finish driver setup.
  5. Shut down Windows.
  6. Add USB controller to your VM configuration and boot Windows again.

Aroon Dalamal has a similar sounding problem when attempting to sync a handheld in Parallels:

I have been trying to Sync my Blackberry 8100 with Windows XP under Parallels using a USB cable. On every attempt Mac OS X freezes and I need to force shut down the Parallels program.

I have successfully been able to sync the blackberry 8800.

I am presently using Parallels Build 3150.

If you've tried this fix for freezing with USB how well it worked.

More USB woes with Parallels

March 29, 2007

We've recieved more reports of USB devices that don't work work with Parallels Desktop. Mike Bentley recommended using the Mac's audio-out port rather than USB audio when running Windows Vista:

I noticed that listening to audio generated by Windows Vista running under Parallels while using a USB Plantronics headset is a painful experience. Using a headset that plugs into the regular audio jacks provides much smoother audio. I think Parallels is making excellent progress. On my MBP17, I can run World of Warcraft for Mac OS X while running Ventrilo client under Vista under Parallels on the same machine. I have to run the Windows version of Ventrilo client because the Ventrilo server I'm using is set to use the GSM codec, which the OS X Ventrilo client doesn't support.

Donal Harkin said that Parallels is not communicating with a weather station:

I too am having USB connectivity issues. I am using a Honeywell weather station with the ability to download my data to a PC-only program. The weather station connected via USB is not seen via Parallels. No problems when connected directly to a PC.

See our Parallels Destop Notes and Reports page for more reports on Parallels Desktop.

Reader says Parallels update affected MacBook battery

March 29, 2007

Andy Grierson reports that after upgrading Parallels to Build 3188, his MacBook battery no longer seems to function:

I upgraded my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) to Parallels Build 3188 today, and now have the problem that my Mac switches off when the power cord is unplugged. It also fails to start unless connected to the mains. I tried resetting the PMU but to no avail.

I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.9.

This happens with Parallels running and when it's not running. I wondered if it might be to do with the way the virtual machine knows about battery/mains power, but since it happens when the virtual machine is not running I don't know.

If you've seen this problem

Running Win Vista on Parallels 3186

March 29, 2007

Constable Odo reports on his experience with Windows Vista in the latest Parallels build. Other than audio issues, he's had a good experience:

I installed Vista Ultimate in Parallels when it was at 3186. Vista installation was a breeze. A few days later I upgraded to Parallels DT Desktop by installing directly over 3186 and I didn't notice any changes.

Vista continues to use a good amount of processor resources to run and the audio stuttering within Windows Media Player and to a lesser degree with WinAmp 5.33 still exists, but otherwise Vista runs OK. No problems browsing or downloading with Vista. No freezing or blue screens. It found network shares on my basement OSX Server and the Airport Disk very easily. I've installed all the critical updates on Vista with no problems.

Windows on Intel Mac page updated

March 29, 2007

We've updated our page Running Windows on Intel-based Macs. This report presents a comprehensive description of all available methods of running Windows software on Intel-powered Macs.

Macs can now sync to Blackberry with new software

March 29, 2007

Yesterday, Mark/Space released The Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0 (US $40) software for Mac OS X that can sync Macs to BlackBerry handhelds. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later. The Missing Sync for Blackberry can synchronize contacts, calendar events, tasks, and memos. It can also sync music, photos, and podcasts on multimedia-capable BlackBerry 8100 and 8800 devices that have a microSD memory card.

The software supports Mac OS X's Sync Services technology, enabling syncing with Apple Address Book and iCal, iPhoto (with multimedia BlackBerries) Microsoft Entourage 2004, Chronos SOHO Organizer, Bare Bones Software Yojimbo. Syncing also works with Mark/Space Notebook, an application bundled with the Missing Sync for creating, categorizing and searching memos.





March 26

LDAP plugin verified as source of slow Mac startup on AD networks

March 26, 2007

Brad Anderson verified a previously reported fix for Macs connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. The problem isn't with Active Diretory, but with the LDAP version 3 plugin. Another reader said that a reconfiguration did the trick. Anderson simply removed the setting:

I can confirm that if I remove the LDAPv3 settings from my Macs, then the boot process is MUCH MUCH faster...reduced from minutes to seconds on my really fast Macs. Removing the entry completely (or disabling it by un-checking the check mark on the main Directory Access screen) will make my machines boot faster.

I have not tried to manually set up my edu.mit.Kerberos file as I’m not that comfortable with Kerberos to be editing something like that – but I’ll more research and give it try on one of my test machines.

Read more about Active Directory and Macs on our Active Directory Reports page.

ComputerWorld article on AD compares approaches

March 26, 2007

ComputerWorld has published an article called How to support Macs in an Active Directory environment, which looks at the pros and cons of the different solutions, including Apple's AD plugin, Thursby's ADmitMac, and Centrify's Direct Control, as well as other topics.

Reader problem: Entourage/Exchange login failure and workaround

March 26, 2007

Edward Earle reports a problem with Entourage clients starting to be unable to retrieve email, and has a workaround:

We run Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003 R2. Starting about two months ago, occasionally Entourage clients have not been able to retrieve mail. Entourage will start to prompt for password and rejects it, and states:

"The server account returned the error "Login failure: unknown user name or bad password..."

The way we repaired it was to create a new mail account on Exchange and import all the mail into it, then delete the database on Entourage and let it sync up to the new mail account.

If you've seen this problem

Upgrade for A Better Finder Rename tackles NTFS/SMB file name problems

March 26, 2007

Publicspace.net has released A Better Finder Rename 7.7 (US $20), a new version of the Mac OS X utility for the batch renaming of Mac files. The utility can be used to strip out characters in filenames that are illegal on Windows systems. Version 7.7 improves NTFS/SMB file name conversion and adds a new provision for sorting file names with sequence numbers.





March 23

TIP: fix for "Cannot Fix Alias" file sharing browsing error

March 23, 2007

A reader identified as topjetboy sent us a fix for a file sharing problem with Tiger that produces an error message about aliases when browsing a Windows server.

After trying everything else mentioned in the thread at your site, I resolved my issue as follows:

Go to regedit and find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SYSTEM>CurrentControlSet>
Services>lanmanserver>parameters>IRPStackSize

Mine was already set to 15 and I increased it to 18 (decimal) and poof, problem gone. Shares mount on the Mac even through the network browser.

If you've tried this

Ethernet duplex problem with on Intel Macs

March 23, 2007

We've had more reports of an Ethernet duplex problem on Intel Macs with OS X 10.4.6, and one reader said it still exists with 10.4.9.

Eric Polinko wrote:

I read your post about the 10.4.6 update causing an Ethernet Duplex problem on an Intel iMac. I'm experiencing the same phenomena on an iMac in our department. Is the solution still to roll-back the driver to the 10.4.5 version?

At this point, it is. In fact, another reader, Jack Crabb, just wrote to verify this fix:

We experienced this problem and your solution worked.

However, Peter H. Herrmann says this approach doesn't work on Mac Pros:

I have also experience the problem with manual config of network setting with Tiger, beginning with 10.4.6. As of 10.4.9, it still is not fixed! I have also discovered that the workaround, going back to the 10.4.5 network extension, does not work with the mac pro duel network cards. I also called Apple about it last week.

If you've seen this problem You can find information on this problem and other cross-platform issues specific to Intel Macs on our Intel Mac Reports page.

TIP: Keep Windows awake in Parallels

March 23, 2007

Adam Glick of HelpDesk, Inc. sent us a tip for preventing Parallels Desktop from locking up a Mac:

I just had a case where my entire system dragged to a crawl (2Ghz Core2 MacBook w/ 2GB RAM). I noticed that Windows XP in Parallels Build 3188 (via BootCamp) had gone to sleep. OS X apps became non-responsive, fans starting spinning up and I thought I was going to have to force a restart. I managed to get one click onto the Windows window and it woke up and I was able to recover control.

The Suggestion: Turn off any screen savers in Windows and modify the Power Settings control panel to *never* sleep or hibernate. Seems to have done the trick for me anyway.

Parallels Build 3188 problems when connecting USB

March 23, 2007

Several readers report that Windows running in Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezes when a USB device is plugged into the Mac:

Matthias Radke in Germany reports that Windows restarts:

Since I have installed build 3188 over the previous 1970 I can't get to work any USB devices any longer. Any time I connect one device, Windows 2000 will restart. It doesn't matter if have the autoconnect of Parallels USB support on or if I try to connect manually.

We have previously reported cases where printing causes Windows to restart.

Carol Prentice says that Windows freezes with USB devices:

I upgraded to Parallels Build 3188; Windows will run just fine until I try to connect a USB storage device, at which point Windows freezes. There seems to be no way to communicate with any USB storage device, which was not a problem with the earlier build I was using. I'm running Windows XP on a 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro.

If you've seen this problem when plugging in a USB device

HELIOS Xtar now available for Intel Macs

March 23, 2007

Helios Software has released a free Intel Mac-compatible version of its backup tool Helios Xtar, which the company says is an extended version of the Unix "tar" program for Mac OS X compatibility on Intel and PowerPC Macs. The company described the utility and how it could be used in cross-platform environments:

Helios Xtar for Mac stores each HFS file as a double file in the standard "tar" format. Unicode file names as well as all meta data—including creation and modification date—are preserved. During the restore with Xtar to an HFS volume, the Finder and resource information are written into a valid HFS file. In doing so, all Mac OS X specific meta data are preserved so that volumes are bootable after the restore.

…In HELIOS server installations, Xtar reliably performs data migration from Mac OS X systems to HELIOS volumes and vice versa. HELIOS htar is a commercial HELIOS developed "tar" tool, which preserves Mac meta data even on restoring data to HELIOS volumes under Windows. The htar tool is part of the HELIOS UB server suite for Windows, which has been available since the end of the year 2006.





March 16

CrossOver 6.0 1 update addresses Outlook 2003 compatibility

March 16, 2007

Earlier this week, CodeWeavers released CrossOver 6.0.1 (US $60), a maintenance update to the software that enables Mac OS X users to run Windows applications without Windows. (An update was also released for the Linux version.) The update fixes bugs related to running Outlook 2003 as well as for the new Daylight Savings Time changes and other general issues.

The update is available as a download from VersionTracker. Customers can also login at the CodeWeavers home page and then click My Downloads.

Among the bug fixes, CrossOver 6.0.1 contains the following:

  • Fixed Outlook 2003 crashes, including one related to right-clicks and one occurring on startup on some systems. Also fixed handling of emails containing quotes in Outlook 2003.
  • Fixed some problems with Office 2003, Internet Explorer, Lotus Notes, FrameMaker, Photoshop, and Quicken 2006
  • Fixed color printing on some printers.
  • Fixed a bug with certain PostScript Type 1 fonts installed.
  • Updated the time zone information to comply with the revised 2007 DST rules.

CodeWeavers has said that running Outlook for Windows in Mac OS X is one of its customers most requested features for CrossOver, which first shipped for Mac OS X in January. Currently, CrossOver has better support for Outlook 2000 than for Outlook 2003.

The company said that it intents to focus on Outlook and game compatibility with its next, version 6.1, to be released" in the relatively near future." CodeWeavers said the 6.1 upgrade would contain "more substantial improvements" than the 6.0.1 release.

For more information, see our CrossOver Special Report page.

VMware Fusion Beta 2 adds DirectX 8.1 3D graphics

March 16, 2007

VMware has released the second beta of VMware Fusion, the company's x86 virtualization environment for running Windows, Linux, and other OS's on Mac OS X on Intel Macs. The new prerelease Beta 2 adds a number of new features, improves performance, and fixes bugs.

The new Beta version now supports DirectX 8.1 3D graphics for a limited number of games running in running in Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Beta 2 has improved support of Windows Vista, though neither VMware Fusion nor Parallels Desktop supports Vista Aero, which requires DirectX 9 graphics. VMware Fusion Beta 2 now supports the complete VM Tools in Vista for copy/paste, dragging and dropping files, shared folders, and screen resizing.

A new "snapshot" features enables you to reset a virtual machine to a known good state incase something adverse happens, such as a virus or some configuration corruption problem. (Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs has a similar feature.)

VMware Fusion Beta 2 also has improve networking, with automatic bridging to the computer’s primary network interface. There is also now full support for AirPort wireless networking, including virtual machines behind a NAT firewall and bridged to the local Airport network. VMware Fusion Beta 2 supports up to ten virtual network interfaces. Remote access applications such as VNC, Synergy, and Remote Desktop now work over networks.

You can now plug and unplug displays while virtual machines are in full screen mode, and plug and unplug keyboards, mice, tablets, etc., with virtual machines running.

If you've used the Fusion beta (For more info, see our VMware Fusion Beta special report page.)

More reports of Windows freezing for Parallels Build 3188

March 16, 2007

Readers reacted to our report early this week about the new Parallels Desktop Build, 3188, where Windows freezes after installing the update.

Bradly Keller: The same thing happening to me with the new build.

Blue Ramsey also see the problem:

The new 3188 version is causing issues. Windows XP Pro freezes after a seemingly random length of time which seems to vary. The Parallels app still functions OK, just can't do anything in Windows. MacBook Pro 17in 2GB RAM, 2.16GHz, Mac OS X 10.4.8. A severe pain in the backside, as the pre-3186 version was very stable.

Jay Harris say a different problem...

Reader: Parallels problem with Win restarting fixed with Build 3188

March 16, 2007

Jim Guilkey says that one problem with Parallels Desktop stopped with Build 3188. This was the problem of Windows restarting when the user tries to print:

FYI, this problem was resolved when I upgraded to build 3188.

More reports of Entourage not showing attendee status

March 16, 2007

Several readers responded to our Wednesday about a problem with Entourage not showing Attendee status for invitations on Exchange Server. Most readers don't know why the feature stopped working.

Peggy Commodore verified the issue: "We are seeing the problem described. Any solutions?"

Michael Wilmar offered one solution:

I have had the same problem. No idea what causes it. But now seems to be working. The only thing I've done recently has been to install the Office updates, including most recently the Daylight Savings Time update. So maybe MS fixed it somewhere along the way and just didn't tell anyone. Maybe whoever is having this problem should make sure that he or she has installed all updates and then see if it works.

Chuck Cribbs also has the problem:

We are moving to a hosted Exchange Server. I have no idea what version of Exchange they (usa.net) are running. They are a very large outfit so I would assume they are at Exchange 2003. We are an all-Mac shop, about 60 Macs, and we are seeing the very same thing. However, before we switched to Exchange, attendee status worked fine (we were hosted using POP3).

You can set the status manually if you are the one who created the meeting. But it is not automatically updating at all in Exchange.

Tom Chiara:

I have the same problem that Meriam Werquin is having. I used to be able to see the Attendee Status, but now I can't - no response. I work for a very large company on a huge network (one of the world's biggest companies) and I'm part of a renegade group of Mac users, so we can't complain to IT. I have no idea what version of Exchange IT is using, but I'm using v11.3.3.3 of Entourage 2004 on a G4 PowerBook, on 10.4.8. Again, it was working, then it stopped showing attendee status, but that's been maybe a year ago, or so (estimate).

If you know of a fix

MacTech VBA-to-AppleScript guide available

March 16, 2007

In its current April issue, MacTech Magazine has published a 150-page guide to help users with the upcoming Office 2008 transition from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript. Subscribers will receive it, and a limited number of copies are available on the newsstand. The multi-chapter guide includes examples for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage.

Microsoft will drop Visual Basic support from Office 2008 for Mac OS X, due later this year, forcing users of VBA scripts and marcos to switch to AppleScript. For more on Office 2008 for Mac OS X and the lack of VBA, see our Office 2008 Special Report page.





March 14

Apple OS X 10.4.9 addresses minor AD issues

March 14, 2007

Yesterday, Apple issued an update to Mac OS X, version 10.4.9. Among the fixes, there are a couple related to Microsoft Active Directory:

  • Resolves an issue when using kerberos authentication with Active Directory if the user is a member of many groups.
  • Resolves a printing issue that could occur with applications using Rosetta, while logged in as Active Directory User that has an SMB home directory.

Most of the fixes are not related to cross-platform issues. Of those, these were our favorites:

  • Improved reliability when faxing in Belgium
  • Resolves issues for LEGO StarWars
  • Addresses EAP-FAST in PAC mode issue in a TLS session (Addresses what in a what mode in a what now?)

Parallels releases another Build, #3188

March 14, 2007

Last week, Parallels released another update of Parallels Desktop called Build 3188, and update to Build 3186 released the previous week. Parallels has not indicated what changes are in the new build, either on its web site or in the download.

Monty Lee said that the new Build 3188 doesn't work:

Build 3188 does not work, at least with Vista on my MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz. Everything was working fine with the previous build, but I installed 3188 this morning and it still isn't working. The Parallel Tools installation has supposedly been going on now for 12 hours. I've even tried canceling, but then windows hangs. You cannot launch any applications. I even tried booting in safe mode and then recovering, but that didn't work. I tried installing the tool in safe mode, but that didn't work. Nothing I do can cancel the installation or allow anything to work. No application will run. At best, it looks like it runs and then the windows screen turns translucent white and the spinning cursor. It is dead from this point on.

If you've tried Build 3188 if it causes or fixes any problems for you.

Readers verify Parallels problem: printing restarts Windows

March 14, 2007

A number of readers verified a problem we reported last week with Parallels Desktop, where an attempt to print restarts Windows.

Jim Guilkey:

I've got the exact same problem, like Mr. Mackey. Mine is on an iMac, and I did the installs myself.

Michel Joubert:

I have just experienced the same thing. Never been able to print on my Canon ip3000.

Steve Humiston fixed it by removing a third-party program that he had installed:

I have seen this. It was printing to an AppleTalk printer using a third party program called PC MacLAN. Once I added the printer directly as an IP printer and uninstalled MacLAN the problem was resolved.

John W. Grubb made a general comment:

USB printing is a known bug in Parallels. Network printing does work though in my experience. Hopefully, the next release of Parallels fixes the problem.

Update to Groupcal, Exchange Server access from iCal

March 14, 2007

Snerdware has release Groupcal 3.80 ($US $55), an update to the Mac utility that enables Apple iCal to access and manage calendars on Microsoft Exchange server. Groupcal can synchronize events and tasks between iCal and Exchange, send and receive meeting invitations, book resources, and view free and busy times as iCal calendars.

Version 3.80 adds some new improvements, including these:

  • The ability to capture Exchange-based file attachments
  • Changed syncing to create start/stop dates the way OWA/Outlook behaves to protect Exchange and ActiveSync (iCal allows start date but no due date)
  • Improved invitation panel behavior to make it less intrusive
  • A warning to turn off iCal syncing in Entourage if it's installed

Entourage not showing attendee status

March 14, 2007

After having Exchange Server upgraded, Miriam Werquin is having a problem with Entourage 2004 not showing attendee status:

IT recently upgraded to Exchange Server 2000 SP3 rollup (not sure if April or August version). I have a PowerPC G5 Mac, 10.4.8 Build 8L127.

I can send/receive email, make and accept appointments and see schedules, yet the "view attendee status" always shows "no response." I know that they receive the appointments because it logs on my calendar, the OWL calendar, and I get an email message saying they have either accepted, tentatively accepted or declined.

Any ideas on how to resolve the "view attendee status" issue, other than manually updating the popup?

If you've seen this issue

Entourage Email Archive update increases performance

March 14, 2007

Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.2.0, a new version of the OS X application for archiving email and attachments you have received or sent using Microsoft Entourage in Mac OS X as Spotlight-searchable files. The new version speeds performance, tweaked some of the interface, and fixed a few bugs.





March 8

MacDrive 7 adds support for Vista and repair of Mac disks

March 8, 2007

Mediafour has released MacDrive 7, a new version of the Windows software that enables Windows to read and write to Mac-formatted storage devices. The new version adds support for running on Windows Vista. Mac hard drives, iPods, CDs, DVDs, and other storage devices simply appear in Windows as ordinary storage devices.

MacDrive 7 also includes a utility for Windows called MacDrive Disk Manager, which adds the ability to analyze and repair Mac-formatted (HFS+) disks, MacDrive Disk Manager can also partition and format hard disks in HFS+. Another included utility, MacDrive CD/DVD Creator, can burn Mac CDs and DVDs.

Fix for Parallels "black-screen" bug

March 8, 2007

Several readers have sent in a procedure that fixes the black-screen bug in the recent new version of Parallels Desktop. The freeze occurs when installing Windows in a new virtual machine as you install Parallels Tools.

Jose Goncalves described the fix:

F8 on windows startup_>VGA mode_>install Parallels Tools_>reboot

Laszlo Kardos describes it with a bit more detail:

I too had this occur on several different Parallels installs. The solution:

  1. Restart Parallels
  2. Hold down the F8 key (FN-F8 on MacBooks) and boot Windows into Safe Mode
  3. Install Parallels Tools
  4. Reboot Windows

It should work fine.

Sunil Punjabi has a slight variation:

There is a quick fix that worked for me.

  1. Restart the XP instance
  2. During the "BIOS" click on the window to activate it.
  3. Hold down the F8 key, this will bring up a Windows boot menu.
  4. Boot to "VGA" Mode.
  5. Ignore all the errors about screen size, etc.
  6. Install Parallels tools.
  7. Reboot XP
  8. FIXED!

Readers Paul Happ Jaap van den Dries of the Netherlands also said that the procedure works.

Jim Adrig warned how not to get into the problem:

I had this problem after the Hardware Wizard asked me to install a new Video driver, and I selected a Parallels driver (I forget which one; there were two; but it does not matter); and I was hosed.

DO NOT continue the 'New Hardware' wizard! Cancel immediately and just install Parallels Tools the regular way! The wizard does not come up again.

I never did get the bad VM running again, but I did not need it; I had a backup and used this method when the Wizard appeared again.

Reader's problem with Parallels: printing restarts Windows

March 8, 2007

Gregg Mackey has a problem where Windows restarts whenever he tries to print in Parallels Desktop:

I just bought a Macbook with Parallels and Windows XP Pro preinstalled. Every time I hit the Print command, Windows restarts and nothing prints. It does this on all my printers but they all work if connected to a PC. I spent over one hour with Microsoft Tech to no avail. I tried to email Parallels twice and no response.

If you've seen this problem

Parallels explains the big .mem files

March 8, 2007

Steven Palm, who first reported the issue with Parallels Desktop where it creates temporary 1.5 GB .mem files, received an explanation from Parallels as to the purpose the file. Parallels told him that future versions may not create this file. Palm said:

One last time, I think this is the nail in the coffin for this issue. Anyway, for your edification, here is the last reply from Parallels:

You are correct – in previous Parallels versions (like build 1970) memory were allocated using system paging file. This was the main cause why suspend/resume wasn’t worked fast and took about 30-40 seconds. Now when all VM memory is located in single file it is possible to suspend/resume in 2-3 seconds.

1.5 GB size file – is temporary solution to memory fragmentation issue. If you will allocate for example 512M and will start/stop VM number of times, then increase memory to 1G for example you can face situation then you can’t allocate 1G because memory was fragmented and there is no such contiguous buffer. Allocation of maximum of virtual memory available for VM (1.5 GB) helps here. We are constantly working on the product and will offer better memory management in our upcoming version 3.0.





March 5

Many reports of Parallels "black screen" bug in new build

March 5, 2007

Many readers are having the "black screen" problem with the new release (Build 3186) of Parallels Desktop that we reported last week. Parallels goes into full screen mode then presents black screen.

Robert D'Angel found a way to get out of it without restarting:

Had the same problem getting out of full screen mode that Dave O. reports. Out of frustration, I hit the Enter/Return key alone and it worked. It does every time. Weird.

Michael Curtis gets out of it another way:

I have seen this issue as well on my MacPro. I can get out of it though. I come out of full screen mode with the key command Apple-Tab to Mac apps and that is fine. I haven't used coherence since. I had no beta installed. It only started to do this once I hid the Windows start bar.

For Anna Davis, a reinstall fixed the problem:

I upgraded to the new Parallels release and also got a black screen after Windows started to boot up. Parallels Tools would just hang. I eventually uninstalled it, reinstalled and reinstalled Windows. Now it is fine. I was never able to trace the problem unfortunately...

TIP: LDAP plugin setting fixed Macs on AD hanging at startup

March 5, 2007

Dan Ball was seeing the previously reported problem of Macs that are connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. He found that the problem wasn't with Active Diretory, but with the LDAP version 3 plugin. A reconfiguration fixed the problem:

When we first switched to Tiger at the Mac OS 10.4.6 revision. I thought things were running great in testing until I re-imaged a lab. If I rebooted the lab of roughly 30 machines randomly they would take forever to startup. Each one would hang for roughly 5 minutes or so before showing the login window.

For us the issue wasn't the connection to Active Directory, it was the connection to our OS X (10.4.6) server.

The fix for us was in the LDAPv3 plugin under the "LDAP Mapping" column, I had to set it to "Open Directory Server" instead of the default of "From Server." I switched this setting and haven't had an issue since then.

Other things I have set: for the search path since we moved to 10.4.x I have to have AD first and then OD second in the search paths. When we ran 10.3.x it had to be reversed with OD first and AD second.

Couple of other things: I set a static edu.mit.Kerberos file, I don't let OS X manage it. And the only services I have on in the Directory Access.app are "Active Directory, "LDAPv3", and "SMB/CIFS".

And hopefully everyone has checked DNS dig -x ipaddress.

Everyone is specifically saying AD, but I have seen the issues with Open Directory and not AD, so I just wanted to point this out in case no one caught it.

Does this work for you?

Office 2004 11.3.4 security update released

March 5, 2007

Microsoft last month released security update 11.3.4 for Office 2004, including Entourage, version 11.3.4. Microsoft describes it:

This update contains several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code.

If you're seeing problems caused by this update





March 1

New EZ-IP 5.0 supports more users while adding performance

March 1, 2007

Yesterday, Group Logic released ExtremeZ-IP 5.0, a new version of the AFP file server. The server runs on Windows servers and workstation versions and supports all Mac OS versions from OS 9 to the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 was rewritten with a new architecture that improves scalability and performance, and is compatible with standard Windows server management tools. The new version also supports the AFP reconnect feature of Mac OS X.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 can support up to 1000 users...

Parallels adds USB 2.0, hides Windows desktop

March 1, 2007

Parallels has released a finished new version of Parallels Desktop, a virtualization environment for running Windows and other x86 operating systems on Mac OS X. Parallels does not use version numbers, but is calling this release "Build 3186." Recent releases previous to this were beta builds of this release.

This new release adds significant new features, including Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying Windows applications, much as Classic mode displayed OS 9 applications in Mac OS X on PowerPC Macs.

This new version adds support for USB 2.0 devices, as well as support built-in iSight cameras in MacBooks and iMacs. This is one area where the shipping versions of Parallels Desktop had lagged behind the beta of VMware Fusion. A number of MacWindows readers reported USB printing problems with previous versions of Parallels Desktop.

The new version also comes with a migration tool called Transporter that can move existing Windows setups from real PCs, and translate virtual machines from VMware Workstation (the Windows version) and Microsoft Virtual PC. Transport moves all files, applications, settings, and user profiles.

This version also supports a copy of Windows installed in Apple's Boot Camp. This lets users access a single installation of Windows for either Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop.

There is also support of burning CDs and DVDs from within virtual machines.

If you've used this full version

Parallels Desktop hanging user's Mac with black screen

March 1, 2007

David Ourisman is having a problem with the new release version of Parallels Desktop that results in a black screen on his Mac:

I made a big mistake by upgrading to the release version of Parallels today. I had the latest beta (activated), and it worked fine. I upgraded to the new version.

I was unable to successfully run Parallels Tools. (When I choose it from the menu, it just hangs).

The virtual machine goes into full screen mode, and no combination of keys will bring it back (ALT + ENTER is supposed to work) and, worst of all, I have completely black Windows screen.

If you've seen this problem and haves a suggestion

Big Parallels .mem files still exist with new version

March 1, 2007

Steve Palm, who first reported the problem of large .mem files created by Parallels Desktop with slow startups persists with the new version:

I downloaded the new shipping version yesterday and the problem still exists.

Another reader said that this is not a bug and does not slow performance. I did not say it slowed *performance*, but rather that it slowed/delayed STARTUP time.

However, it *IS* an issue, and it is NOT virtual memory. Windows virtual memory is being handled BY WINDOWS on the boot camp partition in a 2GB file there. I'm glad that some people have apparently endless disk space and are not bothered by the combination of extra Mac OS X swap file space (My system will typically spawn another one or two 512MB swap files when running Parallels), MS Windows Swap File space (2GB in my case) and then this extra 1.5GB of the .mem file.

Even more to the point of how absurd this is: If I want to just launch and run a LIVECD image of a Linux distribution, I create a new virtual machine configuration with no hard drive image, a pre-set amount of RAM, and so on, instructed to connect to either the ISO image file or the real CD_ROM drive and to boot from there. It *STILL* creates this 1.5GB .mem file on my drive, so it's not even a "Windows" cache file as the other gentleman tried to point out. It's something Parallels is doing which to the best of my knowledge. VMWare does not and certainly the old VirtualPC products did not, and I can't say it with 100% certainty, but I believe it only started in this last round of beta releases.





February 2007

February 27

Opinions differ on Parallels big .mem file

February 27, 2007

Readers reacted differently to last week's report of Parallels Desktop creating large (1.5 GB) files that slow performance of the virtual machine software.

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous said that this is not a bug and actually speeds performance:

This is a non-issue, and should be treated as such. You need to have virtual memory turned on in some capacity or another. This is the Windows virtual memory swap file, it just happens to be on the Mac side. You can tune the swap file this way to give better performance to the virtual machine or better performance to the Mac. This has been brought up more than once in the Parallels forums and should not warrant an entry is a bug.

However, a poster at the Parallels forums said that Parallels has acknowledged it as a bug:

I'm fairly certain I saw a post by Andrew @ Parallels on this that said it was a bug and would be fixed - but unable to find the post just now.

Scott Smith believes the file degrades performance:

Yes, I have the same problem on an original MacBook Pro. I have not found a solution. It slows the machine greatly.

Edward Danley:

I can confirm that Parallels generates the .mem file. Mine is the same size, 1.5 GB. It is only created when Parallels is accessing the partition. When stopped, the file goes away. If Parallels crashes, the file remains until the next successful start/stop. The file is also in a different location on my machine. The location is governed by Preferences/General options.

Gerben Wierda said that the file is smaller for older versions of Windows:

The Parallels .mem is 286MB on my system running Windows 2000 Pro.

Windows crashing in Parallels with Boot Camp partition

February 27, 2007

Edward Danley reports that Windows is crashing (aka, blue screen of death) when using the version of Windows installed with Boot Camp:

I'd like to report that with RC3 (build 3170) I ran across a show-stopper issue. I get a Blue Screen of Death when booting a boot camp partition with Parallels. Running via boot camp works fine. I can accept a bug in a beta (RC) version but I can't get any response from Parallels support (desktop@, beta@ or on their forums) on how to back out any changes to let me become operational again. A simply remove and reinstall the older version didn't work. With Boot Camp I can't remove the Parallels Tools to possibly correct the situation because XP says they can only be removed when running in a virtual machine.

Perhaps others might know how to do that and could provide assistance. I don't want to have to resort to paying a $30 support fee.

Prior to 3170 (3150), it ran fine and coherence mode was phenomenal on my MacBookPro.

If you've seen this problem and have a suggestion

Another theory on slow Mac booting with Active Directory

February 27, 2007

Brent Westmoreland refutes the advice given by a reader last week regarding slow startup times for Macs connected to Active Directory. A reader last week said "the issue might be the AD environment attempting to 'push' global policies..." Westmoreland respond proposes another theory of what's going on:

Active Directory GPO settings are never pushed. they are pulled by client devices that have the Windows libraries, thereby eliminating this possibility entirely. Boot hanging with windows 2003 is more likely an issue either trying to mount home directories or having the windows 2003 Domain Controller Security policy set in it's default state.

See this link for more details.

Jamie Thomson also has the problem. He tried some things that didn't solve the problem:

I too have iMacs G5 and PowerPC and MacBooks (OSX 10.4.8) which all experience the slow bootup when bound to TWO Directory Services. When bound to AD it is blazingly fast, when bound to OD it is blazingly fast, but when the two are used in conjunction its horribly slow, some 15 minutes to boot. I suspect it's network related but I can't prove it.

I was told to check that the switch ports had Spanning Tree Protocol enabled, they did not so I got it enabled. I also bumped the iMacs up to 1 GB autonegotiation. This seemed to help but not much.

You should get a laptop and plug it into the same switch as the AD server and check if the problem exists on a port that has STP PortFast or FastStart (depends on the vendor of switch) You will need to work with your network guys to do this.

TIP: Fix for Synergy PC unlocking problem

February 27, 2007

Joshua found a fix for the problem of unlocking a PC with Synergy, cross-platform software for sharing a keyboard and mouse among multiple computers, which we reported on last week. He said:

I fixed the unlocking issue. It turns out that it was a matter of when Synergy was started. When I set Synergy client to start with the system (PC), I was able to unlock the screen and log in and such. When I set Synergy client to start with login (ie, it starts with the user, not the system), I had trouble unlocking the PC via Synergy.





February 23

Microsoft limits running Vista Home on Macs

February 23, 2007

Microsoft is forbidding users of virtualization software from running Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium. The company does allow running Vista Business and Ultimate in virtual machines.

A look at the Microsoft Windows Vista end user licensing agreement reveals the prohibition under the sections related to Home Basic and Home Premium versions:

4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

The proscription includes running Vista in Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion on Macs, but also includes Microsoft's own Virtual PC running on Windows PCs.

Vista Home Basic (US$199) and Vista Home Premium (US$239) cost less than Vista Business (US$299) and Vista Ultimate (US$399). Vista Business and Ultimate feature the Aero graphical theme, which features the use of transparency and features such as Flip 3D, but neither Parallels nor VMware support Aero on Macs.

The restriction does not apply to Boot Camp, which is not a virtualization technology, but a method of booting the Mac from Windows.

Huge .mem file and slowdown of Parallels beta

February 23, 2007

Steven Palm reports performance problems with the current beta of the next version of Parallels Desktop, possibly caused by exceptional large .mem files:

I am running the latest series of Betas (or Release Candidates as they are calling them) for Parallel's Desktop for Mac. I am using Windows XP on a Boot Camp partition that is formatted as FAT32.

The problem is that startup of the VM is incredibly slow, in fact it takes a LONG time before the initial black Windows logo screen even shows up to show the loading is starting. This is one issue, and I could live with it.

The biggest problem is that it now creates a .mem file named the same as your VM configuration inside the ~/Library/Parallels/{vm name} folder. The .mem file is 1.48GB!

It's not bad enough that running Parallel's causes the Mac to page more virtual memory of it's own taking disk space, it now wastes another GIG AND A HALF of disk space for this mystery file. That was a large part of the reason to use a Boot Camp partition was so that a fixed amount of disk space was used by the VM, and now you loose another gig and a half on top of that space.

If you've seen this problem

Fix for Cisco VPN 3000 verified for later version of Tiger, Client

February 23, 2007

Divyesh Shah reports success with a fix we reported in 2005 for a problem with the Cisco VPN 3000 client and Tiger:

My VPN 3000 was giving error "error 51 could not connect to VPN subsystem" when trying to connect using USB modem.

I tried your commands:

sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

sudo /usr/local/bin/vpnclient autoinit

Bravo! It all worked. I have Tiger 10.4.6 and VPN 3000 4.9.0.

The fix was originally offered to fix a problem with kernel panics and earlier versions of Tiger and the Cisco Client.

Readers report on Synergy for keyboard sharing

February 23, 2007

Several readers responded to our report earlier this week about Synergy, free, cross-platform software for running multiple computers from a single keyboard and mouse.

Joshua, a Computer Analyst, describes the limitations:

I have tried Synergy and love it. It's one of the best free utilities out there. There are some limitations. I have three computers: 1) G5 2) Intel iMac 3) Dell desktop.

The G5 is the server for synergy and the other two are clients. The iMac and G5 sync in terms of going into screen saver and coming out of it. However sometimes the iMac has a conflict between synergy setting the screen saver and the iMac setting the screensaver. The result is two screensavers running at once, which makes the iMac look like it is having a seizure.

The other issue is that synergy cannot (or so it seems) unlock both Macs from one login, and it cannot unlock the PC at all. In other words I must mouse across to the second Mac to unlock it separately from the G5, and mousing across to the PC does nothing. The PC, when locked, will not accept input from the network card for unlock which is why (I think) Synergy cannot unlock it.

Tom Andersen describes using Synergy:

The way it works is really simple, once you set it up. You should have someone who can edit a very simple config file to set it up. Just read the instructions.

Then, as soon as you drag your mouse off your Mac screen in the direction of the PC, the keyboard and mouse are all of a sudden controlling the PC. It becomes second nature. Also, the copy/paste of text works well. We did it with Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.4.

Nik Sands uses it with Mac OS X, Unix, and Windows:

I've been using Synergy to share a keyboard and mouse between Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows machines. It works a lot better than the x2vnc solution I was using previously.

The screensaver synchronization DOES work in Mac OS X (it looks like this fix was provided by a 3rd party contributor). The clipboard sharing (text-only) is still very useful.

I've used it with the server being on either Solaris or Mac OS X, and it works fine both ways.





February 21

Suggestions for Macs hanging with Active Directory

February 21, 2007

Two readers sent in suggestions for dealing with a problem with Macs freezing during booting when connected to an Active Directory network.

Joe DiMattio:

I have a suggestion for Brad Anderson's issue with his Macs booting slow when connected to AD. The issue might be the AD environment attempting to "push" global policies (i.e. proxy settings, security settings) down to each attached device. The domain controller/policy server, being unable to find the suitable directories on the Mac, could just be waiting for a timeout on the Macs before moving on.

Dedrick Allen:

This user may want to verify that they have full forward and reverse DNS working for ALL Active Directory clients, Windows AND Macs. Active Directory requires DNS and most of the Mac networking features such as MCX and Open Directory require full forward and reverse lookup support.

Our Active Directory Reports page also contains some suggestions for a problem of Macs spinning their beachballs when logging on to Active Directory.

Suggestion for Parallels uppercase key problem
February 21, 2007

Charles Wells offered a suggestion for Monday's report of a key (the S key) not working in uppercase in Parallels Desktop.

I've seen this sporadically using Parallels on my MacBook Pro. I think it's an interplay between Parallels key mapping and Windows "sticky keys" (accessibility feature). You can see this by pressing the shift key in Windows 5 times - you'll get a dialog box that let's you turn off sticky keys.

If you've seen this problem or tried this fix

LogMeIn remote control software works with Macs

February 21, 2007

LogMeIn from LogMeIn, Inc., is remote control software that works through a web browser, and comes in free and commercial versions. Although the LogMeIn web site doesn't mention working with Macs, Jason Zawadzki uses it on his MacBook Pro:

LogMeIn (Free, Pro, etc.) is both elegant and awesome. It's Java-based, runs right through Safari or Firefox or whatever. Flawless and fantastic. Super secure too. Hard-core 256-bit encryption (SSL), multiple Windows PCs/Servers et cetera accessible through one account. A life saver. I currently manage around 5-6 PCs from my MacBook Pro (2.0GHz). Rock-solid.

Synergy shares keyboards over network
February 21, 2007

Synergy is open-source, free, cross-platform software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix/X11 that will let you run multiple computers from a single keyboard and mouse. It works over a networking running server or client software on the computers involved.

The Synergy web site says that the Mac OS X version is "incomplete:"

The Mac OS X port is incomplete. It does not synchronize the screen saver, only text clipboard data works (i.e. HTML and bitmap data do not work), the cursor won't hide when not on the screen, and there may be problems with mouse wheel acceleration.

If you've tried Synergy





February 19

MacWindows VMware Reports page now up
Wednesday, February 19, 2007

We've consolidated our coverage of VMware Fusion beta for Mac OS X and Parallels Desktop on a new VMware Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page. VMware Fusion is virtual machine software for Intel Macs that can run Windows (including Windows Vista) and Linux in Mac OS X. The Reports pages contain MacWindows’ information, reports and tips about the beta versions of VMware.

(For reports on other ways to run Windows on Intel Macs, see our CrossOver Reports page and a Parallels Reports page.)

Reader uses VMWare Fusion Beta to access AS/400, Lotus
February 19, 2007

Paul Senior is happy with the VMware Fusion Beta, using it to access an IBM iSeries (AS/400) mainframe. He also uses Lotus Domino and Notes MS Office. You can read his report on our VMware Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page.

Office 2008 for Mac: VBA a deal breaker for some
February 19, 2007

Several readers reacted to our report about Microsoft's plans to drop the cross-platform VBA script and macro support in the upcoming Office 2008 for Mac. Readers say that they'll stick with 2004 or use the Windows version in a virtual machine.

Greg Walker said simply "I will not buy Office without VBA scripting."

Joe Parker will stick with the current version:

There's, not a chance that I’ll upgrade to Office 2008 without VBA support. I’ll happily drudge along with Office 2004. Pass my thanks to Microsoft.

Although continuing to use Office 2004 retains cross-platform macro compatibility, it does not have native file compatibility with Office 2007 for Windows and the OpenXML file format. Neema Aghamohammadi will get around this by using the Windows version in Parallels:

I will tell you how the slow drift away from cross-platform parity will affect me: I'm switching to Office 2003 using Parallels. In fact, there's a discussion of this in the Ars Technica forums in the Mac forum.

… You get full Outlook/Exchange compatibility + Access at this cost. Performance is stunning in comparison to MacOffice 2004 on any Intel Mac with greater than 1GB of RAM.

(CrossOver can also run Microsoft Office for Windows, as can the VMware Fusion beta.)

Reader has Parallels uppercase problem
February 19, 2007

David Gonzalez has a strange problem with Parallels Desktop and uppercase S:

I'm running XP via Paraells on a Mac Book. After installing XP I am unable to type the capital S. I have to press the caps lock type the letter s, then release the cap lock.

If you've seen this problem

Macs hang during startup when added to Active Directory
February 19, 2007

Brad Anderson's Macs are freezing during startup on an Active Directory network. He has a temporary workaround, but it's lost upon restart:

All my Macs boot extremely slowly and the progress bar will freeze at boot up for up to 2 or 3 minutes once the Macs are added (bound) to Active Directory.  If I go into the Library>Preference>DirectoryService and delete all the prefs in that folder, then reboot, they boot just fine. If I then re-bind the Mac to AD and do a reboot, it goes back to hanging during the boot process. I’m assuming this is because something in the boot process is timing out, but I’m unable to find what that thing is.

All my Macs are running 10.4.7 or 10.4.8 (both versions have the same issue). I have both Intel and PowerPC Macs as well. It seems to be affecting them all. We are running a Windows 2003 domain.

If you've seen this problem

Entourage Email Archive X 3.1.0 update released
February 19, 2007

Softhing Software has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.1.0 (free upgrade), an update to the Mac OS X 10.4 utility for archiving Entourage 2004 emails and attachments. The new version adds interface improvements, some new minor features, and internal optimizations.

RAGE Macintosh Explorer 4.5 released as Universal Binary
February 19, 2007

Rage Software has released Macintosh Explorer 4.5 (US $16), an upgrade to the file browsing utility for Mac OS X that provides an interface similar to Windows Explorer. The new version is a Univeral Binary that runs natively on Intel Macs and PowerPC Macs. It also adds the ability to group folders together when sorting file listings, includes new toolbar icons, and improves performance.





February 11

MacTech to help with lack of VBA in Office Mac 2008
February 11, 2007

In a special April edition, MacTech Magazine will publish a 150-page guide to help users with the upcoming Office 2008 transition from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript. The multi-chapter guide will include examples for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage.

Microsoft will drop Visual Basic support from Office 2008 for Mac OS X, due later this year, thus forcing users of VBA scripts and marcos to switch to AppleScript. Writing in Macworld last December, Rob Griffiths said "Office will apparently be missing a feature so vital to cross-platform compatibility that I believe it will be the beginning of the end for the Mac version of the productivity suite."

Griffiths' pointed out that organizations that upgrade to Office 2008 for Mac will lose the ability of both Mac and Windows to share the same macros in files, which are used in many organizations for file templates. This is a built-in incentive for organizations to stick with Office 2004 for Mac OS X.

Parting VBA scripts and macros to AppleScript will enable users to operate the automation of existing Office files, but Windows users will not have access to the scripts. MacTech Magazine's "Moving from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript: MacTech's Guide to Making the Transition" will be available at the beginning of April. Subscribers will receive it, and a limited number of copies will be available on the newsstand.

Will the lack of VBA support influence your decision to upgrade to Office 2008?

For more on Office 2008 for Mac OS X, see our Office 2008 Special Report page.

Reader compares VMware, Parallels, and CrossOver
February 11, 2007

Michael Hocking compared running Windows applications on an Intel Mac using the current version of Parallels Desktop, the VMware Fusion Beta, and the first release of CodeWeavers CrossOver.

I have tried all three and found the following:

Crossover does not seem ready for prime time yet as there are not enough apps that work with it. I tried a few apps that were not on the tested list and they did not work or worked very poorly.

I found both Parallels and Fusion to work pretty well, with Parallels running faster. Fusion still has debug code running which is affecting its speed.

I would be happy with either product but Fusion wins for me because of the portability of the virtual machines (VMs) between different platforms.  I was able to bring in VMs that I had already created with the Windows version and download virtual appliances found on the Web. I was able to burn DVD's, run Mapping software, run Quicken for Windows, run Office and just about anything I could think of and it all worked on both platforms.

I love being able to use my MacBook and still have Windows if need be. I have also tried Boot Camp too but not like to have to reboot all the time.

Skype 2.5 for Mac sends text messages to mobile phones
February 11, 2007

Skype, Ltd, has released Skype for Mac 2.5, a new version of the client for the company's voice-over-IP service. The client is a free download. Skype for Mac 2.5 adds the ability to send SMS text messages to mobile phones. Also new is the ability hold conference calls with up to nine users. Calls can be made to Skype contacts for free and to landlines and mobiles for a fee using SkypeOut software. Skype for Mac can also conduct free one-on-one video calls to Mac or Windows users.





February 7

MacWindows CrossOver, Parallels pages now up
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
We've consolidated our coverage of CrossOver for Mac OS X and Parallels Desktop on a new CrossOver Reports page and a Parallels Reports page. CrossOver is software for Intel-powered Macs and Linux that runs Windows applications without Windows. Parallels Desk is virtual machine software for Intel Macs that can run Windows (including Windows Vista) in Mac OS X. The two new Reports pages contain MacWindows’ reports and tips about the shipping versions of each application.

CrossOver lacks ActiveX support
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Jim Bauer reports that CrossOver does not support Microsoft’s ActiveX, which is often use on custom web site accessible only by Windows clients:

I'm responding to your reports on Crossover for the Mac. I installed Internet Explorer 6 without trouble but a couple of the application I need IE for also require ActiveX components for SQL access. As some notes on the CodeWeaver site state no ActiveX support I find it misleading that they state IE works when a major component of IE doesn't.

Centrify adds smart card security login to Mac AD solution
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
This week Centrify Corp. began shipping an add-on to its Active Directory integration solution that enables Mac users to login to the Active Directory using a secure USB smart card. The SmartCard Login Option (US $30) is an add-on to Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X, (US $60 for client; a Centrify server is also required.) The SmartCard Login Option  supports the Department of Defense Common Access Card authentication standard. Centrify also offers DirectControl clients for Linux and Unix.

Bonjour didn't help reader's Parallels printing problem
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Joe Reichmuth is having printer problems with Windows running on a Mac with Parallels Desktop. He has installed Apple's Bonjour, but it has not solved the problem:

I installed Windows under Parallels and could not get the printer to work under the Windows XP side. It is a USB printer installed on the USB port. It works fine within Mac OS X. After I installed Bonjour and the printer shared under Mac I can print, but I lose some of the functionally under Windows. However, whenever I put any USB device into the USB port it crashes Windows. I can not use any USB items in Windows. (It may be the lack of support for USB 2.0.) And I just lost my video display now under windows. Windows boots up ok but its just a black screen it appears to be a video driver conflict but currently the Mac side is the only side working. Trying to get Windows and all devices working correctly has been an uphill battle.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: using a Keyspan serial adapter with VPC 7
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ray Kenny describes how he got Virtual PC to work with a Keyspan  USB-to-serial adapter:

I installed VPC 7 (7.0.2) on a PowerBook G4 (1.67 MHz) w/ Tiger 10.4.8 . The installation was easy.  The Keyspan 19HS serial adapter was a bit tricky.  I loaded the Keyspan driver under Windows and restarted VPC 7.  Of course, this resulted in nothing. I explored the VPC 7 and start up settings and found the correct menu. I selected the Keyspan 19HS as com1 and the thing worked fine.  I can now control my equipment with my Apple laptop, a serial cable, the Keyspan 19HS and the proprietary PC software for the equipment.  It worked great for several hours and with quick switching to the OS X Tiger side for other software running simultaneously. No more PC boxes are needed here.

Turning ships Mac version of PowerPoint audience response system
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Turning Technologies has released a Mac version of TurningPoint, software that adds interactivity to PowerPoint presentations. Previously available only for Windows, TurningPoint is an audience response system for classrooms and conference sessions that enables the presenter to collect data from the audience in real time using wireless ResponseCard keypads. TurningPoint for Mac is a Universal Binary application, native on Intel and PowerPC Macs.

February 5

Problem with Universal Citrix Client confirmed; Workaround exists. February 5, 2007 -- Several readers have verified our previous report of a problem with the new universal binary version of the Citrix ICA client for Mac OS X. The new client lacks 128-bit security and gives the error message "Cannot find encryption module 'EncRC5'" when users try to connect.

Peter Arnold reports a workaround to prevent the error message:

I, too, had the "EncRC5" problem. There is a thread on the Citrix forum about this problem. I modified my Modules preference file as directed by one of the respondents on that thread and now the client is working. The author of the workaround is Steve Maser. The relevant message is the 12th entry in that thread.

Mike Sneider also confirmed the problem:

I can confirm the lack of 128-bit secure communication with the new Citrix 7.10.500 release for OS X on Intel. There is no secure 128-bit module, and adding the files from the PPC version doesn't work. This release results in an insufficient encryption error when I use it to log in to the Citrix server at work. I've had to revert to the previous (non-Universal) release. I'm hoping this is just an oversight, and a new version will be forthcoming.

Citrix is aware of the problem, and notes that "By design, RC5 encryption support was removed from version 7.10.500 of the ICA Client for Macintosh."

John Dorsey saw the Citrix explanation, and notes that the PowerPC version includes RC5 encryption:

The ENCRC5 issue is unavoidable under the newest (Intel) version of the OS X client software. Citrix omitted the module in this build of the Mac client, with no plans to replace it. "It works as designed", they say. Nice stuff!

Here's a link to discussion in the Citrix forums on the subject. The "solution" is to download and use the PowerPC version of the software, which does not suffer this deficiency. Just be sure to wipe the Intel version from your hard drive before attempting the "downgrade."

Ryan Taylor confirms that the PowerPC version works:

My group is experiencing the same issue. We've reverted back to the PPC client, which works perfectly.

Chris Ruprech noted that it also doesn't occur in the Windows version.

More readers reports on CrossOver. February 5, 2007 -- Readers continue to report on the new CrossOver from CodeWeavers, the Mac OS X application that can run Windows application without Windows itself. Although most readers are reporting that the can't run Windows programs that are not certified to run on CrossOver, Barry Smythe is having success with a non-supported program:

I am running MS Project Professional on CrossOver 6.0 as well as an add-on program called Risk+. It's working well, I am very pleased.

As with previous reports, Andrew could not run AutoCAD (which is not yet supported), but had limited results with a similar application:

I tried AutoCAD also, but it would not work. I then tried BricsCad 7, an AutoCad clone, and it works well, with some text recognition issues. If Crossover gets AutoCAD to run as a supported program they will pick up plenty of customers in the architecture world.

Michael Sayer:

I have been beta testing this and it is very useful to run Internet Explorer, which my company requires. But the other app I need is Adobe FrameMaker, which CrossOver does not support. It launches but is unusable because it doesn't display any fonts (no menus, dialogs, etc.) properly.

If you’ve tried CrossOver

Free JavaApp lets Windows see Mac-formatted drives. February 5, 2007 -- We've added HFS Explorer for Windows (free) to the product listings on our Cross-Platform Drive Solutions page.

Josh Long uses it to enable Windows running in Boot Camp to browse the Mac partitions:

Just wanted to let you know about a sweet freeware Java app that I came across the other day that lets you browse HFS+ drives/partitions from within Windows, as well as extract files from said drives/partitions. Works great (I have a MacBook Pro dual-booting Windows XP), and I blogged about my experience with it here.

If you’ve tried HFS Explorer (with Boot Camp or on a PC)

Leopard's Apple Mail to improve Exchange support February 5, 2007 -- Oliver Buxbaum notes that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will fix an annoying problem with Mail.app when it access Exchange Server. Normally, Mail.app will try to subscribe to every Exchange Server Public folder, a problem when there are hundreds of them set up. Leopard's Mail.app adds a simple check box setting to prevent this behavior.

See this blog with screen shot. For those of us still using Tiger or earlier, the site also lists four workarounds to the problem.

Entourage Email Archive 3.0 adds performance, new interface. February 5, 2007 -- Softthing Software has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.0.0 (US$30, free upgrade), a major new version of the Mac OS X application for archiving Entourage emails and attachments. Email archives, including the native .EML format, are searchable by Spotlight. The new version has been completely rewritten with a new user interface, new features, and is up to 200 percent faster, according to the company.





January 2007

January 29

Reader reports: CrossOver 1.0 works on supported apps. January 29, 2007 -- Dave Scott is a fan of CodeWeavers’ CrossOver 1.0 for running Outlook for Windows and other apps on a Mac:

I have been using this since one of the beta releases. I use it every day with my work -- being a MacBook user in a Windows world -- to run Visio 2003 and an unsupported application (which installed fine and runs great) called Remedy Action Request System.

Great thing is how it integrates directly into the Mac OS. I get a Visio attachment in an email, double click to open. I have also been running Outlook 2003 / Office 2003, Half Life / Half Life 2 demo / Unreal / Diablo II.

Have tried Parallels – but for day-to-day use, I prefer CrossOver.

Unlike Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion, CrossOver does not run Windows itself on the Mac. The Windows applications run directly in Mac OS X. The tradeoff is that CrossOver only runs certain Windows applications that CodeWeavers has certified. Although Scott had success running non-certified applications, Charles Ross tried unsuccessfully to use CrossOver with two unsupported applications:

I tried using AutoCAD. It would not load. I also tried using WatchTower Library. It was very slow and serveral functions would not work.

If you’ve tried CrossOver 1.0

Reader uses Fusion for multi-plaform VMs. January 29, 2007 -- Erik Ableson likes the VMware Fusion beta for its ability to use virtual machines across different platforms:

Just chiming in here on Fusion. I work extensively in virtual infrastructure deployments with VMWare and Microsoft. Fusion is a godsend for those of us that need simple portability of VMWare virtual machines.  

I've used it successfully to do all sorts of interesting things already, notably testing against the VMWare Converter application to setup a VM on the Mac, and then deploy it directly to a VMWare ESX Server.  I've tested the process both against a physical machine running the converter process and running the converter in a Parallels VM (yes, a little twisted).

Overall, I'm waiting on the advanced functions like flexible disk management (multiple disks etc.) but if you're working in a VMWare environment the portability of machines is exceedingly practical. Parallels currently wins in the overall flexibility department and for actually using Windows applications, but for administering a virtual infrastructure Fusion is the perfect complement. I see myself using both of them regularly.

If you’ve tried the VMware Fusion beta

Bug with Citrix Universal Client. January 29, 2007 -- John Zurlo reports a problem with the recently released Intel-native version of the Citrix Client for Mac OS X:

I just purchased a 20" iMac for work where we use the Citrix client to access a lab program.  The client would not allow connection.  A warning pop-up about the lack of a security feature came up.  It then closed. The error message I received was "Cannot find encryption module 'EncRC5'"; session will be unencrypted". It then would not connect.

If you’ve seen this

A reader has previously reported that the new Citrix client wasn't as secure as earlier versions.

Groupcal 3.76 boosts speed for iCal-to-Exchange utility. January 29, 2007 -- Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.76 (US $55), an update to the Mac OS X software that syncs data between Microsoft Exchange and iCal, and enables iCal users to manage Exchange calendars. The new version signicantly improves performance for large calendars, according to the company. Version 376 also fixes a few bugs.

Article describes Entourage-to-Outlook move. January 29, 2007 -- We found this article at MacOSX Hints, which describes two methods of moving email and contacts from Entourage for Mac OS X to Outlook for Windows.

January 12
Continued Coverage From MacWorld Expo

CrossOver ships: runs Win apps without Windows. January 12, 2007 – At MacWorld Expo, CodeWeavers announced that it has shipped CrossOver (US $60), software for Mac OS X and Linux that can run selected Windows applications without the use of the Windows operating system. Users install Windows applications right in Mac OS X. An icon for the Windows application appears in the Finder; double-clicking it launches the app. 

The drawback is that CrossOver only supports a few Windows applications, including Outlook. The company said that it would be adding support for more applications.

CrossOver is based on the open source WINE software that recreates Windows calls in Mac OS X. CodeWeavers is a leading contributor to WINE. CrossOver uses only a fraction of the system resources that Windows does. Since no Windows license is required, the cost is also much less than virtual machine products such as Parallels Desktop.

If you’ve tried the new CrossOver 1.0

Dueling betas between Parallels and VMware at Macworld. January 12, 2007 -- Windows was a big hit at Macworld Expo as attendees crowded the booths of Parallels and VMware to see previews of the latest beta versions of virtualization software for Intel Macs. Both companies also released information regarding the ship dates of these upcoming new versions.

VMware announced that it would ship the 1.0 version of its Fusion virtual machine software for Mac OS X sometime this summer. Parallels said that the next version of Parallels Desktop would be ready in approximately two weeks. The company is not giving the new version a name or version number.

Parallels demonstrated for the first time a release candidate (RC1, also called Build 3128), which was just released to beta testers. It features an improved Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying only open windows. Windows applications appear in the Dock, letting you switch between them without using the Windows interface. (The difference between CrossOver and Parallel’s Coherence Mode is that Parallels runs Windows and requires you to own it; CrossOver is not running Windows at all.) Coherence Mode currently works with Windows XP and Windows Vista, but Parallels said that it would be bringing the feature to other operating systems as well. Parallels also implemented dynamic resizable windows, a feature that VMware also has, as does Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs.

The VMware Fusion beta also has some advantages. VMware was ahead with drag and drop file transfer. Parallels Desk lets users drag a file from the Mac Finder into Windows and vice versa, but VMware lets you drag files in between guest operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Solaris. VMware Fusion also has a feature called Virtual Battery, which passes along the state of a notebook’s remaining battery power to Windows native power display.

VMware can use both CPUs in a dual-core processor, and can even support both 32-bit and 64-bit applications simultaneously. VMware supports up to 3.6 MB of RAM for each virtual machine (up to 8 GB total). Parallels Desktop supports 1.5 GB per machine. Fusion supports isochronous USB, including USB cameras.

With both programs, you should not assign more RAM to the guest OS than is physically available, in order to get the best performance. A Parallels spokesperson recommended that a MacBook or MacBook Pro have at least 2 GB of RAM, with 512 MB assigned to Windows.

Now announces new group calendar and contact management software.January 12, 2007 – At Macworld Expo, Now Software announced that next spring it would replace Now Up-to-Date & Contact cross-platform groupware software with a brand new cross-platform solution rewritten from the ground up. Codenamed NightHawk, the new group calendar and contact software will use the same code base for the Mac and Windows clients. There will also be a web-based client accessible by any operating system. The client is now a single application for managing events, contacts, and tasks. Plug-in modules will allow customers to add other functions. The Mac client supports iSync for syncing with iCal, Address Book, iPods, PDAs, and other devices.

The NightHawk server will be based on SQL, with better performance than the Up-to-Date server. The server will be compatible with the LDAP protocol. Now Software will sell the clients for US $150 per license. The server will be free with purchase of the clients.

Intego bundles Mac and Windows virus software for multi-OS Macs. January 12, 2007 – At Macworld Expo, Intego released bundles of security software that contained versions for both Mac OS X and Windows. Aimed at users of Apple Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and VMware Fusion, the Intego Dual Protection line (US $80) includes Virus Barrier X4 for Mac OS X and BitDefender Antivirus 10.0 for Windows. The Intego Internet Security and Antispam Dual Protection Edition (US $100) also includes anti-spam and Firewall software for Mac OS X and Windows.

January 9: Special Coverage From MacWorld Expo

No Macs at the Macworld Expo keynote; iPhone dominates Apple announcements. January 9, 2007 – For the first time ever, Apple made no announcement about Mac hardware or software products at Macworld Expo. Steve Jobs instead focused his Keynote on consumer electronics products. The only mention of Mac OS X was to say that it is powering the new iPhone, which Jobs introduced this morning.

Jobs was expected to announce a ship date for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and possibly preview more features. Jobs didn’t demonstrate Leopard or even talk about it.  Jobs had previously claimed that the company would ship Leopard before Microsoft released Windows Vista, which will be available at the end of this month.

Jobs talked about its home media center device, iTV, which Apple has redubbed AppleTV. But he spent most of the keynote on iPhone, a handheld device that combines a mobile phone with iTunes music and movie capabilities and Wi-Fi Internet access and EDGE networking. As predicted by some rumor sites, the iPhone is a touch-screen device with the 3.5”, 160 pixel/inch screen display covering almost the entire area of the phone.  Users operate the device with fingers, not a stylus. There is a single physical button on the front panel.

The iPhone will be able to synch contacts, email, music, and video with both Macs and Windows PCS when it ships. The device connects to the computer with a USB dock, similar to the way iPods connect.

As a Mac OS X-based device, the iPhone runs applications with the look and feel of Macs. It includes the Safari web browser, which can render an entire web page as it would appear on a computer. A tap can zoom in. There is also a separate Google Maps application.

Apple will ship the iPhone in June North Ameriac at US$499 for  4 GB storage, and US $599 for an 8 GB model. The iPhone will work exclusively with Cingular Networks’ services.

Apple drops Computer from its name. January 9, 2007 – Reflecting the company’s shift from a personal computer company to a consumer electronics company, Apple Computer, Inc., today changed its name to Apple, Inc.

New Office Mac to offer compatible with Win Office 2007. January 9, 2007 -- Today, Microsoft announced Office 2008 for Mac OS X, an Intel-native version that will be compatible with the XML-based Office file formats of Office 2007 for Windows. This includes native support for the new.DOCX Word format and the .XLSX Excel format. The new version will also be the first Universal Binary Office, running natively on both Intel-based Macs and PowerPC Macs. Microsoft will ship Office 2008 during the second half of this year.

Microsoft also announced that it will also ship a file converter for  Mac OS X that will allow users of Office 2004 to translate between the old and new Office file formats. Currently, Panergy software offers a Mac OS X utility called DocXConverter (US$20) that can convert between .DOC and .DOCX formats.

The company said that PowerPoint 2008 will have better compatibility with PowerPoint 2007 for Windows, particularly with embedded images. A company spokesperson said that users could move a PowerPoint file between Mac and Windows versions of Office without losing graphics, a common problem with current versions off PowerPoint.

“Users should no longer see the big red X,” said a company spokesperson.

The company said that the compatibility is created by a new graphics rendering engine in PowerPoint 2008 that is essentially the same graphics engine in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. 

Microsoft did not provide any details on Entourage 2008. A company spokesperson acknowledged that Entourage did not have the functionality of Outlook for Windows, but said the company had nothing to announce. Microsoft did say that Office 2008 will include a new application called My Day, which is a calendar viewer that displays a single day of appointments.

One notable change is the user interface, which adopts numerous Windows conventions, including aspects of the Aero interface of Windows Vista. This includes toolbars that are attached to document windows instead of the screen and Windows-like behavior in tabs and buttons. There are also a number of instances of Vista-like graphics, include the use of transparency and an increase in the use of 3-D interface elements.

Other new features include a new toolbar that embeds the Project Gallery in every document window. Excel has a new Ledger Sheet, a type of template available from the new Gallery. Word 2008 will include a new Publishing Layout View which includes page layout features such as linked text boxes that can be drawn anywhere on screen, similar to those in Adobe InDesign. (Each corner of a textbox is marked by a 3-D globe. It was not evident in our interview with Microsoft if this or other 3D interface elements served a functional purpose.)

Citrix Universal client not secure. January 9, 2007 -- Svein Tjemsland reports that the recently released Citrix ICA Client for Mac OS X version 7.10.500 lacks one security feature that the older version has:

All is not that great, it does not do 128-bit secure communication, so I still have to use the old PowerPC version on my MacBook Pro.

If you’ve used the new Universal Citrix client

More on VMware; integration tools in Linux. January 9, 2007 -- Pascal Robert from Montreal, Canada, says that says VMware Fusion is better for Linux than Parallels Desktop. One reason is that the integration tools work with Linux in addition to Windows. The tools allow for moving the cursor continuously from Mac to Windows, support copying and pasting between operating systems, among other things:

I tried the beta of Fusion, so far it's working fine.  For people who want to run Linux, it's better than Parallels Desktop, because VMWare does offer integration tools for Linux, Parallels only have tools for Windows.

And like your anonymous reader said, you can run pre-built virtual machines from various vendors (and open source projects), this is quite useful for evaluating software without the need of a PC.

I tried the tool to convert images from VMware to Parallels, but Parallels don't copy settings if it's a Linux image, and I can't open the converted images in Parallels.  Parallels Linux support is really basic.

BTW: I made 3 suggestions to VMware : one to convince Apple to let VMware runs OS X VMs (useful to test new releases), to let VMware Fusion to act as a console to connect to VMware Server (we have a GSX 3.2 Server here, and we have to connect from Windows) and to integrate Eclipse and xCode with VMware (they are doing this with Workstation 6, when you build an application in Visual Studio 5 or Eclipse, it can launch a specific VM and loads the compiled application in the VM).  Other people already made the same suggestions, so if people want them, they should give feedback to VMware.

Finally, VMware Fusion don't support a lot of OS’s for now (my VMs with RedHat ES 3 don't run well), but they says that the final version will run the same OS’s as VMWare Workstation 6.

Larry Prall had some problems running Windows:

My experience hasn't been as good as some others.  I've had frequent problems with crashes and hangs (all duly reported and core files and logs uploaded). Also had a problem with an application which runs just fine under Parallels (and under VMWare on Redhat 8 Linux) but hangs every time on Fusion.  I haven't tried reinstalling, so it could well be a botched installation of either Fusion or of XP Pro. I actually haven't used it extensively since the app which won't run is one of the very few things I run on Windows.

There are more comments on VMware Fusion in yesterday's news.





January 8

Citrix releases Intel-native ICA client for Mac OS X. January 8, 2007 -- Citrix has released version 7.10.500 of its ICA Client for Mac OS X, a "thin client" used to run Windows software hosted on a Citrix server session.

The new version is the first Universal Binary build (Intel- and PowerPC-native), though Citrix is still offering the older PowerPC-only version 7.00.411 at the site.

Of the new release, reader Brian Paquin said "Other than a new icon, I haven't noticed much different."

(Thanks also to Chris Phelps, Brian T. Paquin and Geoffrey Green for the tip.)

Readers say VMWare Fusion compares well to Parallels. January 8, 2007 -- Readers are reporting good things about VMWare's recently released beta of Fusion, a virtual machine environment for Mac OS X for running x86 operating systems on Intel Macs. Readers pointed out some advantages over Parallels Desktop.

Craig Douglas points out an advantage over Parallels Desktop, the ability to run 1 GB of RAM:

I have been playing with Fusion on a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I installed a prebuilt Ubuntu 6.06 LTS operating system, giving it 1 GB of memory. After updating the operating system and installing the VMWare Tools multiple times, I have a system that works, seemingly with both processors in use. I have an application that needs the GB to run, so this is a real plus over Parallels Desktop, which only lets me run with 0.5 GB for the same operating system. I cannot say if Fusion is fast or slow, but at least my application runs.

Peter Mitchell of Adelaide, Austria uses it with iSight:

You asked to hear about the VM fusion beta.  I have been using the VMWare Fusion Beta alongside Parallels Workstation and it goes well.  It does some things that the Parallels program does not. It can run an iSight driver so that you Skype in Windows. (I haven't tried MNS Messenger yet with the iSight.) 

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous is running it with a pre-built “virtual appliance” OS bundle from VMWare, something you can do with the Windows version of VMWare:

I downloaded and installed Fusion on my MacBook Pro. I loaded a VMware-built Red Hat special Linux build that I use on a PC for demo's. It booted up with no issue at all. Runs in debug mode only, and warns you that it will be slow due to debug mode.

I was amazed that I could take an existing VMware build and load in Fusion with no alteration.

Its not nearly as sleek as Parallels, which I use everyday. I even had Parallels, Fusion, running at the same time.

If you’ve used the VMware Fusion beta

Groupcal 3.75 iCal-to-Exchange utility updated. January 8, 2007 – Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.75 (US $55), an update to the Mac OS X software that syncs data between Microsoft Exchange and iCal, and enables iCal users to manage Exchange calendars. The new version is a maintenance release to fix bugs and add some minor user interface improvements.

Beta of Entourage Email Archive X 3 is available. January 8, 2007 – Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.0.0b3, a beta (prerelease) version of an upcoming release of the utility for archiving emails and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage in Mac OS X. The company says the new version is 200 percent faster than version 2.x.


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