Daemons Question

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by jasnw, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. jasnw macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2013
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    OK, I’ve made some boneheaded oopsies in my 45+ years of computer fiddling, but I’ve found one I’m not sure how to recover from. I’ve been trying to sort out how to best fix Apple’s broken ntp service (not the recent security issue, but the older problem between ntpd and pacemaker), and due to misunderstanding some online instructions I entered

    sudo launchctl load –w system

    thereby (in hindsight) telling launchctl to enable and start up everything with a plist in directory /System/Library/LaunchDaemons. I realized what I’d done pretty quickly, and did an immediate reboot hoping that would get me back to my normal set of daemons. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case as there are still a lot of daemons running that I’m not wanting. I’ve stopped three that shouldn’t be running that I identified from looking at error messages (problem messages from dnsextd, xsan, and postgres), and I’ve stopped those explicitly by unloading them using launchctl. However, in comparing pre-mistake and current post-boot logs I’m sure there are still additional daemons running that shouldn’t be. And I’m also worried about stopping daemons that are throwing out error messages (like postgres) that should be running but are encountering errors due to other daemons that shouldn’t be running.

    So, exactly how do I get back to running only those daemons I need? Is there a plist I can blow away and then reboot, or do I need to reload Mavericks, or what?
  2. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    Piece of cake to fix.

    You're gonna have to do some work, though.

    First step:
    1.) Go into Prefs, and create a New User w/ admin privileges.
    2.) Log yourself out, and then back in as the new user.
    3.) See if the "right amount" of Daemons are running

    If so, good! You can breathe a sigh of relief, because now we know it's "fixable."

    Here is where the "detective work" starts.

    While logged in as the New User you just created:

    1.) Open up YourUserName/Library/Preferences
    2.) Sort by "date modified."
    3.) Look closely at what preferences are there towards the top.
    4.) Look, stare, study, and memorize what you see.
    5.) Now, while you are STILL LOGGED IN as your New User Account, go mess things up like you did under your old Username -- do whatever you did to make all those Daemons run all at the same time, and THEN, open up Library/Preferences again, SORT by "date modified."
    6.) You WILL SEE one or more new plist file that have been recently modified -- probably something like "xxxblahblahblahxxx-launchd.plist"
    7.) Make a note of those plist files!
    8.) Delete them!
    9.) Log out, then log back in (again--as your New User) and see if things went back to normal.

    If things are back to normal, then those plist files are the culprit (well, actually YOU are the culprit LOL... but you know what I mean).

    Now you can log back in as your old Original User Name, and DELETE those plist files, and then immediately RESTART your computer.

    That should fix your problem.

    If it does, then you can delete that New User Account that you created.

    The "idea" behind this process I've described is by creating a Fresh New User, you can then study the "good" Preference Files, and then determine which preference files got mucked up. Trial and error.

    Whatever you did that caused all the daemons to "activate" and run all at once got stored in a preference file (a "plist file"), and by finding and deleting the offending plist file, your system should go back to normal.

    Remember to immediately restart after deleting plist files.

    Please post back, and let me/us know if this worked for you!
  3. jasnw thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2013
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    Thanks for the extended reply. I ended up trying a number of things, and finally threw in the towel and did a complete clean reinstall. That was complicated by my Time Machine backup being useless (failed to reload from it twice), but I had made a CCC disk clone prior to the OS reinstall from which I eventually recovered my home directory. Had to reinstall a bunch of apps, but I'm close to back to normal.

    I'm filing your reply away "just in case". Again, thanks for replying.


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