Help Viewer & Trash Probs

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Graeme Pearce, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Graeme Pearce macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #1
    I have two problems that are starting to become annoying. Any help or advice would be appreciated short of re-installing the OS - which is 10.3.9 on an iMac G5.

    1] When I select Help the Help Viewer launches and remains completely empty. Typing in the query box produces no result at all. It used to work however I cannot associate any event which rendered it inoperable as I use it rarely. It neither works in the Finder nor any app.

    2] When I place any files residing on the boot disk in the Trash they delete automatically whether by dragging into the trash or by using the contextual menu. Finder prefs does not provide any answers.

    When I send files from the attached firewire drive to the Trash they remain there obediently until I empty the trash.

    Repairing file permissions does not help.

    Any thoughts?

    Gp
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2

    Delete a file called com.apple.help.plist and another called com.apple.helpviewer.plist. These are the preference files and they can sometimes get corrupted.



    That's really weird. Are you sure the Finder Preferences don't help? I'm running Tiger so the layout may be slightly different but there's an option in my Advanced section to ask for a warning before the trash empties.

    Hopefully we'll get this all sorted out soon. :)
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #3
    Hmm...that happened to my Help Viewer as well in 10.4.2. It's good to know how to fix it now.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4

    Yeah, it's surprisingly common. This PLIST method doesn't always work though - 'bout a 90% hit rate.
     
  5. Graeme Pearce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #5
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6

    Try this, courtesy of Apple.




    This is weird, I'm not quite sure where to start here. Sorry. :eek:

    Can you try starting a new account and seeing if the problem continues in this new one? You can do this through the System Preferences if you don't already have a different account from where to test this. :)
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    A couple things about this...

    1) Is your home directory on the main boot disk?

    2) What happens if you trash a file while the FW drive is not plugged in?

    3) Can you do the following, please:

    - Create or identify a file on the main hard drive and delete it.
    - Open a terminal session and type these commands:

    ls -la ~/.trash
    sudo ls -la ~/.trashes

    You will have to type your password for the latter command. Do these directories exist? What's in them? Is the file you just deleted in them? Who owns them, and what are their permissions?
     
  8. Graeme Pearce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #8
    The below worked like a charm to restore access to all Help files in all apps. Now, if only I could remember what I was looking for ...

    Many thanks.

    The Trash saga continues.

    Gp

    Quit Help Viewer if it is open.
    Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
    From the Go menu, choose Go to Folder.
    Type: ~/Library/Caches/

    Tip: "~" means your Home, which you can also get to by going to the Users folder and opening your home folder.

    Click Go.
    Look for the "com.apple.helpui" folder.
    Rename that folder to something else, such as "old Help cache folder".
    Open Help Viewer.
     
  9. Graeme Pearce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #9
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Ooops, sorry, the second command should have been "sudo ls -la /.trashes" without the tilde in it.

    But actually, yes, this does help.

    In your home directory (~), do "sudo ls -la"

    There should be an entry for .trash -- and it looks like, for some reason, you do not have ownership or permissions to it. The entry should look like:

    drwx------ 21 mkrishna mkrishna 714 Oct 26 19:03 .Trash

    Except with your user name (truncated if it's >8 chars long). But I'm guessing the part on the left (drwx-----) and the names in the middle are different.

    If we fix that, it should help. If it doesn't look like that, what you should do next is:

    sudo chmod u+rwx ~/.trash
    sudo chown XXX:XXX ~/.trash

    where XXX is your username (the short one, which seems to be "graemepearce").
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    Oooh, I ought to explain more, just FYI:

    When a file gets sent to the trash, as you probably figure, it just gets put in a "special" folder until you're ready to really delete it. In the case of files that are on your hard disk, which you delete as the logged in user, they go in the directory ~/.trash, which is inside your home directory. In the case of files that are on another volume, they go in the .trashes folder in the root of that volume. Your boot disk also has a /.trashes, but I do not know under what circumstances that is used. Maybe only if it's mounted while you're booted from something else.

    In order for your trash to work, your user must have permission to read and write to that special folder, so they can put files there, and see them, respectively. That's where things appear to have become munged. Although this is what repairing permissions does, it appears not to act on the .trash folder. :(
     
  12. Graeme Pearce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #12
    mkrishna

    Mine looks like this:

    drwx------ 30 root admin 1020 27 Oct 13:15 .Trash

    I really have zero knowledge of Terminal/Unix so am not sure how to interpret in relation to your other advice

    Gp

    In your home directory (~), do "sudo ls -la"

    There should be an entry for .trash -- and it looks like, for some reason, you do not have ownership or permissions to it. The entry should look like:

    drwx------ 21 mkrishna mkrishna 714 Oct 26 19:03 .Trash
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Yep...the trash in your home directory should not belong to root:admin. Try the second command:

    sudo chown graemepearce:graemepearce ~/.trash

    If you are not sure if that is your username, type "whoami" at the terminal prompt (no, I am not kidding). :)
     
  14. Graeme Pearce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    33 45.255 south, 151 12.910 east
    #14
    Aarrrgghhhhh! It worked :)

    All of a sudden 4,900 items appeared in my trash. I was able to delete all but one - the test file I had created earlier to test this scenario.

    After re-boot this file was also deleted. I have since created 3 more files and either dragged or sent them to the trash via contextual menu. They are happy to sleep there until being emptied.

    A very sincere thanks to mkrishnan and mad jew in particular for the help. _Much_ appreciated.

    Gp

     
  15. iwjoy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    #15
    help viewer

    I also am having help viewer problems.

    mac mini (had 2 weeks)
    tiger 10.4.2

    I have trashed all the preferences and cache file. that worked for a little while.

    I also read that you should make sure machelp.help is in the user-library-document-help folder. spotlight says it is there, but it is not. I did, however, find that file in the maxdisk-library-document-help folder.

    I tried to make an alias of that and put it in the folder in my home account (only one user), but that didn't work either

    suggestions? I am a long time mac user, but new to tiger

    thanks
     

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