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Panther caught hosing Firewire drives.

Mac users are roaring in rage because of a nasty installment glitch that erases data on external hard drives.

After upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3, better known as Panther, they are finding external FireWire drives are no longer recognized by the host machine. In many cases, all the data the drives stores are also gone.

The glitch is particularly troubling because many Mac users backed up their files to an external FireWire drive before installing the Panther upgrade. In some cases, the glitch erased files on the main machine and the external backup.

'Panther has managed not only to lose my iTunes Library and my iPhoto Library, but also their backups kept on - you guessed it - my external FireWire hard disk,' reported John Irvine on Apple's discussion forums. 'I've lost ALL of my baby pictures for my two small children. My children's BABY PICTURES... I'm astonished... It's a monster.'

This has been both a good year and a bad year for Apple. iTunes for Windows was introduced, and campaigns with both AOL and Pepsi were presented. Steve Jobs unveiled the perfect laptop in Paris, and the update to Jaguar was announced.

Then Jaguar update 10.2.8 was pulled, Panther started hosing FireWire drives, FileVault hosed home directories, white spots appeared on the screens of the new PowerBooks, rumours circulated about defective iPods, and due to their cynical tactics with iTools and deteriorating quality in support, Apple lost their 'good guy' rating at Consumer Affairs Online.

It's obvious something is wrong, something has happened, for no company would be so stupid as to let all this occur intentionally. Whatever it is, it is incumbent on Apple to resolve the internal issues ASAP and get the company back on track.

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