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The Pane System Issues

The pane System Issues is designed to let TinkerTool System fix typical real-life problems with the operating system by a single mouse-click. Most problems listed in this pane could also be resolved by using features found in other panes of TinkerTool System. However, using one of the items of System Issues may be easier because they are highly specialized and target particular problems only:

  1. If technically possible, the item will try to find out if your system is affected by a specific known problem.
  2. The item displays this result on screen without any user interaction necessary.
  3. The user clicks a single button to let TinkerTool System fix the problem automatically.

Locked Volumes

A typical problem experienced by many users of Mac OS X is that disk drives can be locked unexpectedly. This problem appears under special circumstances only. It usually affects cases where the Finder was interrupted in the middle of running a longer operation, e.g. by force-quitting it while copying files or by pulling the data cable of an external hard drive. In this situation, the Finder displays the drive with a lock icon. The user can no longer create or modify files at the top level of the drive, no matter if she has permission to do so or not.

The problem is caused by protection attributes set for the top folder of the drive. It is not caused by any permission settings.

Locked volumes
Locked volumes

TinkerTool System can automatically identify such drives and fix this problem. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the tab item Locked Volumes of the pane System Issues.
  2. Press the button Unlock Locked Volumes.

Note that the button can only be pressed if TinkerTool System has found at least one affected drive currently connected to your system.

If other folders are shown with a lock icon, this will be a problem slightly different from the one outlined here. In this case you should use the feature Files > Protection > Operation: Unprotect of TinkerTool System to remove these locks.

If you are working with third-party file systems that are made available via the software product MacFUSE, and if TinkerTool System is running as a 32-bit application, volumes using those third-party formats will be excluded from this function. This is necessary because there is a known communication problem between Mac OS X and MacFUSE which could cause Mac OS X to stop TinkerTool System whenever it tries to access particular data on these disks.

Hidden Volumes

Another typical problem experienced by many users of Mac OS X is that disk drives can become invisible unexpectedly. This can affect all drives including the system partition. When this happens, the drive is no longer displayed by the Finder. The icons can disappear from the Desktop, the Finder’s sidebar, the Computer folder and other navigation panels to open or save files. Affected drives are still visible in Disk Utility and on the Mac OS X command line, however. No data is lost, just the icons disappear.

Hidden volumes
Hidden volumes

TinkerTool System can automatically identify such drives and fix this problem. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the tab item Hidden Volumes of the pane System Issues.
  2. Press the button Repair Visibility of all Volumes.

Note that the button can only be pressed if TinkerTool System has found at least one affected drive currently connected to your system.

Extension Cache

Installations of Mac OS X can be affected by the problem that the system is starting up significantly slower than usual. At the same time, many error messages that contain the text “Can’t create kext cache” are written to the system log (see the chapter The Pane Info for more information about how to review the system log). This can particularly happen after specific upgrade installations, migration, or restore procedures. The system’s internal cache files which contain precomputed information what kernel extensions (drivers) are needed to startup your computer have been lost, but cannot be rebuilt.

Extensions cache
Extensions cache

The cause of this problem are incorrect permission settings for specific system folders. However, the procedure Reset permissions in TinkerTool System, or Repair Disk Permissions in Apple’s Disk Utility are not capable of resolving this problem. Instead, you can use the following specialized repair procedure:

  1. Open the tab item Extension Cache of the pane System Issues.
  2. Press the button Repair Permissions for Extension Cache.

No restart is necessary. Depending on situation, Mac OS X will either rebuild the lost cache immediately after the repair procedure has been completed, or this will happen just in time during the next system start.

You can only press the button if TinkerTool System has detected that your computer is affected by this particular problem.

Automounter

In professionally managed networks, system administrators usually pre-configure standard connections to file servers and their shares available in the network. This is done by creating special objects which look like empty folders on the client computers. When a user clicks on such a folder, an automatic connection operation is triggered and Mac OS X will connect to the associated share on a specific file server without any other action or any password entry being necessary. The contents of the network share will automatically appear in the formerly empty folder. This “pro” feature is known as network automounting and is based on the UNIX software autofs which is part of Mac OS X.

Automounter
Automounter

When working with Mac OS X, you might notice that automounts may unexpectedly fail, however. When clicking on folders usually triggering the connect operation, the system displays the (wrong) error message that the clicked object does not exist. All applications using alias objects of the classic Mac OS can be affected by this problem. TinkerTool System can help here, trying to trigger the affected automounts by other means. To repair a failing automount in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the tab item Automounter of the pane System Issues.
  2. In the table of known automount entries, select the automounts you like to become active.
  3. Press the button Trigger selected network mounts.

If no automounts are defined in your network, the table will remain empty.