14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2013 9:18 AM by 4thSpace
4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I purchased my MBP in April 2011.  It's currently running OS X 10.8.2.  I haven't done any wipe/reinstall of the OS since it was bought.  About 3 months ago, I started getting weird behavior. 


Usually, when a window in the background is clicked, it comes forward.  Lots of time, I have to click twice before the background window gets focus.


Another issue is sometimes I can't type into the Safari address bar.  I begin typing and nothing happens.  Then I click the title bar and move the Safari window.  For about a second, nothing still happens.  Then all of the sudden, the window flies over to where the mouse pointer is.  Some kind of delayed response.  At this point I can now type.  Sometimes, the window I previously had focus on is moved instead.


I don't see these issues when I log into another (basic/clean) user account on the same MBP.  I'd like to avoid a wipe/reinstall of the OS since it will take forever to get everything reinstalled and configured.  I have run Disk Utility several times.  I have done the hard (keyboard) reset (before boot up) with Apple.  None of this has helped.  Is there any cleaner software or something else I can do to avoid wipe/reinstall?


Possibly is the keyboard/trackpad failing?

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (265,650 points)

    Since you don't get those issues with a different account, it's a software issue. Create a new folder on your desktop and start moving items from your home folder into it; if needed, press Option when clicking on the Finder's Go menu to access the library. After each step of moving files out, log out and back in and check if it recurs, repeating the process until the problem file is isolated or all files have been eliminated as the cause.



  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Since you don't get those issues with a different account, it's a software issue.

    Ok, thanks.


    When you say "home", which folder do you mean?  Do you mean:


    Macintosh HD > Users > My Name


    There's only two files in that folder and multiple other (sub) folders.  One of the files is a .js and the other is a .txt.

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (265,650 points)

    Yes, I mean that folder. Look through its subfolders.



  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    What is it I should be looking for?

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (29,965 points)

    Everything that you want to move to your 'new', 'working' account. Move everything out of your user account to a shared folder and then delete the 'old' user and begin using the 'new' user.



  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (265,650 points)

    Whichever file is causing the problem. If you don't know which one it is, move files and folders as described above until you do or are out of options. Keep note of where you moved the items from.


    clintonfrombirmingham: I'm attempting to isolate the exact file causing the problem, not moving the files to a different user account. The benefit of doing it this way is that as few preferences will need to be reentered as possible.



  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There's a massive number of files in all of these folders.  I don't think this technique is any less work (probably more) than a wipe/reinstall.

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (265,650 points)

    Start with the Library/Preferences/ folder and then the other folders in the Library. Pay special attention to items with Safari or WindowServer in their names.



  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Alright, thanks.  Will take some time to post back.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (147,415 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It’s unlikely to solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

    The purpose of the test is to determine whether your problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login.


    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode* and log in to the account with the problem. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:
    • Shut down your computer, wait 30 seconds, and then hold down the shift key while pressing the power button.
    • When you see the gray Apple logo, release the shift key.
    • If you are prompted to log in, type your password, and then hold down the shift key again as you click  Log in.
    *Note: If FileVault is enabled under OS X 10.7 or later, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t boot in safe mode.


    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on certain Macs.  The next normal boot may also be somewhat slow.

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    Test while in safe mode. Same problem?


    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of the test.

  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The problem with trying it in safe mode is that it will work fine.  What does that tell me?  Nothing I don't already know, which is the problem exist in the current account only.  I'm not able to force the issue to occur.  Sometimes the problem account works fine.  It's random when this issue will happen.

  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    You're suggestion did lead me to look at startup issues.  I found this support document: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1199?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US.  I've removed two startup items for the problem account.  Only Dropbox starts up now.  It always has so I don't think it is the issue.  I also dragged the library/Caches folder to the desktop as suggested in the article.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (147,415 points)

    It's not clear whether you consider the problem solved or want to continue trying to solve it.

  • 4thSpace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It will take several days to know if it solved the problem.  I'll post back.