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Options besides reinstall to get MBP working right?

300 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2013 9:18 AM by 4thSpace RSS
4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Dec 31, 2012 8:49 PM

I purchased my MBP in April 2011.  It's currently running OS X 10.8.2.  I haven't done any wipe/reinstall of the OS since it was bought.  About 3 months ago, I started getting weird behavior. 


Usually, when a window in the background is clicked, it comes forward.  Lots of time, I have to click twice before the background window gets focus.


Another issue is sometimes I can't type into the Safari address bar.  I begin typing and nothing happens.  Then I click the title bar and move the Safari window.  For about a second, nothing still happens.  Then all of the sudden, the window flies over to where the mouse pointer is.  Some kind of delayed response.  At this point I can now type.  Sometimes, the window I previously had focus on is moved instead.


I don't see these issues when I log into another (basic/clean) user account on the same MBP.  I'd like to avoid a wipe/reinstall of the OS since it will take forever to get everything reinstalled and configured.  I have run Disk Utility several times.  I have done the hard (keyboard) reset (before boot up) with Apple.  None of this has helped.  Is there any cleaner software or something else I can do to avoid wipe/reinstall?


Possibly is the keyboard/trackpad failing?

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,855 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 8:53 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Since you don't get those issues with a different account, it's a software issue. Create a new folder on your desktop and start moving items from your home folder into it; if needed, press Option when clicking on the Finder's Go menu to access the library. After each step of moving files out, log out and back in and check if it recurs, repeating the process until the problem file is isolated or all files have been eliminated as the cause.



  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,855 points)
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    Dec 31, 2012 9:07 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Yes, I mean that folder. Look through its subfolders.



  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,810 points)
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    Dec 31, 2012 9:21 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Everything that you want to move to your 'new', 'working' account. Move everything out of your user account to a shared folder and then delete the 'old' user and begin using the 'new' user.



  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,855 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 9:26 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Whichever file is causing the problem. If you don't know which one it is, move files and folders as described above until you do or are out of options. Keep note of where you moved the items from.


    clintonfrombirmingham: I'm attempting to isolate the exact file causing the problem, not moving the files to a different user account. The benefit of doing it this way is that as few preferences will need to be reentered as possible.



  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,855 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 9:30 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Start with the Library/Preferences/ folder and then the other folders in the Library. Pay special attention to items with Safari or WindowServer in their names.



  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,995 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 11:12 PM (in response to 4thSpace)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It’s unlikely to solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

    The purpose of the test is to determine whether your problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login.


    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode* and log in to the account with the problem. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:
    • Shut down your computer, wait 30 seconds, and then hold down the shift key while pressing the power button.
    • When you see the gray Apple logo, release the shift key.
    • If you are prompted to log in, type your password, and then hold down the shift key again as you click  Log in.
    *Note: If FileVault is enabled under OS X 10.7 or later, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t boot in safe mode.


    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.  The next normal boot may also be somewhat slow.

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    Test while in safe mode. Same problem?


    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of the test.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,995 points)

    It's not clear whether you consider the problem solved or want to continue trying to solve it.


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