Apple fixes data deletion bug in Snow Leopard, blocks Atom 'hackintoshes'

But some new iMac owners still report problems after 10.6.2 update

Apple on Monday updated Snow Leopard for the second time, fixing a data deletion flaw and an iMac performance issue, while blocking Atom-based netbooks from running its operating system.

Some people, however, disputed Apple's claim that it had fixed a major performance problem on their new iMacs, saying that the update to Mac OS X 10.6.2 had not resolved the extremely sluggish playback of Flash-based video. "It appears that my problem largely remains," said a user identified as "newfruits" on a support thread dedicated to the iMac performance issue. "No improvements. Overall CPU usage still exceeds 110%."

Two weeks ago, users reported that their new 21.5-in. and 27-in. iMacs -- models Apple unveiled on Oct. 20 -- were having trouble playing Flash-based video on sites such as YouTube. "All the videos play really jerky, with sound popping ... so I opened Activity Monitor and Flash Player (only thing not running 64-bit) is spiking to 105% CPU usage every few seconds," one user said on Apple's support forum at the time.

In the notes accompanying yesterday's update , Apple hinted that its fix might not solve everyone's video problem. "This update addresses video playback and performance issues for iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009) and iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) computers that may occur in some situations while AirPort is turned on," Apple stated.

The update boosted the speed of some iMacs. "I had the same problem on a 27-in iMac and now, after the update, everything is OK," said "nunoalmart."

Others, however, saw no improvement. "I've just installed 10.6.2 and it doesn't make any difference to the Flash video playback problem," countered "Grant P" on the same thread. "Still get same >100% on the CPU."

On the support forum, users have forwarded theories to explain the problem, ranging from a hardware defect or a problem with the operating system to a bug in Adobe's Flash Player.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 also addressed a Snow Leopard bug that deleted data when users logged into a "guest" account after upgrading from Leopard. "[A fix was provided for] an issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account," Apple said in the update's advisory.

Apple apparently stripped support for Intel's Atom processor from Snow Leopard with version 10.6.2, according to reports on several netbook-oriented message forums and blogs. The Atom is popular on the lowest-priced netbooks, which typically run Windows XP or Windows 7, but some owners have created a "hackintosh" by installing Apple's OS on their small-sized systems.

"I can tell you 10.6.2 DOES NOT WORK with the [Dell] Mini10v," said a user labeled as "Crisu" on a message forum hosted by MyDellMini.com . "OS X tries to start, but it hangs before you can see the Apple and system is trying to boot again ... you are in a loop."

Rumors had circulated two weeks ago that Apple was planning to block Atom-based netbooks from running Snow Leopard.

Users said that a workaround that involves copying the kernel from Mac OS X 10.6.1 to replace the revised kernel packaged with 10.6.2 lets them run the update on their netbooks.

Apple also patched a problem with the four-finger swipe gesture on MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks in 10.6.2, and included other fixes for the Mail application, the Safari browser, the MobileMe sync and storage service, fonts and network drives.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 can be downloaded from the Apple site, or installed using the operating system's integrated update service. Included in the update are patches for 58 separate security vulnerabilities .

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleapple leopardimacs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?