OS X GUI problems persist

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Simon R., Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Simon R. macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006

    First my specs: Mac Pro 2x2.66Ghz, Nvidia 7600 gfx card, 3 GB RAM, four internal harddrives.

    I wrote some time ago about some OS X GUI screwups. I thought they were gone with the latest updates, but they are not.

    1. When starting programs, they don't always come to front by themselves.

    2. (This is the most alarming to me): Sometimes the OS seems to lose focus on which program it is in, and menus stop working properly. Let's say I am in Safari. If I click the "Safari" roll-down menu, it opens, but when I move the mouse down the different sub-menus, they don't get highlighted. If I click on a sub-menu, it is activated though. Also if I click "Safari" and move the mouse through the other main menus, they are not highlighted, until I click them. And getting into sub-sub-menus is impossible during this behaviour, which only goes away when I reboot. It doesn't happen often, but then again, I have hardly begun using my Mac for anything serious, so I fear that when I really start using the resources and such, it will happen a lot, which will be a PITA...

    3. I can't update to the latest EFI update. When I follow the instructions, the progress indicator just comes on for a split second, then the machine reboots, without having done the update. Yes, I have disconnected alle FW and USB devices, doesn't help.

    Do you think Apple will have a clue if I call them and explain these problems to them? And will it cost me to get this support, now the 90 day period of free support is over, even though it COULD be a hardware malfunction in their product? For sure I know it isn't a fault on my end. I tried re-installing the OS from scratch and I still get this behaviour.

    Hmm... it's pretty disheartening that a piece of expensive and so-called user friendly equipment behaves in this erratic way. Any clues?

  2. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Something is NOT right there. Have you tried flashing the PRAM? Or maybe even a complete OS re-install...
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    First thing to do?

    Log in as another user and verify that the problems you are seeing exist there as well.
  4. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I don't want to assume you aren't testing the sometimes obvious, but it isn't your mouse is it?
    I've had some weird GUI behavior caused by an illogical mouse. Have certain keys on the keyboard get stuck can also cause weird behavior that doesn't result in anything that you aren't used to seeing.
    I'm not talking about random clicks here...

  5. seanf macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    Have you got OS X installed on a RAID volume? If so, you will not be able to install the update from this.

    Sean :)
  6. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    I did a complete OS re-install, shouldn't that be the same/enough? Creating another user account would be the same as creating a "fresh" account (which is the same as on a fresh install).
  7. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    Nope, not on a RADI, just the pre-installed Apple disk.
  8. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    Well, a mouse can't create the symptoms with menus not being highlighted as you move the pointer across them. As for stuck keys.... I highly doubt it, also since everything else works fine, I can type, I can do anything. It's just the menus that screw up.
  9. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    Yes, as I wrote, I did a complete OS re-install. PRAM? Uhm.. whats that and how do I do that?:)
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    By saying a complete reinstall, you mean an erase/reformat and reinstall, right? :)

    By the way, when you open an app it will show up at the front unless you start doing something in another app. This is where OSX is better than XP because you're not constantly being taken in and out of focus with respect to apps. If you click on an unopened app in the Dock and then click on Finder, it should keep Finder active but open the other app in the background. I'm guessing you knew this already though. :eek:
  11. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    No, just erasing the OS and completely reinstalling it. Not keeping old user accounts etc. Whether or not you format your drive, has no effect on anything, as long as you completely re-install the OS.

    Ahh ok I didn't really know that this was the behaviour. But really, what happens is, e.g. I click the "System Prefs" in the dock, and the wait for that to open, and it just doesn't come to front. I have to click the window or choose it by Apple+TAB'ing it).
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Did this behavior begin immediately after re-installing OS X, before you re-installed any of your own software?
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    By erasing the OS, you automatically reformat it. This method won't give you the option to save old user accounts because everything will be removed from the drive (well, not technically, but it will be overwritten).
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    1. If this is related to Mozilla applications not coming to front automatically just after a restart of the application, it's a known problem.

    Since you haven't mentioned it, have you installed a customisation/hack that allows you to theme the GUI? Those can cause all sorts of havoc.
  15. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    Well, it happens rarely, so it's hard to say. But the problem was there both on the original Apple install, and the same behaviour after I did a re-install. I didn't install any "weird" things, I believe.
  16. Simon R. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006

    It is generally ALL applications that stop jumping to front when it happens. I haven't installed anything but the "Application Enhancer". I recently installed ClearDock also, but the problem has always been there, with or without these enhancers. I am running BitRocket - I don't know if that one could be the cause of it.
  17. twanto macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2006
    I had the same problem with programs always starting in the dock and not coming up (I think its the same problem you describe). It was on a Dual G5 machine. Never figured out the problem, then again, that machine always had random crashes and whatnot. Could have been related.
  18. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I had a similar problem a few days ago - When I launched applications, they wouldn't come to the front, and "active" GUI elements (Dock, open menus, etc.) wouldn't redraw themselves unless I actually clicked on them. The dock's icon labels would get stuck on which ever icon I first waved over, and then show no more.

    The solution was pretty easy... I just needed to reset the PRAM/NVRAM, as somehow it had gotten messed up. Just shut down your mac, then turn it on while holding down Command-Option-P-R (if I remember correctly) and hold them down until you hear the startup sound twice. After I did this, things returned to their normal way of functioning.
  19. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    My mac pro sometimes suffers from 1 & 2 as outined in the OP too. :eek:

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