Menu Bar Icons and Clock Disappeared

itinerant

Registered
The menu bar icons and clock have disappeared from the top right corner of my screen. I don't have a recollection of a specific incident that may have caused this, although I had just changed the desktop background image a short while before, and had a number of strange keychain messages pop up while in System Preferences. A lag in my keystroke to response time meant that I missed a couple of these popups, which may have taken attempts to Cancel and Abort any changes as instead an acceptance of something more dire. Eventually, I got out of the system preferences but I did not notice any problems as yet. I put the iBook to sleep. When I woke it up a half hour later, I immediatley noticed the absence of this icons and clock. Any ideas as to the cause, but more importantly, the repair?

I have already done the Disk Utility repair of permissions, and reboot, also tried setting up another admin account. The second admin account also does not display this information. I even repeated installing the comprehensive 10.3.9 update over again, but to no avail. I have found very little on the Web about this problem, but what I have read indicates it may be related to the OS component that displays Menu Items crashing on startup--possibly because of corruption to a preferences file, or files.

Please help.

Thanks,
Scott C.
 

barhar

Registered
Repairing permissions, rebooting, and / or waving a chicken over you Mac are not processes to perform, when icons and / or clocks are no longer visible in the menu bar.

Yes, there is always the possiblity of a corrupt prefernece file now and then; but, then that too is really rare.

You did not provide any specifics as to what you were doing, what applications were running, whether you use 'FileValut' (a 'System Preference'), etc., when the keychain messages appeared. Neither did you record ['Command <shift> 3' or 'Command <shift> 4' snap shots help in times like this] any of the keychain messages. Knowing what the keychain messages displayed may have been helpful.

Unfortunately, a number of 'System Preferences' settings are not made permanent - immediately; but, instead are stored in files located in your Users '~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/' folder. As a result, some settings you make, may not remain set ...

One example comes to mind: There may be times when you will hear sounds as you click about. To resolve such [not having to hear such sounds] will require you to go to 'System Preferences' 'Sound's 'Sound Effects' tab and remove the check mark from the 'Play user interface sound effects' check box. Even if you have done such in the past.

In your case it appears some settings you made previously, had their check marks removed from various 'System Preferences' Utilities. Thus, go to 'System Preferences' and click on each Utility and make the needed changes. Such as to add the 'volume' control to the menu bar - select 'Sound's 'Sound Effects' tab and click on the 'Show volume in menu bar' check box.

To return the 'clock' to your menu bar go to 'System Preferneces' 'Date & Time's 'Clock' tab and place a check mark in the 'Show the date and time' check box.
You may have to add / remove additional check marks while in the 'Clock' panel.

At this point, it is only hopeful that your setting changes will remain in effect, now and in the future.
 

itinerant

Registered
Unfortunately, if it was as simple as merely resetting the System Preferences for individual items and having them reappear, I would not be posting this thread. For example, setting the Date & Time in System Preferences to Show the date and time on the Menu Bar by checking it off does not stick -- once I exit System Preferences, no change on the Menu Bar. If I go back to the Date & Time settings, I see the check box is again 'un checked'. Hence, my 'chicken waving' exercise. I should have mentioned that I had tried resetting these items in my first post.

Now knowing that the System Preference settings are not sticking for Menu Items, what next?
 

barhar

Registered
"Unfortunately, ... For example, setting the Date & Time in System Preferences to Show the date and time on the Menu Bar by checking it off does not stick -- once I exit System Preferences, no change on the Menu Bar. If I go back to the Date & Time settings, I see the check box is again 'un checked'. ... I should have mentioned that I had tried resetting these items in my first post."

Agreed; but, you did not. Therefore, I presented an answer based only on what was provided.

"Hence, my 'chicken waving' exercise."

My 'waving a chicken over your Mac' was intended to be a mild form of humor; nothing more.

"Now knowing that the System Preference settings are not sticking for Menu Items, what next?"

With some changes made to my 'System Preferences' 'Sound' and 'Clock' tab panel check boxes - the following files were either created or modified.
'~/Library/Preferneces/ByHost/com.apple.systemulserver.x.plist',
'~/Library/Preferneces/ByHost/com.apple.systempreferences.x.plist' ... where 'x' is a randomly generated alphanumber set of characters, '~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systemulserver.plist', and '~/Library/Preferneces/com.apple.systempreferences.plist'.

If you have some or all of the above files - where specified then consider doing the following.

01. If 'System Preferences' is running, quit it.
02. Locate the above files and rename them. For example, place a 'z' in front of each file name.

'com.apple.systempreferences.plist' would become 'zcom.apple.systempreferences.plist', and so on.

03. Now, launch 'System Preferences'.
04. Again, make any needed settings changes.
05. Quit 'System Preferences', and see if the changes now remain.
If so, locate, trash, and delete (via 'empty trash' in 'Finder') the files renamed with the 'z' added to them.
 

ex2bot

Registered Bot
It wouldn't hurt for you to Google (or Versiontracker or) a program called Preferential Treatment. It looks for corrupt pref files. I don't know if it works, but . . .

Doug

P.S. What kind of chicken?
 

itinerant

Registered
Perhaps my dry reply re: chicken waving is too arid to come across as my response to humor... in any case, I appreciate the suggestions. I've tried the 'z' prefixing the .plist files, and the rest of the steps... but still no success.
 

itinerant

Registered
I've downloaded and run "Preferential Treatment". It found no problems in any of the .plist files on my system. Thanks for the idea, though.
 

ex2bot

Registered Bot
Okay, what all do you have running? Haxies? Anything and everything out of the ordinary. Check your login items.

As for chicken, I was just playing around too. I've never read that waving a frozen, dead bird above your machine was a valid diagnostic tool.

Doug
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
Any haxies or new programs in the system?
E.g. 4-soght fax makes all my menubar look wicked (white, some icons disappear, sometimes all texts too) when that program is in use for my 10.3 machine.
More often than a normal program, the icons disappearing are for some haxies you have installed in the system. Once an upgrade of the OS X is made, e.g. an update from 10.3.5 when you isntalled a haxie to 10.3.8 is applied, the items in menubar may turn to look incorrect even if they were working fine until then.
So ... when roughly do you think it started to occur? What have you installed since, or jsut before then?
 

djmarc

Registered
dktrickey said:
I've never read that waving a frozen, dead bird above your machine was a valid diagnostic tool.
Maybe a fully living chicken would be more effective..?

::ha::
 

itinerant

Registered
I had installed GraphicConverter (both Carbon and 9.x versions) earlier in the day, and I was busy making space for a schwack of image format conversions by deleting everything I could find that was useless or old in my Downloads folder in Home. I had accidentally deleted part of GraphicConverter (the os 9 version) while it was running from the Downloads folder -- causing OS9 to crash. It restarted OK and I had been continuing my file conversions.

I hadn't been doing anything else of significance. Will have to check the Login Items (not sure where to look, but I can search them out).

I suspect SystemUIServer is crashing on something -- by what I've found in my continuing Googling and Forum reading, but don't know where to look to trace the problem.

Scott
 

itinerant

Registered
I did a search for SystemUIServer and came up with a log file that indicates the crash. Below, I've included the entry from the last time the system tried starting up systemUIServer. Although this crash log informs me there's a problem, I'm still unclear on how to fix it. Ideas welcome. thanks again.

Scott

**********

Host Name: itinerant.local
Date/Time: 2005-06-19 01:24:16 -0700
OS Version: 10.3.9 (Build 7W98)
Report Version: 2

Command: SystemUIServer
Path: /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemUIServer.app/Contents/MacOS/SystemUIServer
Version: ??? (???)
PID: 256
Thread: Unknown

Link (dyld) error:

dyld: /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemUIServer.app/Contents/MacOS/SystemUIServer relocation overflow (local relocation in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/SystemUIPlugin.framework/Versions/A/SystemUIPlugin relocation entry 1 does not fit in 1 byte)
 

ex2bot

Registered Bot
The Login Items are in System Preferences->Accounts. I think they've moved a little in 10.4 which I'm using. But I believe you click on your account and Login Items or Login Options is one of the tabs.

Doug
 

itinerant

Registered
Nothing weird in the login items that I can tell, but to make sure I tried logging out and back in again with all login items disabled, and a second time with a couple scanner applications disabled. No difference. hmmm.. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
 

farleysmaster

Registered
I've had exactly the same problem (but I'm a new mac user, and so don't really understand how to diagnose it)

I do have a bunch of prgrams as login items, but it would be difficult to test them, as this problem is unpredictable...
 

ex2bot

Registered Bot
itinerant, are you still having problems?

Try creating a new user. Then, log in as that user to see if the menu bar is correct. This won't, obviously, solve your problem. But it will narrow it down a bit.

Doug
 

mirrors

Registered
Has anyone found a solution to the problem of the missing Menu Bar Icons and Clock?

My daughter's machine has done the exact same thing. Interestingly enough the only thing she recalls doing proior to it is changing the background.
 

farleysmaster

Registered
My computer's been fine recently. But I don't know if it's because I followed the instructions above, and delted all those com. files, or because I reinstalled a new version of iScrobble.

(edit: oops, sorry, I realise now that my problem was solved on the official mac support boards. I'll dig up the link soon if you don't find it yourself)
 
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