Mac Noob ?: How to find a bad driver.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Annalea, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Annalea macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #1
    I'm fairly new to Macs (have had my iMac since Apr 2009), and am trying to troubleshoot a driver conflict. I'm afraid I don't know enough keywords to make an effective search, so I thought I'd come see if anyone could point me in the right direction.

    I'm a fairly competent Windows user (more than 15 years tinkering and more than a decade running a home network of two to five machines), and this switching to Mac has definitely humbled me, as these OS's are set up so differently.

    A while back (4-6 weeks) I came across my sd card reader (no-name brand from Amazon that had been misplaced since before the Mac was purchased), and plugged it into one of the USB ports on my Apple keyboard. After that, I started having problems. I don't know if they're all related or not, so here they are.

    1) Startup slowed down at first, and has continued to get slower and stranger. Now I can't use the option key to bring up the bootable drives (so no more Boot Camp for me until this is fixed), and in order to boot into OSX, I have to unplug ALL peripherals, including my keyboard and mouse.

    2) My DVD drive died. I tried watching a new DVD, and it spit it back out at me a few times before NOT spitting it out again. After that, no dvds would work, and it stopped ejecting altogether. (I finally got it to give up the last one I put in (a sacrificial disc), but only after a lot of time and hassle to get it to think that it had ejected, and then fishing it out with a paperclip.) Now the dvd drive doesn't even show in the hardware device list. Since Apple's DVD player won't recognize an external drive (this really bugs me, btw . . . it works on my husband's MacBook Air--why not on my iMac?), I'm really bummed that I no longer have *any* kind of removable media, and can't get data from dvds or cds. If I need to reinstall, I'm going to have to figure out how to boot from a jump drive (don't worry, I think I have one that won't mess with anything--I hope).

    Currently, it'll boot up just fine in safe mode, so now I'm on the hunt for the rude drivers that are messing with my happiness. ;o) Fwiw, here's what I've got installed that is loaded on startup:

    BackBlaze
    Growl
    MacFuse
    Flip4Mac WMV
    SteerMouse

    There aren't any items in my Startup Items folders, and none of the folders that seem like they should contain drivers seem to have anything shady in them. Soooo . . . what's next?

    Thanks so much for helping a greeny out . . . and happy T-Day! :)
     
  2. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #2
    For starters...

    You say you plugged the card reader into the port on your keyboard. Wrong! The USB socket on the keyboard is USB1 and only to be used for a mouse.
     
  3. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    Have you been moving around items in the Applications, Home and System folders?

    This is a common mistake that Windows converts make (me too). OSX expects to find certain things in certain folders.

    Also, for production machines, I try to avoid adding system tweaks and extensions. The list you have there seems OK, but I've got the feeling you've downloaded and installed a few more tweaks than that. It's a windows thing.
     
  4. Kenndac macrumors 6502

    Kenndac

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    #4
    Hooray misinformation! A single USB1 port on the bus will cause everything on that bus to step down to USB1 as well.

    I.e., you're wrong. Here's a screenshot to prove it:

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #5
    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    As for the keyboard USB port, could using that port for the reader cause the problem, or was it more likely the reader itself (or its drivers)?

    I haven't been moving things around much. I have dragged a couple things in the Applications folder if they've unzipped elsewhere. And, come to think of it, maybe a list of what's in my applications folder would help, eh? Here 'tis, minus the pre-installed Apple stuff (like address book & other standard apps):

    (That first list was just what showed up at the bottom of the system preferences window under "Other".)

    Microsoft Silverlight
    Backblaze
    Google Chrome
    Kindle for Mac
    *LEGO Digital Designer
    *VLC (DVD software installed in an effort to fix the dvd problem)
    VMware Fusion
    *eFax Messenger
    Adium
    Amazon.com Downloader
    beaTunes2 (Sound editor)
    *Bejeweled 2
    Dropbox
    FamilySearch Indexing (a Java app that predates the trouble by about six months--this is a great project, though, for genealogy if anyone is interested in volunteering)
    Firefox
    Flickr Uploadr
    Flux (Alters monitor colors at night)
    Picasa
    *Skype (going asap--I forgot it was still there. Doesn't work worth beans with my mic.)
    Smultron (text/code editor)
    SteerMouse
    *Sunbird
    Canon Utilities (for the printer/scanner--predates trouble by nearly a year)
    FInale NotePad 2009 (Music scoring software--installed on day 3)
    Flip4Mac

    (* indicated software to be trashed/uninstalled)

    Sooo . . . any bad boys in there? The only app installed since the trouble is VLC.
     
  6. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #6
    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    As for the keyboard USB port, could using that port for the reader cause the problem, or was it more likely the reader itself (or its drivers)?

    I haven't been moving things around much. I have dragged a couple things in the Applications folder if they've unzipped elsewhere. And, come to think of it, maybe a list of what's in my applications folder would help, eh? Here 'tis, minus the pre-installed Apple stuff (like address book & other standard apps):

    (That first list was just what showed up at the bottom of the system preferences window under "Other".)

    Microsoft Silverlight
    Backblaze
    Google Chrome
    Kindle for Mac
    *LEGO Digital Designer
    *VLC (DVD software installed in an effort to fix the dvd problem)
    VMware Fusion
    *eFax Messenger
    Adium
    Amazon.com Downloader
    beaTunes2 (Sound editor)
    *Bejeweled 2
    Dropbox
    FamilySearch Indexing (a Java app that predates the trouble by about six months--this is a great project, though, for genealogy if anyone is interested in volunteering)
    Firefox
    Flickr Uploadr
    Flux (Alters monitor colors at night)
    Picasa
    *Skype (going asap--I forgot it was still there. Doesn't work worth beans with my mic.)
    Smultron (text/code editor)
    SteerMouse
    *Sunbird
    Canon Utilities (for the printer/scanner--predates trouble by nearly a year)
    FInale NotePad 2009 (Music scoring software--installed on day 3)
    Flip4Mac

    (* indicated software to be trashed/uninstalled)

    Sooo . . . any bad boys in there? The only app installed since the trouble is VLC.
     
  7. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #7
    And what's that got to do with the slice of bread? :)

    As Apple say "Two USB (Universal Serial Bus) 1.1 ports on the Apple Keyboard Connect low-power USB 1.1 devices to your iMac’s keyboard, such as mice, digital cameras, and joysticks. Connect your Apple Mouse to one of the keyboard USB ports. (There are also three high- speed USB 2.0 ports on the back of your computer.)"
     
  8. Kenndac macrumors 6502

    Kenndac

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    #8
    Like I just said in another thread, wherever you got that quote is from is out-of-date - Apple keyboard USB ports have been USB 2.0 for a long time. See:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/A

    "The Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad features an extended layout; an elegant, ultrathin anodized aluminum enclosure; low-profile keys; and two USB 2.0 ports."

    Edit: You also conveniently ignored my screenshot showing a device connected to my keyboard at 480MB/sec, USB 2.0 speeds. Also, the fact your quote says there are three ports on the back of your computer dates it back to the iMac G5.
     
  9. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #9
    I wondered about the three usb port bit, as my machine has four . . .

    So, 'nuther question: booting up in Safe Mode works great. Is there any way I can find the driver, or should I reinstall? (I've got BackBlaze, so all my data is safe.)
     
  10. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #10
    I'm a bit stumped to be honest.

    It's unlikely to be the SD card reader. OSX comes with drivers for them. You didn't load anything that came with it right?

    Are you running FileVault or something like that?

    I'm thinking you've been tinkering around with the configuration of various things (hell it's what I did too).

    Maybe it's best to reinstall OSX. I completely messed up my powerbook OS a few weeks after I got it by fiddling about with it like a Windows 95 maniac. Fixed by reinstalling, and leaving things alone. I don't regret it, I learned a lot from that.

    Short of reinstalling, a few things you could try: Repair Permissions, Reset PRAM, download and run Onyx, and have it run through all the maintenance items.
     
  11. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #11
    No, I just plugged it in and left it there, sans sd card.

    No . . . don't know what that is. My list of apps is above; the only backup service I've got is BackBlaze.

    I honestly don't think I have, if I'm understanding you right. I only found the schtuff in the System subfolder after things went haywire. (I've only managed to find the Mac's "task manager" twice; can't even remember what it's called . . . ) I've looked at logs and such, but I've consciously kept my mitts off of things I don't understand yet. I've changed settings in the Systems Preferences, but I didn't think that was supposed to foul things up. (Following Apple's premise that their machines are supposed to do their jobs with minimal interference from the user.)

    Heheh . . . I like that simile. I'm thinking I'll need to reinstall . . . I'll just have to use a jumpdrive, since my dvd drive is hosed.

    I'm guessing I can search the forums for how to do those? (Man, going back to square zero is a drag. lol)
     
  12. rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #12
    you can repair permissions in onyx so the list is only 2 long now :)

    searchon the forums has a bit of a poor rep. understand it's better to use mroogle. just google mroogle and go from there :D
     
  13. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #13
    Thanks so much for the tips. This forum is SO much more responsive/useful than the ones at Apple.com. :)

    Have a great night!
     
  14. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #14
    I've repaired permissions, and there were about fifteen things fixed, along with several that said something had been modified, and will not be repaired, and a couple others that didn't mention repair--kind of like it's information I'm supposed to do something with. Here they are:

    Warning: SUID fuile "System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DiskManagement.framework/Versions/A/Resources/DiskManagementTool" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    Warning: SUID file "usr/sbin/pppd" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    Warning: SUID file "usr/sbin/vpnd" has been modified and will not be repaired.

    Group differs on "Users", should be 80, group is 0.

    Permissions differ on "Users", should be drwxr-xr-x, they are drwxrwxrwx.

    ACL found but not expected on "Applications/Utilities".

    I've just downloaded Onxy, and am off to see what that can do . . .
     
  15. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #15
    Activity Monitor. Lives in Applications / Utilities. I usually call it by cmd+space and typing act..

    cmd+space is my favourite key combo - I use it for doing quick calculations, checking definitions and spellings, launching apps etc. I exclude some folders and document categories in Spotlight Preferences to reduce the amount of junk in the results.

    cmd+tab shows running applications, some of which you may not realise are running.

    Or ask Google. I find google quite helpful on OSX issues as there are fewer spam and junk sites than with Windows issues. Resetting PRAM *may* help with your dvd issues.

    All false positives. Can be ignored. Repairing permissions is steadily becoming less useful as OSX evolves but it's still worth a try before doing a major repair job.

    Onyx is quite powerful and can really mess up a system. Worth reading the help on which options do what. Not all of them are safe or sane options to change.

    Some of the stuff under 'cleaning' in Onyx might be worth a try too.
     
  16. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #16
    Thanks, RedTomato.

    I went ahead and did the "safe" stuff in Onyx last night, and then tried resetting the PRAM as a last resort. Now it hangs on startup with a blank gray screen before the apple or spinner appear. So, my next task will be putting a clean OSX image on a jump drive and seeing if I can reinstall from that. Or repair, or whatever.

    Fwiw, before I hosed the install, I was able to open my BootCamp partition in VMWare, and while Win7 wouldn't boot (got a blue screen that cause a reboot into recovery mode), I was able to look at the system restore points and see that the last restore point had an NVIDIA driver install listed . . . and that's the last day that I was able to use BootCamp or my DVD drive. I have no idea why that driver would foul things up, and I'm pretty confused as to why installing a driver in Win7 would mess with OSX. Maybe losing the DVD drive was a coincidence. Anyway, I'll report back when I've got more news on the reinstall . . . .

    Thanks, everyone!
     
  17. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #17





    I wouldn't go beyond cleaning in onyx.
     
  18. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #18
    Quick update: I decided to go through ALL of the troubleshooting steps at Apple's site before paying for service of any kind. Beginning with trying a different outlet on my UPS.

    The darn thing booted up just fine.

    I'm so glad--and totally mystified. (I'm posting this from the iMac while TimeMachine completes a new image.) Resetting the PRAM definitely fouled things up, but why a power issue would be behind it, I have NO idea.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions . . .
     
  19. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #19
    Interesting.

    --> finger pointing suspiciously at the UPS

    Perhaps try running it without the UPS for now.

    Is it a real UPS ie. it weighs a ton, with large lead acid batteries in it, and actually keeps your computer running for a few minutes when the power is cut? Have you tested it? How old is it? Or is it just a cheap 'surge cleaner'?
     
  20. Annalea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inland PacNW
    #20
    I'm afraid I don't dare . . . the power is pretty iffy up here, with brown-outs and flickers before outages (trees bouncing on power lines before breaking them tends to do that) seem a bigger risk.

    Yep. Bona fide certified. Roughly 7" x 10" x 4", and weighs at least 35lbs. (Maybe more--haven't ever put it on a scale.) It's about 3 years old, and a decent quality one from what I understand. It was originally purchased by a gaming company to protect their keno machines, but they bought the wrong ones (battery life wasn't enough to get the power hogs shut down), so DH got them brand new through a friend who worked for the company (which ran under a name ending in "Restaurant Services", of all things. ;o) Anywaaaay . . .

    I never knew they should be tested . . . how often, and how does one go about it?
     

Share This Page