7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2012 2:01 PM by The Trumpeter
The Trumpeter Level 1 (0 points)

This morning Voice Over started running on my computer when I turned it on.  I did not turn Voice Over.  Could I have hit a combination of keys on the keyboard that accidentally turned it on?  When I went to System Preferences and chose Internation Access it showed that Voice Over was not even on.  I turned it on and turned it off to reset it, and it is still running.  How is this possible, and how to I get rid of it?



Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,644 points)

    How do you know it's Voice Over?

  • The Trumpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    It may not be voice control after all. When I turn my computer on it begins to talk.  I don't understand everything it says, because it talks too fast.  When I log in, every letter I click is identified and announced out loud.  Before I type in the password, it gives me a description of how it won't announced my password out loud, or print it where it can be read.  As I type it in, a sound is made for each key.


    I'm concerned that it's a key logger or something, because just a month or so ago, I had a hacker who hacked in and put a program on my computer that kept a record of every site I visited, etc.  I took it to the Apple Store, and a tech at the Genius Bar said he'd never seen anything like it.  The tech removed some programs from my computer.  This problem made me wonder; so I called AppleCare and was mistakenly told that my warranty expired earlier this month.  The tech was very nice.  He said it was a Voice Over problem, and it would cost me $45 for a tech to tell me how to turn it off.  Then he told me he would send me an email containing a copy of that information from Apple/support.com, so I could do it myself.  The information he sent did not contain anything that could help me solve the problem.


    I got to thinking about what he said about the warranty. When I bought my computer, I purchased a two year warranty. That will be two years ago next month. Originally, they sold me a warranty for the wrong computer.  I went back and had them correct it.  The incorrect warranty was $250, and the correct one was $350. The computer came with a one year warranty.  When you buy the two year warranty, it gives you three years of coverage. I looked up my receipt, got the serial number for the warranty, and called them back.  After they looked everything up, I was told the warranty had never been registered; yet they worked on my computer just last month and never charged me or said anything about it not being under a warranty.  Anyway, they finally got their records straight, and my computer is under warranty until August of 2013.


    Immediately after that I was transferred to a tech, who could not figure out how to make my problem go away. She finally transferred me to someone higher up, but by then my cell phone battery had run down.  Right after the new tech asked me to allow him remote access to my computer, the phone went dead.  He tried to call back, but my phone has to charge a few minutes before I can turn it back on.  He sent me an email with his phone number.  I called him back, but got an answer machine, so I left a message. His recording said he only works every other day, so tomorrow he will be off.  I guess I'll have to take it in to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to finally get it fixed.


    If you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd still like to hear them.


    The Trumpeter

  • twtwtw Level 5 (4,925 points)

    You went to System Preferences -> Universal Access and opened the Seeing tab, and it said VoiceOver is off? You can accidentally turn it on with Cmd-F5 if that setting is enabled in Keyboard Shortcuts.  If it says it's off but it's still making noise, click the VoiceOver Utility button and see anything looks odd: maybe it's set to be controlled by applescript?

  • The Trumpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    I went to System Preferences, Universal Access, and then VoiceOver for the fiftieth time after you said to check VoiceOver Utility to see if I saw anything odd.  On The VoiceOver screen it was actually saying that VoiceOver was on.  All day the VoiceOver option was off, and the computer talked to me everytime I logged in.  I tried turning it on and off and it still talked to me.  Now the VoiceOver option was on, so I turned it off again. Weird! I had tried several combinations of keys again and again as the tech instructed me to do, but we couldn't turn it off, but I have to admit that after my phone went dead I tried everything I could imagine; so maybe in trying to turn the talking off I turned the VoiceOver Option on. Anyway, somewhere along the way it quite talking to me.


    Let me ask you a couple of questions.  When I clicked on VoiceOver Utility, after turning VoiceOver off, the screen message says: Speak the following greeting after login:  Welcome to Mac OSX.  VoiceOver is running. I was assuming that it meant VoiceOver was running.  That is what it is saying right now.   It's not talking to me anymore, but the screen says this whether the VoiceOver icon is on or off.  What is this all about.  Is it telling me that Voice Over is still running when I see this, or what?  After all, even when the OFF icon was chosen the computer still spoke to me when I hit each key upon logging in.  After you read the rest of this you will understand why I am asking if it is still running even though it's not talking to me.


    There is a box that appears and says "Portable Preferences for (Jane Doe) have been detected on (JaneDoe).  Would you like to use them?    Always Use   /  No  /   Yes      What does that mean?


    Last but not least. I was looking around and was clicking on Application, Documents, etc.  When I clicked on Documents, only four things came up even though there are tons of documents on my computer.  All four of them have to do with VoiceOver, and they were labeled as documents.  One of the documents had this in it:


    SCRConfiguration Cursor Tracking KBToVO

    SCRConfiguration Cursor Tracking VOToTXT

    SCRConfiguration Cursor Tracking VOToKB


    I'm not a computer genius, so maybe I just don't know what I'm looking at.  Is it normal for something like this to be found under documents?  All of these were dated today, and the problems started today. I haven't gone to bed yet, so even though it's after midnight it's still the same day to me.  Anyway, none of the documents were dated before this problem started.  On top of that, I have tons of documents on my computer, but when I clicked on Documents, those four are the only ones that showed up.  After trying to decipher the programming language on them, I went to click on Applications and hit Documents again, and all the documents came up.  I scanned the list and didn't see them, but there are so many documents on here that I haven't had time to slowly go over them to see if I missed those four documents somehow. Since then I haven't been able to get just those four to appear by themselves again.


    Now, is it possible that I still have a hacker and he knows through a key logger everything I am communicating to you and the Apple Store,  Maybe he did made a mistake and accidentally caused this problem, and through logging every key I have typed he has learned about his mistake and fixed it.  He could still be key logging me now without me knowing it; or maybe he removed the keylogger, because he know I'm taking it in to the Apple Store and can tell them now exactly what to look for.


    It is either a hacker, or I have a very vivid imagination.  What do you think? 

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,644 points)

    I had a hacker who hacked in and put a program on my computer that kept a record of every site I visited, etc.


    In that case, you should have, and still should, erase your boot volume, reinstall the Mac OS and third-party software from known-good copies (not backups), and then restore your user data. You can't be sure of removing unknown software in any other way.

  • twtwtw Level 5 (4,925 points)

    I think you have a very vivid imagination. 


    Has anyone else been using your computer: e.g. children, spouse, parents, former owners, etc? The most likely explanation is that someone has accidentally (or as a joke) created a VoiceOver portable preferences file and somehow hooked it up so it starts when you turn on your machine.  I don't know how that would be done, mind you - do you have an external drive attached?  If there's a portable preferences file on an attached external drive the computer will see it and automatically start.


    Link is correct that if your machine was hacked you should reinstall the system (and change your passwords so they can't hack you again).  but I don't think what's happening is hacker-related.

  • The Trumpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    No, nobody has been on my computer.  I had never backed up my computer either.  I just did in order to wipe it clean, but I can't use it to reload anything.  I just wanted copies of all the programs I bought on internet marketing, etc.  I bought an external hard drive to back my computer up after a tech from the Genius Bar at The Apple Store had removed some programs or applications that had been put on my computer by a hacker to track everywhere I went on the internet and any files that I downloaded, etc.  I thought he got everything, but maybe he didn't.  Right after I got it back, I no longer had internet for the next month or two; so I hadn't used it until the last couple of days.




    The tech I was talking with last night, when my phone went dead, just called me back.  He said that VoiceOver and sometimes other programs can act up for no apparent reason.  He told me to call him if it happens again, since I have his direct number.  In the meantime, he agreed with me about taking it in to The Genius Bar at The Apple Store, and having them recheck it for anything that shouldn't be on here; just in case there is something still on here that is connected to the hacker.


    Thanks for all the help all of you tried to give.  This was my first time on Apple Support Community Discussions.  I didn't even know this was here until the last couple of days.  I'm sure I'll be back.  I hope one day I will know enough to help others.