After upgrading from MacOS 10.6 to 10.8, I keep getting alerts on my MBP saying "There was a problem connecting to the server xyz". The thing is, there is no longer a machine called "xyz" on my network (I've renamed it to something else in hopes of eliminating/diagnosing this problem).

After googling around a bit, I suspect that the culprit is an association of a file type with an application that is on the xyz machine (that I have previously run on my MBP after mounting xyz:/Applications). When these alerts pop out, I see (via top) that a time-machine-induced mdworker is active (seemingly confirming that it's trying to use the remote application to extract information from a local file).

Is there some way that I can confirm what process is actually generating the alerts? Is there a better way of diagnosing their source?

Update: I was never able to figure out what was actually generating the alert, but I was able to abate it by doing a complete re-install of 10.8 (via the recovery boot option). To my surprise -- in addition to eliminating the alerts -- this didn't even require any recovery of my apps/files from backup (not that you should try this without having everything backed up!)

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    To anyone else that ends up here, do you have CoRD, or a similar remote desktop app, installed with a server saved? Try clearing out the saved servers to see if this resolves the problem.
    – Marcel
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 20:44
  • @Marcel I did/do a lot of "Screen Sharing" (vnc client) to remote hosts (including the renamed/zombie one). I never thought of checking the saved server list there. Good idea!
    – jhfrontz
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


I am getting this as well. The only way to remove it is to re-install OSX, and then it re-appears if I try to install software. Odd ...

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    Could you elaborate on what reinstalling does to fix this? It seems both you and the asker agree that a reinstall temporarily reduces the alerts so how does that action help isolate or track the true cause of the messages?
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 17:23

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