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Updated Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 07:41 AM PDT



Today's Featured Article
Late-Breakers Late-Breakers
Mac OS X 10.4.1 (#5): Loss of AirPort connectivity/weaker signal, solutions; Problems with sleep; Preserving Spotlight comments;

Loss of AirPort connectivity/weaker signal, solutions Some readers have reported either a degradation in AirPort signal strength, or complete loss of AirPort connectivity after updating to Mac OS X 10.4.1.

MacFixIt reader Arno writes:

"Ever since I installed Tiger, my Airport connection is a lot slower than usual. Copying some large files takes ages, compared to Panther. Data rates jumping up and down, while sitting next to the Airport Express. And at a distance of just 10 meters, data rates dropped to about 10kbyte/s, while the monitor still showed a connection of 35Mbps."

Some users report that deleting the following cache files:

  • /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
  • /System/Library/Extensions.kextcache

resolves connectivity issues. This can also be accomplished with a utility like Tiger Cache Cleaner.

In other cases, a more drastic workaround -- involving reversion to older AirPort kernel extensions -- may be necessary.

This can be accopmlished by first downloading the shareware utility Pacifist, then obtaining the AirPort 4.1 updater package.

Use Pacifist to open the AirPort 4.1 package, and extract the following files:

  • AppleAirPort.kext
  • AppleAirPort2.kext
  • AppleAirPort3.kext

Place these same files in the /System/Library/Extensions folder, replacing the old copies (you will be asked for your administrator password) and restart.

A SCSI card that does work with Mac OS X 10.4.x As previously noted, various SCSI devices can cause major problems with Mac OS X 10.4.0 and Mac OS X 10.4.1 including problems installing the OS, starting up, shutting down, or using other devices. If you are having such problems, disconnect any SCSI devices or SCSI PCI expansion cards and check for persistence of the issue.

We noted a problem with Adaptec SCSI cards and a successful workaround in our Mac OS X 10.4 Special Report, and also noted problems with cards from Orange Micro and other manufacturers.

Now MacFixIt reader John Hill reports that the ATTO ExpressPCI is one card that exhibits no serious problems, out-of-the-box, with Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.4.1.

John writes:

"After having all sorts of kernel panics trying to install Tiger on my dual G4 with Apple supplied Adaptec 2930 card I bought an ATTO ExpressPCI card. Tiger installed just great afterwards, and that�s with my IBM internal hard drive and Jaz external drive connected. No extra drivers necessary � works great with what comes with OSX. My OS9 installation is on the IBM drive and the machine boots just fine from there too. My experience with the ATTO is exactly what it should have been with the Adaptec. Highly recommended."

More on problems with sleep Yesterday we reported on some significant issues with sleep after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.4.1. These include an inability to properly go to sleep, problems waking from sleep, and the display going to sleep without the Mac going to sleep.

MacFixIt reader Scott Richardson writes:

"I am also having random sleep problems on a newly purchased PowerMac G5 2.5 GHz, after updating to Mac OS X 10.4.1 from Mac OS X 10.4. The system just goes to sleep randomly without warning 2 - 3 times a day, and there does not seem to be anything that is causing this or any one program that is running. I have tried trashing the PowerManagement and AutoWake plists, and resetting the nvram and PMU, but this does not fix it for very long. One thing I am trying is setting the Energy Saver Processor Performance to Highest or Reduced, but not Automatic, which is the default, and leaving Sleep disabled. This might fix it. I am also having problems restarting (about 50% of my restarts just sit there with a black screen) which require a power off/on, which suggests hardware failure to me, not system related. I have also reloaded Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.4.1 twice now as per Apple's suggestions."

Brian Shepard adds "I have the same problem. I have quit all running programs except Dashboard (I closed all the widgets) and even rebooted after deleting the suggested plist files in the article. I still can't get the computer to go to sleep. When I choose sleep from the Apple menu the screen goes dark and the fan winds down for a second then comes right back up and the monitors wake up."

As noted yesterday, deleting the following .plist files and restarting has proved a successful workaround for some readers:

  • /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.PowerManagement.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systemuiserver.plist
  • /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.AutoWake.plist

Preserving Spotlight comments when burning to non-HFS+ volumes (CDs/DVDs etc.) Yesterday we noted that, by default, Spotlight comments are not preserved for files backed up to removable media.

This is because Spotlight comments will only be stored on CD's burned as HFS+ (also known as "Mac OS Extended"). Other filesystems (such as UDF, ISO9660, etc) aren't capable of storing the metadata, and Finder-burned CDs and DVDs use these filesystems for cross-platform compatibility.

MacFixIt reader Joshua Ochs notes a method that will allow Spotlight comments to be preserved when backing up data to removable media, other non-HFS+ volumes:

"One way around this is to create a disk image with the files (which would be HFS+), and then burn the disk image to a CD, which would preserve the comments. As a bonus, you can preview it before burning to make sure everything you want is there."

Problems with Mac OS 9 system access to Mac OS X Server-stored files MacFixIt reader Brian Poppe reports an issue that has been confirmed by other readers where Mac OS 9 clients fail to properly access files stored on a Mac OS X Server 10.4.x system despite normally working network connectivity.

When the issue occurs, the Mac OS 9 user is presented with an error message indicating that the file is corrupt, or not recognizable.

Brian writes:

"Mac OS 9 clients users can no longer work with Quark files that are stored on a Tiger server.

"Double clicking file icons does allow Quark 4 or 5 users to open the documents but they are unable to save or save as. In addition, files can not be opened by navigating to the server from the Quark: File menu: Open method. 'Bad File Format' is the resulting error. Running the update from Tiger Server 10.4 to 10.4.1 did not help.

"They're stuck copying files to local drives before working on them."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.

Previous Mac OS X 10.4.1 coverage:

4 comments Most Recent Post: 05/24 03:17PM by jonsaw


Late-Breakers Late-Breakers
Slower Verizon Fios speeds on Macs when compared to PCs?

We've started receiving reports from users of Verizon's relatively new Fios, service (a high speed fiber optic broadband connection) who are noting slower throughput speeds on systems running Mac OS X when compared with Windows-based PCs.

MacFixIt reader Mike, for instance, writes:

"Last week I received a FIOS connection and discovered that the maximum connection speed is 6-as high as 8 Mbps and not he advertised 15 Mbps."

Meanwhile, a poster to Apple's Discussion boards, Mohammed Shafiq, corroborates:

"Had Verizon come over 4 days ago to install the new fiber optic service. But when the guy sat down to setup the router and realized I had a Mac, he stated "Macs don't allow fast connectivity", only Windows machines do. [...] I attached my Dell laptop with the same ethernet cable, and ran speed test from Miranda and it was receiving 15 MB/s, yet the Mac topped out at 6MB/s. I have tried calling Mac support/Verizon and the usual 'not due to our equipment' story. Each blames the other."

Some users have reported that use of the utility BroadbandOptimizer has resulted in faster connection speeds, though results have been mixed.

If you are a Fios subscriber experiencing a similar speed handicap under Mac OS X, please drop us a line at late-breakers@macfixit.com.

1 comments Most Recent Post: 05/24 01:44PM by OldMacDude

Late-Breakers Late-Breakers
PowerBook G4 and iBook G4 battery recall; users already receiving new units

Apple has initiated a recall for certain lithium ion rechargeable batteries that were sold worldwide from October 2004 through May 2005 for use with the following notebook computers: 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4. These batteries were manufactured by LG Chem, Ltd. of South Korea.

A statement from Apple reads:

"The affected batteries could overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Apple has received six consumer reports of these batteries overheating. If you have a recalled battery, please stop using it and order a replacement battery immediately. Once you have removed the battery, plug in the AC adapter to power the computer. If you must temporarily use your computer with the battery, do not leave it unattended and check for signs of overheating."

The recalled batteries include those with model numbers A1061, A1078, and A1079 and serial numbers that begin with HQ441 through HQ507 and 3X446 through 3X510. To view the model and serial numbers labeled on the bottom of the battery, you must remove the battery from the computer. The battery serial number is printed in black or dark grey lettering beneath a barcode.

For more information, including photos indicating where you can locate your serial number, visit Apple's Battery Exchange Program page.

MacFixIt readers are already reporting receiving the new batteries.

Paul Scandariato writes:

"Just letting you guys know that I submitted a number of laptops for the battery recall program (a mix of PowerBooks and iBooks) on Friday afternoon, and received all of the replacement batteries this morning via DHL in Cary, North Carolina."

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

2 comments Most Recent Post: 05/24 03:59PM by dgkanter




Utilities Updates Utilities Updates
Utilities Updates: DashOff 1.0; Safari Enhancer 2.6; Growl 0.7; Guest PC 1.4; more

DashOff 1.0: disable/enable Dashboard on Tiger

Safari Enhancer 2.6: enhances the functionality of Safari. The new release compatible with Safari 2.0/Mac OS X 10.4.

Growl 0.7: systemwide notifications. The new release sends notifications when an applications registers.

Guest PC 1.4: virtual x86 emulator. The new release fixes several incompatibilities with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) including problems with networking and printing.

InterMapper 4.3: monitors servers, networks and AirPorts. The new release has enhancements to take advantage of new features of the MacOS X 10.4 ("Tiger") operating system

FoldersSynchronizer 3.5.2: sync and backup files, folders, disks. The new release fixes a problem when the current user is different than the one who installed the application.






New & Noteworthy New & Noteworthy
New and Noteworthy: Apple/Intel speculation fuels stock rise; PalmOne to be Palm again

Apple/Intel speculation fuels stock rise As noted by The San Francisco Chronicle, investors reacted positively to speculation that Apple has been in talks with Intel. "After a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal, which said the two firms have been in talks about a possible partnership, Apple shares rose $2.21, or 5. 89 percent, in regular trading to close at $39.76. Intel shares gained 15 cents, or 0.57 percent, to close at $26.50. [...] Some analysts are skeptical that Apple is ready to make that leap into Intel's arms." More.

PalmOne to be Palm again The Register reports that PalmOne can now go back to calling itself Palm, thanks to a deal done with Palm OS developer PalmSource. "When the original Palm split itself, creating the two firms, each took a share in the Palm Trademark Holding Company, presumably to ensure neither PalmOne nor PalmSource could claim to be the 'real' Palm to the detriment of the other, and to convince other Palm OS licensees that the two firms really were independent. No longer. PalmOne has paid PalmSource $30m for the system software company's 55 per cent stake in PTHC. It will pay for the share in instalments over the next three-and-a-half years." More.

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