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System Preferences Crash on Snow Leopard

6146 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 22, 2010 11:26 PM by nowsthetime RSS
Rob Broadhurst Calculating status...
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May 24, 2010 12:45 PM
I've experienced general sluggishness with Snow Leopard but the most puzzling thing is that System Preferences (specifically my Desktop & Screen Saver" pane) freezes and crashes. I've searched through the forums and I've tried the following fixes to no avail:

Starting up in "safe mode" and trying to access System Preferences.
Deleting my com.apple.systempreferences.plist and restarting.
Reinstalling Snow Leopard.
Going to apple.com and specifically installing the 10.6.3 v1.1 "Combo Pack."
Repairing disk permissions.
Emptying my cache.

I never had this problem before Snow Leopard. I would go back to Leopard, but I'm not interested in deleting my hard drive. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
20" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.3), 2GHz Intel Core Duo
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2010 1:46 PM (in response to Rob Broadhurst)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions.

    Quit System Preferences, then delete these files or folders.
    Users/yourname/Library/Preferences /com.apple.systempreferences.plist
    Users/yourname/Library/Preferences/By Host/com.apple.systempreferences.xxxxx.plist and com.apple.PrefPane.Network.xxxxx.plist (the X's will be numbers)
    Also, Users/Home/Library/Caches
    Now relaunch System Preferences. Let us know.



    -mj
    iMac 24" 2.16 GHz 3GB RAM/22" external HP display, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iMac G4 17" 800 MHz 768MB/ iMac 333MHz 256 MB / a gaggle of LaCie d2s/ APC-UPS
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 9:42 AM (in response to Rob Broadhurst)
    Let's see if it is built correctly in a new account...
    Create a new User go to System Preferences >> Accounts >> "+" (make it an admin acct) and test Desktop & Screensaver. if they work the problem is isolated to your User and not systemwide.



    -mj
    iMac 24" 2.16 GHz 3GB RAM/22" external HP display, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iMac G4 17" 800 MHz 768MB/ iMac 333MHz 256 MB / a gaggle of LaCie d2s/ APC-UPS
  • RobBroad4th Calculating status...
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    May 25, 2010 10:27 AM (in response to macjack)
    Hey,

    Still "Rob," my computer suddenly remembered my very old login ID. Weird.

    Anyways, I added a new account and I can run "Desktop & Screensaver" fine, which I assume is good news. What can I do from here?

    Thank you again for your help.
    iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 10:57 AM (in response to RobBroad4th)
    Yes, good news indeed! It means you don't need to re-install or troubleshoot anything in your system.
    Check permissions on your Home folder.
    Also Check Permissions Inside Home Folder on the Desktop, Documents, Library, etc.

    • Go to Users/yourname/Home
    • Get Info (Command - i)
    • Open the "Ownership & permissions" disclosure triangle.
    • Make sure you are the owner, with "read and write" access.
    • Click on "apply to all"
    [EDIT: Removed]
    (Note:The reason to check this is because repairing permissions with Disk Utility doesn't touch permissions inside your home folder.)

    Check permissions on Home folder.



    -mj

    Message was edited by: macjack
    iMac 24" 2.16 GHz 3GB RAM/22" external HP display, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iMac G4 17" 800 MHz 768MB/ iMac 333MHz 256 MB / a gaggle of LaCie d2s/ APC-UPS
  • RobBroad4th Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 11:13 AM (in response to macjack)
    Checked permissions for the Home Folder and everything inside it and I have "read and write" access to everything. "Desktop and Screensaver" still crashes unfortunately.
    iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 11:43 AM (in response to RobBroad4th)
    OK, one down...

    1. Go to Users/yourname//Library/Fonts - drag this folder to the desktop.

    • Restart and test your applications.
    • If they work start adding the fonts back few at a time.
    ( Likely suspects are Times RO, Helvetica Fractions and Times Phonetic, also if you do not use Classic you can trash the classic fonts.) If not, put your Fonts folder back.

    2. Check Preferences Thoroughly;

    • Go toUsers/yourname/Library/Preferences drag this folder to the desktop.
    • Restart and test your applications.
    • If this works, save the old preferences folder somewhere else or on disk, name it "old prefs" .
    ** Note: A very important file is the "com.apple.Mail.plist" preference file located in the Preferences folder which contains all email account settings and general mail preferences (hold this one and replace if your problem is not with Mail).
    You'll have to go through some of your System Preferences and apps to set the preferences back to how you like them. (Or if you have the time and inclination, "cherry pick" through until you find the problem one or two.)

    3.Go to Users/yourname/Library/Caches and drag this folder to the trash, then log out and back or restart. There is no need to replace this folder.



    -mj
    iMac 24" 2.16 GHz 3GB RAM/22" external HP display, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iMac G4 17" 800 MHz 768MB/ iMac 333MHz 256 MB / a gaggle of LaCie d2s/ APC-UPS
  • RobBroad4th Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 12:52 PM (in response to macjack)
    Okay, so I did everything you said and seemed to make some progress when I dragged "Preferences" to my desktop (leaving the one in Library empty) and deleted the com.apple.systempreferences file there. After that, I could open up "Desktop & Screensaver" and make adjustments to my screensaver. However, as soon as I tried to pick a desktop image (the furthest it's let me go since I've upgraded to SL), it froze again. I notice that as soon as I try to open a picture under "Desktop", the "systemprofile" file reappears under the Library/Preferences.

    Hopefully that narrows down the problem some. I appreciate you hanging with this!
    iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 1:20 PM (in response to RobBroad4th)
    RobBroad4th wrote:
    I notice that as soon as I try to open a picture under "Desktop", the "systemprofile" file reappears under the Library/Preferences. Hopefully that narrows down the problem some.


    Actually I have no idea what SystemProfiler has to do with this. We've throughly checked your Home folder, yet we must be missing something but I don't know what. You may want to move the folders within your Home folder to the new account. (i.e Desktop, Documents, Music, Movies, Pictures. I would leave out Library and Preferences, except for the com.apple.mail.plist I mentioned.

    The first time you launch iTunes or IPhoto, it will probably ask you to point it to the Library.



    -mj
    iMac 24" 2.16 GHz 3GB RAM/22" external HP display, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iMac G4 17" 800 MHz 768MB/ iMac 333MHz 256 MB / a gaggle of LaCie d2s/ APC-UPS
  • RobBroad4th Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2010 12:26 PM (in response to macjack)
    I appreciate your help, but this seems like more trouble than it's worth. Even though I had equal permissions for both accounts, I couldn't load my iTunes on the other account and lost my browser settings.
    iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • nowsthetime Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2010 11:26 PM (in response to RobBroad4th)
    Okay fellas. Same problem. Solved it.

    I trashed a LOT of stuff, and it worked. I've got my desktop/screensaver prefs back:

    Trashed:
    Went to library, preferences, and, from both regular prefs and "by host" prefs, I trashed:
    /Users/xxxx/Desktop/com.apple.screensaver..Mac.001b639db71a.plist
    /Users/xxxx/Desktop/com.apple.screensaver.0017f2f382a6.plist
    /Users/xxxx/Desktop/com.apple.screensaver.slideshow.0017f2f382a6.plist
    /Users/xxxxr/Desktop/com.apple.preference.displays.0017f2f382a6.plist
    /Users/xxxxr/Desktop/com.apple.PrefPane.Network.0017f2f382a6.plist
    /Users/xxxxx/Desktop/com.apple.screensaver.slideshow.001b639db71a.plist
    /Users/xxxxx/Desktop/com.apple.systempreferences.001b639db71a.plist
    /Users/xxxxxx/Desktop/com.apple.preference.displays.001b639db71a.plist
    /Users/xxxr/Desktop/com.apple.screensaver.001b639db71a.plist
    /Users/xxxxr/Desktop/com.apple.desktop.plist
    /Users/xxx/Desktop/com.apple.systempreferences.plist
    /Users/xxx/Desktop/com.apple.desktopscreensaver.rsspictures.plist
    mac pro 8 core, Mac OS X (10.5.4)

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