When Finder goes insane
April 7, 2005 5:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm minding my own business when my Panther 10.3 Finder stops behaving on my Mac. It now takes many times longer to load and won't connect to the Internet, not even with a Comcast wizard. I have this vague understanding that I'm supposed to wipe out Finder prefs. Is this right? Is it crazy to think the Finder bug is relevant to the sudden lack of connectivity?

Any other Finder fixing tips besides wiping out the prefs file? And is there anything that would cause a Mac Mini to stop connecting to the Net, despite recognizing its Network Adapter? Your help much appreciated.
posted by inksyndicate to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
You might want to try booting off the install CD, but don't do an install. When you get the first window move your mouse to the top of the screen and a menu bar will appear. Under the application menu (IIRC) you will be able to launch Disk Utility. Run a "Repair Permissions" on your system volume. This has fixed my Finder problems in the past.
posted by sbutler at 5:43 PM on April 7, 2005

yup. and if disk utility doesn't work, back up everything and do an "archive and install" or "upgrade" from that disc. (you can fake "upgrade" on a machine already running it)
posted by amberglow at 6:11 PM on April 7, 2005

oh, also it may be which 10.3 you're on--some are more stable than others i've found (i'm on 10.3.7 and it's been perfect--10.3.5 and .6 weren't for me. And i heard .8 is problematic sometimes)
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on April 7, 2005

It should be noted that as best I can tell, Comcast is apparently having massive DNS issues that may be causing this. I would hold off on the reinstall.
posted by Remy at 6:36 PM on April 7, 2005

Funny you should mention, I too am in SF with a Comcast connection, and am having a hard time getting online. I just managed to connect to MeFi after 5-10 minutes of problems. There seems to be much congestion at the DNS server level, since once I can resolve a name, all pages from that domain load as fast as ever. In fact, at this point, I haven't been able to post this comment for half an hour.
posted by wzcx at 6:48 PM on April 7, 2005

In Seattle, my Comcast/Earthlink connection hasn't been able to resolve more than a handful of domains for about four hours. I'm in Internet withdrawal! Also, the tech told me it's nationwide.
posted by stet at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2005

There is no rational relationship between the Finder and loss of internet connectivity. The Finder participates very, very little in such things (except as a client). It's extremely unlikely there is any causal relationship between them.

You don't describe the problem you're having with the Finder -- taking "longer to load" makes very little sense because the Finder is only loaded once, when you log in to the machine -- so I can't make a suggestion as to how to fix it. As to your network woes, is it that you have no connection, or that you're unable to reach web sites? Those two are completely different things, and a DNS problem might be the cause of the latter. There has been a recent upswing in the frequency and scope of DNS poisoning attacks, and that may very well be at the root of this vague problem.
posted by majick at 8:00 PM on April 7, 2005

I gave comcast denver a jingle -- their DNS servers have collapsed. They suggested maybe 5 hours until things were fixed.
posted by boo_radley at 8:04 PM on April 7, 2005

I've seen OS X stall for a bit on boot if the network connection is down when it tries to connect to a time server.
posted by D.C. at 8:16 PM on April 7, 2005

are you getting the rainbow spinning thing? only when you try to connect, or all the time?
posted by amberglow at 8:19 PM on April 7, 2005

Oh, and for those of you experiencing DNS woes, you do know you aren't required to use your ISP's servers, right? There are plenty of other servers out there that will help you on your way to name resolution:

ORSC servers, for example. Or the OpenNIC servers. Just reconfigure your computer to use those instead of your ISP's in times of need.
posted by majick at 8:23 PM on April 7, 2005

I had the same problem until I changed DNS servers. Once I changed, everything worked fine, even the finder. It took a frustrating hour to resolve the problem, though. I thought I had broken my mac!
posted by debgpi at 8:29 PM on April 7, 2005


So, if it's not comcast's servers (which may or may not have resolved by now)....

Add a new user (system prefs, accounts) and log out (apple menu). Log in as the new user and see if the finter + internet are doing k.

If they are, you shoudl be able to nuke finder prefs in your user.

By the way here's a good article on Mac voodoo, that I do once a month.

posted by filmgeek at 8:29 PM on April 7, 2005

osx will hang for a long time in booting if it is set to ethernet connectivity and there is no connection, also there are a lot of other things that will slow you down if your net connection goes down that you might not be aware of, like idisk syncing, time syncing, etc.
posted by rhyax at 10:53 PM on April 7, 2005

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