Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functional

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mrbk
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Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functional

Post by mrbk » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:08 am

<moderator on>
mrbk, your post has been split from that thread: vboxclient the virtualbox kernel service is not running, because that popup may be annyoing, but it has got no other ill side-effect on the system. Hence your problem must be different and unrelated to that popup.
</moderator off>
Hi, this is not a non-problematical popup for me. I am very green. I am running MINT17 quiana 32bit. The subject message comes along with an inability to access Update Manager,Caga etc and all the front-screen icons are greyed out except 'computer', 'Mate System Monitor', however I can get on-line, but precious little else. Of all the many options in this thread which should I try please?
Last edited by karlchen on Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Split off from this thread, http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=231&t=210020&p=1127959#p1127959, and added note to first post explaining why

Cosmo.
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Re: vboxclient the virtualbox kernel service is not running

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:46 am

mrbk wrote:The subject message comes along with an inability to access Update Manager,Caga etc and all the front-screen icons are greyed out except 'computer', 'Mate System Monitor', however I can get on-line, but precious little else.
Where did you read it?

It sounds, as if you describe a quite different problem. Open a new thread about it.

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by karlchen » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:16 am

Hello, mrbk.

Answer to your question:
Of all the many options in this thread which should I try please?
None at all, because non-functional desktop icons are totally unrelated to an annoying popup message which has got no further ill side-effect on the systems where it is displayed.

Could you please post a screenshot which illustrates what you see on your desktop? - Might help understand you problem.
What is the relation between the grayed out icons on the desktop and the Update Manager? The Update Manager can be accessed through the little shield icon in the lower right hand corner of the bottom panel. More over it should be accessible from the Mint Menu, too. Have you tried?
Can you explain a bit more in detail what the "precious little else" is that works on your Mint 17 Mate and that you have really tried?

Also you might like to post an "inxi -FXz" report please, so we have got a basic idea about your system specifications.

Cheers,
Karl
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Linux Mint 19.2 32-bit xfce Desktop, Total Commander 9.22a 32-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:06 pm

Thanks for your patience. Better than mine, because I left it running for a while and got some significant improvements [see below].
However, dealing with your helpful suggestions:
Can I do a screenshot? - No, PrintScrn just returns "Unable to save the screenshot to disk:Image type 'png' is not supported"
What is the relation between the grayed out icons on the desktop and the Update Manager? The Update Manager is one of the greyed out icons along the top of the screen.
Update Manager cannot be accessed through the little shield icon in the lower right hand corner of the bottom panel. All there is there is an 'output' popup [volume?] and date & time.
What and where is the Mint Menu please?
Q Have you tried? - A - probably not what & as much as I should, sorry.

Can you explain a bit more in detail what the "precious little else" is that works on your Mint 17 Mate and that you have really tried?
Detail:
There are 14 greyed-out icons along the top of the screen. they are:
Terminal, System Monitor, Synaptic, Libre Office Calc, Firfox, Thunderbird, GIMP, Disc Analyser, Search, USB stick formatter, Quick Scan, Caja, Package Installer, Update Manager. They have no names showing unless I hover on them
There are 7 greyed-out icons along the left of the screen. they are:
Synaptic, Libre Office Calc, Firfox, Thunderbird, GIMP, Brasero, Update Manager. They have no names showing even if I hover on them
There are 6 NOT greyed-out icons along the left of the screen. they are:
Terminal, Computer Properties, File Management, System Monitor, Caja, Home Properties. No names show.
When I left it running for 10 mins MOST of the icons listed responded to a degree - except Update Manager - a pity because I thought I might try to fix it using an update.

Hope this helps - I'll do a screenshot if there's a way to do it.
Thanks

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by karlchen » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:03 pm

Hello, mrbk.

All this reads like you experience a really serious loss of functionality on your Linux Mint system. - Should very likely have asked which applications can be launched and used successfully, that list might be shorter than the list of non-functional items.
Is your Linux Mint system by any chance running inside a virtual machine?

Karl
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Linux Mint 19.2 32-bit xfce Desktop, Total Commander 9.22a 32-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:09 pm

Hi,
karlchen wrote:loss of functionality on your Linux Mint system. - Should very likely have asked which applications can be launched and used successfully, that list might be shorter than the list of non-functional items.
Is your Linux Mint system by any chance running inside a virtual machine?
OK, the list is not much shorter [sort of good news] but I'm afraid I've not tried everything because it's a bit difficult to see where I'm going but I can get Libre Office, System Monitor, Terminal, Disc Usage Analyser, Gimp, Search, Caja & Firefox to run; Synaptic starts but just offers a grey screen.
Update Manager won't start [thought about trying to reinstall but unsure how to do that anyway, not knowing how to get the the right partition[?]]
If I click on any of the icons whether greyed or not I get a dialogue offering "Open, Cut, etc down to Properties"
There is no 'off button' so I have to crash out every time. The little completion boxes on websites don't show the little ticks, but they do work.
"Is my Linux Mint system by any chance running inside a virtual machine?" Sorry, how would I tell? As I recall I took this Linux Mint off the web and specified it to run alongside Windows7 [in a separate partition?] When it boots I get options as to which to start.
Is there a way of getting a screen print other than pressing Print Scrn? Then I could add one to this thread.

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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:26 am

Create a new user account and make sure, that it belongs to the group sudo. Check, if the problems can be reproduced there.

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:01 pm

Cosmo. wrote:Create a new user account and make sure, that it belongs to the group sudo. Check, if the problems can be reproduced there.
Sorry, I'm new to this & I'm not sure how to do that. Its also difficult to see where I am due to the greyed icons. Step by step help please.

Cosmo.
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:35 pm

Open users & groups, and click to add a new user.
Mark this user in the list and click on the bottom right at the place, where the groups are listed (most likely you read nopasswdlogin there). Now you can activate the group sudo in the list of groups.
Close all, log off and into the new account.

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:06 am

mrbk wrote: There are 14 greyed-out icons along the top of the screen. they are:
Terminal, System Monitor, Synaptic, Libre Office Calc, Firfox, Thunderbird, GIMP, Disc Analyser, Search, USB stick formatter, Quick Scan, Caja, Package Installer, Update Manager. They have no names showing unless I hover on them
There are 7 greyed-out icons along the left of the screen. they are:
Synaptic, Libre Office Calc, Firfox, Thunderbird, GIMP, Brasero, Update Manager. They have no names showing even if I hover on them
There are 6 NOT greyed-out icons along the left of the screen. they are:
Terminal, Computer Properties, File Management, System Monitor, Caja, Home Properties. No names show.
Thanks for that I'm afraid I can't see 'users' anywhere. The icons I have are listed above, plus I have a little file at bottom left and a volume and date at bottom right, but nothing else I can find, not even the OFF button [have to crash out every time]. Is there a route to 'users' through any of them please?
Alternatively, since I am holding no personal data on MINT, I am happy to reinstall to the partition MINT currently sits in but I don't know how to do that and can find no simple help.

Cosmo.
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:13 pm

To prevent more confusion we will use another attempt to create a new user.
Open a terminal and enter those commands (one after the other)

Code: Select all

sudo adduser test
sudo adduser test sudo
Now log out of your account. You will see the new account named test on the login screen. Enter there and co the check.

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:22 pm

Cosmo. wrote:another attempt to create a new user.
Thanks for your patience, This is very much like trying to find your way round a hotel room when the lights have failed.
Summary: The New User 'test' is worse, not better.
Detail: [please note I cannot 'log out' no 'user' icon/menu & no 'off' button so have to crash out every time.]
I can get the new user 'test' to start. It gives a black screen with a white menu bar at the bottom on which all I can see is 'volume' and 'date/time' + an unnamed blank icon. There are 3 blank icons in the black bit named 'test's home', 'computer' and '[external H Drive]'
As said I am happy to reinstall MINT to the same partition but will need detailed instruyctions [or signposting to such]

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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by Cosmo. » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:43 pm

Yes, you reached a point, where a new installation - just as you did at the first time - appears as the best way to go.

mrbk
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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by mrbk » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:50 am

Thanks for the confirmation, I can't find the notes I made when I first installed - is there a simple guide somewhere to reinstalling MINT into the same partition please?

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Re: Mint 17 Mate: desktop icons grayed out and non-functiona

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:16 am

That is easy to do: When you install, select "something else" as installation method. You see all the partitions on the system. Select the partition where you had installed Mint previously, click on the button "change", select to format and set the mount point to / . In case you used several partitions, e.g. a separate partition for home, to this with all partitions, but set the mount point accordingly.

Don't forget to backup your user data before you do the new installation, all will get wiped out during the installation!

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