Dock locks up. Must reboot?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by mainstreetmark, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #1
    It's happened twice in two days now. My Dock will 'Beachball', and not respond. Since the dock isn't a "program", I can't force kill it. Since the dock also contains my only access to the Terminal I know of, I can't kill it via the command line. Since I don't have the harddrive displayed on the desktop, I cannot open a new window to navigate to the term.

    All I can do is reboot. By reboot, I mean, tell it to reboot, watch it shut down all the apps, and then, after like another few minutes, push+hold the power button.


    In a related annoyance, the "Character Palate" seems to open itself all the time, like the first time I choose "About This Mac". What the hell...
     
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #2
    you can kill the dock using terminal. great trick to play on friends with shh by the way... but i digress. try using terminal to kill the dock, it will automatically restart.

    edit: you said you couldnt get to the terminal... i'm an idiot. try force quitting the finder. that will reset the dock too
     
  3. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #3
    Shift command A opens your applications folder. From there you can kill with terminal or Activity monitor.

    Even better, shift-command-U opens utilities.

    And if the Finder isn't Frozen, then you should be able to get a new finder window anyhow by using command N or just navigating the menus.
     
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #4
    Re: Dock locks up. Must reboot?

    Heh, I've seen this a lot too, especially when I choose "About this Mac", but at various other times too.
     
  5. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #5
    I just killed my finder and the Dock kept the same process id (meaning that it didn't reset the Dock). They're separate processes. You have to kill the dock separately.


    That character palette thing sounds pretty odd, too. hmmm
     
  6. FeralCat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    #6
    To keep the character palette from popping up all the time, remove all of the files that start "com.apple.HIToolbox" from the "ByHost" folder in your user's Home, Library, Preferences folder. This was driving me crazy for a while, until I found that fix by searching for "Character Palette" recursively in my Preferences folder. Trashing those files has fixed my problem, and when I suggested that to someone else, it fixed theirs, too.
     
  7. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #7
    Escape Pod!

    I've been using a nice little (free) utility called EscapePod. Check it out!

    It's saved me from quite a few restarts...works for frontmost apps, the dock, and a force log-out.
     
  8. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    Once you get to the Terminal, you can cleanly restart the Dock (rather than force quitting) by typing:

    osascript -e 'tell application "Dock" to quit'

    I don't know how well that will work (if at all) if the Dock's crashed completely though.
     
  9. mainstreetmark thread starter macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #9
    well, in those situations, if I can get to the terminal, then I can do whatever I need to, but with the dock locked I can't get to the term.

    Hense, the original question. :)

    But, I've done a bunch of maintenance recently, (repairing perms, etc..) and it hasn't troubled me since.
     
  10. mainstreetmark thread starter macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #10
    Ok, It's happening again, but this time I have a Term window open.

    top -ca -u shows the Dock process to be using about 70% of the CPU, so I killed it.

    Well, another one spawned up in it's place and immediatly grabs 70% of the CPU.

    I quit the finder, but the Dock is still "running".

    Since I force it to quit, it doesn't write any sort of helpful log.

    Help! I have to reboot again, I guess. This sucks.

    Oh, and exposé and cmd-Tab do not work in this situation.
     
  11. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #11
    If it's only the dock then you should be able to perform any action in the Finder, right? So you should be able to access any of the Finder's menus or use any of the shortcuts. If you're not in the Finder, just click on the Desktop. If you can't see the desktop then choose hide all from the current apps menu to clear the desktop. I think Exposé and command tab are part of the dock (haven't checked it out yet) so it seems to make sense why that wouldn't work.

    This is definitely an interesting problem.
    That all said, I would try deleting the dock prefs if you haven't already.
     
  12. mainstreetmark thread starter macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #12
    Yeah, I thought about deleting the prefs, but I'm more interested in figuring out why it's breaking. I don't want to get in the position of trashing prefs everytime anything doesn't work.

    I'll continue to find common threads, I guess, until I can't take it anymore.
     
  13. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #13
    It might be breaking because of corrupted prefs....You should rule this out as a problem before you look in other places.

    The real trick is to figure out what exactly corrupts the prefs!
     
  14. mainstreetmark thread starter macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #14
    Well, I was of the opinion that if the prefs were corrupted, the [mis]behavior wouldn't be so intermittent.

    Screw it. I'll trash them.

    (and, now that I think about it, I did mess around with them while laid up in the Tampa airport)
     
  15. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #15
    If you want to figure out why it's breaking and not throw away prefs, you might try messing around with the prefs with Property List Editor (on the devtools cd, if you haven't already installed it.)...

    ...which it sounds like you've already done. I think you've found the problem with your dock.:D

    Don't stop poking at your prefs just because you've had problems doing so already. Exploring the prefs can be very informative.
     
  16. mainstreetmark thread starter macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #16
    Yeah, the plist editor is really quite neat. I once opened iTunes' plist and the poor thing took like 5 minutes to open it.

    Anyways, I was relatively sure I changed everything back to what it was originally, but I've made mistakes before. Maybe when I get a few mins, I'll backup the prefs and recreate the dock like I like it, and sdiff them to see what was different.
     

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