Security settings lost for applications

I am running the current Mac OS and recently have been having problems with the system locking up, forcing me to do a hard reset. Force quitting Apps does not help, and the spinning ball is an indication that something is amiss. It usually appears over one of my menu bar icons (such as BackBlaze) and then I have to restart.

But the weird thing is when I restart, the System Preferences for Security have all been lost. On startup, applications will start to tell me that Dropbox needs Accessibility turned on, or another application needs Full Disk Access. I go the the Security Tab and there are no Apps listed, nor can I add them by the + method or Drag and Drop on the list. I figured some preferences were corrupt and booted into Recovery Mode to run Disk Utility which finds no problems.

I got the point where I just Reinstalled the Mac OS from Recovery mode, thinking that would fix ever, but the problem just appeared again, 2 days after install.

This is an iMac and running the current system. I would like a Conflict Catcher for Mac OS so I can figure out what is causing the problem. Has anyone seen this before? Web search did not show anything, but it may be that I do know how to describe it, so the searches are useless.

Random musings

Which model iMac do you have?
Have you started the iMac in Safe Mode to see if the problems still occur?
Are you current on all other software? I seem to remember Dropbox needing an update for the latest macOS due to deprecation/removal of APIs that they used in older versions.
Does the behavior occur in a new user account?
Any indication that you might have a hardware failure (disk or memory)?

I ran into this exact problem with the Security settings a few years ago. It was due to a corrupted sqlite database that holds those particular settings. Sorry, but I tried Googling to see if I could figure out where it’s stored and what I did, but came up with nothing relevant.

It’s worth noting that I did not have the same problems with lockups you do.

A reboot brought back the application lists. I think that something is corrupt, somewhere. If I understood crash logs, that may help, but when I go back through them, I never am sure what to look for and nothing jumps out. Is there an easier way of reviewing the log file, like a filter or other way of determining the cause of a system lock up?

I am going to assume the missing apps list is related to the crashes and focus on what is causing the problems rather than focus on an esoteric glitch that disappeared on reboot.

Conflict Catcher would be helpful :grin:

As a follow up on this issue, SoftRaid detected that one of my drives (a 2 TB SSD that I bought 3 years ago) was failing SMART checks. I cloned it to another USB C drive and that has resulted in no crashes for several days now.

I bought the external SSD to supplement the paltry internal drive on my iMac Pro. I wanted to replace it with another SSD, but 2 TB SSD drives are difficult to find other than Samsung. I was using a drive from OtherWorldComputing, and since that lasted only 3 years (I thought SSD would last longer than spinning drives) I will be staying with my spinning drive for now until a better option arises. As this is for data only, the speed difference has not been noticeable.