ibook weirdness with relaunching finder
April 2, 2004 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Help a computer moron & first time poster. Ibook; OSX: every time I open my CD drawer, the finder relaunches.
posted by dame to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
What do the various Console (/Applications/Utilities/Console) messages say?

This may help in the interim.
posted by bitpart at 3:28 PM on April 2, 2004

What version of X are you using? You should probably try "repairing permissions" - it's the troubleshooting measure of first-resort.

I would also suggest searching through the apple help forums, and perhaps posing your question there.
posted by stonerose at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2004

Response by poster: It's 10.2.4. I tried repair & it didn't work, but I'll give the apple forums a try.

Thanks for all your help & not laughing at me.
posted by dame at 9:00 PM on April 2, 2004

I use Panther and don't remember all the intricacies of Jaguar, but this is worth a shot:

System Preferences > Hardware > CDs & DVDs >
When you insert a blank CD: Ask what to do
(other options are: open Finder, open iTunes, open other application..., run script..., ignore)

My wild guess is it might be set to open Finder. However, if it's launching Finder just from opening the tray rather than from inserting a disk, then what stonerose said.
posted by Alylex at 12:34 AM on April 3, 2004

Definitely want to run system update (Apple Menu --> Prferences blah blah) as 10.2.4 is pretty old and wasn't exactly stable. Upgrading to 10.2.8 might very well fix your problem
posted by nathan_teske at 5:57 AM on April 3, 2004

What nathan_teske said. And if you can get your hands on Panther, I'd recommend upgrading to that as well.
posted by jragon at 8:55 AM on April 3, 2004

Response by poster: What do the various Console (/Applications/Utilities/Console) messages say?

I don't understand the above. Where would these messages be? I'm not getting any error windows, which is heretofore the only way I've know this machine to communicate with me.

I've tried everything suggested and can't seem to find anything applicable the apple forums either. I've tried extrapolating from similar problems, but nothing quite works. There was a suggestion to delete some preferences folders, but it was for an OS 9 and the files (finder preferences/Mac OS preferences) don't seem to exist in my preferences folder.

Further clues: Force Quit, Restart, and Shut Down all just make the finder relaunch as well. The only way I can turn off the machine entirely is to hold down the start button. This also began occuring when a not-quite-legal program became unvalid. (I took that program off and am getting a real one.)

Is it time just to give in and visit the great Madc blackhole: Tekserve?
posted by dame at 11:13 AM on April 3, 2004

Standard Mac troubleshooting (which may or may not help you, but worth trying)

First off, check your startup/login items (I forget where that is in jaguar. System preferences > > users, maybe?)

Confirm all is as it should be, and remove any remnants of programs that you do not think should be there. (and if you're nervous, let us know what files are there, so one of us can tell you if it is useful)

After doing that, restart, and see if it still is messed up. If so, continue on....

Do make sure you are running the most up-to-date version of OS X, either 10.2.8 or 10.3.3

In fact, whether you are running it now or are not, do this: Download and install the Mac OS X 10.2.8 COMBO Update.

This essentially combines all updates to 10.2 in one update. It's an easy way to make sure you have fresh copies of many of the OS X files, in case one of them has been corrupted or altered in some way.

After you do that, Repair Permissions, either through Disk utility (or whatever it is called in Jaguar) or by entering "sudo diskutil repairPermissions /" (no quotes) into the Terminal. (It will then require your admin password)

At this point, restart, see if it works. If not, we go on to the next phase.

Okay, so that did not work. Now try this. Restart your computer and hold down Command(apple)-Option-P-R. Hold it down continuously, and your Mac will restart. hold it down until you hear the startup tone three times. let it startup, then restart the comp, this time, holding Command-Option-O-F. This will bring you to a special prompt screen which is part of Open Firmware. Here, type "reset-nvram" no quotes, and press enter. Next: "reset-all", no quotes, enter. It should then restart.

You have just zapped your PRAM and reset your Open Firmware. (Technically Open Firmware reset should also zap PRAM, but do both anyway).

See if the problem remains.

If so, sorry. We go nuclear: reinstall the OS. But don't worry! This is nearly seamless on OS X. Just reinstall from the CDs using 'archive and install'. It will copy your user folder and your network settings, and all you should have to do after that is run softwareupdate again to get yourself fully back up to date. If all goes well, you can delete the 'Previous Systems' folder to get hard drive space back.

This should fix everything.

And if it doesn't.... I'm out of ideas. But as long as your problem is in the software, the above should polish you right up.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2004

Response by poster: My login items are: Internet Reminder & Microsoft Database Daemon. I haven't touched them because I have no idea what they are.

Other than that, I've tried everything up to the nuclear stage. My first question before reinstalling is will I have to then reinstall other programs? Second, will I lose anything? This Ibook is my work as well as my personal computer, so there are some very important things living on here.

Further clue: I've come to discover that the relaunch happens any time I hit any of the keys that relate to something physical: brightness, sound, disk tray.

(Also, thanks again to all.)
posted by dame at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2004

Internet Reminder can be safely removed, as it's an installer hangover. MDD is part of Office v.X, and will recreate itself if removed, so I'm gonna say go ahead and try deleting them to see if it fixes it. I can almost guarantee it won't, but you have nothing to lose.

as far as nuclear:

You shouldn't really have to reinstall any of your programs, no. As I said, it will cause older versions of iTunes, etc. to install, but following it up with repeated runs of softwareupdate will bring you right up back to where you were. I cannot guarantee that every single non-apple program will be fine, but I can say I have done it on several comps, and have never run into such a problem, not once.

As far as losing data, the archive and install gives the option of leaving your home folder completely untouched, so as long as you store your files there, as you are expected to, you'll be one hundred percent fine. The only concern I have is that the iBook might not have enough hard drive space to let you do an archive and install, but it will let you know if that is the case before doing anything.

Based on your desrip, I think it may be hardware-related, which will require a trip to Tekserve, or an Apple Store, or such, but this should be safe to try in the meantime, and may save you time and money if it works.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:06 PM on April 4, 2004

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