Things have really been going downhill since I upgraded to Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) a few weeks back. Aside from the fact that I use the notebook less and less every week, two new annoyances have surfaced:

  1. Mozilla Firefox has become wickedly unstable. Yes, I've been running all the latest official builds. And I've tried disabling all my extensions. But it still manages to crash 2-3 times per day if I use it for any length of time. It seems that GMail is the trigger, but it's a bit hard to assign blame in this case.
  2. The Mac locks up hard every time I plug in my external Maxtor OneTouch Firewire drive. I've had it for a year and have been using it, along with SuperDuper, for backups. But recently the Mac crashes no matter how I hook it up. I've booted with it already attached and powered on, already attached and powered off, plugging it in after the Mac is running, you name it. The result is the same every time. Strangely, the drive works just fine when attached to my Dell box.

Given how little I use the Powerbook anymore, I'm really tempted to put it on eBay or sell it at work. I might as well just cut my losses. Spending a lot more time messing with it is difficult to justify at this point. I simply don't use it often enough to make it worthwhile.

Any ideas? Are these common problems for anyone else?

Update: The disk problem is solve. The correct answer showed up in my comemnts. The instructions are over on this page.

If you have the following kernel extensions in your /System/Library/Extensions/ folder, then move them out to the desktop and reboot:

Yeay for the LazyWeb!

Posted by jzawodn at July 09, 2005 11:19 AM

Reader Comments
# Owen said:

Try deleting the Firefox folder in ~/Library/Application Support. In the past when I've had problems with Firefox, this has cleared the problem right up.

on July 9, 2005 11:45 AM
# Nick said:

Jeremy wait until 10.4.2 comes out. There a whole host of problems with tiger when you upgrade instead of doing a fresh install. I originally upgraded, and it caused a lot of problems, I ended up having to wipe the HD and re-install from scratch. I know Ray G. had a lot of the same problems.

on July 9, 2005 11:48 AM
# David Magda said:

Things have really been going downhill since I upgraded to Mac OS X Tiger

Then perhaps the issue is Tiger and not the PowerBook? Would it be worth the effort to 'downgrade' to Panther?

on July 9, 2005 12:11 PM
# Mookie Kong said:

I agree with Nick, there are going to be lots of problems doing an upgrade. I say backup your data and install Tiger from scratch. I got my PB a few weeks ago for my birthday and it is running Tiger just fine -- though I don't have Maxtor drive, Firefox seems to run fine when I use it.

on July 9, 2005 12:22 PM
# Mark said:

Why not sell it via your blog? I'm potentially in the market... :D

on July 9, 2005 12:31 PM
# Marvin Malkowski Jr. said:

I am having the EXACT same problems with my firefox and hard drive. I switched the firewire drive to the usb interface and it has been stable since.

on July 9, 2005 12:40 PM
# Michael said:

Lots of problems here too: serious issues with external monitor support and ssh forwarding (mail smtp) :-(

on July 9, 2005 12:46 PM
# cji said:

That Maxtor Onetouch issue is well known, as I'm sure you're aware...Have you updated to the latest drivers? This page might have some insight for you:

I too sold my PowerBook, but only because I needed the money, will be getting a laptop at my new job and really don't need a notebook now that I'm not in school.

on July 9, 2005 01:02 PM
# Paul Mison said:

Every time I see a post like this, I'm thankful I didn't jump straight on to the 10.4 upgrade path. Maybe by 10.4.3...

on July 9, 2005 01:02 PM
# Barnaby James said:

I recently installed Tiger my TiBook and I haven't had any problems with Firefox. However, upgrading coincided with a hard drive failure so I did a clean install and then copied backup files over. Waiting till 10.4.2 seems like a good idea though - Tiger hasn't exactly been all rainbows and puppy dogs so far...

on July 9, 2005 01:08 PM
# Hashim said:

firfox crashes a few times a day with me too. I have no idea why. I deleted some extensions I thought may be the problem but the still the same result

on July 9, 2005 01:14 PM
# Chris said:

The Gmail monitor extension is crashing Firefox on Windows too. Not everytime - just sporadically.

Haven't noticed any Gmail / Firefox problems on Ubuntu.

on July 9, 2005 01:34 PM
# Wally said:

Same sh1t with my PowerMac G5. I want to say gMail is the cause, but I can't be for certain. FF bombs constantly after a long period of time. Mem leaks? I dunno. This started to happen after or a little before my upgrade. Was it Tiger or the latest release from the big G?

on July 9, 2005 04:12 PM
# Tina said:

My iBook has been choking on ...well, everything (!) since I upgraded to Tiger. Whereas, it had no problems before.

It was also just an upgrade, and not a clean install, so that may be the cause of my problems. :|

on July 9, 2005 05:12 PM
# wbwither said:

I just bought my 12" Powerbook a few weeks ago, with Tiger pre-installed. Firefox is crapping on me constantly... it's bad enough that I'm nearly back to using Safari. Firefox always freezes up on me when I load about 5-10 new tabs from just picking news articles off the front page. The first few tabs seem to load up fine, and then I get the spinning beach ball of death and I've got to Force Quit.

No problems with my (generic) external hard drive, which is NTFS-formatted.... but admittedly I only plug it in every once in a while to grab MP3s off of it.

on July 9, 2005 07:32 PM
# Bill Odom said:

A friend of mine had the same trouble with Firefox on a new PowerBook (pre-loaded with Tiger, not upgraded from Panther). He's switched to the Deer Park Alpha build for OS X, and is having much better luck.

on July 9, 2005 09:26 PM
# Patrick said:

As someone who's been using Tiger since March, I'm not having any of these so called problems... running it on 5 machines personally, two of which were upgrades.

As to Firefox crashing, perhaps this could be blamed on Firefox? I've never liked Firefox on the mac. The Deer Park alphas are looking better, but it's still not quite there.

on July 10, 2005 02:13 PM
# Louis said:

Forget fixing it. You don't have enough time. :)So, how much for the Powerbook?

on July 10, 2005 05:42 PM
# Corey Gilmore said:

Did you upgrade to 10.4 from 10.3.x? I did, and Firefox crashed constantly. Actually, everything crashed constantly. A few weeks later I bought a new Powerbook with 10.4 preinstalled and Firefox has been stable since. Of course, 10.4.2 has made everything much more stable. 10.4 definitely wasn't ready for primetime when it shipped.

on August 1, 2005 06:51 AM
# Seren said:

You might try Camino ( It's like Firefox and Mozilla in that it uses the Gecko rendering engine, but has been built specifically for OS X. It's pretty, has standard features (tabbed browsing, ect.), and hasn't crashed on me yet (had it for about a month) running 10.4.

on August 15, 2005 08:31 AM
# tyler said:

My firefox is messed too on one of my PC's. No extensions work. Sucks up memory like crazy, crashes often. Deer Park Alpha 2 works better for me than Firefox 1.0.6.

on August 15, 2005 08:42 AM
# William Macdonald said:

Firefox worked on on 10.4.0 but since 10.4.1 & 2 it just crashes ALL the time. I was getting 20 crashes a day. No rhyme or reason.

I removed profile, extensions etc...

Gone back to Safari... I miss web developer extension a lot !!

on August 15, 2005 09:10 AM
# Hallow said:

The really funny thing is, I get similar, repeated-but-not-repeatable crashes on the official firefox builds for Linux running on Ubuntu. I don't think it's just an osx problem.

on August 15, 2005 09:35 AM
# Phillip said:

Ive stopped using Firefox too, it sucks up to much memory and freezes on me everything else works but no firefox. Actually I was surprised when I went back to Avante Browser how much faster it was than firefox.

I'm not missing it at all.

on August 15, 2005 07:48 PM
# Tom said:

I think the issue is Tiger, especially if you upgraded: I did an upgrade from Panther to Tiger, too, and as is already stated in the comments my "new system" proved to be very unstable, slow and sluggish and some things simply didn't work anymore at all.

I am now doing a fresh install of Tiger, since this worked flawlessly on the other Macs I am using.

on August 16, 2005 02:31 AM
# Connie said:

What did you guys mean fresh install?

What if I do a fresh install of Tiger 10.4.0 and followed by download the upgrade/fix released by apple...I don't have the latest copy of Mac OS X, pretty sad...

Is there any performance decrease on such upgrade? seems pretty huge on the fix...

on August 25, 2005 05:48 PM
# Connie said:

Opps...cont' the above msg.

Perhaps make it clear...

Fresh install of 10.4.0, upgrade to 10.4.1 and upgrade to 10.4.2.

Or any others suggestion?

on August 25, 2005 05:53 PM
# jojo said:


I really feel its Gmail as well crashing my firefox. Its started happening today, about 3 hours ago out of the blue and is occuring EVERY time I log on. IE is doing it too. I have tried clearing cache's and deleting preferences but no avail. I am still using Panther so it can't just be a Tiger thing.

Interestingly enough, three days ago I couldn't connect software update, publish ical or use Safari. BT broadband couldn't fix it and nor could Applecare. Interestingly enough, when I changed my location from Automatic to a new named location in Internet Connect, everthing started working again. I wonder if its all linked.

Anyway, back to the browser problem? Anything else suggested? There was some talk of the new version of firefox (that downloads automatically now) is causing all these issues. But why should tha affect IE?

on February 6, 2006 02:19 PM
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