Mac OS X 10.4.3: Causes mounted iPod to freeze during startup

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 3rd, 2005 • 11:14 am

I wonder if I am the only one experiencing this bug. If my iPod photo (60 GB) is mounted on the desktop when I restart my computer, during the very early stages of the booting sequence (when the grey Apple logo is visible, before the little wheel animation appears), the backlight of the iPod comes on, the “Do not disconnect” icon appears on the iPod screen and then the iPod freezes. The backlight stays permanently on and the “Do not disconnect” icon does not flash as it should.

The computer finished booting up, and the iPod doesn’t appear on the desktop. It is frozen. I have to take it out of its dock and reset it by pressing the “Menu” and the central buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.

This happens almost every time with this build of Mac OS X 10.4. I started experiencing the problem during the testing of Apple Seed builds for 10.4.3, and I reported the bug. I did a fair amount of trouble-shooting as part of my testing and was able to determine that the problem was not with the iPod itself—although I was unable to reproduce the problem with our other iPod, which is an iPod mini (4 GB).

Yesterday, I did a completely clean install of Mac OS X 10.4.2, followed by the application of the official Mac OS X 10.4.3 Combo update. The problem is still occurring. I did copy a fair number of preference files from a backup of my previous install to the new clean install. (I don’t want to have to reset all kinds of settings in all kinds of applications manually.) So it’s theoretically possible that one of these preference files is the culprit.

But it’s hard to imagine which one. What preference file could be accessed by Mac OS X so early in the booting up process? It’s clearly not a user-specific preference file. I don’t have that many system-wide preference files that I restore from my backup (in the “Preferences” folder in the main “Library“) and all of them are for third-party applications, not for Apple stuff.

It seems to me that the problem can’t be with a preference file that I might have restored. So it must be a problem with Mac OS X 10.4.3 itself. Maybe it only manifests itself with this particular iPod model. I’d be curious to see if other iPod owners experience the same problem.

(Fortunately, I don’t have to reboot that often, so the problem is not exactly a deal breaker. But it’s still annoyance.)

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