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Jan 31, 2019

Yummy FTP Lite – Very slow file uploading, server busy issue

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Don’t often use FTP but recently encountered a message – ‘Server Busy – Waiting to Upload’ when I connected to my webhost.
The connection would happen quickly and the remote folder list would appear then if I dragged a file from the local to the remote I got the message. Nothing would happen for c. 10-15mins then the connection would timeout and immediately I would get a file overwrite dialog and after OK the file would upload OK. It took a while but I found that the default prefs are set for Multiple Connections (5). I had set it to 2 hoping that it would help but found that it only started working when Multiple Connections was unchecked.
The FTP had been working before but now I think the servers are insisting on 1 connection at a time (this still allows multiple upload of files by the way but over one connection).

Software - OSX
Jan 31, 2019

Installation log saying MacOS Installer failure on boot

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This happened in the morning when switching on the iMac.
Boot up was quite slow then finished up with an Installation Log of a failed MacOS Installer.
Looked very bad but the fix was to shutdown then Restart whilst holding down the Option key which then shows the bootable volumes. In this case the boot volume was pointing to MacOS Installer rather than the Macintosh HD so I changed it to the Macintosh HD volume and the iMac started OK.

This appeared to be a result of doing the Software Update the previous day (2009-001 10.13.6) which required a restart. I had left the update to happen and when I came back c. 1hr later the screen was black so I plugged in the mouse to the USB to juice it up and immediately the display started again. It looked like the update had worked OK but in the morning however the signs were very different.

Once the correct volume had booted OK I checked the updates and they showed that the iTunes and Safari updates had happened but the security update was still showing UPDATE on the button (the security update is the part that needs the restart which will happen 1 min later unless clicked prior).

At this point I did a whole lot of backing up of data and then restarted the iMac again - sure enough I got the Installation log and the boot volume was set to MacOS Installer.

I then booted into Macintosh HD using the Option key method and redid the Security Update - it proceeded to download c. 1.81GB and then did the install (c. 15 mins or so). The install appeared normal and ended with the logon screen. The Macintosh HD boot now seems to be OK.

Not sure why the MacOS Installer was involved because there is no installer in the Applications folder (I removed the downloaded Mojave copy to avoid inadvertent upgrading action). Also when I applied the Security Update I had all my data volumes (ext USB/TB) disconnected to avoid any tragedies.

Machine is -
iMac 27 2017 4.2GHz i7 40G RAM running 10.13.6 (High Sierra)

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

OSX 10.13.4 High Sierra - File/Folder Icons Incomplete After Copy

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After copying files/folders into another folder when the new folder is opened some of the files/folders will still have the transient downloading icons. This happens on local copies and to external volumes. If a file with an incorrect icon is moved out of the folder the icon will be corrected but when placed back into the folder the faulty icon will be shown again. I generally find that if I don’t open the new folder for a while the success rate seems a lot better – it is as if the system is to slow in updating the icons after the download is complete. Never encountered the issue prior to High Sierra.
If the target folder is already open for viewing the icons are created/updated correctly.

Jul 02, 2018

Mac/Win Networking - Stick with WORKGROUP in Network Settings

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Originally tried customising the workgroup settings but found that support for this is flaky – macOS doesn’t seem to hold the setting and ReactOS also had problems in this area so in order to work correctly I just use WORKGROUP which is the MS default and also the default in MacOS. This area of networking is probably seen as ‘legacy’.

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

iMac 2017 (High Sierra) - Unable to install libdvdcss.2.dylib

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Handbrake was producing .m4v files that were heavily pixellated and broken. Turns out that Handbrake uses VLC to read the source and it requires libdvdcss.2.dylib to be installed.
Sierra/High Sierra will block the install of this file to the /usr/lib folder but it can be done via the Terminal.

sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib/ (if it doesn’t already exist)
sudo cp ~/Downloads/libdvdcss.2.dylib /usr/local/lib/libdvdcss.2.dylib (will ask for password)

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

iMac 2017 (High Sierra) - Volumes Eject Sporadically

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High Sierra appears to work reasonably well and APFS on the SSD appears OK.

Bug: Intermittently the old RAID disks on the TB give incorrectly ejected notifications with the Volumes sometimes actually unmounting. This can happen quite often at times then be OK for a long time.

Trying a wee app called Semulov which sits in the menubar and monitors the Volumes.

Semulov not stopping issue at all so tried Mountain (paid app) and it seems to be a bit better – it doesn’t stop the issue but auto remounts the volumes. The issue sometimes occurs quite frequently and then is OK for long periods of time.

Thunderbolt appears to be flaky in my experience even more so with High Sierra - the storage subsystem on MacOS is no longer 'trustworthy' unless the slower USB3 is used.

Hardware - Mac
Jul 02, 2018

Mac Mini 2012 - Addition of 6TB LaCie D2 Drive and Error 50

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Tried a discounted LaCie drive which had be opened previously (used for benchmark testing). This particular model was the TB2/USB3 d2 model. To cut a long story short the drive never worked with TB2 and kept giving error 50 (Error in User Parameter Listing). USB 3 works fine and I use the drive with that as a backup drive.

Install: (OSX 10.11.6 – El Capitan)

Problem 1 – drive could not be seen and it turned out that the drive had been formatted as NTFS so was Read Only on the Mac. Using Disk Utility I was unable to Erase the drive or re-partition, this was because the drive was RO.
Tried the OSX Fuse/NTFS-3G solution nbut NTFS-3G is currently not working on El Capitan/Yosemite.
Tried Paragon for Mac (Seagate drives only) but although the LaCie uses Seagate drives it didn’t work.
Tried a Terminal method which worked – I was able to make the drive partition RW.

sudo nano /etc/fstab (system password is required)
within nano type –

LABEL=New Volume none ntfs rw, auto, no browse

ctrl O – to save
return to write file
ctrl X – to exit nano

Note: fstab is deprecated in OSX (fstab.hd in the etc folder will confirm this) but will still work if used.

Use Disk Utility as normal to Erase (it will show R/W).

The drive was formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) on a MBP USB 2.0 port running 10.10.5 (Yosemite).

Moving the drive to the Mini USB 3.0 port running 10.11.6 (El Capitan) it worked OK.

Problem 2 -
I tried the drive daisy-chained (Mini TB to Lacie 2Big TB to 6TB d2 TB2) and it wouldn’t work. I could read files on the disk but could not trash them or place new files on the drive – error 50 messages were issued. Also tried the drive directly on the Mini (TB to TB2) and still no good. The TB cable was swapped out but no difference.

Maybe if the 6TB was brand new with factory pre-formatting then TB may work OK but who knows (can’t help but feel that there are so many reports of error 50’s that LaCie know of a bug/fix but they play their cards close to their chest like Apple and I haven’t got the patience to deal with them)

Software - OSX
May 08, 2016

Mac Mini 2012 – Upgrade from 10.9.5 (Mavericks) to 10.11.3 (El Capitan).

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Decided to uprade the mini since Mavericks only supported up to Python 2.7 and I needed Python 3. Rather than try to shoehorn Python 3 into Mavericks an upgrade to El Capitan was done (seems to be reasonably OK as an OS).
An upgrade was done rather than a clean install and appears to have gone quite well. All of the connected devices work OK and no real showstoppers yet.


Aperture 3.5.1 broke – needed to upgrade to 3.6
iPhoto broke – update allowed when El Capitan was installed.
Note: both these apps are of course legacy with the new Photos app being used.

iTunes – this was the biggest hassle as I had uninstalled iBooks on Mavericks to allow iTunes to manage my books/pdfs but of course the El Capitan upgrade re-installs iBooks and removes the titles from iTunes.
I tried to customise iTunes again but El Capitan has SIP technology which hinders the removal of system related files/services so I have to bite the bullet and use iBooks. Some changes have been done to iBooks to allow metadata changes but it is still a very primitive app compared to iTunes which managed all my media very satisfactorily. It almost seems that Apple is more intent on keeping the ‘walled garden’ intact than improving the usability of their media apps.

Ref: te/

The 10.11.4 update just released installed OK.

Application – PDFSam broke – needed to install Java 6 runtime

Application – RSSOwl broke – needed to install Java 6 runtime

Xcode – for some reason 7.2.1 needed to update twice

Application – LaunchPadManager – app pages in app don’t equate with LaunchPad pages
Eg: if 6 pages of apps in LaunchPad then use pages 2 ~ 7 in LaunchPadManager and result in layout and LaunchPad will be pages 1 ~ 6

Ethernet 0 was nonoperable after mini had been in sleep mode (doesn’t happen every time).
Network Preferences showed the connection status as Connected and currently active with an IP address but not working – both DNS and pinging was non-functional. Under the WINS parameters the Workgroup was showing as WORKGROUP (default) and although it could be changed the change would not be applied.

Using Terminal –

sudo ifconfig en0 down

sudo ifconfig en0 up

Ethernet interface working again and workgroup back to the previous name (HOMELAN).

All in all not too painful but I will be trying hard to live with the crappy iBooks and watching for the ethernet problem – oh and yes the ‘look’ of El Capitan is very much ‘it grows on you’ compared to the more polished look of Mavericks (some of the icons in the dock look rather insipid).

Hardware - Mac
May 08, 2016

Disk Failure with LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt RAID

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Had a disk go bad in the LaCie 2Big and proved interesting. The short story is that I started with a 2TB RAID 1 arrangement and now have two standalone 2TB drives in a RAID box.
Why so? There was so much messing about with the RAID when a disk failed that it is easier to use two disks with a manual mirror process.

The LaCie 2Big is a 4TB unit using RAID 1 (Disk Mirror) giving a mirrored 2TB arrangement – all well and good when the disks are OK. The controller actually uses Apple RAID within OSX which I discovered on my internet trawl is no longer supported in El Capitan – a recommended replacement is SoftRAID Lite/Pro. At this stage the SoftRAID product will not convert an Apple RAID set (they are working on it but the raid set will need to be working correctly) so a fresh install is recommended which means fully backing up the RAID which in my case was about 1 TB worth of data.
So back to the issue – one disk had degraded and a raid slice gone missing. Because I had issues with the LaCie Raid Monitor being installed on Mavericks it was uninstalled so the only way of diagnosing the disks was to use the OSX Disk Utility. The problem with Apple Raid is that it doesn’t show clearly which disk is the degraded one althought DU does show an amber colour for the degraded disk. I checked all the fine print then went for the downpower and pull the disk option – like any binary choice I always pick the wrong one so downpower again and pull the faulty one!
As an indicator the disks originally showed as disk 4 and disk 6 and as it transpired disk 6 was D1 in the RAID box and disk 4 was D2 – disk 6 was the bad one. At this point because I hadn’t enabled Automatic Raid Rebuild as an option in the raid set a manual rebuild was required. It seems that Disk Utility is OK at creating new raid sets but not so good at rebuilding – using the GUI it is not clear on the exact procedure. I think it can be done via the terminal successfully but I persisted with the GUI. Trying to delete the missing slice I managed to delete the raid set which then leaves a copy of the data on each disk as a standalone copy. The new disk was inserted and partitioned as per the good disk and at this point I decided to keep each disk as a standalone drive in the LaCie box and use a synchronisation app to manually mirror the disks.
With hindsight if I was to use RAID again I would go with SoftRAID (AppleRAID is defunct) and hopefully the change disk/auto rebuild/mirror would work fine however I need storage to work well so using multiple standalone drives seems the most reliable option at this point.

Note: The LaCie RAID Monitor app has been updated so maybe this would also fix the issues with Mavericks and later.


I’ve since upgraded to El Capitan (10.11.4) but have decided to stick with just using the LaCie RAID as two separate disks. However the options for using RAID on El Capitan are –

AppleRAID is discontinued but Internet Recovery mode still allows use of the /R option on reboot which gives access to the old AppleRAID tools

Use of a procedure via the Command Line Interface in Terminal

Use a third-party product called softRAID which is the method I would probably go for if I did RAID again( they have a cheaper product available for El Capitan users).

Some good refs are – n_US&wwwlocale=en-us

May 08, 2016

BT Home Hub 4 as an Access Point on EE BrightBox Router

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These days using EE Broadband and unfortunately with the 16M service the Brightbox 2 router (with 1 Gbps port) is not available and the Brightbox router only has 4 x Fast Ethernet ports. This means the 1 Gbps core LAN network is degraded to Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) however it is possible to use the HH as an access point.

HH4 –
Disable DHCP
Allocate IP outside DHCP range

eg: EE router/BB modem –
HH4 router/hub -
Both routers linked via Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps)
HH4 Gigabit port linked to Gigaswitch/homelan

Clients -
IP: 192.168.1.x or DHCP (will use DHCP from EE router)
Sub Mask:

This will also allow a Gbps connection from the LAN to the HH4 giving a Giga core at layer 2 but the Fast Ethernet link between routers may still affect the core on traffic routed via the EE router.

Downsides –
Red BB light on HH4 will flash because there is no connection to the BB
Firmware in HH4 will not upgrade as it needs to be connected to BT BB to do so.

119 Posts. Displaying page 12 of 12.

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