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Some quirky behavior since upgrading to 10.5.3

I've been experiencing some quirky behavior on my Mac Pro since upgrading to 10.5.3. First there was the Time Machine error, which I had never seen prior to 10.5.3 but has now occurred on both of my Macs. It was easily fixed but a bit disconcerting.

For the last few days I have been watching my system logs using console and noticed a series of failures where the backup seems to get stuck on a single file and then the entire backup fails. When this happens I get the Time Machine Error dialog as well—something I never saw prior to the 10.5.3 update. Subsequent Time Machine runs are clean though so it appears to be failing on single files. Again looking through the logs it appears to be different files each time.

When I examine the backup volume I do not see an entry for the backup that failed - there is just a gap of one hour in there. Seems odd to fail an entire backup because of a single file though.

Mouse Droppings
I also have experienced a problem with my Logitech mouse. Clicks were not always registering and sometimes while dragging something it would just let go of what I was dragging prior to my intended drop target. It got so bad that I basically gave up dragging and dropping, a key user interface feature.

As I mentioned before I switched to USB Overdrive a week before the 10.5.3 update since I was having some problems with the Logitech drivers—the problem being they are really crappy. USB Overdrive worked great for the week leading up to the 10.5.3 update. I decided to start eliminating things and pulled USB Overdrive out to see if it would make a difference. Sure enough the mouse performed correctly and I didn't seem to get the drops any longer. 

I decided to try out SteerMouse instead because I still need control over the additional mouse buttons. I'm only a few hours into SteerMouse but it does seem to be working fine and I do have the full use of my buttons.

Neither of these problems were critical, mostly just really annoying—especially the mouse issue. Since I plan on keeping the Logitech mouse I'm hoping that Steermouse ends up being a keeper. 

Unless Apple adds that functionality into Snow Leopoard of course (hint, hint).

22 comments:

Bob said...

I have seen the failed Time Machine backups since 10.5.3 also (twice on my Mac Pro). I hadn't seen failures before, either. I have also just had a failure in Mail which indicated that its index was corrupted and needed to be rebuilt. I have never seen that before, so I don't know if it is a coincidence or not.

As you have said, these are mere inconveniences, and no serious problems have yet been encountered, but they do seem strange. Random glitch in reading files? Hmmm.

alb said...

Have noticed the same issue with TM since my 10.5.3 upgrade. As with your experience, it seems to be failing on a single file, and it seems to be a largely benign issue, resolved on the next run.

Had my own issues with the craptastic Logitech driver which also led me to Steermouse; the tale can be read here:

Steermouse

Steermouse has been completely solid for me; I expect it'll be a keeper for you as well.

Jesse said...

I had a time machine failure as well. Mine would say "Backup could not be found" where Backup is my drive. This seemed odd as I could browse the mounted volume without error.

Anonymous said...

Same problem here with the Time Machine backups.

-k

Mike said...

Hi David:

Not related to this post, but you're a celebrity over at switchstories.com

MV

David Alison said...

@Mike: Cool Mike, thanks for the heads up.

Apparently Apple is looking at a 10.5.4 release in a couple of weeks. Hopefully this little Time Machine issue will get addressed in there.

David said...

As I'm sure you're aware, I've been using Macs a long time and actually installed Leopard the day it was released; I'm very aware of a number of bugs that have been slowly fading away with each update.

However, one thing I've discovered is that for some reason there's a bug in the USB drivers that occasionally causes interesting effects. In my own case, I use a bluetooth keyboard for texting and a WolfKing Warrior gaming keyboard for... gaming. The Warrior is plugged in all the time. The bug is that occasionally the Warrior just stops working, even though the pilot light shows it has power. Unplugging the keyboard and plugging it back in seems to fix it for a few days.
Another issue is my wife's iMac, where she uses both firewire and USB external drives (I'm firewire only.) On occasion, her system acts like it can't find the drive even though the drive icon is still on the desktop. Unplugging and replugging seems to fix it, again for a few days.

What we have taken to doing now is shutting our machines down overnight for both energy savings and to help reduce the temperature in our home office (4 working computers in a 12x15 room make for a toasty environment.)

Next time your mouse acts up, try reseating the plug and see if it works. My guess is that if your Time Machine drive is USB (or did you go wireless?) then you may be seeing the same issues.

Eytan said...

Hi David,
I too experienced the time machine error one time on my Mac Pro after upgrading to 10.5.3, on the 1st day of the upgrade. It has not returned since.
At least you know you are not alone...

David Alison said...

@David: It's an internal hard drive on the Mac Pro. Ironically I have not experienced the same issue on the MacBook after the first day - and it's a USB based drive.

devburke said...

If you just want basic control over all the mouse buttons, OS X can do that without any 3rd party drivers. I have extra buttons on my Logitech mouse set to Exposé, Dashboard, and showing the desktop (Exposé, if nothing else, is a must for having its own button). However, if you do really want more advanced functions, like app specific things, then you'll have to stick with the 3rd party drivers.

David Alison said...

@Devburke: The main things I need with my Logitech is the ability to go forward and backward with mouse buttons 4 & 5, use mouse button 6 for Spaces and button 8 for expose. I couldn't get the native mouse controls to let me control those buttons.

semioticmonkey said...

Well, i was forced to a clean Leopard install by the 10.5.3 update.

The entire GUI not responding to mouse input as the main big problem. I keep thinking at Leo as the worse OS update in terms of efficiency. Update after update something is always wrong (keyboards not responding, fans at the speed of light and so on). My mate's iBook Tiger powered is still alive and kicking.

Jeff McCord said...

There are a TON of us who are having major Time Machine issues after upgrading to 10.5.3

Here's what fixed my "the volume could not mount" error...

http://www.jeffmccord.org/?p=207

Hopefully this may help you!

Brian said...

I've found similiar file system/logitech driver interaction problems. Any time a computer is logged in to the machine with the Logitech drivers and transfering files across the network connection, the mouse develops a sort of rabid ADD. I've found steermouse solves this problem.

As an aside, there's a hidden preference in Steermouse to set the scroll wheel behaviour on the MX Revolution.

The Logitech driver causes other problems as well, I've found, which has been documented elsewhere regarding the Input Manager implementation.

Tom said...

David, be careful with trusting anything the rumor sites say. Most of the time they are wrong, and the rare things they are right on are usually due to this info being released by Apple to people under NDA. At this point, nothing related to 10.6 is out there far enough away from Apple to be legitimate. Or if some small detail is true, it's usually buried under the random things someone made up.

Lots of sites like stirring up rumor news to try and gain traffic to their pages. Nothing more. If I really believed the rumor sites, I'd be typing this on my dual processor (not dual core) PowerPC laptop with my choice of 5 colors, and a full multi-touch keyboard.

Monday's WWDC event will likely bring Leopard relevant info and iPhone relevant info. Any info about 10.6 will simply be as general "We recommend this or that" for depreciated APIs that might go away. All the "Snow Leopard" rumors are just too far fetched to be true. Who would pay $129 for an OS that adds little to no actual new features, and instead just tweaks the core? If 10.6 is going to make those changes, it will be made with accompanying new features as well.

David Alison said...

@Tom: I've been in this field far too long to believe even specific plans from a company, let alone speculation from rumor sites. Between FUD campaigns and companies putting out information as rumors to test effectiveness, I've pretty much seen it all. Much like the pre-season football power rankings that don't mean anything, I still find myself reading them though ;-)

ping said...

Strange... I've got no mouse-related problems under 10.5.3 with USB Overdrive. I would guess there's another factor in the mix which causes trouble...

David Alison said...

@Ping: I have actually left USB Overdrive active on my MacBook and it's working fine there. Removing it from the Mac Pro immediately solved the problem though. I think you're right though - it's a conflict/combination thing.

Anonymous said...

David,

Did you have any problems with kernel panics on your MacBook? I was having them frequently on the MB ever since I moved to Leopard. My dual G5 was rock solid under Leopard. Thankfully 10.5.3 has seemed to fix my KP's on the MB. None yet in the last week or so since the upgrade,

David Alison said...

@Anon: I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing a single kernel panic on either the MacBook or Mac Pro since I've owned them. Hopefully it stays that way!

Harzack said...

As mentioned in my comment in the Logitech / USB Overdrive post, I had an issue with Safari and USB overdrive after the 10.5.3 upgrade. The problem was gone when I disabled the specific USB Overdrive settings for Safari (same on Webkit) and the LCC 2.6 driver seems to work well (for once!!).
I also had a couple of errors with Timemachine, but subsequent backups seems to work fine. I always to full weekly backups of my iMac with Superduper anyway... just in case :-)

David Alison said...

@Harzack: Thanks for the update man. I'm now using SteerMouse and it seems to do everything I need so I'll probably just stick with that for now. You wouldn't happen to use TextMate would you? I'd love to know if the "mate" command in a terminal session works with the LCC 2.6 driver.