5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2010 10:12 AM by paul Belter
pianoman1976 Level 1 (100 points)
System Preferences is only showing two items, the rest are missing. When I try to bring up Network Preferences I get an error stating that the pref pane can't be loaded.

How does one go about reinstalling/restoring System Preferences?

Thank you.

iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 4 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5), iPhone 3Gs
  • K Shaffer Level 6 (11,890 points)
    System Preferences is normally located in the Applications folder on the
    computer's hard disk drive. And it has limited access privileges so users
    should not be able to trash the item or remove it from the Apps Folder.

    You may be able to extract the System Preferences app from the OS X
    installer and then install it without having to run an Archive & Install; if
    you get and try Pacifist, a demo utility that can do this kind of thing.
    In the process of replacing something, this may require some effort,
    since the existing Sys Pref app needs to be removed.

    There also may be some odd plist items that could be removed from
    the system and maybe the computer could rebuild the System Prefs
    showing of control panes otherwise missing.

    But why is this acting up so badly? I've owned several OS X Macs
    and several OS X systems, and never a problem with most of it.

    There may also be a way to use the OS X boot-install disc that the OS
    you have in the machine was installed with; there may be a way to use
    the Installer's custom installation feature, to see if you can install this
    kind of thing. It would likely be more stuff than just the System Pref item.

    Otherwise, an Archive & Install, and update of the system folder is in store.
    And that can take time. If you happened to have a clone of that exact system
    on an external drive, you could try and see if you could copy System Prefs
    application over to the computer (may require changing permissions or just
    unlocking them then relocking them after the move, in that application.)

    After mucking about, you'd need to run Disk Utility's repair disk permissions.

    Do you have any ideas on how the System Preferences application could
    be messed up? Such odd things may be a symptom of other problems.

    Maybe someone could email you the System Preferences.app and then
    see if it'd work in your machine. My Macs are PPC so you may need one
    from an Intel-based Mac, if that were the path to take in this matter.

    Good luck & happy computing!

    { edited }
  • baltwo Level 9 (62,210 points)
    Although System Preferences is located in /Applications, the prefPanes are located in /System/Library/PreferencePanes. Open it up and ensure that it has all the installed ones (some won't display in System Preferences unless you have the equipment):


    If they are missing, download Pacifist and use it to extract the PreferencePanes folder from the install DVD.
  • pianoman1976 Level 1 (100 points)
    Thank you two for taking the time to assist me.

    Baltwo, you are correct about the PreferencePanes folder, it was missing.

    Might you know where, among all the packages that Pacifist has unpacked - is the PreferencePanes folder?
  • baltwo Level 9 (62,210 points)
    IIRC, when you launch Pacifist and it loads the installation packages, you can search for it or any of those listed prefPanes and it should pop up in the window. Most likely, the Essentials.pkg, but that's just a SWAG.
  • paul Belter Level 1 (0 points)
    I just discovered that the system preferences application was deleted. However, I still have all of the preferences panes listed with System/Library. How do I recreate the system preference application?