Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

8 March 2009 @ 6pm

Ghosts in the Mailbox

So, Mail won’t com­mit any pref­er­ences changes.

Account changes roll back at next launch: If I add, rename, or delete accounts, it “takes” the change, but as soon as I quit and relaunch, it reverts it: added accounts dis­ap­pear, delet­ed ones are res­ur­rect­ed. I’ve watched the plist file live as Mail does the delete: it removes the account entry, but the file is get­ting revert­ed somehow.

Any oth­er changes revert imme­di­ate­ly: chang­ing the mail check inter­val, then clos­ing pref­er­ences, and re-open­ing shows the old inter­val. Update: they’re chang­ing on disk when I change the option, and revert­ing on disk when the win­dow closes.

Per­mis­sions on ~/Library/Preferences/ 600, and my user is the owner.

Ideas? I’ve tried last night’s back­up of Library/Mail and the mail.plist (thanks to rooSwitch for let­ting me keep my exist­ing work­ing set around), to no avail.

MobileMe sync is on: pref­er­ences, but not Mail Accounts. I’ve dis­abled it, no changes. OS X 10.5.6, noth­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly weird about the machine’s con­fig. Not see­ing this with any oth­er appli­ca­tions. 200 GB free disk space, in case any­one tries to link this. Google is giv­ing me noth­ing useful.

Update: @boredzo asked about Bun­dles and Input­Man­agers: no, and yes, respec­tive­ly; no change in behav­iour with Input­Man­agers moved aside.

Some pref­er­ences won’t even both­er look­ing like they com­mit: check­box­es are frozen in their cur­rent state, and imme­di­ate­ly revert to what­ev­er they’re set to when you try chang­ing them. Also, Pref­er­ences always opens to Sig­na­tures, no mat­ter what tab I’m view­ing when I close it.

@ryannielsen asked about fs_usage: yep, the pref­er­ences on disk change for account changes and oth­er options, and plu­til dumps into Changes show the options chang­ing. They revert as soon as I close the pref­er­ences win­dow. fsev­en­ter isn’t show­ing any oth­er FS move­ment, so it must be writ­ing out the bad one from in-mem­o­ry copies.

Update Two: found it. A bina­ry-type search of ~/Library found two old, old Mail pref­er­ences in ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost. No idea why they were being used, but they seem to over­ride any­thing in ~/Library/Preferences.