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Common OS X issues, solutions and useful tips
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Aug 14, 2008, 05:58 PM
This sticky is a consolidation of the other stickies that have been living at the top of this forum for a while.

Common issues with OS X have been covered in here where possible. Older stickies such as the Leopard bug fixes, have been linked to for future reference & discussion below.

If you find you want to reply to one of these older stickies that is over a year old and can't, then let a mod of the OS X forum know and we'll see what we can do.

If you have a useful addition to the thread, then a mod of the OS X forum know.


  • All of your settings have gone back to their defaults!

    You've restarted the computer or logged in & out and now all of your settings have been reset to defaults.

    You or something else has probably renamed the shortname of your home folder. Now your short username and home foldername don't match, so OS X has made a new home folder because it couldn't find the old one.

    To resolve the issue, you first need to move the home folder that OS X created to the trash. Now we need to rename the old home folder (the one that has the new name) back to the old name. If you log out and log back in again, everything should be back as it was.

  • All of your windows have strange black lines around them - the computer may be talking to you as well

    You've come back to your computer to find that black boxes surround all of the active windows that you are using. This may also be accompanied by the name of the windows or applications being spoken to you.

    You or someone else has turned on Voice Over in the system preferences or you accidentally pressed the keyboard shortcut to turn it on.

    Go into System Preferences > Accessibility and select the off radio button next to Voice Over.

  • One of the icons in System Preferences has disappeared or been replaced by something else

    You open System Preferences to find the icon of a preference pane missing, corrupt or incorrect.

    This is usually caused by a cache that has become corrupt. We need to delete it so that OS X can re-create the proper icon.

    The cache files we need to delete is com.apple.preferencepanes.cache and com.apple.preferencepanes.searchindexcache.
    These files are located in /*yourhomefolder*/Library/Caches/
    Move them to the trash, logout and back in and the problem should be fixed.

Ex OS X forum stickies

Other useful stickies
( Last edited by seanc; Aug 25, 2008 at 06:29 PM. )
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:53 AM
Changing the name of your home folder that shows in the sidebar of the Finder

I would like to add that with Leopard, you can easily change short user name and the location of your home directory without any third-party apps!

1. Launch the Sys Prefs and select Users.
2. Authenticate, if necessary, by clicking in the padlock on the bottom-left and entering a user name and password of an administrator.
3. Right-click the user whose short name and/or location of the home directory you would like to change and select Advanced from the contextual menu.
4. Make the changes you want in the dialog.
5. Restart your machine.

Note that this might still screw up your machine if you select the home directory of another user, for instance.
( Last edited by seanc; Aug 25, 2008 at 06:31 PM. )
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Nov 29, 2009, 04:23 PM
Working around error "restore failure could not find any scan information"

Recently I made a DMG backup of my 10.6 Snow Leopard retail DVD. This is useful because one can use Disk Utility's Restore feature to basically clone the DVD DMG to a USB thumb drive, internal partition or other external Firewire or USB source (even an SD card). With that clone you'd be able to boot the OS X installer from that media for simplified troubleshooting or reinstallation.

Unfortunately I was trying to restore from just such a DMG, with the DMG as Source and a USB drive as Destination, but kept getting the error "restore failure could not find any scan information." I tried Disk Utility Images menu > Scan Image for Restore, but this also gave an error.

As a workaround, mount the DMG. Now from Disk Utility's left-hand pane, click your desired destination, then click the Restore tab and drag your destination to Destination.

Now right-click (or two-finger tab) the mounted drive under your DMG and choose Set as source.

Click Restore and it should now process correctly.
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