Beginner Questions on navigating Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by AdiosVista, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    I apologize for the rudimentary questions but I've recently adopted Mac after being fed up with Vista and am trying to learn my way around the Mac after years of Windows habits.

    My first question is what's with all the Libraries?!?! If I open my Mac HD, I see a Library directory, then another Library dir under System, and yet another under users and my name... What is the difference between all of these, when will I need to access each, and why in the world aren't they called different names?

    My other concern is this business about caching. I've been having display problems with my brand new mac pro (which certainly didn't help the transition from Windows after leaving Vista to try and get away from weird crashing) and it has been recommended that I do a few things like clear my cache, repair disk, repair permissions and probably other steps that I didn't remember or understand. My point is, it sounds like there are some very common steps Mac users take when they run into any problems with their computers (such as cache clearing, repairing, etc.) and I could use some clarification on exactly what these steps are and how to perform them. I started looking for cache to delete and found my endless supply of libraries, which is where my confusion began.

    The biggest thing is I want to solve this graphics problem. My guess is it is video or RAm related but I've heard all sorts of possibilities with bad logic boards, PSU, etc. Any help on 1) getting me to better understand the folder structure on Leopard and 2) how I should go about finding my graphic problem would be immensely appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. ~Wibble~ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Hello

    Im not too sure about your graphics problems but with information concerning the libraries. each app has a folder in the library, the app generates it when it is first run and it holds preferences, settings ect..

    And yes if there is a problem with an app i find deleting its library causes the problem to disappear when it re-generates the library folder.


    ~Wibble~
     
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
  4. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #4
    I'm afraid I still don't understand the libraries because there are at least three that I can see (pointed out in my original post) and I don't get what the differences are between them all.
     
  5. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the link. I've heard about zapping the PRAM before. What is this all about? Is there any harm at all in trying this? What problems does it usually fix?
     
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    The one in your user folder keeps custom information for each user. Either the libraries for the apps that aren't installed in the applications folder, or your personal preferences.

    The Library in the root directory keeps information for apps in the application folder.

    The Library in the system folder keeps information for the operating system.
     
  7. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #7
    Great, thanks for that explanation. So when people say try clearing your cache and see if that fixes my display problem, which library should I be looking in? Each library directory also has a caches directory.
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #8
    OK, first of all.... if this is a new MBP, and you are having graphics problems take it back to the store. Your system should not be having any problems.

    Second of all.... OS X is designed with the assumption that the user will never need to go mucking about under the hood! This is, like all assumptions, not entirely realistic. But - unless things are bunged up, leave the innards alone. I know, this is a hard temptation to resist. I know as well, too many times now, the awful feeling when you "fix" something and then the system doesn't start up. At all. But the system is really good at taking care of itself. Though I will admit running Verify Permissions occasionally (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) seems to be called for.

    Third of all.... most of the problems I've had to fix, I have introduced to the system myself... that is to say: I messed things up. One of the temptations is to add system modifiers, and extenders. i.e. Little programs that change the system's look or change the way the Finder behaves, or the way Spotlight behaves. With all due respect to the many programmers who create wonderful, nearly bugfree, applications..... Almost all the problems I have had to fix came about because this OS extenders. Not all of them created problems, but when I had a problem....

    Do you have a portable or desktop? There are are number of housekeeping tasks that the OS performs in the middle of the night, to let your system sleep at night, don't completely power it off. That said, if the housekeeping doesn't happen because you do power it off for a few nights - the OS will be just fine. Its pretty robust.

    If you could give us some specific problems, perhaps we could better help you.

    I would stay out of the Libraries unless a developer is telling you to do something there, specifically to make their application run.

    If you are having numerous problems, then I would say you have a bad installation of the OS, or some other problem. As I said, give us some details....
     
  9. thegilly macrumors member

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #9
    Forget you even have Library directories. You might, every year or two, want to delete something in there because you've deleted the application concerned, or you might want to trash an application's preferences file because that app isn't working right, but the occasions are few and far between. As a general rule, you don't need to worry about Library.

    With regards to cache cleaning, this isn't something that is usually done manually. There is software available to make such system maintenance easy--off the top of my head, Onyx, MainMenu and Cocktail (I don't know whether all of these work on Leopard). If you decide to download one of these, don't use it to do things you don't understand. These apps make available some of the 'power' of the Terminal to those of us who don't want to mess around in the command line. They let you do some things that Apple hasn't chosen to let 'normal', GUI-bound users do. So if you start trying out all the options to see what they do, you may damage your system or at least create new issues you'll need help to solve.

    If you describe the problems you're having in more detail you may get more detailed assistance--there's a LOT of serious know-how on this forum.
     
  10. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #10
    In my original post, I stated that this is a brand new Mac Pro. It's the default model except I've added 8GB of OWC RAM which have repeatedly passed the apple hardware test and now the Rember test. As far as apps, I have installed nothing but the usual Adobe suite, Microsoft Office, etc. Very common apps, nothing out of the ordinary.
     
  11. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #11
    Cool, thanks for added info about libraries.

    I went to try Onyx but when I tried mounting the dmg, I get a "codec overrun" error. Not having good luck with this mac business...

    Here are pictures of the occasional display issues I have. It's only happened a few times so far but it's random and when it occurs, it's on all apps, not any in particular. Also, the first night I experienced any of this "weirdness," a couple icons on my desktop disappeared until I manually selected them and two apps just closed automatically (firefox and iCal). Firefox gave me repeated crash errors when trying to reopen and when I launched iCal again, the program window appeared but the icon on the dock was missing, it was just an empty space with the indicator on the dock. I haven't had this issue return but I've had Photoshop freeze solid once and the jumbled graphic issues has occured about three times. Also, when I get the weird, messed up blockiness like in these photos, it's only in my open app windows and doesn't distort the background in any way.

    This is what Safari looked like. When I scrolled with the mouse wheel, some content would stay "frozen" while the other content would slide up and down behind it:

    http://img357.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture1dx0.png
    http://img296.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture2kn1.png
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #12
    Hello AdiosVista

    I missed the reference to the new Mac Pro.... congratulations, its a nice system. Which Video card do you have with it? ( I know you said it was the default system, but I don't have the online store up right now). Are you still within your 90 days from initial purchase period? If you are, you are eligible for AppleCare ... give them a call (the number is somewhere in that mess of documentation you received). This graphics glitch should not be happening, and you should pursue this with Apple. They may ask you to replace your OWC memory with the original factory ones, and then try to recreate the problem. So... I would do that before you call, that way you can tell them that you have already taken that step. If you can recreate the graphics problem with the original memory, call AppleCare. If the graphics glitches go away with the original memory, call OWC - perhaps there is problem with their memory that the diagnostics aren't catching.

    One other piece of advice. If AppleCare decides you have a faulty graphics card, and advise you to take the system down to an Apple Store .... if there isn't an Apple Store near you, then there may be other options. See if an Apple Authorized reseller/repair shop is nearby, or - if you are comfortable opening up the system and replacing the card yourself - ask AppleCare if there is a "Do it yourself" option. In this case they send you the part with return shipping. You put the new part in, put the old part in the box, ship it back to Apple. If the problem is with the OWC memory, see if something similar exists.

    In anycase, you have something wrong with the system that either Apple or OWC should be addressing, and not the forum. Frustrating - I know, but once its fixed properly - messing with Caches and Libraries should be a thing of the past. Once the underlying problem is resolved, you might want to consider completely reinstalling the OS and the applications again, onto a clean system. If its the memory that was at fault, or if the system has had a number of ugly shutdowns, this will ensure that you have a clean system to begin with.

    Good Luck..... its just bad luck if you got a bad system, but frustrating.
     
  13. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #13
    Thank you for all that info. I'm running the ATI 2600. I've actually been surprised at how well this tiny card handles graphics, but obviously there are some issues going on.

    I tried last night to recreate the issue but was not successful. I will pursue the options you have laid out. Thanks.
     
  14. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #14
    You are eligible for AppleCare in the first year of ownership.
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #15
    My bad. You are correct. Can I plead caffeine deficiency? There is a one year warranty on hardware.

    So what am I thinking of.... I can see (in my mind) the card Apple provides that shows what you get with and without AppleCare. I definitely recall seeing something that lasts only 90 days without AppleCare. Is that just general questions? Rhetorical question, I'll look it up.

    Thanks for the correction.
     
  16. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #16
    I just bought the Mac this month so I'm assuming I'm well within any kind of apple care that the machine comes with.
     
  17. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #17
    There is a 1 year warranty on their computers. In that 1 year, you can purchase AppleCare to extend it to 3. I think the 90 days is for technical support/questions. This gets extended to 3 years also if you purchase AppleCare.
     

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