Dear Safari specialists,

 

after upgrading my MacBook Pro 13" 2,53 GHz C2D (2009, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD) from Lion 10.7.5 directly to Mavericks, the following problem arose with Safari: The browser no longer displays preview pictures for my top sites.

 

All I can see are black rectangles with a dark grey safari icon in the center of every top site preview:

Safari 7.0 top sites remain blank

 

Steps I took to isolate the problem:

 

1) Pressing CMD+R in the top sites view. This caused the top sites' captions to change to the corresponding websites' current titles. So it seams reloading the top sites works, it just doesn't create preview pictures.

 

2) The result made me suspect a permissions problem when writing new preview pictures to the disk. So I checked permissions on the ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/ folder and the "Webpage Previews" folder within. They're read&write for my (admin-level) user. I even changed them to read&write for everyone - but to no avail. I also ran "repair permissions" in the hard disk utility.

 

3) I reset Safari using Safari's reset-window in the browser's menu. Everything was checkboxed, still no change. I also tried restarting the system after a reset and before reopening the browser.

 

4) I closed Safari and removed the following folders and files:

 

~/Library/Safari/*

~/Library/Caches/Metadata/*

~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/*

~/Library/Caches/com.apple.WebKit.PluginProcess/*

~/Library/Coockies/*

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.*

~/Library/PubSub/*

~/Library/Saved Application State/com.apple.Safari.savedState/*

 

Then I opened Safari again to force the browser to recreate each and every file with correct contents and permissions. Nonetheless, I was greeted with the top sites page containing the same black rectangles instead of website preview pictures. Reloading didn't help, the result was the same as described in 1). So I put the old files back in their former places.

 

5) I created a new user account, switched to that one, opened Safari there and tried reloading. Interestingly, the top site previews filled up the formerly black spaces. So in this new user account everything works as expected. Transfering the "Webpage Previews" folder contents to my regular user account even causes the corresponding preview pictures to appear in my regular safari - except the ones that weren't included in the other user account's Safari top sites selection, of course. This doesn't solve the problem, though, because once again the copied previews cannot be updated in my regular safari account. Pressing CMD+R doesn't change them back to the black rectangle state but simply leaves them untouched even though the website visible contents has

changed in the meantime.

 

6) Going to the console app revealed that during my attempts to reload the preview pictures (see 1) ), the following entries are created in system.log (excerpt):

 

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_destination_prepare_complete 32 connectx to 2a00:1450:4005:809::101f#443 failed: 65 - No route to host

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_handle_destination_prepare_complete 32 failed to connect

[7 more, similar to the one above …]

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_destination_prepare_complete 139 connectx to 2a02:26f0:5::5f64:f929#80 failed: 65 - No route to host

[8 more, similar to the one above …]

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_handle_destination_prepare_complete 139 failed to connect

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_destination_prepare_complete 140 connectx to 2a02:26f0:5::5f64:f912#80 failed: 65 - No route to host

[2 more, similar to the one above …]

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_handle_destination_prepare_complete 138 failed to connect

[10 more, similar to the one above …]

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_destination_prepare_complete 157 connectx to 2620:0:862:ed1a::1#80 failed: 65 - No route to host

macbook-nick.fritz.box com.apple.WebKit.WebContent[1855]: tcp_connection_handle_destination_prepare_complete 157 failed to connect

 

I'm not sure what these entries mean. My first idea was that there may be a network problem connecting to my top sites. This wouldn't explain, though, why they all load properly when opened directly in safari by entering their URL or when clicking on them in the top sites view. It also wouldn't quite explain why everything works fine in the second user account (see 5) ). The second thought was that maybe Little Snitch caused some disturbance in my network traffic that blocked Safari from fetching preview pictures (even though Little Snitch also runs in the second user account). But even when turning off all network filtering, the problem persists.

 

Now I've run out of ideas. One hypothesis left is that there's a database file hidden somewhere that needs to be updated in order to allow Safari to create a link to preview pictures which are only then created in the Library folder's subfolders. That database file may be corrupted, who knows. Besides the fact that I don't even know if such a database file exists, I have no clue where it coult be found.

 

So - any thoughts on this one? Any option I may have missed out on trying?

 

Best,

 

Nick


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