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Apple's recently released 10.5.7 update to Mac OS X is bringing grief to a goodly number of unfortunate souls.

We been through this before - and not that long ago. When version 10.5.6 was released back in December, problems also surfaced immediately - problems that Apple suggested could be fixed by trying again or by removing outdated third-party Mail.app plugins.

Here at The Reg, we hasten to add, we've experienced no difficulties whatsoever. The installation process, in fact, was surprisingly speedy. However, our production Mac Pro is kept in pristine shape, with a bare minimum of third-party system enhancements. Your mileage may vary.

Normally, we'd offer some advice on how to weather this storm, but this time out there are so many varied problems that we'll simply advise you to follow the links above and search out your individual problem.

If you're feeling mildly adventurous, however, you could try one of two time-honored Mac OS X hygiene maneuvers. To check for third-party incompatibilities, boot into Safe Mode by performing - what else? - a Safe Boot by holding down the Shift key during the boot process. This will disable all your third-party crapola and start up your Mac with the minimum of kernal extensions, fonts, and the like.

Just don't freak out when the boot process takes a very long time. Your Mac will run a full file-system check during the process, a lengthy endeavor. If all is well after a Safe Boot, your problem is likely a third-party incompatibility

Then there's the tried-and-true rebooting into pure-Unix Single-User Mode (hold down Command-S while booting), running just the file-system check by entering fsck -f at the prompt, then backing out by typing reboot.

If you're not familiar with the command line, however, be careful in there. One false move and you can really fsck up your Mac. ®

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