Problems with QuickTime 6.3 Update on PowerMac G4

by Chuck Toporek

I installed the QT6.3 update on a PowerMac G4 tower (500 MHz), rebooted like a good little boy, and after logging in, the Finder kept crashing. I couldn't even use the Apple menu to restart or shut down.

In looking at the Console.log file, it looked like there was a problem with the file.

If you run into this problem, the solution is to:

  1. Force shutdown your Mac by holding down Shift-Option-Command and pressing on the PowerOn button, holding that down until the system shuts down completely.

  2. Next, hit the PowerOn button and hold down Command-S during startup. This will boot you into Single-User mode (text display only, non-graphical).

  3. At the prompt, change directories to your Preferences folder:

    cd /Users/username/Library/Preferences

  4. Delete the file using:


  5. After deleting the file, type in reboot and hit Return to reboot your Mac.

When you restart your Mac, the file is regenerated.

That should do the trick.

Another option, if you have two Macs, is to ssh into the downed Mac, login as an admin user, then go off on your way to remove the troublesome plist file.

Having similar problems? Did this work?


2003-06-03 13:22:38
mv the file instead

It would be good if someone doing this could rename the file instead, so that we would know *what* was messed up in it.

2003-06-03 13:32:26
Don't restart for anything...
Think it should be enough to simply log out and in after moving or deleting that specific file. A users preferenses are only used if a user is loggend in - thus a restart is simply overkill. It's a unix system - no OS 9 any long ;-)
2003-06-03 13:39:23
re: Don't restart for anything...
I agree that restarting is overkill, but even restarting didn't work until I removed the plist file. Every time I restarted, I'd get the same chain of Finder crashes.
2003-06-03 13:44:46
re: mv the file instead

From looking at the Console.log from the crash, this is what I kept seeing:

Mac OS X Version 10.2.6 (Build 6L60)

2003-06-03 13:49:33.194 Finder[420] CFLog (0):

CFPropertyListCreateFromXMLData(): plist parse failed; the data is not proper UTF-8. The file name for this data could be: -- /Users/chuck/Library/Preferences

The parser will retry as in 10.1, but the problem should be corrected in the plist.

June 3 13:49:35 dhcp-xxx-xx crashdump: Crash report written to: /Users/chuck/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/Finder.crash.log

I guess I could have moved the file to another location, or renamed it using mv, but I didn't think of that.

2003-06-03 15:59:24
log in as >console
If you can get to the log in screen, you can set the user to >console and log in to the text-only unix command line.
2003-06-03 17:51:36
Crashing QT 6.3 update-not me
For the sake of balance, I have been working fine all day after doing the 6.3 update (+ MPEG2 update) in FCP and the Finder, with no problems whatsoever.
2003-06-03 19:15:55
QT6.3 under Windows XP Pro
I likewise installed the update, didn't need to reboot, and didn't suffer any adverse system reactions.
2003-06-03 19:59:07
re: Crashing QT 6.3 update-not me
But which Mac model are you using? Again, I had this problem with a PowerMac G4 (500 MHz).
2003-06-03 20:01:04
re: QT6.3 under Windows XP Pro
Again, I experienced this problem with a PowerMac G4 (500 MHz) machine, running Mac OS X 10.2.6. I'm guessing that this could be a platform- or model-specific issue, and I've filed a bug report with Apple so they can test this on their end to see whether it's isolated or not.
2003-06-03 23:02:06
Crashing QT 6.3 update-not me
Just did the 6.3 QT and iSync update on Ti PB G4/667, so far so good after restart.
2003-06-04 01:25:28
Sorry to be a little off topic - What's the best and simplest method for a UNIX newbie to SSH into the Mac? WHat commands need to be entered? I assume it's Terminal based?


2003-06-04 05:29:55
re: Crashing QT 6.3 update-not me
Yep, I didn't have any problems running the update on my PowerBook either (same config, BTW). The problem happened when I installed the QT6.3 update on a "PowerMac G4"...a desktop machine.
2003-06-04 05:37:27
re: SSH
What you'll first need to know is the IP address of the Mac that's down. If you have that, and that Mac is running, here's what you can do:

1. Launch the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities) and
enter the following command:

ssh [ip_address]

Where "[ip_address]" is replaced with the IP address
of the downed Mac.

2. Once connected, you'll be prompted for a username
and password. For this, give it the username and
password for an admin user on the downed Mac.
If you're running the network, I'm assuming
you have admin privileges on all of the Macs.

3. Change directories to where the plist file is; in my
case, it lived in the ~/Library/Preferences directory,
so I used the following command:

cd Library/Preferences

4. If you know the name of the file that's causing the
problem, just use:

rm [filename]

That will delete the file.

5. If you need to, you can reboot the downed machine
remotely, too, by using:

sudo reboot

You'll be asked for an admin password again, after
which, your SSH connection will be terminated and
the downed Mac will reboot.

Someone else suggested renaming the problematic plist file using the mv command, and actually, that's a better approach. Why? Well, because when the plist file is regenerated by the system, you can run a diff against the problem file to see where the error is.

If you don't know the IP address of the downed Mac, rebooting into Single-User mode is the key.


2003-06-04 14:51:22
Crashing QT 6.3 update-not me
Furthering for the sake of balance, the installer buggered up my system as well -- it failed to load my Battery and Clock menu items. I solved it (I hope) by manually restoring the SystemUIServer binary file buried in the .app folder of the same name.

P.S. This was also on a TiBook 500 MHz. I sense a trend.

2003-06-11 09:09:14
Well, first go to the Sharing System Preference and turn on Remote Login. This allows you to SSH to your computer from any other computer on your network. You can use the built-in ssh utility on a Unix, Linux, or OS X box (for help, type man ssh). In Windows, the best ssh client I know of is called PuTTY; it's easy to find using Google. In Mac OS 9, there's an application called NiftyTelnet that you can use, but make sure you get the version with SSH. If your computer is behind a firewall, you may need to configure that in order to open port 22, which is used by ssh.
2003-09-03 09:34:49
PB 550 User
I have the same problem, only I am unable to rename or remove the file in single user mode, (even if I su root). The shell returns a message saying I have a read only file system. Any Ideas?

Kind Regards

2003-09-03 10:17:19
PB 550 User
After logging into the console using '>console' in the text login box I was able to remove the plist but with no effect. I then removed the plist from all users including root, but again with no effect. I removed the preferences folder and this had not effect either. I am going to reinstall the system but I should be intrested to find out what went wrong since I need this update for iMovie.


2003-11-08 08:59:51
PB 550 User - Apple Tech
Hey there! As you boot up in single user mode, the drive is listing files as Read only, you must mount it with read/write access.

After booting up in Verbose Mode:
1. Type: mount -uw /
2. Press Return.

You're set, it remounts the drive as R/W. :)

Sorry, just found this old thread, just in case you never got a response!