10.6.8 & Finder crashing after Parallels 6 opened

The other morning my iMac got locked out, with the trackpad being unresponsive, the Finder behaving strangely, and I couldn’t Force Quit. This was a pretty unusual event, but I had noticed the Magic Trackpad playing up ever since I updated to the official 10.6.8 release the other day, so I held down the Power button on the back and rebooted the compter.

Everything progressed as normal, except my Finder screen showed up for a second or two, and just as it was about to draw the menu or desktop icons, a grey blue screen flashed and the start up counter appeared in the middle of the screen, and then it’d flash again and the same process would repeat in an endless cycle. It was then I realised this wasn’t any normal event.

I thought back as to what I had been doing, just before this happened and I had double clicked a downloaded Windows file and Parallels 6 had kicked in to open it. As the iMac was dead, I fired up the MacBook and sure enough after a quick google there was a few other people that had a problem using Parallels 6, but unlike the workaround example, I couldn’t get to a stable screen to carry this out, or see any external drives.

I was stuck until I realised I had other user accounts on the iMac boot drive, so I logged into another one which had admin rights, and the iMac booted up OK. I started to troll through the affected user, but there was a permissions issue with the folders I wanted to look at. No problems there as you just Get Info on that highlighted folder and change the permissions, and then they’ll open. I was trying to get into the Users/MikeCrane/Library/Preferences folder to look at the plist files for the Dock, as had been suggested for the Parallels 6 workarounds on Google, and eventually I did, so I trashed them.

A quick Logout and Login and the Finder almost got there, but again, as it was going to draw the Menu and Desktop icons it fell over again, and returned to the Login screen. I typed in my password and the cycle would repeat, so this User was still affected...grrrr!

My problem just wasn’t the same as the other folks, so I decided a new course of action was needed, so instead of doing what everybody was suggesting I would look at the time stamps, as I knew it was after 06:00 yesterday I was locked out. I went back into the Users/MikeCrane/Library/Preferences folder and arranged the files by date, and sure enough there was about six around 06:00 all together that had been modified at that time.

I had previously trashed the com.apple.dock.db and some com.parallels.plists and there were newer ones now, but I noted there were a couple more that looked decidedly suspect around this timeframe.


So I just trashed these, and tried to Login again and it
worked. OK, I had now lost my dock icons, but I could soon add these again, and at least everything was up and running again. I haven’t opened Parallels 6 again, and I shall wait for the update/official workaround to appear before I do.

Thinking about it some more, I think I could have been more selective (I probably didn’t need to do the dock.db, as I suspect the Finder plist was the issue), but I am posting this anyway, so if this page gets googled, at least somebody else might benefit.