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Apple condemns FileVaulters to seventh circle of Safari hell

The bug that wouldn't die

Website security in corporate America

A Reg journo was bemused this morning when he rebooted his Mac and the machine decided that Safari - not Opera - should be his default web browser.

Apple has a habit of forcing its second rate browser down the gullets of unsuspecting web surfers. But this seemed beyond the pale.

The culprit, our journo discovered, was Apple's FileVault, a file encryption tool bundled with the Mac OS. When FileVault was switched on, the OS made Safari the default browser every time the machine rebooted. When it was switched off, all was fine.

As it turns out, this is not a new issue. Over at the Apple support forums, a Mac user first complained about a similar problem as early as February. And according to other posters, the issue has been around since at least the release of Leopard (Mac OS X, version 10.5.0) in October 2007.

"I, too, am using FileVault and have this issue, ever since 10.5.1 (i never had 10.5.0). 10.5.3 does not fix this issue," says one poster. "It also has affected other applications. Adium (instant messager [sic]) always asks me if it should be the default IM client."

Nine other posters also point to FileVault as the perpetrator, and the last of them weighed in just four days ago. Some are even claiming that the bug dates back to FileVault's debut in 2003.

So, the problem has been around for at least a year - perhaps more - and Apple has yet to weigh in with a fix. Nonetheless, the lengthy support thread carries a tag that reads "This question has been answered."

"Whoever marked this thread as answered must be blind," says one poster. "I have the same issue and it's kinda ridiculous that since 2003 a) no fix has been released and b) no one from Apple has considered himself/herself with this problem. great..feels like having a windows machine."

Blind is one way to put it. ®

Update

One Reg reader also says the problem occurs on Mac OS X, version 10.4.11.

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