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Troubleshooting Macos X (10.4)

Problems with sound and iMovie.

A bit technical and not that interesting, but maybe it helps someone with the same problems. And the solution will surprise you.

I had problems with Macos X 10.4. Suddenly there wasn’t any sound when I played realplayer files, flash movies or WMP (Windows Media Player) and iMovie was acting funny, disappearing buttons, not able to import…I thought it started with the update to 10.4.4.

So after browsing the internet for solutions I called the Apple Help desk. Kevin (up to now I never had anyone with a difficult name) was very helpful and did some test with me.

  1. make a new user and see if the problems are the same
  2. Use disk utility (hd/applications/utilities/) and see if all permissions are correct, fix them.
  3. Test the problems again. No success?
  4. Reinstall Macos X use the option button to select the one that leaves all your files and programs alone.

This didn’t solve the problem so I called again and this time it’s Ben helping me.

After telling me that these kind of problems often have to do with either the plugins (placed all through the system), cache or the total Library folder for that matter, preferences, fonts, additional memory. He started to remember a client he had before with similar iMovie problems like disappearing buttons and not being able to import video. He would call me back.

He did. Warning me this would be quite bizarre but I should humor him.

I should open GarageBand and fiddle around with it and see if the problems were solved.

And they were! Absurd. Very happy I got Ben on the phone this was one problem I could never have solved and I guess nobody else at Apple either.

So add to your system troubleshooting manual:

  • Open GarageBand and do some stuff.
  • Check if the system is back to normal again and return to enjoying your Mac.

Update: Took a survey and it adds some nuance to the story above

The firs call was very according to the manual of “how to help a customer: the first steps”. The second call was better and unique because Ben solved the problem by telling me to open Garageband and do something. This problem-solving was his own invention though experience with another client of his. The problems were solved superficial and I guess a telephone call will always be first aid. After that you should go see a doctor.

I still have system problems. Having bought apple care support I expected more in depth problem solving and checking of the system though software. That the number isn’t toll free or the price of a local call is also disappointing.

Thought support will be the guide to use the special software that is included with the ACPP but it just suggested the usual and as a result made me install a new system that didn’t solve the problem but gives me a lot of additional problems instead. (with purchased software and all the preferences of that software). Costing me production time.

The two people I spoke with did their best, but should be able to use additional tools to find out what’s wrong with the system. The customer can only give symptoms that can be a hint but some statistics or checks could give them worthwhile additional info. These two combined should bring better results.

Really superb service would also include a followup. E-mailing a survey but not asking if the problem hasn’t occurred again or if additions problems emerged is a missed opportunity. It gives you more work but your customers would be helped more and therefore more satisfied. Treat (a payed) service like one of your products. Find new ways of doing things and set new standards.


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