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How to selectively enable items disabled in Safe Mode

624 Views 27 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2012 5:32 PM by Linc Davis RSS
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Herr Wahr Calculating status...
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Dec 10, 2012 6:20 PM

My late 2009 iMac (3.33 GHz, dual core, 8 GB RAM) runs very slowly for all application during normal boot, but quite snappily when booted in Safe Mode.

 

Disabling startup items and booting normally doesn't resolve the problem.

 

How can I further troubleshoot?  Is there a way to selectively enable items that are disabled in Safe Mode, thereby isolating what is cua

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), late 2009, 3.33 GHz duo, 8 GB meory
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.
      
    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It won’t solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.
       
    Third-party system modifications are a common cause of usability problems. By a “system modification,” I mean software that affects the operation of other software — potentially for the worse. The following procedure will help identify which such modifications you've installed. Don’t be alarmed by the complexity of these instructions — they’re easy to carry out and won’t change anything on your Mac.

     

    These steps are to be taken while booted in “normal” mode, not in safe mode. If you’re now running in safe mode, reboot as usual before continuing.

     

    Below are instructions to enter some UNIX shell commands. The commands are harmless, but they must be entered exactly as given in order to work. If you have doubts about the safety of the procedure suggested here, search this site for other discussions in which it’s been followed without any report of ill effects.

     

    Some of the commands will line-wrap or scroll in your browser, but each one is really just a single line, all of which must be selected. You can accomplish this easily by triple-clicking anywhere in the line. The whole line will highlight, and you can then either copy or drag it. The headings “Step 1” and so on are not part of the commands.

     

    Note: If you have more than one user account, Step 2 must be taken as an administrator. Ordinarily that would be the user created automatically when you booted the system for the first time. The other steps should be taken as the user who has the problem, if different. Most personal Macs have only one user, and in that case this paragraph doesn’t apply.

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    When you launch Terminal, a text window will open with a line already in it, ending either in a dollar sign (“$”) or a percent sign (“%”). If you get the percent sign, enter “sh” and press return. You should then get a new line ending in a dollar sign.

     

    Step 1

     

    Copy or drag — do not type — the line below into the Terminal window, then press return:
    kextstat -kl | awk '!/com\.apple/{printf "%s %s\n", $6, $7}'
     
    Post the lines of output (if any) that appear below what you just entered (the text, please, not a screenshot.) You can omit the final line ending in “$”.

     

    Step 2

     

    Repeat with this line:
    sudo launchctl list | sed 1d | awk '!/0x|com\.(apple|openssh|vix)|edu\.mit|org\.(amavis|apache|cups|isc|ntp|postfix|x)/{print $3}'
     
    This time, you'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up. You don't need to post the warning.

     

    Note: If you don’t have a login password, you’ll need to set one before taking this step. If that’s not possible, skip to the next step.

     

    Step 3
    launchctl list | sed 1d | awk '!/0x|com\.apple|edu\.mit|org\.(x|openbsd)/{print $3}'
     
    Step 4
    ls -1A /e*/mach* {,/}L*/{Ad,Compon,Ex,Fram,In,Keyb,La,Mail/Bu,P*P,Priv,Qu,Scripti,Servi,Spo,Sta}* L*/Fonts 2> /dev/null
      
    Important: If you formerly synchronized with a MobileMe account, your me.com email address may appear in the output of the above command. If so, anonymize it before posting.

     

    Step 5
    osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to get name of every login item' 2> /dev/null
     
    Remember, steps 1-5 are all drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste, whichever you prefer — no typing, except your password. Also remember to post the output.

     

    You can then quit Terminal.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    OK, but please be aware that I will unsubscribe from this thread if anyone else replies to it before you do. I can't be sandbagged with email notifications.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    Please read this whole message carefully, especially the warnings, before doing anything.

    1. The changes to your configuration suggested here should be considered provisional; they may not solve your problem, or they may remove functionality that you find useful. If a third-party system modification that you want to keep is causing the problem, seek help from its developer.

    2. WARNING: Back up all data now if you haven’t already done so. Before proceeding, you must be sure you can restore your system to its present state, even if it becomes unbootable. If you’re not sure you can do that, STOP — DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING. If you’re dissatisfied with the results of the procedure suggested below, restore from your backup. I will not be responsible for the consequences, and I will not be able to help, if you ignore this warning.

    3. You should either remove or update the following system modification(s), if an update is available from the developer:

    N/A

    and definitely remove at least the following:

    † VirusBarrier

    4. Whatever you remove must be removed completely, and (unless otherwise specified in this message) the only way to do that is to use the uninstallation tool, if any, provided by the third-party developers, or to follow their instructions. If the software has been incompletely removed, you may have to re-download or even reinstall it in order to finish the job. I can't be more specific, because I don't install such things myself. Please do your own research.

    Here are some general guidelines to get you started. Suppose you want to remove something called “BrickYourMac.” First, consult the product's Help menu, if there is one, for instructions. Finding none there, look on the developer's website, say www.brickyourmac.com. (That may not be the actual name of the site; if necessary, search the web for the product name.) If you don’t find anything on the website or in your search, email the developer. While you're waiting for a response, download BrickYourMac.dmg and open it. There may be an application in there such as “Uninstall BrickYourMac.” If not, open “BrickYourMac.pkg” and look for an Uninstall button.

    Again, please don't ask me to do this research for you. You can do it better than I can, because I haven't installed the product and I may not even know what it is.

    If you can’t remove software in any other way, you’ll have to erase your boot volume and perform a clean reinstallation of OS X. Never install any third-party software unless you're sure you know how to uninstall it; otherwise you may create problems that are very hard to solve.

    WARNING: Trying to remove complex system modifications by hunting for files by name often will not work and may make the problem worse. The same goes for "utilities" that purport to remove software.

    5. I recommend that you never reinstall the modifications marked with a dagger (†) above, if any. If your problem is resolved after uninstalling all the above modifications and rebooting, but you still want to use some of those not marked with a dagger, you can experiment with putting them back, one at a time, testing carefully after each step. Keep in mind that system modifications may be incompatible with each other or with future OS X updates, so it may not be clear which one is at fault.

    6. If you still have problems after making the suggested changes and rebooting, post again. Remember: if you don’t like the results of this procedure, you can undo it by restoring from the last backup you made before you started.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    First, back up all data immediately, as your boot drive might be failing.

     

    One possible cause of a slow user interface is a large number of image or video files on the Desktop with preview icons. If you have more than a dozen or so such files, move them to another folder.

     

    Otherwise, take these steps when you notice the problem.

     

    Step 1

     

    Launch the Activity Monitor application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Activity Monitor in the icon grid.

     

    Select the CPU tab of the Activity Monitor window.

     

    Select All Processes from the menu in the toolbar, if not already selected.

     

    Click the heading of the % CPU column in the process table to sort the entries by CPU usage. You may have to click it twice to get the highest value at the top. What is it, and what is the process? Also post the values for % User, % System, and % Idle at the bottom of the window.

     

    Select the System Memory tab. What values are shown in the bottom part of the window for Page outs and Swap used?

     

    Next, select the Disk Activity tab. Post the approximate values shown for Reads in/sec and Writes out/sec (not Reads in and Writes out.)

     

    Step 2

     

    You must be logged in as an administrator to carry out this step.

     

    Launch the Console application in the same way as above. Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.

     

    Post the 50 or so most recent messages in the log — the text, please, not a screenshot.

     

    When posting a log extract, be selective. Don't post more than is requested.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into a message.

    Important: Some personal information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Edit it out before posting.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    Disable or remove Google Drive according to the developer's instructions.

     

    This procedure will reset the LaunchServices database. All associations between file types and applications will revert to their defaults. If you don't want that to happen, STOP.

     

    Back up all data if you haven’t already done so.

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below to select it. Copy or drag — don't type — the text into the Terminal window:

    /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -seed -r -domain all

     

    Press return. Log out, then log back in. Test.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    Please verify that "NoteIsFound" is no longer in the process table. If it isn't, post another log extract.

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