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After logging on, I see this dialog box pop up. Whenever I dismiss it, it reappears 30 seconds later. (Stealing focus at the same time! Grrrr!)

There was a problem connecting to the server "Slate".

"Slate" is my old iMac, which is sitting on the desk next to me, turned off. How can I stop my new Mac from constantly trying to connect to my old one? Both are running 10.7.1.

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    Did you set up a shortcut to automatically mount the drive? Looking in System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items. Or, is there an application/document that's automatically loaded on launch that points to the iMac? Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 23:31
  • @ChrisAnderson: No, nothing that I can see. Is there any way to detect which application is responsible for connecting? Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 23:39
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    Nothing specific that I know of. I'd just check the Console if you haven't already, possibly you can find the error there. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 23:42
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    Possible duplicate of Endlessly repeating "There was a problem connecting..." error
    – joshfindit
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 18:37
  • @joshfindit This question appears to be the older and more vibrant question. Shouldn't that be flagged as a duplicate of this?
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 4:39

4 Answers 4

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Check System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items to see if there is a disk that is supposed to mount when you login. Make sure you check all of the user accounts.

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    Good idea, in my case (6 years later) does not apply. Commented May 14, 2017 at 13:39
  • I had this problem every time I launched zoom.us and turns out I had two items pointed to network drives. Even if they're unchecked it seems to have the problem. Once I deleted them from the Login Items, zoom.us loaded up fine without trying to connect to the network drives.
    – Hayden
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 19:53
  • On 10.14.6 Mojave, it's Mac > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Thanks!
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 0:25
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I'm pretty sure this was happening because when I logged out, I was running an app which was located on the other computer.

I logged off and unchecked the "Reopen windows when logging back in" box, which stopped Lion from trying to reopen the app the next time I logged in.

Log Out dialog

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This error typically comes up when OSX is trying to access a file or folder on a remote server, but it cannot connect to that server.

I have two examples to give an idea of where this can come from:

  1. You are able to have OSX connect to a remote folder automatically at login. Typically these are shown in the "Login Items" tab of the "Users & Groups" pref pane

    Example of an automatically-connected Folder on an AFP server

  2. When an application attempts to open a file that's on a remote server, OSX automatically tries to connect to that server in order to access the file.

    For example: If the music in your iTunes library is on a mounted network drive, and you have not connected the drive yet, playing a track will delay while it connects the drive and then iTunes will play the track.

In both cases, if the server where these files are located cannot be found, that error will come up.

Full disclosure: this was originally my answer to Endlessly repeating "There was a problem connecting..." error. That question has been marked as a duplicate of this one.

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  • Spot on in my case.
    – shiri
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 2:20
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I suspect you are connecting to a legacy file server as described in the kbase article below.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4700

We saw similar pop ups but clearing up our mounts addressed the issue.

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  • I managed to eliminate it by adding a folder from the named server to the "login items" and then deleting it. Weird, but it worked for me. Hope it helps.
    – user68842
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 16:42
  • I had exactly the same problem, with my new Macbook continuously attempting to reconnect with my old Macbook which I had at one time connected to through the same wifi network. A similar alert would appear on my screen once every few minutes or so. I followed the above directions as far as "Looking in System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items." Then I clicked the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the window and entered my password to enable changes. I then clicked on the Guest User icon which appeared directly under my Admin Icon. In the new window I clicked to disable "Allow gu
    – user68887
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 2:44
  • I had this problem as well; at login my Mac (iMac running 10.7) was trying to connect to an old Windows Home Server that I have removed. I found that there was a .../Login Items entry that was trying to mount a volume from that old server. Deleting that entry solved the problem. Thanks for the tip.
    – ifdefmoose
    Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 20:08
  • I found a similar issue with teacher computers trying to connect to an obsolete server. I found the auto-connect file(s) in MacintoshHD/Users/Shared. Then I deleted them. Problem gone!
    – user90394
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 21:41
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    But how did you find the auto-connect files, Marie?
    – user99031
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 21:59

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