Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Mysterious Library Alias

Many of you in Tiger may have noticed the problem discussed here.

Specifically, a new generic file alias shows up in under Network in the Finder. Apparently it has something to do with NFS. A user on the above forum wrote:

The network Library contains items that are available to all users on your network. It has been around since at least 10.1. You would only use this folder if you part of a network being managed with OS X Server.

From Mac OS X Server Administrator’s Guide:

"Adding System Resources to the Network Library Folder

This Library folder in the Network globe is included in the system search path. This gives you the ability to make available, from the network, any type of system resource that resides in the local Library folder. These resources could include fonts, application preferences, ColorSync profiles, desktop pictures, and so forth. Mac OS X accesses the network Library folder before the local Library folder, so network resources with the same name take precedence. You can use this capability to customize your managed client environment."

So just ignore it. It represents network services that aren't available to you.

Anyway, the important point is how to fix it from another user:

>>>When I click on the Network icon in the Sidebar the window shows "Servers" and an alias called Library. If I click on it the system tells me the alias is broken. I don't know what this file is for.

I deleted the file but I had to log in as root to do it. After that I could login to and user on my Mac and the file was gone. After I did a restart it came back again. Anybody know what this file is?<<<

To prevent it from comming back, edit "/System/Library/StartupItems/NFS/NFS" and place a # in front of the line:

ln -s /automount/Library /Network/Library

As shown below....

nfsd ${arguments}
# Start the automounter
if [ "${AUTOMOUNT:=-YES-}" = "-YES-" ]; then
automount -m /Network -nsl -mnt ${AUTOMOUNTDIR}
# ln -s /automount/Library /Network/Library
automount -m /automount/Servers -fstab -mnt /private/Network/Servers -m /automount/static -static -mnt
ln -s /automount/Servers /Network/Servers
# Hint that the name /Network should be localized:
ln -s . /Network/.localized
# Leave a mark upon completion of the automounter startup:

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sharing iTunes and iPhoto on One Machine

This must be one of the biggest pains in the world. I don’t know why Apple doesn’t address this better.

Sharing a single iTunes (or iPhoto) Library is very tough, because of separate user accounts and permissions issues. If you do a search on Google, there are about 8-gajillion methods for achieving this; most of them are too hard and many of them don’t work. The one I had previously used under Panther required setting up a new group with NetInfo Manager.

Even Apple’s current support document on the issue isn’t 100% right. However, (as usual) digging through the discussion board (where Apple plays no official part) I was able to find a key omission in Apple’s version. The original can be found here, but I’ve summarized it below:

Holding down the command key & select the iTunes Music folder and drag it to a shared folder along with a copy of the iTunes Library file from your iTunes folder... leave the original Library file where it is... set your iTunes pref. > advanced tab Location is Shared folder.

Set correct permissions on the Shared folder ...

To set preferences using BatChmod is very easy... This compact GUI will perform the same tasks as a 'command line in Terminal ' drag the complete Shared folder with libraries and iTunes Music folder inside to the BatChmod Icon and drop.... check path is correct.... tick if not already.... Owner=R W , Group=R W, Others=R W, then tick 'Apply ownership and priviledges'... 'Unlock' & click Apply... provide password... all done very quick...

The next time you login to the other A/C replace the iTunes Library file in the iTunes folder with the copy in the Shared folder and check the name is iTunes Library without 'copy' added.... start iTunes and set the pref. the same as above.... if you make major changes to library you can swap the library file to the other user A/C the same way.

This didn’t work for my situation, because I want to share our ENTIRE library among users, including playlists and so on. So I eventually pieced together advice from various different sources such as these:

Symbolic links Sharing iTunes and iPhoto Libraries with entire family Using ACL under Tiger (I did not go this route)

A probable avenue for doing this pain free was seen here, but the developer has no demo version available (this software was once donationware). Sounds nice but I won’t pay even $5 for something if I don’t know it will work. And there’s a shareware app called Sandbox that might work as well for doing ACL, but I didn’t try it.

Here’s what I did (basically):

  1. Moved /User/Music/iTunes/ directory to /Users/Shared/
  2. Changed permissions to allow RWE for all users in that folder
  3. Made a symbolic link to the library in each user’s /Music/ folder pointing to the shared folder; note: Path Finder makes doing the above tasks easier
  4. Repeated steps 1-3 for iPhoto library as well

It’s working as of now, but we’ll see if I run into any ‘gotchas’. I created a test playlist from one user’s account and then deleted it from another account, so it seems to be working. I can play music from either account. iPhoto is working as well.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Current system.log error messages

What follows are recurring error messages I’m seeing in the system.log, though my current 10.4.5 system seems to be running fine. I’m hoping to address each of these issues over time.

Here are some issues I’m seeing at shutdown:

Mar 10 21:38:28 Studio-Mac-G4 loginwindow[84]: sendQuitEventToApp (LAServer): AESendMessage returned error -609
Mar 10 21:38:31 Studio-Mac-G4 SystemStarter[2988]: authentication service (3008) did not complete successfully
Mar 10 21:38:31 Studio-Mac-G4 kernel[0]: at_obdev_KUC: sf_attach denied! already terminatingat_obdev_KUC
Mar 10 21:38:33 Studio-Mac-G4 SystemStarter[2988]: The following StartupItems failed to properly start:
Mar 10 21:38:33 Studio-Mac-G4 SystemStarter[2988]: /System/Library/StartupItems/AuthServer

Here are some issues I’m seeing at startup:

Mar 11 06:00:43 localhost kernel[0]: WARNING: ATA Drive claims FLUSH CACHE EXT feature support but does not claim Extended LBA feature support
Mar 11 06:00:44 localhost 152109056: cupsd's bootstrap server port not found

Friday, March 10, 2006

Motorola v265 and iSync - Apple Typo

Here’s the fix for the issue where iSync stopped recognizing my Motorola v265 upon upgrade to Tiger.

Locate the following file by right-clicking the iSync application and choosing “Show Package Contents” (only do this if you are moderately technically savvy):

PlugIns/ PhoneModelsSync.phoneplugin/

Open the file using a .plist editor, BBEdit, or some other text editor you are familiar with. Once you have the file open, locate the following Identification key entry:

<string>Motorola CE, Copyright 2000+Motorola V265 Phone</string>

Change the entry simply by adding “m” to “V265”:

<string>Motorola CE, Copyright 2000+Motorola V265m Phone</string>

Save and close. You should now be able to add the device in iSync. Obviously, someone made a simple typo at Apple that needs to be addressed so that it will recognize the phone as it’s supposed to do. More thorough background on how I found this fix can be seen here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Motorola v265 and Tiger 10.4.5 - no workee

Okay, so I solved one problem in my upgrade to Tiger only to face a new problem:

iSync no longer recognizes my Motorola v265 cell phone (yes, it’s supported via USB). Apparently, according to, I have to do some major hacking using Xcode Tools’ USB Prober and a text editor to get iSync to work again the way it did with Panther. My phone is being seen by Tiger (as per the System Profiler), so it’s definitely a software issue.

Does anyone besides me think this is a problem? I shouldn’t have to hack an Apple product just to get it to work the way it’s supposed to work according to Apple.

This is the kind of stuff that pisses me off as a loyal Apple user since 1986.

Acard 6280M and Tiger = BOOM!

I have solved my hanging gray Apple screen of death issue referenced earlier many times on this blog (most recently here - follow the trail yourself back to Jan 9, 2006 when I tried to upgrade from Panther to Tiger 10.4.4 on my relatively old, but heavily upgraded, G4 AGP.

In my last post, I had discovered on the Apple discussion boards information about the Acard PCI Adapter interfering with versions of Tiger after 10.4.2. I figured this was likely my problem as well, as I have that very PCI card and was attempting to boot Tiger off of a drive connected to that Acard adapter.

It so happened that I had a fairly large 120 GB drive still attached to the main ATA bus on the system, so I duplicated my Tiger partition over to that drive. I’ve been cruising along fine since in Tiger 10.4.5. I also emailed Acard the following regarding this issue:

Dear Acard,

I have recently upgraded from Panther to Tiger (10.4.5) and may be having issues with my Acard 6280M. I have loaded the most recent drivers, but the problem still remains.

If I do any system maintenance (cache deletion) or add any new kernel extension, I will get stuck at the Apple gray startup screen. I have to do a safe-boot and then delete the following folder to be able to boot again:


I perused the file inside that directory and found a line referencing the 6280M. Are there any issues with the current driver and Tiger 10.4.5?

Thank you...

Shane Hendricks

Acard hasn’t yet responded and they may never respond; the current broken driver is version 1.5.7. This driver should work fine with 10.4.2 and below. They did answer some folks on the Apple discussion regarding this topic, which you can read for yourself. They basically passed the buck to Apple, which is bogus. It’s Acard’s responsibility (as a peripheral maker) to support Apple, not the other way around damn it. In another answer, they recommended doing a complete new reinstall and AVOIDING MIGRATING OR UPGRADING from Panther, which is crap for those of us with a nice running Panther system.

Anyway, this problem is solved for me, and my system seems to be running much better under Tiger. Good luck to others with this problem.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More on SystemStarter and gray Apple screen

The plot thickens. Reference, of course, my previous posts on this subject here.

I had narrowed the culprit down specifically to /System/Library/Caches/, which seems to somehow become corrupt after some major system maintenance or modification (i.e., install of a new kernel extension or cache clean up) on my old G4 AGP (Sawtooth).

Some others on the Apple forums had suggested it could possibly be due to my Acard 6280M IDE PCI adapter, which I MAY have ruled out by updating to the latest driver (version 1.5.7.); I’m not 100% sure. I did have some troubles updating to the new Acard driver, but I eventually got it working as well as the previous version of the Acard driver I was using.

However, after reinstalling (once again) Tiger 10.4.5 from the backup I had made and migrating (again, avoiding the root files and folders--which I no longer believe is related to the problem), I installed Applejack and proceeded to clean all the caches in single-user mode to test for problem reproducibility. The system rebooted fine after the Applejack session, but I immediately rebooted again from the Finder and experienced the hang at the gray Apple screen.

Since I had narrowed the problem to /System/Library/Caches/, I decided to go through the contents systematically to find the culprit file or folder. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the very last folder I deleted (after many reboots, gray screens, and safe boots to delete files) was this folder:


After deleting this folder, the system booted normally, so I may need to delete this folder after every kernel extension install or system maintenance that involves cache cleaning.

What fun! This obviously MUST be related to my hardware setup in some way, but I don’t know which part for the life of me (maybe it is the Acard, but I can’t understand why). I do have these system.log messages (the first of which I always had in Panther but never had any real issues booting):

Mar 5 09:51:04 localhost kernel[0]: WARNING: ATA Drive claims FLUSH CACHE EXT feature support but does not claim Extended LBA feature support

The above message obviously directly involved the Acard adapter.

Mar 5 09:51:04 localhost kernel[0]: Extension "" has no kernel dependency

The next message listed above is a new one for me. No clue...

So there’s obviously some issue with hardware, because my Mac Mini doesn’t behave this way on Tiger (and obviously for most of the Apple world). My old AGP has been so heavily upgraded that it may no longer be capable of running newer OSs (likely issues with either the Acard or my Giga Designs Dual Processor upgrade card).

Anyway, at least I’ve narrowed it down some to a kernel issue with some part of the hardware.

Friday, March 03, 2006

SystemStarter woes continue...

Nope...problem not gone.

Reference my previous posts here and here about this issue I’ve faced upgrading my old G4 AGP to Tiger and getting the weird, unpredictable, hanging gray-Apple-screen-of-frozen-death, which I’ve traced to SystemStarter in the console.

I’ve narrowed the culprit files down to something in the /System/Library/Cache/, as today I decided to delete recommended items stepwise in Safe Boot until I could boot normally again.

First, I tried deleting a few things in /Library/Cache that I thought might be the culprit, going simply by the date of modification/crreation (i.e., today). No help. So then I tried getting rid of Extensions.kextcache alone, but I still faced the screen-of-death.

So finally, I just deleted the entire contents of /System/Library/Cache, and this seems to be the cause (or something in here).

As far as what’s causing this: I’m not sure. I had a crash shortly before this happened and I ran Applejack. Reboot was fine, but a subsequent test restart was not.

BTW, here’s a great site for troubleshooting startup:

Searching the Apple Discussion boards led me to this thread, which might be related to my problems (i.e. the Acard 6280M IDE PCI controller).

To be continued I’m sure...?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Stuck at the gray apple screen in Tiger

This is a problem I was having (see previous post) after upgrading to 10.4.3. Well, I’m finally up and running 10.4.5 and seem to have eliminated the issue (so far). I’d like to describe my solution for others having the problem (see my original post for background info).

I believe the problem has to do with using the Migration Assistant--specifically, the option to move over Files and Folders at the root level, so I recommend leaving this option unchecked during your migration. As a matter of fact, leave anything you can absolutely do without unselected to minimize the chance of corrupting your new system during migration.

My solution:

The first thing I did was install and upgrade completely (from 10.4.2. to 10.4.5. using the Combo installer and the Software Update panel to get it all up to speed). Then, after repairing permissions, I manually installed every kernel extension I could think of (i.e., xxx.kext) that I thought I would use; this way, no extensions would be installed via the migration from Panther to Tiger. After getting to this point (with a system that would restart fine every time), I made a backup using SuperDuper just in case I had to go back to square one.

Finally, I proceeded to use Migration Assistant, but I did not migrate root-level files and folders, and I also didn’t migrate my network settings. Everything else migrated fine, and I’ve noticed no major differences so far (except that Tiger is much snappier on my system than Panther was). So far, the dreaded, sneaky gray-Apple-screen-of-death issue has been averted. I don’t know why or exactly how, but for those of you having this problem, you should attempt this fix in the Migration Assistant. Better yet, don’t use it all and start over from the beginning (manually copying over stuff you need).

Again, my issue is different from some others in that I was migrating on the same computer...on old, heavily-upgraded G4 AGP Mac. All seems great right now...