Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 46 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2010 11:29 AM by TSomers
mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I am getting console message 6 times every hour. The message looks like

9/20/09 10:06:56 AM PreferenceSyncClient[9312] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.

I have a new MBP/17 with Snow Leopard. I do not have MobileMe. The only sync'ing I have (as far as I know) is iCal with Google Calendar. The latter is set to refresh every 15 minutes.

Any ideas what is causing the message 6 times per hour?

MacBook Pro 17", 3.06MHz, 8/2009, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • S.W. Wortis Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Identical message on my MBP (2.33 Ghz) after installing Snow Leopard.
  • Q Lazarus Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Do you use Growl?
  • S.W. Wortis Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    I had been using Growl until installing Snow Leopard. Could not get it working and disabled it. However it is still on the machine.
  • Q Lazarus Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Try removing it.
  • mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    In my case, Growl is not installed or on my Snow Leopard MBP/17. Yet, I still get the hour 6 pack of messages:

    9/22/09 6:23:43 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 6:23:43 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 6:23:45 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 6:23:45 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 6:23:49 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 6:23:49 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3047] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:45 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:45 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:49 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:49 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:52 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
    9/22/09 7:23:52 AM PreferenceSyncClient[3183] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.
  • TSomers Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I have had an identical console message since the upgrade to snow leopard on this 24" iMac. Every hour, 10-15sec before time machine tries to mount the networked hard drive for backup (off of a airport extreme), I get six lines of:

    PreferenceSyncClient[1162] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary.

    I do not use mobileMe nor growl. I do sync an iPhone to iTunes on this machine though. A MBP and another 24" iMac on the same network do not display this error.

    I've looked through the pref plists for old ones and trashed a few but no luck so far.

    Maybe unrelated, but over the last week the Time Machine sparse image for this machine has become irreparably corrupted and unmountable twice. I've had to trash it off the backup drive and do a clean backup. I also did a reinstall of SL and all the normal troubleshooting maintenance.
  • Cole Tierney Level 4 Level 4 (1,375 points)
    If you can find the plist in question, you could try validating it with plutil.
  • mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    My error does not seem to be related to Time Machine backups, because (1) I have my backups set to every 8 hours (vs. every hour), (2) my backup occur 20 minutes before the messages, and (3) no new messages appear if manual kick of a backup.

    If the error message contained a bit more info, it might be easier to track down (and as Cole stated review it with pledit).

    The number appear in the message is a PID, but it is short lived. Maybe we'll have to write a little script to capture what process are running on/around the time the hourly messages appear.

    Or, we take it in, and show one of the "geniuses".
  • mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Okay, I've captured the processes. It is

    /System/Library/CoreServices/PreferenceSyncClient.app/Contents/MacOS/PreferenceS yncClient --sync --periodic

    Run this at your prompt, and your see our 6 log messages.

    Now, what is it for, and why is it complaining?

    (The plists within the .app appeared to visual look okay.)

    Are any of you sync'ing with iCal with Google Calendar?
  • TSomers Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I am syncing iCal with google calendar but the 6 lines of "PreferenceSyncClient[262] Preference plist was NOT a dictionary." occur whether iCal is running or not.

    I found what I thought was the offending pref file at: /Users/Name/Library/Preferences/com.apple.PreferenceSync.plist

    ...and took it out and restarted to force it to create a new one. Didn't fix it.
  • Cole Tierney Level 4 Level 4 (1,375 points)
    Have you tried plutil?
    plutil ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.PreferenceSync.plist
  • mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    TSomers wrote:
    I found what I thought was the offending pref file at: /Users/Name/Library/Preferences/com.apple.PreferenceSync.plist
    ...and took it out and restarted to force it to create a new one. Didn't fix it.


    What caused you to think it was this plist?
  • mountainbiker63 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Cole Tierney wrote:
    Have you tried plutil?
    plutil ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.PreferenceSync.plist


    @cole.

    I use my bash profile function shown below. All the plist files opened without issue. Were you thinking a file would not open/be corrupt? Or, is there something else you are trying to convey?

    function pledit() { # plist editor.
    if [ $# -ne 1 ]; then
    echo -e "pledit: Edit Apple plist file\nusage: pledit plist_filename"
    else
    sudo plutil -convert xml1 ${1}; # convert the binary file to xml
    sudo ${EDITOR} ${1}; # use the default editor
    sudo plutil -convert binary1 ${1} # convert it back to binary
    fi
    }
  • Cole Tierney Level 4 Level 4 (1,375 points)
    I use my bash profile function shown below. All the plist files opened without issue. Were you thinking a file would not open/be corrupt? Or, is there something else you are trying to convey?


    Nice thing about plutil is it'll validate plists without having to convert to text.
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