System preferences account pane broken

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bobindashadows, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. bobindashadows macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    #1
    Alright, this is possibly the strangest bug I've ever encountered on my mac. Right now, in my System Preferences, the Accounts pane won't load. Every other pane, including custom ones, works fine. But if I click on the Accounts pane, it chills there saying "Loading Accounts…". If i click it again, it pulls up an empty pane. Also, under the Sharing pane, if I go to SMB sharing and click "configure accounts", nothing happens. I assumed it was permissions, but that didn't fix it. I did a full disk verification too, and that didn't help. The pref pane is there, I have read permission for everything, and the .nibs all open up in Interface Builder fine. Has anyone ever encountered this bug before, or have any suggestions as to how to fix it?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Use Spotlight to find a folder named PreferencePanes, there should be two. One should be holding the default panes, do you find it? Is it locked? What is its location? :)
     
  3. bobindashadows thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    #3
    /System/Library/PreferencesPanes/Accounts.prefPane is where the Accounts one is located, and its permissions/locking are exactly the same as all the other panes. Everything is owned by system, with read privileges for all. There are execute privileges on all the directories that need it and on the MachO binary as well.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Hmm... How big is it? Is it about 3.2MB? Have you got another Mac you could grab a copy of this file from to replace your own? :)
     
  5. bobindashadows thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    #5
    Just tried it, didn't work. Does anyone know where the preferences for the Accounts pane are stored? I can't seem to find out where, maybe deleting them would help. The error I'm getting from the Console is:

    2006-02-04 16:24:29.685 System Preferences[15469] *** NSRunLoop ignoring exception '*** -[NSCFArray addObject:]: attempt to insert nil' that raised during posting of delayed perform with target 352680 and selector 'setCurrentPreference:'
    2006-02-04 16:24:29.758 System Preferences[15469] *** -[NSCFArray addObject:]: attempt to insert nil

    So my presumption is that something is wrong with my accounts preferences that is causing my accounts pane to do something silly when it loads them in.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Did you restart afterwards? System Preferences has two PLIST files you'll want to delete: com.apple.systempreferences.plist and com.apple.systempreferences.XXX.plist where XXX is a bunch of seemingly random numbers. :)

    Restart after removing these files. :)
     
  7. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #7
    Does anyone know what happened after this? I have the identical problem with my Accounts pane. It's not caused any other problems, but I would like to know if I'm still the administrator, or what.
     
  8. cmocmo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #8
    I am having the very same problem. Has anyone found an answer that has worked?
     
  9. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
  10. davidjbrown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    #10
    How I fixed this ...

    The complaint:

    2009-12-30 13:07:28.600 System Preferences[18702] *** NSRunLoop ignoring exception '*** -[NSCFArray addObject:]: attempt to insert nil' that raised during posting of delayed perform with target 34bd50 and selector 'setCurrentPreference:'
    2009-12-30 13:07:28.625 System Preferences[18702] *** -[NSCFArray addObject:]: attempt to insert nil

    as seen on the console, when attempting to fire up the Accounts panel using the System Preferences tool, is obscure but does indicate the problem that appears to cause the accounts administration panel to fail as it's trying to launch, and thus to exit.

    The root cause of this seems to have been (at least in my case) my having just been poking around with Netinfo Manager (because I wanted to adjust the numerical value of a certain user-id I'd just created), but I had *also* (accidentally) created a new directory under "users" while doing that.

    This new directory was effectively 'nil' (to the Accounts admin panel/tool) since I had not, after accidentally making it, put any of the usual user-related information there that would be done by the Account-adding tool if it had made such a new user's directory.

    The 'fix' was simply to go back into the Netadmin Manager and to delete that accidentally-created, and erroneous directory under '/users'.

    If you have done the same thing, you'll most likely find that it is called 'new_directory'. If you happened edit its name to something else when you accidentally created it, you can probably find the offender by clicking successively through each item under 'users' until you find one that contains *only* a name entry (note that the others contain a UID and several other entries).

    Remember to be *very* careful when you're using the Netadmin Manager, as you are editing core administrative data upon which the system's operation relies. If you make certain mistakes (such as removing your administrative users from the 'admin' group) you may find that you cannot subsequently administer, or operate the system.

    Hope this may help others who are still stuck with this.

    If you find that this is the source of it for you too, perhaps you will post so that others will know.
    -db
     
  11. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #11
    davidjbrown,

    Thanks for taking time with this and sharing your knowledge.

    I got onto the Netinfo Manager all right, although the window it opened in said "local @
    localhost - /. Never used it before, so I don't know if this would be normal

    I checked each of the 23 "Users" and all of them had a list of "Values," including the one with my name on it.

    I did not create all these "Users" as far as I can remember. They might be leftovers from the computer's previous "owner," an Apple store that used it as a demo. (I really wanted a G4 Cube and it was the only affordable "new" one I found.)

    Anyway, nothing showed only a name or was called new _ directory, or any that listed only the name under "Values" and nothing els like you told me to look for and delete. I suppose I could delete the extra "Users," but I don't know if that would be a good idea. Some have scary names like Daemon and ROOT and complicated Values

    Also, I clicked on "Groups" to see if there was anything fishy looking there. Nothing. I checked the "admin" Group, too. I don't know why there would be an admin listed as a Group, but clicking on all the groups listed, they seemed to have plenty of complicated Values -- not that I knew what any of them meant.

    NOW I'M STUCK. I wonder what I should do:confused:
    Would there be any de-bugging or virus or diagnostic software that could help?

    Thanks for your reply. I hope what I said made sense and maybe you can think of something else based on what I said, or maybe you'll see what I did wrong.

    egGSaladJUNKie
     
  12. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #13
    I never found com.apple.systempreferences.XXX.plist where XXX is a bunch of ...numbers.

    Also, I still can't open the Accounts Preferences. :eek:
     
  13. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #14
    It's in the By Host folder.
     
  14. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #15
    OK, thanks Gregg2, I found both PLIST files and deleted them (left them in the trash folder). I expected them to re-appear after I re-started the computer. Eventually, both of the files were replaced. Accounts preference panel still does not open.

    What next?
     
  15. allan.nyholm macrumors 6502a

    allan.nyholm

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    #16
    What if you delete the cache for System Preferences? Located here
    Code:
    /Users/YOU/Library/Caches/com.apple.preferencepanes.cache
    Edit.. okay I admit it does sound like a longshot. Maybe if you got a working Accounts.prefpane from someone. I can upload mine from Snow Leopard 10.6.2. It's unmodified. - Or you could get Pacifist and pop in your Snow Leopard disc and load the Accounts prefpane from the source(Apple) you will have to, I think, get the combo updater for 10.6.2 to get the latest updates. But, I don't know how much have changed in the Accounts.prefpane since the initial release of Snow Leopard.
     
  16. eggsaladjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #17
    I am running Tiger in my poor little old G4, and don't think I'll upgrade until this thing rusts out. it's a Cube, so has some sentimental value, as well as an undeniable coolness quotient. But snazzy lexan cases do not a computer make, and there's precious little room to expand this thing.

    Everything works fine, it's just more than a little disconcerting that I can't even verify my own account information, much less change or add anything as it stands.
     
  17. allan.nyholm macrumors 6502a

    allan.nyholm

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    #18
    Well, my idea of using Pacifist still stands. You can extract everything that way. The app is shareware but only has a nag screen(counts down from 10 or something) when starting. This is of course only doable if you have the original Tiger system discs. :)

    I know you say that everything works fine, but wouldn't it be killer to have things up and running just a little bit better? I'm not saying that getting a fresh Accounts.prefpane will help at all - but who knows.
     
  18. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #19
    Nope. A plist file will reappear when the application it is associated with starts up the next time. Restart will do that for Finder, and any other app that is in your Startup Items, and for the desktop.plist files, perhaps others as well.

    If Pacifist fails to do the trick, reinstall the OS using Archive and Install, if you have that option. (I have Leopard.)
     

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