Apple on Thursday responded to concerns that Mac OS X 10.3 Panther disables external FireWire hard drives. “Apple has identified an issue with external FireWire hard drives using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set with firmware version 1.02 that can result in the loss of data stored on the disk drive,” Apple said in a statement. “Apple is working with Oxford Semiconductor and affected drive manufacturers to resolve this issue, which resides in the Oxford 922 chip-set. In the interim, Apple recommends that you do not use these drives.”