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 the problem is caused by third-party software that loads automatically at startup or login, by a peripheral device, by a font conflict, or by corruption of the file system or of certain system caches.
Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards, if applicable. Start up in safe mode and log in to the account with the problem. You must hold down the shift key twice: once when you turn on the computer, and again when you log in.
Note: If FileVault is enabled, or if a firmware password is set, or if the startup volume is a software RAID, you can’t do this. Ask for further instructions.
Safe mode is much slower to start up and run than normal, with limited graphics performance, and some things won’t work at all, including sound output and Wi-Fi on certain models. The next normal startup may also be somewhat slow.
The login screen appears even if you usually login 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, restart as usual (not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of the test.
Thanks for the info, but I was really hoping to get answers to my first two questions as a part of this.
It seems to me that there should be some way to reset Safari without having to go into it. At the very least, you should be able to remove the "homepage" setting. If I remove the preferences file, will this work?
This procedure is a diagnostic test. It makes no changes to your data.
Please triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:
defaults read -app Safari HomePage | pbcopy
Copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C.
Launch the built-in 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.
Paste into the Terminal window by pressing the key combination command-V. I've tested these instructions only with the Safari web browser. If you use another browser, you may have to press the return key after pasting.
Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign ($) to appear below what you entered.
The output of the command will be automatically copied to the Clipboard. If the command produced no output, the Clipboard will be empty. Paste into a reply to this message.
The Terminal window doesn't show the output. Please don't copy anything from there.
If any personal information appears in the output, anonymize before posting, but don’t remove the context.
(I am at Snow Leopard)
Go offline - go into Safari preferences General - and change you home page. At the same time clear cache and cookies - you may also want to shutdown/restart to clear any connections in memory.
At the same time check sharing and firewall settings.
You may have hit something that made current page home page.