Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

Readers ask about how to fix a flashing incoming network connection request, Trash that won't empty, and more.

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week, readers wrote in asking about the potential drawbacks from using Little Snitch to block updates from XProtect, the media browser not properly handling Aperture libraries, the OS X Trash hanging when instructed to empty, and a problem with incoming network connection requests flashing too fast to make changes.

I welcome contributions from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: Potential drawbacks from blocking XProtect updates
MacFixIt reader Paul asks:

Little Snitch (3.1 just installed) has notified me that outgoing connections were stopped on log-in. One in particular was XProtect. I said to DENY. If I update my Java on a regular basis, do I need the XProtect?

XProtect updates independently of the OS, so if you block it you will not receive proper updates for it. If you are a savvy and safe computer user who knows what is being downloaded to your system, and if you keep your plug-ins and other software always up-to-date, then you may not benefit from the XProtect service anyway; however, if you are not always sure whether or not files you download are safe, then I recommend you unblock XProtect and allow it to update.

Question: Media browser not behaving in Aperture
MacFixIt reader Fredrick asks:

I have a pesky Aperture/Media Browser issue that I can't solve. I set up my new iMac (did not use migration assistant but did move my iPhoto and Aperture 2 libraries over from a backup) and installed Aperture 3. Although Aperture did appear to upgrade the library, I am not able to access those images via the Media Browser nor is Apple TV able to access them. I also get an error in iTunes that the Aperture library can't be found. I created a new Aperture library, put a couple of images in it and those do appear in Media Browser. Switching back to my Library did not resolve. I believe I need to move my images into a new Aperture library but would like any other suggestions first.

The options here are to migrate all your images as you described, or you can try rebuilding and repairing the current library. To do this, quit Aperture and then locate the faulty Aperture library in the Finder. Then hold the Option and Command keys simultaneously and double-click the Aperture library. This will open Aperture to a Library First Aid window, where you will have options to repair permissions, repair the database, or rebuild the database. First try repairing the database, then try repairing permissions, then as a final option try rebuilding the database. Be sure to back up the library before you do these procedures.

Question: Trash hanging when instructed to empty
MacFixIt reader Steven asks:

My MacOS 10.8.3 trash will not empty. After confirming to empty trash after 10% progrss the procedure seems to HANG. What can I do to manually delete these files?

Open the OS X Terminal utility and run the following command (copy and paste it). When prompted enter your password (you will not see it enter):

sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash

Be sure there are no spaces between the tilde, slash, and period characters in this command when you run it.

Question: Incoming network connection request persistently flashing
MacFixIt reader Rob asks:

I had a power outage during the night. Restarted my Mac Pro running 10.8.3. Now I have this repeated flashing of a warning box:

"Do you want the application 'java' to accept incoming network connections?"

It flashes so quickly that you can't click on Deny or Allow. I went to the Security & Privacy preference pane and looked at the Firewall tab, but nothing has changed. It's in some sort of infinite loop. I can still work, but it grabs control for that one-second flash each time it appears. (About once every 10 seconds.)

I ran repair disc and permissions. I reinstalled the Combo update for 10.8.3. I reinstalled JavaForOSX2013-003. Can't figure this out.

Try disabling your system's firewall temporarily to see if that helps prevent the errors from occurring. To do this, go to the security system preferences and click the button to do so in the Firewall tab.

If this helps the issue, then try removing the firewall's preferences to see if the problem may simply be corruption in this file. To do this, go to the Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/ folder and remove any file that begins with "" and then restart your computer. You will have to allow/deny other programs Internet access after this, but hopefully the rapid flashing of this warning will go away (or allow it to persist long enough for you to click an option).

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