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Sudden Odd and Disconcerting Behavior in Mini

 
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LittleBigGuy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Sudden Odd and Disconcerting Behavior in Mini Reply with quote

Hello everyone. First I want to say thanks for all the quality info you have provided. You helped me to make the decision to buy a Mini. I have had it for over two months now and except for a couple of power outages it has been on and running like a trooper Very Happy .

However there is an odd problem. Actually two that may or may not be related. First, I noticed that when the mini is asleep it tries to wake up every 10 to 20 minutes even though I am not moving the mouse or doing anything that could be construed as requesting that the computer wakes up. Second, it appears that my Mac Help for OSX has disappeared from my system. When I access help under finder all I get is an empty window and when I use the Library pull-down menu I get the first page (correct term?) but the links don't work. I used spotlight to check for Mac Help and only found the one for Classic 9.

I just read a thread started by another switcher (l used a dell for three horrific years) and he (she? Sorry my friend, I forget) mentioned concerns about a hacker. I understand that the root account is off by default, but I am not sure how to check to find out if it has been turned on or accessed in some fashion.

One other note, I just bought a used keyboard. It was copyrighted 2000 and the volume up, mute and eject keys as well as the right arrow don't work. Otherwise it appears to be funtioning nominally. The USB plug had a key slot on one side (which was confusing at first). I mention it because it is the only hardware changes I made, giving up on the keyboard from my dell.

I hope I have given enough information for one (or more) of you kind members to give me advice on how to proceed or how to find out what is going on.

TIA Very Happy
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you have a ghost in your house Smile
It seems very strange what is happening.

I would contact Apple support. Your mini is still under warranty.

My guess is the simplest fix is to re-install of the OS. (I'm so used to that being the Windows solution.) And see if your issues go away. I'm sure the help menu issue will be resolved. The mini waking up issue is probably a hardware conflict. What type of mouse and keyboard are you using.
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go here for the help file issue (scroll down). As for the keyboard the multimdia keys may not work without drivers (the vol. eject keys) as for the arrow key, it should work. If possible try it on another computer, you may need a new one or live without the arrow.

The mini waking up could have something to do with the keyboard, outside shot, but possible. Unplug the keyboard and mouse and let it go to sleep to rule them out.

To check if root is enabled go to /Applications/Utilites/Netinfo Manger. On the menu bar go to Security and you will see either Enable Root User or Disable Root User as the last item on the menu. It will be grayed out unless you authenticate. If it is Enable Root User the root account is not active and all is good. If you see Disable Root User the root account is active and you should de-activate immediatly. To disable root Authenticate using the Authenticate in the Security menu or the lock icon in the bottom left hand corner and then click on Disable Root User in the Security menu.

Bandit Bill wrote:
My guess is the simplest fix is to re-install of the OS.

That is always the last resort, ask here or Google it first.

I forgot to add that if you suspect someone has changed the status of the root user or it was changed you my have been compromised by a rootkit. Go here for a scan tool.


Last edited by homerjatmoes on Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Susurrus
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'd say you have a ghost in your house Smile


I think Ghost in the Shell works better here, Laughing.

Also, for the waking up part, it could be the keyboard. Some keyboard probe hte computer every so often and can wake them up. Either me or someone I knew had a problem similar to this. Otherwise, it could also be the wake on LAN or wake on modem ring. These options are under Energy Saver->Options.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

homerjatmoes wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
My guess is the simplest fix is to re-install of the OS.

That is always the last resort


I'm not slagging your advice. It's great advice. Much better than mine for this circumstance.


However, why is re-installing the OS always the last resort. If it's the simplest method to solve a problem. I would choose the simplest method. It may not identify the problem, or prevent it from re-occuring, but those are separate issues.

When I first get a computer I usually load a lot of stuff, play around with settings etc. with the full intention of doing a full restore when I'm done fooling around. That's much easier than fixing what I broke.

Same with labs etc. Why bother to fix them thing when it's easier to wipe everything out and re-image the drive?
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'm not slagging your advice. It's great advice. Much better than mine for this circumstance.


However, why is re-installing the OS always the last resort. If it's the simplest method to solve a problem. I would choose the simplest method. It may not identify the problem, or prevent it from re-occuring, but those are separate issues.

When I first get a computer I usually load a lot of stuff, play around with settings etc. with the full intention of doing a full restore when I'm done fooling around. That's much easier than fixing what I broke.

Same with labs etc. Why bother to fix them thing when it's easier to wipe everything out and re-image the drive?

I'll take the last part first. Most computer labs have images with the OS and all applications, the lab computers are usually in a domain environment so there are no documents stored locally so there is no concern for loss of data. Most home computer users do not have this ability. You are comparing Apples to oranges. (pun intended)

Why is it the last resort?
  • There is a great risk of data loss.
  • 999 times out of 1000 the fix is simple and faster than re-installing the OS.
  • You don't scare off new users, they just get a Mac and someone is saying the only way to fix it is to re-install the OS. If for every problem I read about the only solution is to re-install the OS, I would think twice about getting that brand of computer.
  • Nothing is learned, therefore nothing is gained
  • Reloading an OS won't fix hardware problems.
  • Re-installing takes a good bit of time.

To me arbitrarily re-installing the OS is like cuttting of your hand to get rid of a hangnail, the hangnail is gone but the cure is a bit extreme.

It took my a little while to research LittleBigGuy's problem but in the end I learned a few things and hopefully saved him some time and aggravation.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did learn from your post as well. I actually got a little confused about the root settings though. I went there to make sure my system was set properly. Enable root user is grayed out in the drop down menu. (Prior to selecting authenticate) So I assume it is not enabled and that's what I want.
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes thats what you want. You can see that if it is enabled/disabled even when grayed out. I re-read it and I am going to make some changes to try to make it clearer.

Thanks for the input.
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LittleBigGuy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone.

Sorry I have taken so long to update you all. Thanks for the info.

Bandit bill: The exorcist insists that my room isn't haunted, so I ruled that out straight away.

Turns out that the waking up thing was caused by the keyboard that I had purchased. I unplugged the keyboard and no more problems occurred.

The missing help menu turned out to be a permissions problem. I thought that the ratty keyboard was shorted and signaling for Tiger to open the help menu so Tiger shut it down, but then someone else appears to be having the same problem so I am not sure what caused it.

I haven't needed the help menu. I can find solutions and advice here and a few other places so I am not likely to "fix" the help problem anytime soon.

Again, thanks for your help

LittleBigGuy
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