A mys­te­ri­ous blank patch on my screen

Mac Format - - APPLETALK -

I moved house re­cently, and while set­ting my Mac up I hadn’t put the Thun­der­bolt cable for the sec­ond screen in se­curely. It slipped out, and when put back in there was a large black win­dow across most of the two screens. If I have open ap­pli­ca­tions in front of the black area, they’re fine un­less I click on the black win­dow. Then they dis­ap­pear be­hind it. I’ve tried Force Quit, but only the other open apps ap­pear in the list.

A par­tial work­around is to shut down with ‘Re­open win­dows on restart’ unchecked. How­ever, the next time I shut down with ‘Re­open win­dows on restart’ checked, it reap­pears. Any help? Steve Map­stone Well… this is a weird one. Black rec­tan­gles on the screen can some­times mean faulty RAM, and dur­ing a house move it’s common for RAM mod­ules to come loose. But if the RAM were loose or faulty then you’d have a per­ma­nently dead area on the screen, not one that you can slide ap­pli­ca­tions over.

Just be­cause you don’t see an ap­pli­ca­tion in the Force Quit list that ap­pears when you hit ç+å+oe doesn’t mean you don’t have some­thing run­ning. Try open­ing Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor and use the X icon in the top-left to close each process that shows your lo­gin name in the ‘User’ col­umn. If the black rec­tan­gle dis­ap­pears at any point then you have a buggy app that’s dis­play­ing a blank win­dow some­how.

I think it’s more likely that the saved win­dow state has got cor­rupted. This will have been com­pletely un­re­lated to your loose cable – that was a co­in­ci­dence. Delet­ing ~/Li­brary/Pref­er­ences/com.ap­ple. login­win­dow.plist and restart­ing ought to be enough to cure this. If for some rea­son it isn’t, then you may have to es­ca­late to a full re­in­stall. Back up your data and doc­u­ments, and do a clean re­in­stall from the Re­cov­ery par­ti­tion. Don’t re­store your en­tire disk di­rectly from Time Ma­chine, be­cause you risk restor­ing which­ever cor­rupted pref­er­ence file is re­spon­si­ble. Re­store apps one at a time or down­load them afresh, to be on the safe side.

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