Monday, August 08, 2005

JackLooks: Problems With Tiger [UPDATED]

Today's JackLook covers Tiger.

I haven't been recommending Tiger to any of my clients because up until 10.4.2, it was just too buggy.

A number of my clients have been installing it, and so far, it's been a nightmare to support.

I have had 3 clients come into my store not being able to install Tiger at all.

One customer, I isolated as a memory issue. It seems certain versions of the Mac OS have had problems with memory before. Many who upgradedc from OS 9 to OSX found that their memory may not have worked. I always recommend that you have all the same memory in your Mac for best performance.

For instance:

Use (4) 333 DDR 3200 DIMMs from Kingston - all double sided - same capacity

Rather than a mix of single sided, 512MB, 256MB, 128MB and PC 2700 & PC 3200 from PNY, Kingston, Crucial, or even Apple's own Samsung and Hyundai memory

It appears as if Tiger likes completely optimized, up to date machines. It installed perfectly onto my PowerBook.

My main machine is a PowerBook G3 Pismo - upgraded to a 550Mhz G4, a 7200RPM 2.5" notebook hard drive, a slot load DVD-R/CDRW, with 1GB of PC133 SODIMM memory. I have modded the Powerbook to have internal bluetooth and Airport Extreme wireless.

I was a little worried about installing it on my PowerBook because of the various reports I had read on and the fact that I have my PowerBook so heavily modded.

One problem I potentially faced; was my Motorola 802.11g card possibly no longer being recognized. Reports around the web showed that previously supported cards with a broadcom chipset no longer worked. I have not experienced this problem; yet.

I've dealt with the following problems:

A number of my clients use hi end audio cards in their Macs - this page gave a little assistance for MAudio equipment

As for MOTU Cards with breakout boxes - they seem to work better in Tiger

The ethernet adapter (that I mentioned in last week's JackLooks) that I sell no longer being recognized - drivers were made a few weeks back.

Tiger not installing at all or having problems installing.

I have discovered that just about the only way to solve this problem is to use Alsoft Diskwarrior BEFORE installing Tiger. After using it, all the installations that were problematic went off without a hitch.

I also found it helpful to be within reach of a broadband connection to update. 10.4.2 is imperitive to have. So, if you don't have broadband, make sure you get an Apple Service "person" in to perform the update for you as soon as possible.

There are FOUR real pains to deal with all Tiger installs:

1) Importing your mailboxes into the new mail application.

- If this is hanging on you or taking too long; go to Library/Mail/Mailboxes and remove all the mailboxes, just drag and drop them one by one onto the mailbox column on the right hand side.

2) Waiting for Spotlight to index your whole hard drive

- There's really nothing you can do to stop this - and if there was a way - you wouldn't want to. This is an important core functionality of Mac OS X Tiger. Just be patient. I have found that logging in as root seems to speed the process up. 2-6 hours is common - so be patient.

3) The localization files in OSX Tiger are not as easily removed as in previous versions of 10.

- I use a program called Delocalizer. The forum at VersionTracker say it works with Tiger. So far, all I have seen it remove is about 4MB of space. There is still almost a GB of localization files on my hard drive.

4) Dashboard is a resource and memory hog. It can actually slow your system down. I have it off on my my main machine; my PowerBook. One day, when I move to a faster system, I will most likely try to use it again.

- Dashboard does not have an easy to way to turn it off, so I use this Applescript to turn it off easily. You can place this in the startup items folder to launch at startup if you like. You should see a noticeable increase in speed after you turn dashboard off if you don't have a lot of memory or a lower end G4.

Overall, Tiger is much faster than Panther and especially Jaguar. It's well worth the upgrade. I am particularly pleased with the stability of the Mail program.

Tiger is the first operating system that requires onboard firewire for installation. You must have a machine that came with a firewire port before installing! It doesn't actually use the firewire port to install, it's just a requirement. This basically means any Mac 350Mhz and faster; except the Bondi Blue slot load iMac from 2000. (It only had USB - no firewire)

[Update] Here is another tidbit I found from

You can repair the disk while booted in single user mode if you do not have access to a retail Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) DVD/CD. To startup in single user mode, hold down the "Command" and "S" keys simultaneously at startup. Once properly booted, type the command fsck at the prompt. Repeat these process until no errors appear.

Remove Adobe Version Cue to resolve some startup/shutdown issues As aforementioned, third party utilities can often play a role in startup/shutdown issues. It appears that in some cases, the Version Cue component of Adobe's CS (creative suite) 2 package interferes with startup and shutdown of Mac OS X 10.4.2 systems.

If you are experiencing these issues, you may want to try removing the Adobe Version Cue software.

Again, if the problem is so severe that you cannot properly startup your Mac normally, you may need to boot in Safe mode.

Once booted, the first choice for removing the Version Cue software is to use the Uninstaller application located in the Adobe Version Cue folder within your Applications folder. Failing that, you may need to manually remove Version Cue. In order to do so, delete the following files/folders:

Adobe Version Cue folder from the Applications folder
VersionCueCS2.prefPane folder from the Library/PreferencePanes folder.
com.adobe.versioncueCS2.plist file from the Library/Preferences folder.
AdobeVersionCueCS2 folder from the Library/StartupItems folder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I own a AlBook-15/1.5ghz box stock.

Am now using MacOS 10.4.2, however, initial install went off without a hitch (from 10.3.9).

Spotlight did its thing in less than 15-minutes!!! You and others, must have 600,000 files with many details in them to require so much time.

I have recently installed 10.4 on an old IMAC/G3/400 DVSE. Installation of more than 300,000 files (standard load) takes significantly longer than my AlBook [grin]. Spotlight executed in about 1.5 hours, load on system while this was going on was about 25%. Spotlight cataloging is irritating on slower systems, but is not horrendous.

I agree, drive has to be perfect to install 10.4, and update to 10.4.2 ASAP!