8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2006 11:32 PM by vikas
vikas Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi,
I have a strange problem with my screensavers.When i go to the System Preferences -> Desktop and Screensaver settings,then click on screensaver tab, the windows does not allow me to click anywhere. The system preferences window freezes and i cannot select a screensaver or any of the buttons on that window. I can still go the menu on the top and select View -> Show all Preferences & it works. Desktop and wallpaper settings are also no problem.
But i cannot change the screensaver because of the above problem..

I dont have any third party screensavers apart from the one which come with mac os x. I am using the latest os x version(10.4.4). This problem existed before the upgrade as well..

Can someone please help me to resolve this?

Thanks!

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Rich JG Level 5 Level 5 (4,445 points)
    One thing you might try is to delete preference files associated with the Screensaver. As far as I can tell, these are the files:

    /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.screensaver.slideshow.xxxxx xxxxxxx.plist

    /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.screensaver.xxxxxxxxxxxx.pl ist

    where xxxxxxxxxxxx is 12 characters with letters and numbers, which is probably unique to your account.


    EMAC G4 1.0 GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.4)  
  • vikas Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the tip. I tried that, but it did not help. Still the same.

    any other options..?
  • Rich JG Level 5 Level 5 (4,445 points)
    Here are some troubleshooting ideas.

    1) Try using the Screen Saver in another account and see if you have the same problems. If there are no problems in another account, then the problem is in your account. If this happens, I would suggest that you drag the /Users/yourname/Library/Screen Savers folder to the desktop, if such exists. Then, try again.

    2) If no progress, I suggest that you go through the housekeeping tasks as described in: Resolving Disk, Permission, and Cache Corruption. These tasks include repairing the disk, repairing permissions and cleaning caches. Sometimes these tasks fix hard to find problems.

    3) If no success, try looking for an error message in the console log. To do this, I suggest that you start the Console app from the Utilities folder. Then, use the logs icon at the upper left to make sure that the console.log file is open on your screen. Then, do the things in System Preferences that fail. When a failure occurs, see if something is written to the log. If so, please copy and post here. It might provide a useful clue.

    Rich
  • vikas Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Rich,
    Thanks for your reply.
    I have tried the 3 options you suggested :
    1. Changing account : Still the same for another user also.
    2. Clearing logs and repairing disks : I do this regularly, it does not help

    3. Yes, i cheked the console logs today on your advice. Here is what i see in the console :

    2006-01-24 16:35:10.312 System Preferences[585] * NSRunLoop
    ignoring exception '* -[NSCFArray addObject:]: attempt to insert
    nil' that raised during posting of delayed perform with target
    4c02c90 and selector 'setup2:'
    2006-01-24 16:35:10.321 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:12.267 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:13.006 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:14.011 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:14.865 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:15.545 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:17.204 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (6) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.398 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.424 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.577 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.603 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.717 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:18.743 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:19.020 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:19.160 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    2006-01-24 16:35:19.370 System Preferences[585] * -[NSCFArray
    objectAtIndex:]: index (4) beyond bounds (4)
    System Preferences(585,0xa000ed68) malloc: * Deallocation of a
    pointer not malloced: 0xbfffddb0; This could be a double free(), or
    free() called with the middle of an allocated block; Try setting
    environment variable MallocHelp to see tools to help debug
    System Preferences(585,0xa000ed68) malloc: * Deallocation of a
    pointer not malloced: 0xbfffdc20; This could be a double free(), or
    free() called with the middle of an allocated block; Try setting
    environment variable MallocHelp to see tools to help debug

    Does this tell you anything? Beats me..

    Regards

    iBook G4 Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Rich JG Level 5 Level 5 (4,445 points)
    The sum total of what you have learned is useful, although the log is not as helpful as I hoped it would be - I was hoping for something like "library blahblah is missing" or some such thing. But it is still useful. From what you have found so far, I conclude:

    - The problem is not in your account
    - The problem is probably in some software that was not replaced by Tiger
    - The problem is evidently not due to permission problems, filesystem problems or a corrupted cache
    - The error messages from the log were issued by System Preferences. So, the problem is probably not due to interference from some other app or process. It is in System Preferences.

    No surprise - these results suggest taking a closer look at System Preferences. I find that some of the items in /System/Library/PreferencePanes, which are related to the ScreenSaver, were not updated with Tiger. So, I think this area is a candidate for the origin of the problem. Before I suggest that you replace some of the software, there is one other thing worth checking - I see that there is a logical link and if that is broken, it could cause your trouble. To inspect this, I urge you to start the Terminal app from the Utilities menu and then copy and paste the following command:

    ls -l /System/Library/PreferencePanes | grep Screen

    If you try to type it, make sure that you maintain all spaces, case and note that the "l" characters are "ells" and not "eyes". Copy is much easier.

    I expect 2 lines of output. Please copy them and paste in another post. This is what I get:

    drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 8 Apr 2004 DesktopScreenEffectsPref.prefPane
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 33 7 Jan 2004 ScreenSaver.prefPane -> DesktopScreenEffectsPref.prefPane

    Rich
  • vikas Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi,Thanks again for taking all the efforts to help me resolve this!
    Here is the output :

    $ ls -l /System/Library/PreferencePanes | grep Screen
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 Mar 21 2005
    DesktopScreenEffectsPref.prefPane
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 33 May 14 2005 ScreenSaver.prefPane ->
    DesktopScreenEffectsPref.prefPane

    iBook G4 Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Rich JG Level 5 Level 5 (4,445 points)
    You output looks perfectly normal. The logical link is the ScreenSaver.prefPane -> DesktopScreenEffectsPref.prefPane business.

    I think the next thing to try is to replace the /System/Library/PreferencePanes/ScreenSaver.prefPane folder. I am not sure this will fix the problem, but I am hoping that it will.

    To replace the folder, you could either try to copy it from another machine which has Tiger installed or you could install it from your Tiger DVD with the aid of an app called Pacifist. I do not have my Tiger DVD with me at this time so I cannot test out the process. But, basically, once you had Pacifist installed and had inserted your Tiger DVD, you would open the Mac OS X install packages and then search for the proper folder. In the search window, I would try ScreenSaver.prefPane. If there are multiple hits, normally you would want the first one, but you can select different hits and look at the screen on the left to see if ScreenSaver.prefPane was nested as you might expect.

    I hope this helps,
    Rich

    EMAC G4 1.0 GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.4)  
  • vikas Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Yups!Pacifist and Reinstalling the prefpanes did the trick!

    Thanks for your great help!!