Check system changes using Time Machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by asherman13, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. asherman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Hello all,

    I'm having a problem with my iSight camera (specifically within iChat) in my MBP (running 10.5.2, fully updated) and I know that it worked at least up to a certain point, because I took a screenshot of my iChat buddy list at 9:08pm on the 21st. I've been backing up with Time Machine since then, so my question is:

    Is there any way for me to use Time Machine to check for any and all folder/system/preferences, etc. changes since that point (21 April, 9:08pm), hopefully analyze the error, and then either restore the correct file(s) or just take my system back to how it was at 9:08pm on the 21st?

    Some info about the iSight problem:
    • PhotoBooth works, but the green light only goes on when I'm actually using the program - the camera turns off when the program is on and in the background (i.e. when I'm using Safari). At that point, the image freezes.
    • Skype sort of works, but I've had to frequently deselect and then reselect the "use video" checkbox in the Preferences, and sometimes the iSight camera wouldn't show up in the pop-up menu where one would select the video camera to use (the internal iSight is my only camera).
    • In iChat, my Buddy List only shows the phone/conference call icon next to both my name and my buddies' names. When I go into preferences and click "Audio/Video", the green light next to the iSight DOES come on, but it DOES NOT show a picture in the iChat preferences box where it would normally show the video picture; rather, it says "This computer does not support video conferencing." Although it says that, when I click Audio>Connection Doctor in the iChat menu bar, and then select Capabilities, it tells me that I am unable to do 1-on-1 Video Chat, Join Multiperson Video, Host Multiperson Video, and Share My Screen because of (Slow Network), but it also says that I am unable to do Video Effects and Backdrop Effects because of (No Camera). I don't get it.
    • In the System Profiler, the iSight is properly (as far as I can tell... it knows it's an iSight camera, just like it always has) recognized by the computer in the USB bus.
    • I'm pretty sure my network speed is not particularly slower than usual (but what do I know?) because I downloaded the 99¢ Movie of the Week (Ronin, so far so good; I'm finishing it tonight) and it downloaded fully within a few minutes, to the approximate tune of about 4-4.5Mbps, I think.
    • I have reset the SMC (but there was nothing different when I rebooted... maybe I did it incorrectly? Should I have recognized that something had been reset?).

    Anything else you need to know? Let me know and I shall provide (screenshots, more info, etc.

    Thanks very much!
  2. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    As far as your Time Machine question, I don't think so but I'm not sure.

    As far as your iSight problem, you mentioned you did an SMC reset which is good.

    Have you also reset the PRAM and performed a Safe Boot? I would do those first and see if you still have the problem.
  3. asherman13 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Okay, so, I've done a few things, tried a few things, achieved some limited success, but still have not entirely fixed the problem.

    I reset the PRAM and booted up in Safe Mode (then rebooted normally since iSight doesn't work in Safe Mode) and nothing changed. I then enabled Leopard's "Guest Account" to see if the problem was user specific. I was able to video chat with a friend, but the stuff displayed in iChat's "Connection Doctor" was still seemingly awry. Also, I could not do the video preview of myself in the iChat Preferences. This makes me think that there could be an issue beyond that of my user preferences, but still...

    So, I dug into my ~/Library/Preferences folder and moved the 5 iChat preferences onto my Desktop. I then opened iChat, and after entering in my information, it went straight to the Phone/Conference call icon next to my name (meaning the video stuff wasn't working, hence, no change). Then, I dug into my Time Machine and found the most recent iChat preferences files that were modified BEFORE April 21 @ 9:08pm, and restored them to my ~/Library/Preferences folder, replacing the brand-new preference files I had just created. I then made an archive of those files in case I need them again -- I also am keeping the old (post-April 21 9:08pm) preference files that I had moved to my Desktop, just in case (anybody want to delve into them to see what might be doing this??).

    I then opened iChat, and I have Video Chat icons. I did a test-video chat with a friend, and it worked after not having enough bandwidth the first try. There are, however, some problems. I am not able to do the preview of myself by clicking the Video icon in between my name and my Buddy Icon at the top of my Buddy List (when I do, it displays "This computer does not support video conferencing." like it did before), and iChat's Connection Doctor says that while I can now do Video Effects and Backdrop Effects, 1-on-1 Video Chat, Join Multiperson Video, Host Multiperson Audio, Host Multiperson Video, and Share My Screen are all "X"-ed out with (Slow Network) seeming to be the description. Perhaps there's an issue with the iSight itself and how it works with iChat; is there a preference file or whatever I can restore from an earlier date that might fix this?

    So, clearly, the problem is not yet 100% solved. Any ideas?

    Also, a friend of mine here at school is also having the exact same problem; we're both on Rev. A MacBook Pros (practically the same ones, I think...) using Leopard, presumably fully updated. We're both connected to the Internet in our dorms, but we live almost across campus from each other, so I don't think it could be caused by a localized slow network. None of my friends with MacBooks are having this problem; I don't know anybody else with a Rev. A MacBook Pro, so maybe someone else out there has the same issues?

    Also, if there are any Moderators reading this, I'd really appreciate it if you could change the title of this thread to "iChat and iSight Problems with MacBook Pro?" since the Time Machine aspect seems not so valid anymore.


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