Losing My Preferences

Last night at the beginning of class, my TiBook couldn’t wake the screen up from sleep, though strangely the cursor was visible, and responded to the trackpad. However nothing else would. I had to force reboot with the power button.

When the computer came back up, all my preferences had reverted to their defaults. There was also a mysterious “Safe Preferences” folder in my ~/Library folder. However it only held a couple of Apple preferences. Deleting it did not restore my original prefs, and near as I can tell they weren’t saved anywhere when the TiBook reverted to defaults. Naturally this happened immediately before I’m leaving for a three-day trip when I still haven’t packed.

I think what happened is that due to the forced crash, the TiBook ignored or even replaced the regular preferences folder, but if it backed up the old preferences anywhere I couldn’t find them. Data stored in ~/Library/Application data (bookmarks and the like) was fortunately safe. However BBEdit forgot its registration number, and various other apps behaved strangely.

I eventually copied over the preferences from my desktop Mac, which restored BBEdit and a few other things. However this is not the first time my laptop has forgotten its settings and this is very annoying. If it happened on my main machine I’d be royally peeved. Can anyone explain exactly what is going on here? Apple’s knowledge base doesn’t seem to have anything squarely on point. I had to deduce what little I’ve said here by reading bits and pieces of several different documents.

One problem I’ve yet to fix: Firefox now wants to show three toolbars (Location, Bookmarks, and Web Developer) in every window. I can turn them off from View/Toolbars, but they come right back in the next window. Does anyone know how to disable these more permanently? Maybe something in about:config?

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