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We posted about a week ago about the Mac OS X Lion bug that causes the screen saver to engage even when you’re actively using your Mac. To summarize:
- This only affects the 15” and 17” Mid-2010 MacBook Pro (models MacBookPro6,1 and MacBookPro6,2), and only on Lion.
- It is most common when a third-party video driver (like Air Display Connect) is installed. Removing the driver can make the problem go away. But it also affects some people who don’t have a driver installed. And not everybody using third-party drivers on these systems sees the problem.
- It apparently only happens after a Mac OS X upgrade, not after a fresh Lion install.
In our previous post, we recommended turning off the screen saver and using Display Sleep instead. This generally fixes the problem. But we’ve heard that it’s not a good solution for some people. Specifically:
- Some people need to use the screen saver for one reason or another.
- Some app features, like 1Password locking and Adium status, still have problems because they depend on the system idle state, just like the screen savers do.
If this problem is happening to you, first try adjusting some of your Screen Saver settings by either changing the screensaver, adjusting its activation time, or setting various hot corners that you may have previously used for activating or inactivating the screensaver. If this does not work then the next step would be to remove the screensaver preferences file, in case it is corrupted or otherwise contains settings that are incompatible with Lion.
To remove the Screen Saver preferences, press the Option key and select Library from the Finder’s Go menu. In the library, go to the /Preferences/ByHost/ folder and delete the file called “com.apple.screensaver.NUMBER.plist,” where NUMBER is a string of alphanumeric characters that will be unique to your computer.
After the preferences have been deleted, go back to your Screen Saver system preferences and configure your screensavers again.
Users have reported success when following these steps. We’ve yet to hear from anybody who tried deleting the ScreenSaver preferences and still saw the issue.
Hope this helps!