11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2013 6:35 PM by kenamac1
kenamac1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Why have my system preferences suddenly started to reset back to default every time I reboot At first I thought it was happening because I disconnected my Google account, but now I've disable that account and switched to Firefox.  I wasn't sure how my browser setting could have anything to do with my system preferences and now I think it's some glitch or missed setting that is causing the problem.  Oh & I locked my preference panel and that did not help.

In addition to what I say above, not only are all my system preferences being reset to default, but also the preferences for word and Excel.  I'm sure it's affecting other programs, but Word & Excel are the main ones that I have a lot of custom setting for.  Especially annoying is the fact that my ribbon commands are reset.  All this started happening when I signed up for a Google Drive account.  The only system updates have been the usual security updates.  I deleted my Google account but haven't uninstalled it.  I'll try this, but I can't figure out how that would result in all OS preferences being reset.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,945 points)

    Step one is to log into a newly created admin user account and see if the problem persists.

  • kenamac1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OMG!! DISASTEROUS results!!  I'm sorry I guess took your advice 1 step too far!  It fixed the problem and I didn't want to keep the old account around so I deleted it! Now I can't find any of my data!  I didn't save the home folder for the other account thinking it was just settings.  Then I thought no problem I my computer is always being backed up by Time Machine, but when I looked there all my data was GONE from there as well!  I went back to last week before all this happened.  There are old files, but nothing of mine.  I looked at the latest backup filles directly on the disk and they all have these ancient files from 2009-2010 but nothing recent!  And then as a final blow I took the drive to another computer to see if anything different could be seen, but the drive (Lacie) just clicks.  This is not a joke that drive appears to be dead!!!!  I will try and see if any of our IT people can help, but the one guy I trust isn't here today.  This is 2.5 years of reseach data and I am really freaking out.  I only hope that it's there, but I just can't access it.  Is there any chance the data is still on my computer?  If ANYONE has anything to say that could help with this truely terrible situation, please post!

    Susan

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,700 points)

    Stop using the computer immediately. The more you do, the more chances that your data will be overwritten by new files.

     

    I think Data Rescue has a trial before you pay to see if the data can potentially be recovered.

     

    http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue_sysreq.php

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,945 points)

    Then I thought no problem I my computer is always being backed up by Time Machine, but when I looked there all my data was GONE from there as well!

    Stop, as WZZZ recommends. Now, while in the new account, create another admin account, using the same username and password of the one you nuked. Log into it and you should be able to restore from the Time Machine backup.

  • kenamac1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks baltwo, much as it pains me to go til tomorrow to see if I'll be fired, I'm going to wait for our IT guy to come in tomorrow.  The computer was here before I came and there doesn't seem to be any kind of a bootable/recover disk around and he should have one.  I went to the website WZZZ recommended, but there doesn't seem to be a use before you buy option.  I could check CNET sometimes they list things like that. 

     

    I acually did ultimately use the same name and password for the new account I was setting up because I was sure that my boss would prefer that to something new he had to remember, but I did capitalize the first and last name on the account.  I don't think it was in the original.  But since the disk with Time Machine backups is now just clicking I don't think that will help anyway.  I did note that the data rescue resorce above recommended a place to snd that to so I guess that will be my last resort.  Meanwhile my anxiety levels are maxing out right now!

  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,660 points)

    Here are a few more:

     

     

    "Data Rescue II" from prosofteng.com has a free download demo available.   You will need to follow/read the directions carefully.

     

     

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    DriveSavers Data Recovery is NOT free.  However, they have a toll free contact phone #, international phone # & fax contact #'s. Also helpful Recovery Tips and Disaster Recovery for important precautions to prevent further data loss on their website.

     

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    http://www.stellarinfo.com

    Stellar Phoenix Macintosh -- Mac data-recovery software -- recovers data from damaged, deleted, or corrupted volumes, and even from initialized disks. An exhaustive scan of the drive is performed to locate lost partitions. All found data in the lost partition is then presented in a tree structure so that you can copy your lost files to a working volume.

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  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    kenamac1 wrote:

    . . .

    my computer is always being backed up by Time Machine, but when I looked there all my data was GONE from there as well!

    It's probably not really gone from the backups.

     

    You now have a different user account.  Even if it has the same name as the original account, it's a different one, so you won't see the other user's stuff normally.

     

    Do this:  Open your internal HD via the Finder (if it's not in your sidebar or desktop already, go to Finder >  Preferences > Sidebar and/or Finder >  Preferences > General and be sure the Hard Disks box is checked.  If it has a minus sign instead of a checkmark, click it to put the checkmark back).

     

    On the Finder window, at the top level of the HD should be, among other things, a Users folder.  Open that.  It should have the home folder for your (new) account, and probably the Shared account. 

     

    Now Enter Time Machine and without selecting anything in the Finder window on the Today (Now) window, click a backup from before you deleted the account in the TimeLine on the right.  That window should show the home folder for the original account.

     

    You won't be able to see much inside it;  but you can verify that the backups aren't lost.  If it's there, I'd recommend turning Time Machine OFF and not doing any further backups, just to be absolutely sure it doesn't get deleted until you recover it.

     

    Post back with your results.   If it's still there, we'll work on what you need to do next.

     

    Message was edited by: Pondini

  • kenamac1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry to take so long getting back to the community.  It (my problem & my computer) were taken away from me & sent to an IT person in my department.  They retrieved what they could (165gb), but it came back to me with all the filenames replaced by a number and all dates the same.  Fortunately I had made an index of all my files and printed it before the near simultaneous death of my back up and my inadvertant disposal of my user account!  So I have a list of what was lost but the problem is there are multiple copies of each file as they were repeatedly saved & discarded and sometime it is impossible to know what the most recent version is.  My question is:   would any of the retrieval methods have given me back my files with their original filenames or date created?

     

    Couple of things I've learned:

    1 have more than 1 backup

    2 don't trash your "Home" folder

    3 Put your filename into the file "just in case" you have to search for it from a paper copy of the filenames.

    4 You can learn new things from your mistakes

    5 Sometimes you learn the HARD way


  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,700 points)
    My question is:   would any of the retrieval methods have given me back my files with their original filenames or date created?

     

    Hi, we were worried about you. I can't answer that question, but if you still have the drive with the Time Machine backup from when this happened, you might still be able to retrieve all your data intact. It was too bad the day this happened you didn't stick around to let Pondini, who's very expert in this area, guide you to a resolution. The data recovery your IT guy did may not have been necessary after all.

     

    I'll try to get Pondini's eyes back on this to see what's possible now.

     

    In the meantime, you can even try to use his directions above, that is, if you still have that drive and if they didn't wipe your internal drive.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    kenamac1 wrote:

     

    Sorry to take so long getting back to the community.  It (my problem & my computer) were taken away from me & sent to an IT person in my department.  They retrieved what they could (165gb), but it came back to me with all the filenames replaced by a number and all dates the same.

    Which drive did they recover -- your internal HD, or the Time Machine drive? 

     

    If the Time Machine drive really failed, as you suggest in a couple of the earlier posts, there's probably not much you can do, other than trying to pick through the various versions.  I don't know what sort of files these are, but if you can at least group the versions of the same file together, you may be able to figure out which is the most current, or just keep them all indefinitely.

     

    I don't have much direct experience with data recovery apps, but I undersand that with different types of failures, one may do better than another.  Apparently it's a bit of a crapshoot. 

     

    The lack of file names probably means the drive's directory wasn't recoverable -- part of that relates the file names we humans use to the file numbers the computer uses.

     

    If there's any chance the TM drive didn't fail (and hasn't been erased or reformatted), you should be able to recover your data from it.

     

    So, please clarify.

  • kenamac1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your concern; I really appreciate it!  It turned out that my boss was a lot more cavalier about the whole thing than I was. This was research data and since he has not been able to get new funding he’s decided to retire!  He did remind me that most of the significant data was emailed to him as we wrote papers and grants which both he and I saved on the server. There will likely be another paper on recent data and we have had success digging that out using my list and key words.

    And my biggest loss is my protocols, as I’m moving on to another lab and will need to recover them. We were able to separate Word files (protocols) from Excel (data) and I’m mining it for my protocols.  It is very tedious.  I would much rather get all this from the backups, but that drive was declared dead by 2 different techs whose opinion I trust.  They do say that we might be able to send it to Lacie or another retrieval service, but at the moment my boss just doesn’t want to spend the $s.  This data represented 2.5 years of work and I feel like “%^&*$%” that it all ended up a jumbled mess, but with time I’ll recover what I need.  Backup, Backup, Backup!

    Thank you for your help,

    Susan