Dashboard opens Safari with bad URL

doughboy74

Registered
My parents Mac has a strange thing happening. They are currently running 10.5.8 on a PowerBook G4 (still running) but every time they open DashBoard for quick access to their widgets, a Safari window pops-up with a
'r1rk9np7bpcsfoeekl0khkd2juj27q3o-a-fc-opensocial.googleusercontent.com' URL.

If you close DashBoard, then start it again, it opens another Safari window with the junk URL. Is this sometime of malware or how can I get rid of it?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Do your parents typically use a particular widget? I am not asking about any particular one, but it could be one that is used for online chat, for example. The clue may be the "opensocial" part of that URL. "googleusercontent" is also a hosting site that appears to be commonly associated with malware.
What you might have, is a widget that, for one reason or another, no longer connects to its service, and the popup window is just an error response.
Here's what I would do (which reset of the Dashboard)
Open the home folder Library, then Preferences. Find and move to trash:
com.apple.dashboard.plist
com.apple.dashboard.client.plist
also, all files beginning with widget-com (example - widget-com.apple.widget.calendar.plist)

Empty the trash, then restart the Mac. Open Dashboard. Dashboard widgets will go to defaults, and should clear up the weird URL link.
 

doughboy74

Registered
Here's what I would do (which reset of the Dashboard)
Open the home folder Library, then Preferences. Find and move to trash:
com.apple.dashboard.plist
com.apple.dashboard.client.plist
also, all files beginning with widget-com (example - widget-com.apple.widget.calendar.plist)

Empty the trash, then restart the Mac. Open Dashboard. Dashboard widgets will go to defaults, and should clear up the weird URL link.
Perfect! This reset dashboard. I wish there was a simpler way to do it but selecting and deleting files did the trick...

Thanks!
 

DeltaMac

Tech
The simpler way to clear the error, would be to remove the widget that is throwing out the error.
However, how do you know which one was doing that? It will attempt to load (and throw out the error) simply by opening the dashboard.
There would be a lot of trial-and-error to find out which widget, and clear that off.
The quicker way is to just reset the dashboard, and take it back to original defaults, which is why I went to those files first.

Glad the Mac is working OK again... :D
 
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