Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger): More on bug with display profiles and fast user switching

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 1st, 2005 • 8:38 am

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a serious bug affecting Mac OS X 10.4 users who have calibrated their displays using Mac OS X’s built-in Display Calibrator Assistant and who switch users in Mac OS X using the fast user switching feature.

Today, there is a new report at about this problem. Dave Driemeyer, the contributor, writes that, in “Expert Mode” in Display Calibrator Assistant, there is actually a screen with an option to make the display profile currently being created available to all users on the machine. Dave alleges that creating such a profile fixes the problem.

I am afraid it does not. (So if you are experiencing the bug, don’t bother.) I tried re-calibrating both my displays in Expert Mode and most definitely checked the box to allow Mac OS X to share the profiles with all users. Still when I created another user and switched to that user and then back to my main admin user, the problem reoccurred.

In other words, using the “Allow other users to use this calibration” option does not fix the bug, which is still a bug.

This is not to say that this feature is not related to the problem. As far as I remember, this option wasn’t there in Mac OS X 10.3. I wouldn’t be surprised if the introduction of this new “feature” was actually part of the bug that we are experiencing.

Ironically, Mac OS X 10.3 did not have this option — yet I never had any problems with using my profiles in all my user environments. I simply put them in the “ColorSync” folder inside my main library folder rather than inside my user library folder, and they were thus made available to all users.

It looks as if this bug only affects some users, so I should probably mention more details. I am using a dual G4 MDD with two displays connected to its built-in ATI Radeon 9000 card, a 23″ Apple Cinema HD display (to its ADC port) and a 17″ Apple Studio Display (to its DVI port). I am not using anything else (display switches or whatever).

As a side note, while experimenting with this, I managed to encounter two more Tiger bugs. One was that, when I created another user in the Users preference pane, Tiger created the user folder, but “forgot” to add the user to the list of users in the preference pane, thereby making that user environment unusuable. The other one was that, after I successfully created another user environment (which did get added to the list), when I tried to switch to it using fast user switching, Mac OS X left my current environment and switched me to the solid blue screen, but then nothing happened. There was some hard disk activity for a while, and then it stopped.

I tried logging into the machine remotely from another computer, but it didn’t work. When I tried to ping the machine, I got the “Host is down” message. A hard reset was required to get the machine back.

Not good!

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