Currently Being ModeratedAug 28, 2012 4:56 PM (in response to RobertDHarding)
"It has recently developed an annoying habit of keeping trying to connect to the hard disc of one of my other, older Macs,..."
Why is that Mac connected to your MBP? In any case System Preferences>Startup Disk. Select the disk you want to start up with and restart.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 1:47 AM (in response to sig)
Thanks sig for your suggestion, but a) to answer your question and b) to comment on Sys Pref Startup Discs:
a) "that Mac" eg to older one, in use elsewhere, isn't physically connected to my new MBP. It does however access the same wireless network. I can connect to, mount and use its disc if and when I want (with File Sharing enabled). I can also eject it, disconnect etc, just as normal. The thing is, my newer MBP seems to want to connect to it of its own volition from time to time. This happens even when the older MBP is shut down or asleep.
b) I have checked the Startup disc option. Only the correct, new MBP disc shows up. So I cannot see that this is a possibler cause.
The current theory - suggested by the AppleCare adviser in the final minutes of our session - is that this is somehow network related. Today I tried using the new MBP for 20 mins with wi-fi OFF, and the attemot to connect did not occur. I need to repeat this test a few times (to ensure a 2 sigma finding!). I also noted that the first re-occurrence of the attempt to connect (the older MBP still being asleep) happened after I used iTunes to sync my iPhone. Again, I need to repeat this test to see if there's cause and effect here or just coincidence.
To end with another question to anyone else watching this discussion, surely there is a way of finding out what process is originating the request to connect? Would any of the logs hold this info?
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 3:04 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
I've got a very similar problem. However, in my case its not another Mac that it is trying to connect to but a NAS on my home network. Whenever I'm away from home and use my MBP it tries to connect to the NAS giving me the same error message as you get.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 6:31 AM (in response to eriwet)
The good thing about forums is that you get to talk to fellow sufferers - so hello eriwet and it's good to know I'm not alone.
I have now convinced myself that I can get this behaviour repeatably on demand. In my case it is to do with connecting my iPhone to iTunes via USB cable.
If the wi-fi is off (and no Ethernet or other network connection in place), and iTunes is already open, then I get "There was a problem connecting to the server ..." a few seconds after plugging in the iPhone. To confirm the link, I observe that the spinning wheel to the right of the iPhone's name freezes for a few seconds, then the alert appears. I have repeated this experiment 3 times. Before attempting a repeat, it is necessary to wait about 5 mins, and I guess this is for all the network protocol timeouts to run their course. A restart is not needed for the repeat experiment get this behaviour. If the error is ignored, the phone will synch as normal with no error messages.
Repeating the above with the wi-fi is on results in "Enter your name and pasword for the server ...". This box appears after a much shorter pause that needed before the alert appears on the wi-fi on case above. Again, cancelling the connection attempt has no effect on the iPhone being able to synch.
So eriwet, is the iPhone/iTunes connection relevant to your problem or is it different?
So I think it's definite - something in iTunes or the iPhone refers back to my old disc, but it's presumably some kind of legacy setting. I'm now thinking how to go from here. I might de-install all the downloaded apps on the iPhone and see what happens, or I could do a total iPhone reset and NOT restore from backup. [I have previously tried total reset and restore from backup, to no effect - if there is a legacy effect it must also be stored in the backup.] The equivalent steps for iTunes are a bit horrendous to contemplate: I have over 5000 'songs' taking up >27GB, but I could devote a day of my life to exporting these I suppose, re-install iTunes, and build it up all over again....
Before someone points it out, yes, after entering name and password for the server I could choose to remember it in the keychain, but that will only suppress the alert when the server is online and available to connect to, and not for example if the server is off. And it sidesteps the real question, which is, what on earth is the iTunes/iPhone duo doing trying to access the older hard disc?
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 6:52 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
Well, actually it has nothing to do with iphone (nor ipad) in my case since I have no iphone (yet) and have still not tried to connect my ipad to this MBP. I don't think iTunes is to blame either but i'll have to look more into that to know for sure.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 7:54 AM (in response to eriwet)
OK - thanks for that info.
I have now done a complete iPhone reset, installing nothing at all on it except the restored factory settings. The "There was a problem connecting to the server ..." message came up several times during the process, and also on attempting a synch after the iPhone restarted.
So I agree - it's not the iPhone. But in my case, it must be iTunes, or some process triggered by iTunes, since the attempt to synch always triggers the alert (after suitable pause for timeouts).
I'll hold off messing with iTunes for a while to see what you find, and will go back to AppleCare for further advice before I do anything else. There may be some iTunes config files lurking in a library that are responsible, but I'll not touch these without expert advice.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 8:27 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
Just curious, when you migrated from the old mac to the new one, did you migrate everything, or just files, etc. ?
Did you just move the user name from old to new, so you have the same user info on 2 machines?
I would also check your iTunes prefs...
it sounds like iTunes is trying to connect to the library on the old machine, thus trying to mount its disk.
Check the location of the ITunes Media folder, it may be set to point to the old computer, rather than the new one.
Let us know how you make out.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 9:30 AM (in response to dmlynn)
Thanks dmlynn - answers to your points:
I did a total migration. I usually keep two Mac's in close synch. After migration I synch user files. Subsequently, I never synch system or sys data files FROM the old TO the new.
I had checked the location of iTunes media, and have just done so again. It had to be on the new machinre because music plays on the new machine even when the old MBP is offline, but you are right, you have to double check these things.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2012 9:49 AM (in response to dmlynn)
Further to my reply to dmlynn above, I've just peeked in com.apple.iTunes.plist in my <user>/Library folder. It contains two references to the old disc. The file is of course basically unreadable (to a non-expert using TextEdit) but the references are close to a mention of my iPod and to the iPhoto library I synched with that iPod, so the references may refer to past actions and not be relevant to my problem. I have not synched the iPod using the new MBP. However it's the first trace I've found of the old disc's name in the hunt for the cause. Any advice? What will happen if I just delete com.apple.iTunes.plist - will the heavens fall in? [I would not actually delete it of course without keeping a copy to restore - but could there be collateral damage from such a deletion?]
Currently Being ModeratedAug 31, 2012 3:41 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
I have followed up the lead from my last post (29 Aug), helped by discovering that I have a working copy of "Preference List Editor" that runs on Rosetta-suporting OS X machines. The references to older discs are in harmless places, like the "recent folders" list. I did have a problen synching my iPod but this was resolved by deleting the iPod photo cache in my current iPhoto library. The problem of recurring connection to the old disc was not affected and is still behaving as described before.
I have also now noticed that the connection request is triggered when I launch Mail, even if my iPhone is not plugged in to my MBP. This strengthens eriwet's suggestion that the behaviour is nothing to do with the iPhone. Since I migrated my email store from the old machine, it is possible that the common link here is that iTunes and Mail are both apps that will act on files that originated on the old MBP. But neither of these apps have complined that they can't find files, and appear to work perfectly well if the connection to the old MBP is refused or dismissed.
So I'm almost back to square one, except that I know how to trigger the connection request in various ways ...
Currently Being ModeratedSep 2, 2012 2:58 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
First, thanks to all who have taken part in this discussion so far - it has been very helpful. I had been trying out further ideas, but was getting nowhere (extensive checking of preferences, account settings etc) until I looked at the system log in Console.
I find something like this as soon as a spurious connection attempt occurs:
Sep 2 10:14:39 <New MBP name>.local SyncServer: [0x7ff2f840bef0] |DataManager|Warning| Client com.apple.Mail sync alert tool path /Volumes/<Old MBP name>/System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Versions/B/Resources/MailSync does not exist.
So surely this must be IT. It's a MailSync error. And this is the subject of another Support Communties discussion:
"Upgrade to Lion - SyncServer Error messages in console - solution"
Unfortunately the solution there does not seem to apply to Mountain Lion. Several others have the same problem and the discussion is still active, so I'll be watching that discussion now. I'll add a further report here if there are developments.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 15, 2012 3:03 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
Nearly two weeks after that last post and I've heard nothing further to get a full diagnosis of this issue.
I have eliminated the problem (I would not say 'solved') by making a full bootable backup of my system, erasing the MBP hard disc, reinstalling just the system, then followed up with a manual re-install of up to date applications, and copied in all user files that I wanted to keep. I excluded all Library files.
It is a long job but has ensured a clean system free of legacy issues.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 16, 2012 2:07 AM (in response to RobertDHarding)
Just after posting the previous message, there was a post in another discussion that seems to have nailed the actual cause of this error and provided a fix.
The relevant Apple Support document is http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1627