Favored Freeware: Preferential Treatment

Preferential Treatment will check your preference files (both in your user’s preference folder and the system’s preference folder) for corruption by using the “plutil” command line tool. If it finds suspect files, it will list the files and allow you to reveal them in the Finder or move them to the trash. You may also double-click on a file in the found files table to open it in the application of your choice (you can designate the default application from the preferences). There is also an option to save the results of a scan to a text file. (Note: if you trash a file before saving a report, the report will not include information on the file you moved to the trash.)

Pros: Preferential Treatment is fast, comprehensive, easy-to-use, and free.

Cons: None significant.