Help! Suddenly I can't click anything. Desktop seems unresponsive.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bigcat318, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. bigcat318 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #1
    So I was just using my computer normally when I was suddenly having an issue where I could not click on anything. I was forced to hard restart but it did not help. I am still able to navigate with the trackpad or my mighty mouse (wireless) but clicking with either does nothing.

    After some searching I have reset the pram multiple times and have also done command+S at boot and run fsck. Resetting the pram worked once, but only for maybe 5 minutes. During that time I ran a permissions test, it corrected 2-3 things but that is it. I have tried booting from the leopard cd but it spits the cd out. I am pretty much out of ideas.

    To recap:
    Macbook core duo 2.0 (Original macbook release) running Leopard, all updates applied

    Trackpad and external mouse work for navigating, but not clicking.

    Desktop seems completely unresponsive, hovering over dock does not magnify it as it should.

    Worked temporarily once or twice after resetting pram.

    Have run fsck multiple times. No issues found.

    Removed battery for 10 minutes and pushed the power button toe reset the SMU

    Relaunching finder does not solve issue.

    Using a wired mouse works partially

    Attempting to boot from disc ends with the disc being ejected. Have tried two leopard discs and a Disk Warrior disc.

    Let's see who saves the day for me. thanks!
     
  2. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #2
    Well, on top of what you've tried, try resetting the SMU. You can look it up to make sure this is right, but I think all you do is remove the battery for at least 15 seconds, press the power button, then reinsert the battery and start up. Longer won't hurt.

    jW
     
  3. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the quick response. I actually did try that as well. I removed the battery for over 10minutes and hit the power button a couple of times. Seemed to make no difference. I'll add that to the original post.
     
  4. belunos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #4
    Try command+option+escape and see if there's an unknown program steeling focus from everything
     
  5. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #5
    I have tried exiting all programs using that method and relaunching Finder. No luck.
     
  6. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #6
    So am I screwed then? This is the most frustrating computer issue I have ever had, and the first major issue I have had with my mac.
     
  7. WarMachine macrumors member

    WarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
  8. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #8
    Booting into safe mode doesn't seem to make a difference unfortunately. Id have to think it can't be a hardware issue because even with my mighty mouse I can move around but can't click. But because it spits out discs when I try to boot to them Im not even sure how to for about reformatting it if it comes down to that.
     
  9. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #9
    Connecting a wired mouse worked briefly. Then it stopped, but I could right-click but not left-click. Dock didnt respond to hovering over still (magnifying). Seriously wtf is this business?
     
  10. WarMachine macrumors member

    WarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #10
    This is pretty weird, but it could still be OS related, so if you can still boot into the install discs, you could try doing an Archive and Install (reinstalls OS X without deleting any of your stuff).
     
  11. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #11
    It keeps spitting out the discs when I try to boot from a disc, then boots normally. Not sure why its doing that either.
     
  12. WarMachine macrumors member

    WarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #12
    Try resetting the SMC again:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1411

    If you still can't even boot into the install disc after reseting the SMC a couple of times, then call Apple, this is some more serious hardware problem.
     
  13. unsanity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    #13
    I think I may be having a similar problem to you. I talked about it more in this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=6342414#post6342414

    On my computer I can click stuff, but applications won't launch and folders won't open (though they'll become highlighted as usual), so it doesn't do anything. I'm able to boot from discs by pressing c as it starts up, however. I'm planning on archive and install or format entirely as needed once I get my install discs. At least my problem doesn't seem to be hardware related, however, as my boot camp partition is working perfectly (ironically turning my MBP into a fully functioning pc with no mac capabilities).
     
  14. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #14
    I still dont really know what hardware component could cause these issues so suddenly. I have been able to click with my wired mouse for awhile, if it starts screwing up I can shut it to put it to sleep, then wake it again and get it working.
     
  15. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #15
    I have this problem, but I haven't expended nearly the energy you have in trying to solve it. I merely open a finder window and pick Desktop. Everything is accessible there. It would bother me if things were genuinely not accessible, but it is such a minor nuisance I would never consider rebooting over it.

    There are some system maintenance utilities that you might try, including Onyx and Mainmenu. I'm not saying they will fix this, but they are about as far as I would go to deal with this. In any event, I wouldn't go so far as to reboot over this. If I find a solution, I will come back later and post. For now, just use finder to view the Desktop folder. Another reason I don't mind this is I really would rather look at my wallpaper than dozens of icons anyway. The dock works. Quicksilver works. Spotlight works and finder works so I don't miss being able to click the 3 or 4 items sitting on my desktop.

    Edit. Ok found a fix. Simple. Pick the Apple icon. Force Quit. Finder. Relaunch. No big deal really. (BTW search is your friend. I found this solution by the following google search (cannot select items desktop os x) and I was amazed it led me right back here to macrumers, to a thread from 2007. ;) )
     
  16. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #16
    Thanks for the response but you apparently didnt read the whole thread where I mentioned relaunching the Finder already. In fact I have probably done it over a dozen times. And Im not really sure how you consider not being able to click on anything, nothing, not a single thing, a minor nuisance. If it didnty automatically highlight the password box at the login window I wouldnt even be able to login beause I wouldnt be able to click on it. Its not a matter of not being able to click on just icons. I cant do anything tha requires clicking. The linked article is not the same issue I am having. ;)
     
  17. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #17
    Oops. I didn't realize it went that far. Have you contacted Apple directly? If you call Applecare about an issue this severe, you might find they are helpful regardless of the status of your warranty or AppleCare purchase.

    I experienced a serious issue outside my warranty period (several kernel panics in one afternoon) and they helped me through it right away. I later purchased AppleCare because I was so impressed with the service I received and to make sure I wouldn't end up having to get into a discussion about dates on my way to get help in the future.

    Are you using a bluetooth mouse or the trackpad or a wired mouse? You mention connecting a wired mouse and having things work briefly before quitting again. To me, this indicates an issue with drivers. I use a Logitech V470 bluetooth mouse and have no issues other than the occasional nuisance inability to click a few icons on my desktop.

    Edit: After rereading your post, it seems the internal trackpad and mighty mouse don't work either :eek: I don't use any Logitech drivers. I forgot to mention that earlier. Have you ever had any drivers for an aftermarket mouse on your system? It is kind of a lame solution, but an archive and install might solve this and this procedure is relatively quick and painless on a Mac. I notice you said something about cd's being spit out. Does this mean you can't simply boot from the OS X disk and do an archive and install? If this is the case, talking to Apple is your best choice.
     
  18. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #18
    I havent spoken with Apple yet. The issue just arose yesterday. I know Im far out of warranty at this point. Both the trackpad and mighty mouse work for moving the cursor around, but neither click. I have never had any mouse drivers on the system. The wired mouse I was using was logitech, but no drivers for it, just plug n play.

    It doesnt seem to matter what disc I put in, it will spit it out during boot. When the wired mouse was working I put a leopard disc in, and was able to click on the icon to get it to start the install process, which essentially just restarts and boots from disc, but it still ejected the disc. I dont know of another way to archive and install if it keeps ejecting discs.
     
  19. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #19
    Some thoughts.

    I read in another thread that discs eject at startup when the mouse button is held in. I think its a possibility that my computer is reading the button as always being pushed and that is why I can't click on anything and discs eject when I try to boot from cd. I believe that would also explain why the dock doesnt magnify when I hover over it.
     
  20. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #20
    I used to have a problem on some windows machines that I would click on stuff and I would get wierd context menus or I would type and get menu commands. It turned out the alt key was sticking on. I would bang the alt key a few times and all would return to normal. I wonder what the mac equivalent of this situation would look like? Could a stuck key be related to the problem you are having?
     
  21. WarMachine macrumors member

    WarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #21
    Yeah, loose the keyboard and mouse. Try with only the keyboard to go into the install discs.
     
  22. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #22
    I went into the settings and clicked the checkbox to disable the trackpad when a mouse is present but it still ejected the disc. Not sure what else to try. I installed Onyx and ran everything that program can do but no luck.

    I looked over the keyboard and don't see any keys that visually appear to be stuck. I was thinking that whatever reads input for the trackpad button was stuck and causing the problem but it should have been disabled when I changed the settings. At this point I really just want to reinstall OSX but because of the discs being ejected I cant.

    Has anyone ever installed OSX from a flash drive?
     
  23. jackstraw111 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #23
    Have you checked your mouse double click speed settings. I once had my set too fast -- faster than my fingers could ever actually click the mouse. Consequently, I could move the mouse, but never click on anything.

    I don't know how this would tie in with discs ejecting, but it never hurts to try the simple solutions before diving in on bigger ones.
     
  24. bigcat318 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #24
    I wish it were that simple. I tried turning it down but it didnt help.

    I was able to archive and install last night but with no results.
     
  25. snagitseven macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #25
    I had a key stuck down on my keyboard that caused this very problem. Even though the keys may look ok, a modifier key may be activated. If you can, try compressed air around all the keys on the keyboard. If that doesn't work, it may need to be serviced by Apple.
     

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