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drpj
drpj, Mac Genius
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Experience:  Providing Mac support in universities since 1984
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I use a iMac with Mac OX 10.5.7 Leopard (Intel). Since of late

Customer Question

I use a iMac with Mac OX 10.5.7 Leopard (Intel). Since of late the the items in the help menus in iCal and other Mac native programs are frozen. Can you please let me know how I can unfreeze them. Many thanks. Chandi

Optional Information:
Computer OS: Mac OS X
Browser: Other

Already Tried:
Switching off and restarting the computer Customer(Online) -- 0 Accepts / 1 Question Deposit Made!
0 Answers Accepted
Status: Awaiting Expert Reply   Value: $18
Info Request
July 31 2009 at 7:58 PM (4 minutes and 22 seconds later)
          What is this?
Hi there,

Can you please clarify what you mean when you say that the items in the menus are frozen? What happens when you open the Help menu or select an item in the menu? Do you get the spinning rainbow?

Brandon

If my answer has helped you, please Accept so that I may get paid for my efforts.
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BeBoo (Offline) -- Mac Support Specialist -- 98% Positive Feedback on 147 Mac Accepts
10+ Years Mac Support
Your Reply
July 31 2009 at 8:03 PM (4 minutes and 28 seconds later)
       
Hello Brandon,

For example the iCal help screen comes up but when I try to access the items in blue lettered items eg "Creating and working with calenders", nothing happens. Customer(Online) -- 0 Accepts / 1 Question Deposit Made!
Answer
July 31 2009 at 8:08 PM (4 minutes and 52 seconds later)
          What should I do?
Let's try to trash your help preferences. In the Finder, please use the Go menu and choose Home. Open the Library folder, then Preferences. Find a file named "com.apple.help.plist" and delete it. Restart your computer and try to recreate the help issue.

Brandon

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Positive feedback and bonuses are greatly appreciated!
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BeBoo (Offline) -- Mac Support Specialist -- 98% Positive Feedback on 147 Mac Accepts
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Your Reply
July 31 2009 at 8:20 PM (12 minutes and 43 seconds later)
       
When I go to the GO menu in finder and choose Home I do not see the file "com.apple.help.plist" I tried searching for this file in Spotlight without success. Please help me.

Edited byCustomeron July 31 2009 at 8:45 PM Customer(Online) -- 0 Accepts / 1 Question Deposit Made!
Answer
July 31 2009 at 8:46 PM (26 minutes and 1 second later)
          What should I do?
After you choose Home from the go menu, you need to look for the Library folder. Open it and look for a Preferences folder. Open that and look for com.apple.help.plist in here. Once you find it, delete it.

If my answer has helped you, please Accept so that I may get paid for my efforts.
Positive feedback and bonuses are greatly appreciated!
Please reply to this thread before leaving negative feedback.
BeBoo (Offline) -- Mac Support Specialist -- 98% Positive Feedback on 147 Mac Accepts
10+ Years Mac Support

Your Reply
July 31 2009 at 9:00 PM (13 minutes and 43 seconds later)
       
I finally identified the file "com.apple.help.plist" and put it in the thrash can to delete it but the problem remains. Customer(Online) -- 0 Accepts / 1 Question Deposit Made!
Answer
July 31 2009 at 9:12 PM (12 minutes and 24 seconds later)
          What should I do?
Sorry, I forgot a few files.

1. Quit Help Viewer if it is open. Leopard users should click the red Close button in the upper-left corner of the Help Viewer window. Users of Tiger and earlier can press the Command-Q (Quit) keyboard shortcut.
2. Trash the following three files in your Home > Library > Preferences folder, if extant:

com.apple.help.plist
com.apple.helpui.plist
com.apple.helpviewer.plist

3. Trash the following two folders in your Home > Library > Caches folder, if extant:

com.apple.helpui folder
com.apple.helpdata

4. Empty the Trash.
5. Test that Help Viewer is now operating normally.

If my answer has helped you, please Accept so that I may get paid for my efforts.
Positive feedback and bonuses are greatly appreciated!
Please reply to this thread before leaving negative feedback.
BeBoo (Offline) -- Mac Support Specialist -- 98% Positive Feedback on 147 Mac Accepts
10+ Years Mac Support

Your Reply
July 31 2009 at 10:17 PM (1 hour and 4 minutes and 2 seconds later)
       
I thrashed the files and folders that you identified and emptied the trash can, but the problem continues. Customer(Online) -- 0 Accepts / 1 Question Deposit Made!
Info Request
July 31 2009 at 11:10 PM (53 minutes and 35 seconds later)
          What is this?
I'm out of ideas, sorry. I will opt out so another expert can assist you.

Brandon
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  drpj replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

I have a few ideas that Brandon didn't suggest.

First I'd always run Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder in the Applications Folder) and repair permissions on the startup drive.

The help files are located in each application's "hidden folder." That is, each application on a Mac is really a special folder that shows up as a single file. Actually it's a folder with lots of files inside, including help files in many languages. That being the case, since help doesn't work on several applications, the problem would seem to be in the Help system itself.

The next thing I'd try is to see if the help system works as it should in a different account. You can create another account, if you have only one on your system, by opening "System Preferences" (in the Apple Menu) and then clicking Accounts. Once you've created this account log out and log into the newly created account and try help. Let me know how you make out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for that. The help menu works in the new account but it does not work in the first account.
Expert:  drpj replied 5 years ago.
OK. The problem seems, then, to be limited to your account which means it is something in your home directory. The most likely suspects are the com.apple.help.plist and com.apple.helpviewer.plist which are located in the Preferences folder in the Library folder of your home folder. I see you already tried deleting these files without success. I'll have to do some more research and get back to you. You did repair permissions using Disk Utility, right? And can your account on the Mac able to Administer the Mac? this information will help me.

drpj
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. I do not understand what is meant by, "You did repair   using Disk Utility?" I am logged in as the administrator. What I find is though I thrash the folders com.apple.help.plist and com.apple.helpviewer.plist, by sending them to to thrash and emptying the thrash can, when I go back to Home, Library, caches, they are still there in the caches folder!! Is there a more effective way to delete these folders?
Expert:  drpj replied 5 years ago.
Did you open Disk Utility in the Utility Folder which is in the Applications folder and then click the "Repair Permissions" button?

These files will reappear when you open Help again. If they are reappearing and you are NOT opening help, then that indicates a problem. Here's a more sure way to delete the files. You will have to enter some text commands in the terminal program. Here's what to do.

Open the terminal program which is in utilities in Applications.
type "cd Library/caches" and press return.
type "rm com.apple.help*" and press return.
If deleting them is successful, then you won't get any message. the system prompt will just come up. If you do get a message, copy it and send it to me.

You can also open the Console program (also in the utilities folder) and see if any messages are created when you try to access a help topic. Copy these messages and send them to me.

drpj
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have tried your instructions but the problem remains. The messages created in the Console program are as follows: 3/08/09 8:11:42 PM Disk Utility[1410] Permissions differ on "Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin/Contents/Resources/tr.lproj/Localized.rsrc", should be -rw-rw-r-- , they are -rw-r--r-- .

3/08/09 8:11:42 PM Disk Utility[1410] Permissions differ on "Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin/Contents/Resources/tr.lproj", should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x .

3/08/09 8:11:43 PM Disk Utility[1410]

3/08/09 8:11:43 PM Disk Utility[1410] Permissions repair complete

3/08/09 8:11:43 PM Disk Utility[1410]

3/08/09 8:11:43 PM Disk Utility[1410]


3/08/09 10:47:37 PM com.apple.launchd[372] (0x10fe50.Locum[1519]) Exited: Terminated
3/08/09 10:47:50 PM com.apple.launchd[372] (0x10fec0.Locum[1520]) Exited: Terminated
Expert:  drpj replied 5 years ago.
I've come across and slight variation on what we've tried that works for some people. Try renaming the com.apple.helpui folder in your Library:Caches folder, instead of deleting it. Just add "old" to the existing name. Then open help and see if it works.'

Also, did you restart after deleting the following files some time ago?

com.apple.help.plist
com.apple.helpui.plist
com.apple.helpviewer.plist
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am really sorry drpj. Despite my following your instructions to the letter, the problem remains. Where do I go from here?
Expert:  drpj replied 5 years ago.
Darn! Well, I'm going to have to dig deeper in to the OS to help and that will take a day or two, as I'm on the road (quite literally... writing this at a rest stop on I95 in South Carolina.)
<br />
<br />When you try to access a help item and look at the console messages, are you looking at "All messages?" Also, look for any log files in the Console program that look like they may have something to do with the Help System.
<br />
<br />I'll get back to you when I have another suggestion. Until then, I'm going to Opt Out so that another expert can give it a shot.
<br />
<br />Sorry to disappoint you.
<br />
<br />drpj

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