Desktop Image Issue

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Morchmonster, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Morchmonster macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #1
    Hi, I need some help please, I am unable to change my desktop image in Yosemite, When I try access the Preference pane I get an error, have traced the preference pane back to an app of sorts, checked the permissions on the file structure all seems ok (in comparison to other preference panes that is) see attachment.

    Any advice would be great, thanks
    Morch
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #3
    No Luck

    Hi thanks for coming back to me; unfortunately neither option helps, in the process however have discovered other permission issues, tried repairing the permissions and although it says its repairing it doesn't, have tried several times and the same folder permission issue keep occurring.

    In terms of the Desktop image issue, I thought I would be smart and right click on an image in the finder, and then set as desktop, however the error occurs, see attached image.

    Cheers
    Morch
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #4
    You might try deleting/(moving elsewhere) the file
    /Users/YOURNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
    and, if that doesn't work:
    /Users/YOURNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist

    Reboot after each action.

    That should get you to the point where you can open the prefs pane. It will very likely change some of your prefs and finder settings, so be cautious.
     
  4. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #5
    no luck

    thanks for the advice, regrettably it didn't work; should i put the .plist files back in their original location, or is it safe to whack them?

    i created a su/root account and had a look at the permission structures on the preference pane folder/s, they seem to be in line with other folders, also the permission verify process didn't pick anything up, but i'm somehow inclined to think its permission related.

    which of the logs should I be looking at to determine if the error is being recorded?

    Cheers
    Morch
     
  5. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #6
    If they haven't already been recreated, put them back.

    You may be running into trouble with cached and corrupt prefs here.
    Trashing plists has gotten more complicated since 10.9. When I really feel the need to do that, I'll boot off of a different system disk before dragging them out of their folder.
    If you're lucky, Console will tell you something interesting so you don't have to try that.
    Just open Console before you try to try to open the desktop prefs, or set the image via menu. Set it to show All messages.
    That should give you a better idea of where the error is coming from.
     
  6. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #7
    i'm now entering dangerous territory, the console gives me this issue when i try access the desktop image preference pane


    2014/11/12 9:28:56,870 PM System Preferences[451]: ### com.apple.preference.desktopscreeneffect instantiatePrefPaneObject exception:-[NSTaggedPointerString getCharacters:range:]: Range {0, 2} out of bounds; string length 1


    I also get countless other errors;

    2014/11/12 9:31:57,830 PM Finder[203]: CoreAnimation: warning, deleted thread with uncommitted CATransaction; set CA_DEBUG_TRANSACTIONS=1 in environment to log backtraces.
     
  7. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #8
    still can't resolve desktop image issue

    Hi I have tried a myriad of options and still no luck, the rest of the prefpanes are working its just the desktop image thats not.

    This is a snapshot of the console error, if anyone has some additional advice I would be grateful!

    cheers
    Morch
     

    Attached Files:

  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    From your user folder/Library/Preferences - try deleting the file: com.apple.preference.desktopscreeneffect.plist
    (it's also mentioned in the error that you posted!)
    Restart after trashing that file.
     
  9. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #10
    I agree with DeltaMac.
    This sounds just like a corrupt plist type problem. It's a matter of figuring out which plist is corrupt.

    If you've got a bootable backup, boot from that before removing the plist files.
    You'll have to navigate to the prefs folder on your main drive manually, all those handy shortcuts lead to the BOOT drive.
    Deleting the plist files while the OS isn't active on the drive will defeat the OS's prefs caching system, and should net you a nice pristine new set of plist files that, with any luck, will not be corrupt.
    You'll find out when you reboot back on your primary drive.
     
  10. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #11
    Patron22 & DeltaMac thanks for the advice, unfortunately the error still persists after removing the com.apple.preference.desktopscreeneffect.plist file.

    should I be concerned now that i've booted up and the file doesn't exist the .lock file however is still there not sure what that does?

    could I delete (or move/rename) all the related .plist files, would mac recreate them?
     
  11. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    that .lock file (if for the desktopscreeneffect file) can be deleted, too.
    Those couple of files SHOULD be the primary files that control that setting (and when corrupted may prevent the pane from opening)

    Likely you may have to hunt some more to dig out which .plists are really giving your issue.

    Another possibility is to log in to a different user account - even better would be to create a new user just for this purpose. You will likely be able to launch the Desktop & Screensaver pane from a new user account. Make some changes in that pane - then go to the user/Library/Preferences, and sort by most recent files. You should see any files that were created or changed to make adjustments in that pane. Note those file names, then log out, and log back in to your normal user. Find those files in the Preferences folder, delete them - don't forget to restart your Mac now. Should be fixed.
     
  13. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #14
    Thanks, in that case I'll remove all the .plist files reboot and see if anything changes, i'm assuming the .plist are transient files that open/closes/change preference settings when the prefpanes are open and/or changed?

    what happens if the .plist files aren't recreated, would i need to recover from a backup say "Time Machine"?
    Cheers
    Morch
     
  14. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #15
    I hope that by "all .plist files", that you mean those files related to your pref pane problem. There are hundreds of .plist files in that Preferences folder, and many are not related in any way to your situation. So, if you did actually remove ALL files in that Preferences folder, virtually all of your software, and most of your system settings would be reset to defaults. Not sure if you want that.
    You can then put all your files back in place, if you wanted - but you would STILL have the challenge of discovering which files are causing your issue. Better (IMHO) to concentrate on just a small handful of files, eh?

    BTW, the .plist files get recreated as you (and your system) need them.
     
  15. Morchmonster thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #16
    DeltaMac thanks, yes I meant all related .plist files

    On the positive side you were 100% correct, the new user can access the desktop prefpane and set the background image, tried to delete all .plist files that changed according to time stamp but still the same issue

    None the less I will continue working through them systematically until I find the little bugger..

    much obliged for your and Partron22's assistance

    Just as a note though, when I access an image through finder and then set it as a desktop image I get the attached error, is this still a prefpane ?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #17
    It's still the preferences file (plist), which usually gets set through the prefs pane. The Finder is just encountering the same trouble as the prefs pane.
     
  17. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #18
    Not exactly.
    I think that error means that the process to set the desktop image results in an error, which would be the same process accessed by the Desktop & Screensaver pane. Fix one, and both should work.
    You have at least verified that the problem is within your user account (and not a system-wide problem)

    What's next?
    I would likely trash your user/Library/Caches folder. That DOES get recreated as you work, so restart after trashing that cache folder. It can be quite large, so empty your trash after your restart.

    You can launch your Console, and check in the system.log. It is listed by time and date, so you can note the time when your pref pane refuses to open, and look for relevant messages generated in system.log at that time.

    There is a tool in OnyX, which will scan all .plist files for damage, or other problems in the files themselves. It will report where those files are, so problem files can just be deleted. Might help - won't hurt
    http://www.titanium.free.fr/downloadonyx.php
    Choose the version for your particular OS X system.
     

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