Apples Mac OS X Update Brings Word of FireWire Problems

Some users have said that after updating to Mac OS X "Panther" 10.3.6, their computers no longer recognize external FireWire 400 hard drives. Others report no such problems with the update, which includes networking optimizations and fixes for

Apple has released an update for both server and consumer editions of its Mac OS X operating systems, moving both of them to version 10.3.6. According to Apples own documentation, the updates include networking optimizations, fixes for video and font glitches, a better-performing Calculator application, bug fixes and security updates.

Users upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.6 will see improved AFP (Apple File Protocol) service performance, says the technical note from Apple Computer Inc. The update also should resolve an issue in previous versions of the operating systems where SMB/CIFS servers would intermittently disappear upon changes to the network.

Other networking changes include fixes for issues in 10.3.5 that appeared when using the Terminal, logging in a user via a network account or trying to open an application from an automounted AFP volume.

On the graphics front, the update adds improved ColorSync calibration for 23-inch Apple Cinema Displays with DVI connectors. It also corrects errors in previous versions wherein some glyph fonts would not be accessible by some applications and some fonts would display incorrect characters.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read about Mac OS X 10.3.5, click here.

The update also fixes an issue in which laptop users could see a dark screen when waking from a sleep mode that used a password-protected screen saver. In addition, users of Nvidia video cards should no longer see a blurry image when zooming in using the sniper rifle in the video game "Halo."

Other changes include improved conversion features in the Calculator application, fixes for unexplained application crashes in Final Cut Pro HD 4.5 and TextEdit, and WMC connectivity for Nokia 7610 mobile phones.

But some users have said that after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.6, their computers no longer recognize external FireWire 400 hard drives. When attempting to mount their drives, users report getting messages asking if they want to eject, initialize or retry.

But some users who tried mounting and opening these same drives on OS X systems of version 10.3.5 and older reported that all drive data were intact. Unconfirmed reports note this problem with some MacAlly and Acomdata drives.

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Many users contacted by have reported no such problems; the issue seems to be limited to drives built around some chip sets.

Users of some MacAlly, LaCie and Maxtor drives have said their external FireWire drives worked properly after the 10.3.6 upgrade. In addition, some users said that updating the firmware of their hard drives resolved the situation.

Apple representatives could not be reached for comment.

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