Mac OS X Boots But Upper Menu is Missing

Discussion in 'Apple' started by KC, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. KC

    KC Guest

    Hi

    I am running OS X ver 10.2.8. All was well until a couple of days ago, when
    the Mac booted fine, but there was no "blue apple" in the upper left corner
    of the screen, nor were any of the menus appearing at the top of the screen.
    The only thing showing was the clock in the upper right corner.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the apple icon and menus back? I
    tried Disk Warrior. That didn't help.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
     
    KC, Jan 24, 2004
    #1
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  2. I have had this happen, too.
    Tried running Disk Utility's "repair disk" and "repair permissions"
    while booted from the install cd. That used to fix it for the next 2 to
    3 reboots and then it started happening all over again.

    After removing any 3rd party stuff like Default Folder and Ittec to no
    avail I gave up and reinstalled the system from scratch. That of course
    "fixed" it - what a drag.

    However I didn't try to create a new user account so that might be
    something worth trying.

    Sorry, maybe someone else has a better solution.

    Cheers Martin
     
    Martin Sammtleben, Jan 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. KC

    James Meiss Guest

    Have you tried starting up in "Safe mode"?
    To do this hold down the shift key on startup.

    This will prevent any strange extensions an startup stuff from
    launching. If this fixes your problem, then you'll have to find which
    extension has messed things up. Did you install anything new?

    Other possible things to do:

    Startup in single user mode (Command S on startup). Type
    "/sbin/fsck -y" to do a disk check, then "reboot" to startup again

    Reset the parameter ram (Comand-option-P-R on startup).

    Reinstall the OS :-(. Use the "archive and install" method to save all
    your old settings.
     
    James Meiss, Jan 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Sounds like one of the menulets is causing problems or Finder is
    refusing to launch.
    If the usual fixes -- safe boot, permissions fix, etc -- don't help, the
    best solution is just to reinstall your system. A problem like this
    would take weeks to hash out through back-and-forth on Usenet.
     
    Neill Massello, Jan 25, 2004
    #4
  5. KC

    KC Guest

    Thanks all for the suggestions. I will give them a try, and if no luck just
    reinstall the system as many of you suggested.

    What's strange is that there isn't too much on this particular machine:
    Office, Toast, and that's about it.
     
    KC, Jan 25, 2004
    #5
  6. KC

    KC Guest

    One other question on this. Could it be that with OS X I am pushing this Mac
    beyond its limits, and would be better off running OS 9.2?

    It is a Beige G3 desktop with 384 mb of ram, 40 mb hard drive partitioned
    into an 8 mb partition for OS X, 6 mb for OS 9.2, and the balance a third
    partition for data. It rand OS X fine for 6 months, then started having
    problems (wouldn't boot). Had to do a system restore for that one last
    month. What's strange is no additional software was installed between June
    when it OS X was first installed, and December when it started having
    problems.

    I'm going to give OS X a shot with the suggestions given, but if any of you
    have had experiences with OS X on an older computer like this one, and have
    found it is not a good way to go please let me know.

    Thanks
     
    KC, Jan 25, 2004
    #6
  7. KC

    G.T. Guest

    Have you read the scripts in /etc/periodic? If so, can you please explain
    to me exactly how each one will keep a system from gradually bogging down?

    If there's not a clear and obvious problem with an application erroring or
    timing out because of incorrect permissions then Repair Disk Permissions is
    not going to do anything for him. Why do people continue to pass around
    this folklore?

    Curious,
    Greg
     
    G.T., Jan 27, 2004
    #7
  8. KC

    KC Guest

    Thanks for the help. I use a Mac at work, it is left on 24/7 so I can have
    access to it from home, and I haven't had any problems with it. So maybe
    these maintenance routines that it runs are the problem with the G3. The
    work computer is a G4, however - I don't know if that makes a difference..

    I am willing to try the Macaroni utility you mentioned. My parents have the
    G3. There isn't much on it besides Internet Explorer, and some MS Office
    programs. It's mostly used for word processing, internet browsing, and
    email. They are pretty much computer novices, but either they are doing
    something wrong, or the Mac has serious problems. It ran fine from May 2003
    when I first gave it to them through November . But in December they had an
    episode where the Mac would no longer boot into OS X, but could still boot
    into 9. I reinstalled the OS X system, and all was well. Then this month the
    modem script "disappeared", so they could no longer dial-out to their ISP. I
    can't imagine them drilling down to the exact script and deleting it, but
    somehow it was gone. A couple of days later, the OS X menu disappeared.
    Ended up doing another reinstall of the system.

    So I figure if there was some maintenance that was being missed due the Mac
    not running for long periods of time, perhaps the Macaroni software will
    help. It's worth a shot, especially since I am nearly 500 miles away and
    can't easily get to the G3 to see exactly what's going on.. Thanks for the
    suggestion.
     
    KC, Jan 27, 2004
    #8
  9. KC

    G.T. Guest

    Believe me, you don't have to run repair permissions weekly. It's not
    freakin' magic, it's to fix something that is clearly broken, it's not an
    optimizing tool. If something stops working after you've changed
    permissions or after you've installed something, then, by all means, run
    repair disk permissions.

    If your log files are too big and you don't want to rotate them yourselves,
    than run the periodic scripts. If you want to update locate, then run the
    scripts.
    Yes. Apple included /etc/periodic for housekeeping reasons. Apple
    included Repair Disk Permissions to put permissions back to the default
    after users or software with poorly configured installers break the
    permissions. Neither of these features were created to increase system
    performance.

    Please don't pass along folklore in a public forum.

    Greg
     
    G.T., Jan 27, 2004
    #9
  10. KC

    Eric B. Guest

    Did you resolve the "no menu" issue yet?

    If not, here is my 2 cents...
    I have seen this issue before, and almost 80% of the time, the problem is a
    bad preference file in ~/Library/Preferences/ (the library folder inside
    you home directory). Usually, the finder preference has been damaged, and
    so the finder won't load. If you boot to this stage, look at the finder's
    icon in the dock. If there is no triangle underneath the icon, the finder
    is not loading. There are 2 was to resolve this. The easiest is to boot
    from another drive or OS (boot from external firewire, or the OS 9 install
    on same drive) and navigate to the preferences folder above, and try
    deleting the finder preference file (usually com.apple.finder.plist). You
    can boot into single user mode to delete the file, but if you don't know
    what you are doing in single user mode, I don't recommend it.

    This should fix the problem.

    Eric
     
    Eric B., Jan 28, 2004
    #10
  11. KC

    Eric B Guest

    Did my last post work?
     
    Eric B, Jan 28, 2004
    #11
  12. KC

    KC Guest

    Eric

    I ended up reinstalling the system. I had given the Mac to my parents, and
    they are nearly 500 miles away. I was doing all this trouble shooting by
    remote control, relaying instructions to them on what to do. It finally got
    easier to guide them through a reinstall of OS X. I did gather a lot of good
    tips from this thread, and plan to keep them handy in case this happens
    again.

    At this point I'm about ready to give them an old PC we have laying around
    and take the Mac back for myself. Not because I think the PC will be any
    more reliable than the Mac, but because I have Drive Image, a disk imaging
    software for the PC. If they got in major trouble, I could just have them
    restore an image of a working system and be back in business in 15 minutes.

    Perhaps there is a way to create an image of a Mac's hard drive. If anyone
    knows how to create images on the Mac, and then how to restore them, I'd
    appreciate if they would share how to do it.
     
    KC, Jan 29, 2004
    #12
  13. KC

    G.T. Guest

    Carbon Copy Cloner, www.bombich.com, for a cheap donation. Or you can use
    the same tools it uses for free. I just use ditto with perfect success
    cloning and restoring, although I think CCC has moved onto using psync or a
    similar utility to do it's cloning.

    Greg
     
    G.T., Jan 29, 2004
    #13
  14. a bad preference file in ~/Library/Preferences/ (the library folder inside
    you home directory). Usually, the finder preference has been damaged, and
    so the finder won't load. If you boot to this stage, look at the finder's
    icon in the dock. If there is no triangle underneath the icon, the finder
    is not loading. There are 2 was to resolve this. The easiest is to boot
    from another drive or OS (boot from external firewire, or the OS 9 install
    on same drive) and navigate to the preferences folder above, and try
    deleting the finder preference file (usually com.apple.finder.plist). You
    can boot into single user mode to delete the file, but if you don't know
    what you are doing in single user mode, I don't recommend it.
    I had the same problem and solved it the same way -- killing the finder
    pref. If you take a look at the crash log you can see where the start up
    stalls and in my case it always stopped with the finder pref, kill the pref
    and things are running just like new.
     
    Carsten Schmidt, Feb 1, 2004
    #14
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