Apple has admitted to some teething problems with its new operating system, Mac OS 8.5, notably in the Sherlock search feature and loss of data from the hard drive.
The company has confirmed reports that there is a bug in its highly touted Sherlock search software. A new feature of the Mac OS 8.5, Sherlock searches hard drive files and several different Internet search engines, including Excite and Hotbot, at the same time.
According to reports posted on MacInTouch and MacFixIt Web sites, among all of Mac OS 8.5's new features, "Sherlock seems to be taking centre stage".
Mac users have reported problems using Sherlock through a Web proxy server. Although the request contains the correct host name, Sherlock is incorrectly putting the host name of the proxy server into the 'Host' field, instead of the name of the origin server.
After a little prevarication Apple has posted information on its support site offering ways to reconfigure Sherlock, but Mark Kriegsman, president of Clearway Technologies, said: "The bug persists even after the changes are made". Clearway makes a standalone product for Macs and PCs that, like Sherlock, is used to search multiple Internet sites simultaneously.
"Unfortunately, the only options for these users are to wait for Apple to update Sherlock, or to see if there's a patch available for their proxy server that makes it more tolerant of Sherlock's bad request format," he said.
An Apple spokesperson said the company is looking into the matter.
A more serious problem affecting some users is the loss of data from the hard drive after installing the new operating system. The problem is more limited, apparently hitting mostly users who have previously formatted their hard drives with third party tools or different operating systems, according to users posting messages on the Mac Web sites.
"We think OS 8.5 is of excellent quality, but we take these reports seriously," said Apple spokesperson Russell Brady. "We will communicate to customers any information we find on reports of problems."
Former Mac clonemaker Umax has also posted a warning on its Web page, advising users to "hold off on upgrading mission critical systems to Mac OS 8.5 until this issue can be conclusively isolated and addressed."
Mac OS 8.5 began shipping in mid-October.
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