Macbook software messing up!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by theoallen, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. theoallen macrumors newbie

    theoallen

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    I live in Surrey, South of England, UK!
    #1
    Hey!
    Basically all of a sudden my mac's software started going all weird and it's been really getting on my nerves. Here is a list of the problems (Sorry if some of them seem minor, they just really bug me) :
    1. My applications icon on my dock now opens a finder window, instead of the usual applications window that comes up.
    2. I can't copy and paste things, as in, i can't copy anything off the internet or paste something i have copied to the internet, i have even tried various different browsers. I can however copy and paste things in mac word and pages.
    3. I can't open itunes or iphoto. A little message comes up saying that it may not work with this version of Mac OS X. Thing is, i updated to Lion when it first came out, and had absolutely no problems then.
    4. All of my photos in finder want to open with photoshop as a default. When i click 'open with - preview', the preview icon appears in my dock as active, but no pictures will actually open.
    5. The thumbnails of my files and pictures in finder and on the desktop don't show, its just blank.

    I think that's it, but like i said, i updated to Lion ages ago, and everything worked for ages.
    I have no updates needed to be updated, so thats not the problem.
    And other than that, my mac seems to be running fine.
    I'd really appreciate it if you guys could help me, as im no longer under warranty, and my nearest apple store is about an hour away from me!
    Thanks in advance!
    Theo.
    :)
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    Just to get the most obvious questions out of the way, since you didn't mention specifically, have you:

    Rebooted, done a Repair Permissions from Disk Utility, and used Disk Utility to do a Verify pass on your hard drive to check for disk problems?

    If not, do all of the above, to rule out the really simple things.
     
  3. theoallen thread starter macrumors newbie

    theoallen

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    I live in Surrey, South of England, UK!
    #3
    Yes, i've done all of these, but none seemed to work! :/
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    YOu may need to copy your data to an external and reinstall.
     
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #5
    Yeah, as far as I can think of, your symptoms relate to several different relatively low-level system functions, so nothing obvious is coming to mind that would explain all of them. Which is to say something has apparently gone really, really wrong with your OS install.

    Just to be thorough, are you certain that you didn't try out or install any piece of software or new hardware around the time the problems started? Even something benign or seemingly unrelated? If nothing changed, then only real explanation is OS corruption, which is rare but possible without disk corruption.

    Next troubleshooting step: Create a new user on the computer and log into that user. See if everything works smoothly. If so, at least you know that it's something specific to your account, not the OS install.


    You could also open up Console.app and watch for messages that show up when you attempt one of the failing operations--try one of the failing copy operations, click the Applications icon in the dock, or try opening something in Preview. There will usually be at least a few messages, and they might be indicative of what's going wrong if you post them here, though I'm not optimistic.

    In the event a clean user has the same issues, it's probably a corrupt OS somehow, so the solution is to clone your OS to a backup drive and/or back it up with Time Machine, wipe it, reinstall the OS from scratch, then use Migration Assistant to migrate your user(s) and data back over. Manually re-install all your Applications instead of using Migration Assistant, just in case it was actually one of them that caused the problem--clean slate, so to speak. You could try just reinstalling Lion over the existing one, which might well work without requiring the clone (though you should of course have a backup anyway), but it's more thorough to go all-out and do the complete reinstall.
     

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