Why can't my Macbook remember preferences settings?
November 24, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

I recently had to do an Archive and Install of Leopard on my Macbook, due to the fact that it suddenly got stuck on a blue screen (the irony) on boot. Now, everything seems fine, except for the fact that some of my preferences don't "stick," so, for example, each time I tell the OS to open .doc files with Pages, it works for a day or so, but then, .doc files start automatically opening with TextEdit. Thee are more examples inside.

I also notice that no matter how many times I tell Pages to not show the ruler when it opens, the ruler keeps coming back.

All my MailTags keywords are gone, but I think that's a separate issue.

No matter how many times I tell Finder to always show folders as icons and not as a list, eventually, it shows them as a list.

In my MacintoshHD folder, I have a folder called Previous Systems from the Archive and Install, which I was considering deleting, but I'm wondering if the solution to my problems could be in that folder somewhere.

I have repaired permissions several times, and this has not solved the problem.

[BTW, I haven't meant to try to post a number of questions as one question, but I do think that all of these are somehow interconnected.]

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like you have a permissions problem, but not with your System folder. I'm guessing that your "new user" can't properly write to some preference files in your "old user's" preference directory. The apps that are giving you problems-to into your prefs directory and delete its' pref file. Then relaunch the app and see if the problem persists.
posted by tomierna at 7:07 AM on November 24, 2008


Sorry to follow up to my own answer, but I was using my iPhone and didn't have access to a Mac so I could tell you what the files were:

For Pages, delete:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iWork.Pages.plist

For Finder, delete:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

Your MailTags keywords are probably gone if the MailTags software needs to be reinstalled. It's probably not all there after the Archive/Reinstall dance.

For the file associations, delete:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.plist

If it's your whole Preferences folder that has bad permissions, you'll know because these files won't be re-created when you re-launch the programs (for Finder and file associations, log out and in again, or restart...)

Good luck!
posted by tomierna at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2008


This may seem like a weird question, but do you use FileVault?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:04 PM on November 25, 2008


I don't use FileVault. I also did an erase and install this week, and reinstalled my applications from the original CDs/DVDs/.dmg (in other words, I didn't just drag them over from a backup), and I'm still having the problem.
posted by 4ster at 1:24 PM on November 28, 2008


OK, I found the answer here (props to OSX Hints):

Select (highlight) a .doc file in Finder and press cmd+i, which will open the Info window. Expand the Open with tab, and select Pages from the list. You can then click the Change All button below to set the preference for all .doc files.
posted by 4ster at 1:37 PM on November 28, 2008


The Leopard blue-screen-on-boot issue was traced back to a utility called Application Enhancer, which is an unsupported application framework used by a lot of 3rd party customization apps.

Unfortunately, Logitech also (lazily) based it's drivers on APE for a lot of input devices. Check the following locations and dump anything with 'Application Enhancer' or 'Logitech' in the name:

/Library/Preferences/
/Library/PreferencePanes/
/Library/Frameworks/
/System/Library/SystemConfiguration/

Ideally, you should back up and reinstall after this, since it's likely your install isn't as fine as it seems. Even if you don't though, I'd definitely recommend you look for and pull these files to minimize the possibility of update issues.

A lot of detail can be found in this Daring Fireball post.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:11 PM on December 1, 2008


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