View Full Version : WTF has been done here?

12-08-2009, 07:36 PM
K so basically this has happened to me...

Running OSX 10.5.8 on...

Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook5,2
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

And two of my housemates got hold of my computer when I wasn't in.

They changed the usual boring settings (turned trackpad speed down to v. slow, disabled right click etc) but since this has happened, and only since, I've encountered several other problems for which I really can't find a cause.

Firstly, and I've seen instances of this problem before but not on my machine, Firefox will not open. It's the only application that does it and I get no error message or anything. The icon bounces in the dock then stops. After a few seconds I right click and I do not get the option to close it so I can only assume there is no instance of it running yet is is not opening.

As well as this, everything I had saved to my Desktop (two folders, a few files) have disappeared, but are still accessible by navigating to the Desktop folder in Finder. I cannot drag and drop anything to the Desktop, and if I try to save anything there it only appears in the directory and not on the actual Desktop. Also, I cannot create a new folder on the Desktop, receiving error code 5058 (unexpected error).

Another problem, and this seemed very strange to me, was that when opening some applications (MS Word for Mac, Full Tilt Poker client and others) I got the message telling me I had downloaded this application from the Internet, had not opened it before and did I want to continue.... even though I had clearly used all those applications several hundred times previously.

There also seems to be a problem with Installer... on account of it doesn't seem to exist on my machine anymore. I have downloaded two mpkg files since this has happened and both of them have not been recognised by the system and I had no application able to open them (I ended up using Pacifist BTW). Obviously that is a workaround, but I just don't understand why it happened.

After reading all that back it seems blindingly obvious that I am just dumping these problems on anyone unlucky enough to read the thread. But it's just so incredibly frustrating having so many little things go wrong, all at the same time, and have no idea how or why?
FWIW the housemates who did this are unreachable as of now so asking/forcing/torturing them into fixing this or telling me what they did is out of the question for now.

From one very, very confused Mac user...

...anyone? WTF?

12-08-2009, 09:17 PM
Well, Mr. very confused - I think a good next step here, because you really don't have any way to know everything that your 'buds' did - you should find your restore DVD set (the grey disks that came with the system), and boot to disk #1, so you can reinstall, using the option to Archive & Install. The first couple of screens will also give you a choice to restore from your Time Machine backup. You do have a backup, don't you?

The other possibility is that some of your symptoms can happen if your hard drive gets very full. It can reset your user to defaults, which might explain why so many apps think they are brand-new.

12-08-2009, 10:28 PM
I'm not even sure an archive and install is correct - if it were me I'd back up my essential documents by hand and do an erase-install. in the long run it will be easier than trying to ferret out whatever crap your good friends did to your machine.


don't use your admin account for daily use; create a user account, and use the admin account only when you need to
lock your computer (screen or login) when other people have access to it
give your friends their own separate non-admin accounts (or use guest accounts) if they need access to your machine.

being nice and being stupid are not mutually exclusive, so no matter how nice your friends are, don't let their stupid urges give you headaches.

12-09-2009, 10:39 AM
I'd also consider physically locking up your computer in the future when you're not there--physical access trumps most normal security precautions if your 'friends' have any know-how.


Hal Itosis
12-09-2009, 02:29 PM
Set an EFI password -- not to mention the basic login/account password (of which i see no mention btw), and then set the security-mode to "command" (so they can't boot into single-user mode [or target-disk mode] without doing some serious work first).