Randy B. Singer
If you are still using OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and you are looking for troubleshooting information
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Randy B. Singer
May not be republished or otherwise disseminated without express written permission.
Permission is hereby given to link to this page.
Table of Contents
When Macintosh OS X 10.3 (Panther) was first released, I wasn't sure that a page such as this would even be necessary. The earliest reports indicated that Apple had gone through a lot of trouble to eliminate the problems associated with OS X 10.2 (Jaguar). But as with any sophistocated operating system, the reports of bugs in Jaguar began to trickle in.
If you don't find a solution to the problem that you are experiencing on this page, you may be able to find the solution on my older OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) page:
Jaguar and Panther are similar enough that many of the utilities and work-arounds that helped under Jaguar will also be effective under Panther. So my Jaguar page should be considered complementary to this page.
I expect Panther to shape up to be the best personal computer operating system ever created.
- Can't Install OS X 10.3 Panther
Some folks have found that the Panther installer disks that they received are defective in that they cannot be read. Others have found that they haven't received the proper disks (e.g. two disk number ones, and no disk number twos.) If this is the situation, contact Apple Support and request new disks. The number to call is: 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275- 2273) in the United States. If you call within the 90-day complimentary support period, or you have purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan, you will not have to pay for the call.
Also see Item #5 and Item #8, below, for other reasons why you may not be able to successfully install OS X 10.3 Panther.
- External Hard Drive Corrupted On Restart
This is a big problem. A large number of users (but by no means all users) have found that when they update to Panther, and restart for the first time, that Panther destroys all of the data on their external hard drive. (Of course, if you don't have an external hard drive, this problem is of no concern to you.) The drive will no longer mount or function on any computer, unless it is reformatted (that is, whiped clean). The problem only seems to occur when the external drive is on during startup and you startup from the internal hard drive. Some folks have reported that you can avoid this problem (as a temporary measure) by unmounting your external drive each time prior to shutdown, and then turning it on each time only after Panther has fully started up. All dismountable volumes now have a little dismount symbol next to them in the Finder sidebar, so it is easy to dismout your drive before shutdown.
Macworld UK says that the FireWire problem was identified during Panther's beta test period, apparently remedied, but then it reappeared in the release version of Panther.
So, hopefully, Apple should be able to quickly come up with a fix for this problem.
Users report that neither DiskWarrior, nor Drive10, nor Norton Disk Doctor seem to be able to recover a drive lost to this bug. There have been a couple of reports that at least some data can be recovered using DataRescue X.
It isn't well known (unless you read the manual) that Disk Warrior can scavenge your drive for lost files also. On the opening screen there is a button that says "Rebuild." However, if you hold the Option key down, that button changes to "Scavenge." Clicking on Scavenge will cause Disk Warrior to aggressively scan for any intact files, regardless of the presence of a directory entry.
Apple has released a statement that this problem is limited to FireWire 800 drives
But I'm afraid that the problem exists with FireWire 400 drives also. There have been a bunch of reports of FireWire 400, and even USB 2.0 drives being trashed by Panther. Oxford Semiconductor is the company that makes the bridge chips in the majority of external FireWire drives. These bridge chips have been implicated with causing this problem. To Oxford Semiconductor's credit, they are not trying to downplay the problem by saying that the problem is confined to their FireWire 800 chipset:
"As there is currently no evidence that this issue is purely related to Oxford's 922 based drives, Oxford Semiconductor is advising all FireWire drive users to take advantage of further Panther revisions as they arise."
Many of the vendors of external FireWire drives have already posted firmware updaters for their products to deal with this problem. Unfortunately, some of these updaters have technical limitations that might keep you from being able to apply them.
LaCie patch (must be able to boot into OS 9 to apply.)
WiebeTech updater (must be applied under Jaguar.)
Other World Computing (OWC) updater
FireWire Direct updater
Maxtor denys that its FireWire drives are incompatible with Panther:
However, the number of reports chronicaling problems with Maxtor drives leads to the conclusion that Maxtor is mistaken.
SmartDisk has been telling customers that their products are not effected by this problem.
Discussions about this problem.
MacInTouch has an excellent page on this problem.
MacFixIt also has a great page on the FireWire debacle.
Apple has released OS X 10.3.1 via Software Update to deal with this problem. It is too soon to tell if the problem has been completely fixed. Since Apple, and just about all of the hard drive vendors, refuse to even admit that this problem effects drives other than FireWire800 drives (it most definitely does effect some FireWire400 drives), it is hard to determine if your data is still at risk if you attach a FireWire hard drive to your Mac running OS X 10.3.1. I highly recommend that you make sure that you have a full backup of your FireWire drive before attaching it to your Mac under OS X 10.3.1.
From reading through the Apple forums, a reoccuring theme is that if you have a FireWire 400 drive connected to your Mac alongside an iSight camera, this can cause a similar hard drive corruption problem to the one with aFW800 drives. However, apparently this problem isn't as permanent. Disconnecting the iSight, in most cases, will bring back your FireWire drive. So, for now, it seems as if it would be prudent to dismount your external FireWire drives before starting a video chat
- FileVault Causes Data Corruption/Can't Mount Disk Image Files
This problem isn't as nasty as #2, above, but it is still a big problem. FileVault, a security feature of Panther that works by encrypting your user folder has been causing data loss. Not for everyone, but for enough users that FileVault should not be trusted. People are losing their Mail settings, iTunes Libraries, Address Books, etc. FileVault corrupts user's directories, and thus destroys all their user data, preferences etc.
Some folks say that the damage only occurs when FileVault reports that it is "recovering disk space". If that is the case, then if FileVault asks you to allow it to recover disk space, you should not allow it!
FileVault's has also been implicated with corrupting disk image files (.dmg). Users with this problem get a "no mountable file systems" error message when they try to mount a disk image.
There has been a lot of traffic in Apple's Discussion forums about this problem:
Apple has released OS X 10.3.1 via Software Update to deal with this problem. Early accounts seem to indicate that the problem may be completely fixed. However, I still recommend that you do a full backup of your hard drive before turning on FileVault. See:
I am still receiving some reports that FileVault is causing some unusual behavior, even after upgrading to 10.3.1. Mostly problems with launching applications, so if your Macintosh is acting funny after enabling FileVault, try disabling FileVault and see if things immediately clear up. Please let me know your experiences with this.
- Utility Software Doesn't Work Or Causes Unusual Problems/No Applications Will Launch
Before you upgrade from any previous verison of OS X to Panther, you should either uninstall all of your utility software, or update it to a Panther-compatible version. Utility software is any software which modifies the way that OS X works, or adds functionality to it. That includes any software that adds a preference pane to System Preferences, any software that adds a menu to the finder, etc. You should look at the instructions that came with the software to determine how to uninstall it. (Some utilities include an uninstaller, others must be uninstalled manually.)
For instance, if you don't update the popular utility Default Folder X, you may find that when you upgrade to Panther you cannot launch any applications!
Using an outdated version of CopyPaste under Panther will cause your "c" key on your keyboard to malfunction.
- Abnormal Behavior After Updating to Panther or After Installing New Software
For some reason the installer program for OS X, and the installer programs for many software programs, incorrectly set permissions for the files that they install. This situation can negatively impact the performance of your computer and/or cause aberrant behavior. You can fix this by running Repair Disk Permissions, which is a feature of the Apple utility program Disk Utility, which comes with OS X. Disk Utility is on your Mac OS X Installer CD-ROM, but the preferred way to run Repair Disk Permissions is from your hard drive.
Just go to your Utilities folder, open Disk Utility and on the left side of the resulting window, select the hard drive that you want to repair. Click on the First Aid tab. Then click on the Repair Disk Permissions button.
Another way to repair permissions, and to do a number of routine maintenancetasks under OS X, is to use the FREE utility OnyX:
- Kernel Panics Caused By Out-Of-Spec RAM
A Kernel Panic is an error message that suddenly appears, telling you that you need to restart your Macintosh (in several languages).
If you get kernel panics, or experience abnormal behavior, it could be that your RAM is not within Apple's specifications. RAM that ran fine under OS 9 may still present a problem under OS X. So if you are having otherwise unexplainable problems, you might want to consider removing any third party RAM that you have installed, and just leaving the original Apple RAM installed, and see if the problem resolves. Most third-party RAM has a lifetime warranty and can be returned if it does not work well under Panther.
Another out-of-spec third-party RAM problem that might present itself is that you cannot install Panther at all . In some cases it may be possible to remove your third-party RAM, install Panther, and then reinstall your third-party RAM, and your Macintosh might function fine after that.
Running the Apple Hardware Test CD-ROM that came with your computer may catch out of spec RAM. While this won't catch all bad RAM, if the test shows that your RAM is bad, this might make it easier for you to get an exchange from the dealer who sold you the RAM.
- Video Card Problems
Some folks are experiencing a limited selection of monitor resolutions and fewer color depth options in Mac OS X 10.3 with 3Dfx chipset video cards. and ATI Rage Pro-based graphics cards. Hopefully new drivers for these cards will be released for use with Panther. You may want to harass the developers of these cards until they come through.
A possible cure for video cards that break under Panther was posted by Stephen Zellers in this Apple forum:
Power Macintosh G4 "Sawtooth" models, with NVIDIA GeForce4MX video cards can be fixed with this solution offered by Other World Computing:
- Can't Install Panther/Processor Upgrade Card Installed
Unless Apple specifically lists it as being supported, any third party hardware upgrades, such as accelerator cards, video cards, and SCSI cards, are not supported by Apple for Panther. This doesn't mean that they won't work under Panther, but it does mean that if you have any problems with third-party hardware upgrades that you will have to rely of the manufacturer of that hardware upgrade to provide tech support and any patches necessary to make the device work with Panther.
Apple/Panther Supported Peripherals
There have been reports that if you can't install Panther with a processor upgrade card installed, that it may be possible to uninstall the card, upgrade to Panther, and then you can re-install the processor card and it will work fine.
- AppleTalk Devices Don't Show Up in Panther
Panther sometimes turns off AppleTalk during installation. So, to get Panther to recognize AppleTalk computers on your netwrk, and and AppleTalk peripheral devices, you need to turn AppleTalk back on.
Checking the 'Enable AppleTalk' box in your Network preference pane won't turn AppleTalk on (apparently this is a useless option now).What you need to do to turn on AppleTalk is to open the utility Directory Access, which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder. Click the lock, enter your password, then check the empty box next to AppleTalk.
- External Devices Don't Show Up On The Desktop
I've heard from a number of users who have complained that their drives and/or servers are not showing up on the desktop in Panther. One possible solution is to go into Finder Preferences/General tab and select the Show These Items (Hard Disks, CD's, Connected Servers).
A large number of users have reported an inability to connect to AppleShare volumes via AppleTalk since upgrading to Panther, even though AppleTalk is enabled for the current network port (see Item 9, above). However, connecting directly -- by entering the share's address in the Connect to Server dialog works fine. This is apparently a change in functionality of OS X since version 10.2.
- Faxing Doesn't Work
Some folks have not been able to use Panther's faxing capabilities. Often this is accompanied by an error message that says: "There was a software error". Apple offers a fix that must be applied using OS X's Terminal:
1. Shut down the computer by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu.
2. Start up in single-user mode by pressing Command-S during startup.
3. At the command prompt, type: mount -uw /
4. Press Return.
6. Press Return.
7. Type: reboot
8. Press Return.
Another reason that faxing may not work is that you have a conflict with another faxing program that you have installed. In that case it may help to run the uninstaller for any other faxing programs that you have installed.
- Memory Full Error Message
If you get an error message that says that you don't have enough memory, offering to quit some programs for you, even though you would seem to have plenty of RAM installed, the problem most likely has little or nothing to do with RAM. The problem is that your hard drive is too full to have enough free contiguous space to allow Panther to work effectively.
Under Jaguar, to fix such a situation, you would need to both archive and delete unneeded files to clear space on your drive, and then you needed to run a hard drive defragmentation program to make the newly freed up space contiguous. It isn't clear yet if you will still need to run a defragmentation program, such as Alsoft's Plus Optimizer or Symantec Norton SpeedDisk, to fix things under Panther.
Panther has an automatic defragmentation feature for files.
Since Panther's defragmentation scheme apparently has no effect on disk fragmentation, only file fragmentation, you may still need a defragmentation utility not too long after your drive passes the 80% full point if you want to avoid out of memory errors.
- Can't Run "fsck -y" In Single User Mode
There are several ways to do a "File System Check" in OS X. One that is popular with more hard-care computer users is to boot into what is known as "single user mode" and to run "fsck" from the command line. (If you don't know what this all means, or if using the command line scares you, you can safely ignore this and run File System Check, when you need to, by restarting your Mac with the Shift key held down.)
Users have found that running fsck -y in Single User Mode doesn't work in Panther because journaling is turned on by default..
Instead you can use "fsck -yf". The "-f" "forces" the system to run fsck.
However, this Apple KnowledgeBase article says that, thanks to journaling, running fsck is no longer necessary , and it suggests that running fsck in single user mode is no longer necessary, and in fact may not even be advisable.
Apparently in this article Apple is saying that you can run fsck, by forcing it (-f) but that you should only do so to verify the file system and that you should not let it fix anything (-n). In fact, when you enter single user mode there is a message that says something to the effect of 'fsck is not necessary because the volume is journaled'.
This brings up the question of what do you do when the journal is incorrect and you need to repair the file system? My best guess is that what you need to do in that event is to startup from your OS X installer CD-ROM and run Disk Utility's "Repair Disk" function.
I would appreciate feedback on this issue. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Macintosh/Palm Syncronization Won't Work
Several folks have lost the ability to synchronize their Palm with Palm Desktop on their Macintosh after installing Panther. Palm Desktop 4.1gives the following error upon clicking on the menu item HotSync->Setup "Application Launch Failure ....the application HotSync Manager could not be launched because of a shared library error"
My understanding is that the latest version of the Palm software works, but that they have an installer problem. Palm Desktop's installer has a problem installing the HotSync libraries. These HotSync libraries can be copied over from Jaguar (if you did an "archive and install" upgrade, they are in the old system folder). The files that you need to copy over are in /Library/Application Support/Palm Hotsync and /Library/CFMSupport/Hotsync Libraries.
A different solution that I have heard of is to go into your Accounts preference pane and delete the transport and Palm Desktop login items from the Startup Items tab. Then restart, and try reinstalling Palm Desktop.
Yes another solution that has been proposes is to use the Utility Pseudo to install Palm Desktop:
- Printing Broken/Printer Unsupported In Jaguar
Users who have done an upgrade install of Panther can run into printing problems if they run Disk Utility's 'Repair Permissions' function.
Apple provides a solution here:
AllOSX has put together a small program based on an the Apple provided solution which repairs the print system without having to use the Terminal.
Note: The above fixes have apparently been rolled into the OS X 10.3.1 update, so they are now unnecessary once you update.
Several other users have reported that after they updated to Panther from Jaguar that they could no longer print to their printer. Hewlett-Packard printers seem to have been especially hit by this problem. Several solutions have been proposed. It may be necessary to use them together to fix your printing problem.
1. Delete the setup for your printer and then reinstall your printer's drivers. Delete the printer from Printer Setup Utility. Restart. Add your printer.
2. Delete the drivers that come with Mac OS X 10.3 and install the drivers available on the Web site of the printer's manufacturer.
3. Delete all of the "com.apple.Print.(...).plist" files from your ~/Library/Preferences folder.
Eugene Fields posts instructions that he received from HP for restoring his HP printer to functionality after installing Jaguar.
Some users of HP multi-function devices have found that if you turn on your HP before starting up your Macintosh, that this solves the problem.
Mac OS X: How to Add a Printer to the Printer List
"Mac OS X 10.3: Included PPDs for PostScript Printers"
"Mac OS X 10.3: Raster (Inkjet) Printer Drivers Included"
Here is a list of printers that OS X includes drivers for specfically.
If OS X 10.3 Panther does not include a driver for your printer, try Gimp-Print, which is an option install from the Panther installer disks, or which you can download from:
Linux Printing.org has an OS X installer package for Panther that includes support for PostScript level 1 printers. Panther generates level 2 and level 3 PostScript but as it comes it cannot print to older printers. This package includes PostScript Printer Descriptions, PPDs, for:
Personal LaserWriter NT
PSLevel1 for Mac OS X:
iProof Systems' PowerRIP X is a PostScript Level 3-compatible printer driver for many models of Epson inkjet printers. If you used this product under OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), you must update to the latest version to use it under Panther.
Keyspan's USB Parallel Printer Adapter enables the use of parallel (that is, Windows) printers with Mac OS X. The adapter is a six-foot cable that connects a parallel printer to the USB port on your Mac, and is compatible with more than 200 parallel inkjet, laser, and dot matrix printers. It includes printer configuration software for adding parallel printers to the Print Center.
Epson Printer Hacks to get several unsupported Epson printers to work with OS X:
- Firewall Can't Be Enabled
If you are having problems using the built-in Mac OS X Firewall, possibly getting the error message: "other Firewall software is running on this computer," try deleting the file: "com.apple.sharing.firewall.plist" in /Library/Preferences and restarting.
Another solution has been proposed that requires use of the Terminal.
Type "sudo ipfw list", and you will receive a list of ports (tcp/ip) with their open or closed status.
Then type "sudo ipfw -f flush" to reset the ipfw list.
After this you should be able to modify your firewall settings without a problem.
- Sleep Problems
Some user have reported intermittent problems with getting their Mac to go into a normal sleep mode.
The solution is to open the Print & Fax pane of System Preferences and uncheck the "receive faxes on this computer" box. Having fax reception enabled prevents your Macinosh from going into sleep mode normally.
- Quickeys Causes Nasty Problems
If you have the current release (2.01) of Quickeys installed and set as a logon item, under Panther your Macintosh will constantly cycle into a crashing mode that is not easy to escape from. This is a very nasty and scary incompatibility. To fix it, startup from the OS X installer CD-ROM by holding down the "C" key on startup with the disk inserted, and uninstall QuicKeys X. You can also upgrade to version 2.0.2b3 prior to installing Panther.
- SCSI Scanner Problems
Panther introduced a bug in the Adaptec SCSI drivers for the following Adaptec SCSI cards: AVA-2906, Power Domain 2930U, Power Domain 29160, Power Domain 29160N, and Power Domain 39160. The bug removs support for the IOSCSIDeviceInterface, which works on Mac OS X 10.2, and only supports SCSITaskInterface, which doesn't work with many scanners (the SCSI Sense buffer is too small).
This is only a problem with some scanners, but it's especially a problem with UMAX and Linotype Ultra SCSI scanners
While the Adaptec site says that there is no problem with Jaguar:
In private correspondence Adaptec acknowledges the problem and they say that they are investigating a solution.
Ed Hamrick has released Vuescan 7.6.65, which now allows you to successfully use Umax and LinoType scanners under OSX.3
- General Wonky Performance After Upgrade Install
Several users have told me that they experienced severe problems with Panther immediately after they did an upgrade install. It may be that these folks had incompatible utilities installed. (See Item #4, above) What cleared things up for these folks was reinstalling Panther right over the installation they had just done, doing an "archive and install" installation instead.
- Epson Scanner Problems
If your Epson scanner stops working when you upgrade to Panther, some folks have found that if you remove the "Epson Scanner.app" file (the driver for your scanner supplied by Apple in Panther) from: /Library/Image Capture/Devices/Epson Scanner.app
After you remove this file, restart, and install the latest drivers from Epson for your printer. They should work perfectly.
(Scroll down for scanner drivers.)
- Disk Image Files Won't Mount
Under OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) there was a nasty problem that a few users experienced mounting disk images (.dmg files). A similar problem has cropped up with Panther, especially after updating to 10.3.1, but it seems to be much easier to remedy.
The solution is to reapply the 10.3.1 update and the subsequent Security update (SecurityUpdate2003-11-19). However, since both of the updates are .dmg files (which presumably you can't mount), you will need to delete the receipt for the 10.3.1 update from Library/Receipts and then run Software Update.
A different remedy that has been proposed has to do with a .plist file (that is, a preferences file) that gets created the first time you mount a .dmg file. This file is called "com.apple.frameworks.diskimages.diskimagesuiagent.plist" . Apparently this necessary file is missing from the system of folks experiencing this problem.
The solution is to reinstal OS X 10.3, but before upgrading to 10.3.1 mount a .dmg file (any .dmg file) to create the preferences file. You can then update to 10.3.1 and .dmg files should mount normally.
- No Modem Found
After upgrading to Panther, when some folks try to sign on to their dial-up ISP, the Mac finds their (USB or serial) modem but reports "No Modem
The modem shows up as a device in Apple's System Profiler (and its listed in NETWORK System Preferences), but the Mac won't use it.
Try this to fix the problem:
(1) Disconnect the modem from the computer and restart the Mac, then
(2) Open NETWORK System Preferences, and select Network Port Configurations from the SHOW menu, now
(3) Delete the device (modem) from the list and restart the Mac again.
(4) Reinstall the modem per manufacturer's instruction.
Your modem should now show up as "new" device detected when you resetup the NETWORK System Preferences, and should work fine again.
- Problems With Panther's Help System
If Panther's Help system isn't working, or isn't working correctly for you after upgrading from Jaguar, deleting the preference file:
~/Library/Caches/com.apple.helpui/TOCCache.plist (this is in your user Library folder, not your root level Library folder). If that doesn't help, you may want to try uninstalling the entire ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.helpui folder.
- Safari Unexpectedly, and Frequently, Quits
A large number of users have been reporting that while surfing the Web using Safari, it unexpectedly quits. Apple has provided a tech document to troubleshoot this problem.
One possible source of this problem is that Safari is incompatible with Pith helmet, a content filtering utility for Safari.
For More Help, Or Information About OS X
If you don't find a solution to the problem that you are experiencing on this page, you may be able to find the solution on my older OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) page:
That page should be considered complementary to this page, since Jaguar and Panther are very similar in how they work.
Panther Maintenance Tips
Apple provides a Panther support page:
What's New in Mac OS X 10.3
This site only deals with common problems with OS X.
To find out more about less common problems with OS X, I highly recommend:
If you are interested in hints for using OS X, have a look at this excellent site:
OS X Hints
Paul Taylor publishes a PDF newsletter on Mac OS X called Hints and Tips. The newsletter can be downloaded from his web site.
If you want to learn more about OS X 10.3 Panther, check out this book:
OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
There is no better book available for average users to learn Mac OS X. David Pogue is a very entertaining writer, while still remaining succinct and easy to understand.
Jeff Biggus provides a really nice site called HyperJeff OS X, with a huge, well-organized, list of OS X software. links, reference materials, etc. If you use OS X you will find something of interest on this site.
Here is a really nice tutorial that explains how Classic works under OS X:
If you occasionally still startup into OS 9, and need to troubleshoot that version of the Mac OS, this page by Tom Calvert is very helpful:
Mac Troubleshooting and Maintenance
If you have any additions to this Web site to suggest, I would very much appreciate hearing your suggestions.
Send them to:
Randy B. Singer, email@example.com
Many thanks to all of the kind folks who have contributed to this page!!!
About The Author:
Randy B. Singer is:
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