12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 11, 2008 11:30 AM by Moncrief
Baymar Level 1 (0 points)
I cannot change my wallpaper or screen saver. Each time I try it "quits".... Help!

imac, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • I love my macbook!!!! Level 4 (1,415 points)
    Errr....What do you mean?
  • Larry Goshorn Level 1 (5 points)
    Just encountered same problem. I was looking at the screen savers & when I selected another at the end of the list (can't remember which one) System Preferences played 'funk' and disappeared.

    Now I can not change or view screen savers: I select System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver, IF I click to Screen Saver THEN 'funk' plays and System Preferences disappears. Once this is triggered I can no longer access Desktop & Screen Saver (...except IF you quickly select Desktop before it crashes, THEN next time you open you can access Desktop...)

    But that's not the bad news... Now when my computer goes into Screen Saver mode, first 'funk' plays then the Screen Saver crashes and then the computer runs the Screen Saver again, ...yep the cycle repeats... Then my wife asks why is your computer making irritating noises?


    How do I change my Screen Saver settings without using System Preferences (...which crashes...).
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    Sounds like a corrupted preferences file, but could also be a permissions issue. Have you repaired permissions lately? If not, I'd try that first.

    If that doesn't help, does the same thing happen for a different user? (If you only have one now, create another just to try it).

    If a different user is ok, your preference file is probably corrupt. Do you have a backup you can restore? (The file is <your user name>/library/preferences.com.apple.systempreferences.plist

    If not, try moving that file to your desktop and try System Preferences again.

    If System Preferences then works, delete the file from your desktop (you'll have to reset all of them). If not, move the files back to preserve your other settings.

    Post your results back here.
  • Larry Goshorn Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for response! I had already corrected permissions; no affect.

    New user works fine. Unable to locate a ...systempreferences.plist file. Moving similar files to desktop, no affect. Rebooting; no affect. Safe-reboot; no affect.

    Currently can not change Screen Saver settings; I've always left my computer on... won't be able to do that now; it starts making irritating noises as it repeatedly tries to get into sleep mode.
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    Sounds even more like the preferences file, but I mis-typed the name a bit.

    The file name is: com.apple.systempreferences.plist
    in the folder: Preferences
    in the folder: Library
    in your home folder
  • Larry Goshorn Level 1 (5 points)
    Found the file... Still no luck.

    Created new Admin user and changed Screen Saver settings, everything works fine for new user; but does not affect the problem I'm having. If logged in as normal, it just plays 'funk' sound and closes in System Preferences, or just repeats/cycles if trying to enter Screen Saver mode.

    ...too late tonight, must go to bed...

    starting the new routine of manually putting the iMac to Sleep before leaving... nite.
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    Very strange. It sure sounds like a preferences problem, since it works ok for another user.

    Have you investigated the logs? There might be a clue there.

    If you're unfamiliar, in your Applications folder there's a Utilities sub-folder, containing the Console application. Double-click it, then in the upper left click Show Log List to display a hierarchy of logs in a sidebar on the left. Open some of the folders and you'll see a whole passel of them (technical term).

    They're mostly full of techie stuff, but here and there are some messages that us mere mortals can sometimes find useful -- usually at the beginning or end.

    First I'd look under CrashReporter -- from your description, there should be many for SystemPreferences.

    Also look at the Console and System logs for the date/time involved (might be helpful to intentionally cause a crash, then review the logs).

    If you find anything that looks meaningful, copy it (or part of it) and post here.
  • Larry Goshorn Level 1 (5 points)
    Found it!

    Console Messages had this:
    8/27/08 9:11:52 PM ScreenSaverEngine[64924] Mac3DWatch screensaver has expired.

    Once I deleted the file, my problem went away. Thank you!

    ...now... how about this Console msg?
    8/27/08 9:12:07 PM [0x0-0x11011].N067U_ButtonManager[129] Looking for devices matching vendor ID=1193 and product ID=8717

    This has been listed repeatedly, always for the last 2yrs... My gut tells me if I can figure out what it means and eliminate it that my computer would be more healthy. Any idea where/how to find out who Vendor ID 1193 or product ID 8717 is?
  • Francine Schwieder Level 6 (19,045 points)
    Sounds like the Canon Scanner strikes again. I thought they fixed that?

  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    Search this forum for ButtonScanner

    edit: ButtonManager, not ButtonScanner -- it's CAUSED by some scanner software . . .

    Message was edited by: Pondini
  • ScottDamion Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi.. I have a brand new Imac and upon first attempt at changing my screensaver/desktop and subsequent attempts it immediately quits.

    I've verifies permissions to no avail and have followed your advice BUT.. in my Library/preferences folder I cannot find a com.apple.systempreferences.plist at all. However in systemconfigeration (inside preferences)there is a preferences.plist.

    My log says;

    13/09/08 11:46:19 AM System Preferences[871] * Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '* -[NSCFSet addObject:]: attempt to insert nil'
    13/09/08 11:46:19 AM System Preferences[871] Stack: (
    13/09/08 11:46:20 AM com.apple.launchd[96] ([0x0-0xa90a9].com.apple.systempreferences[871]) Exited abnormally: Trace/BPT trap

    I'm an expert at using these but not fixing them.. any ideas please. It's only 2 bloody days old!
  • Moncrief Level 1 (0 points)
    A different question.
    Just loaded Leopard 10.5.4 then the upgrade from Mac via software updates.
    My desktop screen bounces, shimmeys, moves whatever when the mouse encounters it.
    Whats up?