Mac OS X 10.3: Update third-party video card drivers before installing

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Issue or symptom

After installing Mac OS X 10.3, or while started from the Mac OS X Panther Install CD:

  • The image on the screen is much larger. Icons and windows don't seem to be the right size.
  • There is no video on the display. It's dark even though the computer is turned on.
  • There are fewer display resolutions and color depth choices in Display preferences.
  • Only black and white or grayscale video appears.

This can happen if your display is connected to a third-party video card. The card and display worked fine with Mac OS X 10.2 or earlier.


Before you install Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, be sure to install updated drivers for any third-party video cards you use, even if you didn't have to do this for Mac OS X 10.2. "Third-party video card" means a card that didn't come from Apple when you bought your computer.

Contact the video card's manufacturer to see if they have updated the card's software or firmware drivers to work with Mac OS X 10.3. For best results, install the updated software or firmware before installing Mac OS X 10.3.

If the third-party card is the only one installed and the screen is dark when you start up the computer, you may need to reinstall the original video card temporarily, install Mac OS X 10.3, install the updated third-party drivers, then put your third-party video card back in the computer.

Additional information

If your video card's ROM (or firmware) is older than March 2001, Mac OS X 10.3 will not load the ROM driver during start up. Instead, it will try to load a newer software driver file if one is present. Make sure the installed driver works with Mac OS X Panther.

These are some third-party video card manufacturers' support websites where you may be able to find additional information:

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.

Published Date: Oct 11, 2016