Why am I seeing this?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rtranter, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. rtranter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2014
    Recently my Macbook Pro has started to do this:
    Kinda scary looking.

    What the hell is going on?
    It seems like my system font is malfunctioning or glitching or something, but it's only been glitching like that once in a while before functioning normally again, so it confuses me why this is happening.

    I've also been getting an error lately that says this:
    "/System/Library/Extensions/Apple USB Ethernet Host.kext was installed improperly and cannot be used. Please try reinstalling"

    (Doesn't seem like it should be related, but I felt it was worth mentioning anyway)
  2. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Sounds a lot like filesystem corruption to me. It happens (although rarely). Could be an early sign of disk failure too. Time will tell in that case.

    Make sure you have a recent backup, and then run Disk Utility and do a repair on permissions first, then on disk. (The latter will require you to boot from Recovery Partition, or from the OS X Install DVD.)
  3. rtranter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2014
    that's sort of what i was afraid you'd say. it's a mid-2009 macbook pro so it seems like it's getting to be that time.. :(

    gonna try a disk repair anyway though. thanks for your help!
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
  5. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    This. If you have been mucking with fonts this is often the result. Some software you installed could have clobbered a font as well.

    Do some searching on OS X and fonts, you will find something. I personally haven't come across this since 10.5.
  6. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    This is almost definitely a system font problem.

    Can you make a new user account and see if the problem persists (you could narrow it down to your own user Library this way), and if it does then it's a problem with the font in the main global Library.

    The other thing is to check your localisation settings - something might have gone awry here.

    Did you use any software that claims to help you recover space on your hard drive that removes installed printers/extra languages etc? You might have deleted a system font you were relying on due to a setting that the software might not expect a typical user to be using. (UK English vs US English, for example)
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Open Font Book app then select a font and command-a to select all. Then in the File menu click validate fonts and see if that turns up anything. Then also in the same menu click restore standard fonts.
  8. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    How do you spawn the popup? Does it popup by itself without interaction, or are you clicking something?
    Does the mentioned issue affect only that popup, or also other popups/menus/windows system wide?
    What are you doing in order to bring back the normal font?
  9. rtranter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2014
    the first time it happened was when i was installing fonts a prof gave me for school use (lots). it initially affected a finder window titlebar and the user/pw prompt shown above, which made me think i deleted or overwrote a system font. but when the error cleared itself up a minute or two later it seemed coincidental.

    the fonts being copied/duplicated would've been the same as my own, and with identical paths, if they were being overwritten, so the only way i see that being the issue is if the font was somehow corrupted in being copied to overwrite another system font.

    since the titlebar corrected itself within the first few minutes, the user/pw verification asking for admin access to install/delete something (above) is the only thing still affected, at least that i'm seeing, and only happens once in a while, not every time (i think), and not when waking it from sleep mode, even though that window looks identical to the window requesting admin info.


    i just read this and other responses.
    i think i'll just grab backup from time machine and replace system fonts. hopefully that'll do it.

    thanks everyone for your help :) macrumors is so friendly!
  10. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    Your issue is probably due to the font cache. Assuming you have an OS that ranges between 10.6 and 10.8, here are the steps you should take:
    - close all your apps
    - open the Finder, browse in applications and find the folder named Utilities: open Terminal
    - paste this string
    sudo atsutil databases -remove
    Hit enter.
    You will be asked to insert your admin password. Type it, and hit enter again.
    Restart your computer.
  11. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I cant imagine any benefit to be gained by that gift of fonts to you, I would be wary of any similar offer in future.
  12. whirldy macrumors regular


    Dec 20, 2011

    "IF" it's disk failure, the Pros are very easy to swap out the hard drive, and restore from Time Machine.
  13. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you suspect font caches are causing problems, you can clean them out with a small and free utility called "Yasu".

    Just open it, and you will see the options to
    - Clear system font cache
    - Clear local font cache
    - Clear user font cache

    Put checkmarks in them, click ok, enter password when required, set the "when finished" popup to either "Restart" or "Shutdown", and let it go to work.

    BTW, Yasu is very handy for running all the routine system maintenance tasks at once.

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