Ian McShane Rotating Header Image

January 14th, 2008:

OS X: Finder won't quit – Logout Timeout

I’ve noticed a few problems with OS X on my Macbook over the last couple of weeks.

I’ve got added ‘Keychain Access’ to my menubar (or toolbar – the one up the top anyway) so that I can just hit ‘Lock Screen’ when I step away from my machine at work. In general it’s been working like a champ but over the last couple of weeks something seems to have gone awry.

On occasions, it just doesn’t work. No errors to the screen, nothing. It just doesn’t do _anything_. This message is added to the system.log:

loginwindow[34]: ERROR | WSActivateApp | SetFrontProcess({0, 3978187}) returned error -600. Unable to activate process.

Additionally, when this problem manifests, I can’t restart OS X either. Choosing Restart from the Apple menu just restarts Finder. After about 2 minutes it throws up a dialogue saying (I’ll Skitch this next time to get the complete error) along the lines of “Logout Timeout. Restart failed because Finder failed to quit, try using Force Quit..”.

Using Force Quit to restart Finder doesn’t fix it, still the same problem.

This is added to the system.log:

com.apple.launchd[238] ([0x0-0x3cd3cd].com.apple.finder[7004]): Stray process with PGID equal to this dead job: PID 7006 PPID 1 smbclient

I have to do a hard shutdown using the power button and then restart – which seems to fix whatever the problem was. So much for all the “At least you don’t have to reboot OS X all the time” comments.

I’ve not installed nor changed anything recently that I can think would have any bearing here and I’ve also quit EVERY running application that I can to see if something is locking Finder up.

This thread “Finder Won’t Quit” on the Apple Support Forums, this thread on Yahoo Questions and this one on MacTalk shows i’m not the only one. No one seems to have come up with a definitive fix or RCA yet. I’m considering trying to log a defect with Apple, if I can find out how. I don’t have the time to piss about with the ‘Genius Bar’ crap though.