A Rebooting Mishap?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ScarletRed, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. ScarletRed macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #1
    1. Last night, my MBP lost the customized settings such as font size, icon size, desktop wallpaper, dock icon size & magnification, ...etc. It was my first time connecting to the internet so I hope one of the software upgrades would fix this issue... Anyway, my question is this: how do I find 'special' desktop wallpapers which are no longer there since the rebooting mishap? I'm thinking maybe they're in different directory/folder but I couldn't find any.

    2. How do I change the order of icons in the dock?
     
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

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    #2
    The first question confuses me. What happened? Did you settings disppear after a reboot?

    You can rearrange items on the dock by clicking and dragging.
     
  3. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #3

    Yes, my settings disappeared when I powered up my MBP. This was a one time event.

    As for rearranging icons on the dock, a simple clicking and dragging doesn't work.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #4
    Based on what you're describing, there's something significantly wrong with your OS install, or at the very least your user folder. Customized settings simply do not "just disappear" even with fairly moderate mishaps, and nothing I've ever seen short of a locked preference file could prevent you from reordering icons in the dock.

    A couple of questions:

    1) Are you sure you didn't end up logged into a different account somehow? That would explain the lost settings.

    2) Are you sure you do anything odd before the reboot like try to rename your user folder or move it? (Either will COMPLETELY break it.)

    3) Try running a "repair permissions" using Disk Utility and see what comes up. Some of this could be explained by seriously screwed up permissions, but even that's a longshot.
     
  5. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #5
    The dock icon ordering issue has been almost fully resolved. Previously, I pressed down the button on trackpad for a bit too long which caused a menu to appear just above the icon rather than moving. To move an icon in the dock, I now press the button and immediately scroll either left or to the right. I am now able to move just about every icon in the dock except the Finder. No matter what I do, Finder icon stays on the left-most position on the dock. Is the Finder icon normally immovable in the dock?


    Negative. I have only one account set up on my MBP.


    Uh oh...that sounds bad! It wouldn't do to break my OS X only a week after buying it. I recall trying to rename something. Something called 'macprousers'. I do not know what its purpose is. It has an icon of a house. To access it, I double-click on the MACBOOK HD and select the folder called macprousers on the left column of the window. There are two folders inside: Desktop and Library. The Desktop is empty. The Library folder is full of strange files.

    Anyway, I would like to retrieve the wallpapers I lost prior to the rebooting 'mishap'. Where are they located? They no longer appear under System Preferences/Desktop & Screen Saver/Apple Images. The images in this folder are identical to the ones in System Preferences/Desktop & Screen Saver/Desktop Pictures. Prior to the mishap, Apple Images folder was full of motocycles and cars and other unique wallpapers. I don't think these were deleted so they must be hiding somewhere in my HD. But without knowing their picture names nor the file extensions, I don't even know how to start the search. If this was a PC, then I could do a file search for *.bmp and that would solve the problem. But this isn't a PC and I am new to Mac.


    I ran repair permissions as suggested. This message pops up on my screen:

    Permissions repair complete
    The privileges have been verified or repaired on the selected volume

    Other than that, nothing has changed. Those missing wallpapers are still at large and the user settings still have not reverted to the previous one.
     
  6. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

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    #6
    Alright, do you have the folders Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, Public, or Sites? If those mysteriously disappeared, something bad happened. If you deleted them, I'm not sure how to get them back, but you shouldn't delete them.

    Finder doesn't move in the dock.

    macprousers is your home folder. That's what you shouldn't rename or do anything to.

    To search for your pictures, just go to spotlight (blue magnifying glass in upper left hand corner), and search '.jpg' (without the ') or whatever extension they are. I believe the back round images are .jpg though.
     
  7. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #7
    The disappeared icons are Adobe applications and a few other utilities. It appears only the icons themselves have disappeared as their real files are stored on the MACBOOK HD under Applications directory.


    Uh oh....too late. I changed the name already. Is this going to cause problems later on?


    Alright. Will do. But once I find those missing wallpapers, what do I need to do so the system will recognize them as valid wallpaper picture files? Would I not have to relocate those files to the appropriate directory for wallpapers? If yes, then which folder is it?
     
  8. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #8
    It happened again!

    This is annoying but my MBP lost some of the user settings again upon reboot. The lost settings include desktop icon and font size, size of the icons in the dock and their magnification. In addition, Amazon and Yahoo, which I had deleted from the bookbar (or is bookmark bar?) prior to the last reboot, have reappeared!

    So I changed the settings again, logged off, powered off, and restarted the laptop. After it has booted, I found that the laptop remembered the settings this time.

    This is becoming a puzzle...
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    To make sure: At some point, you opened the Macintosh HD, then openend the "Users" folder, and there was a folder in there with a house icon. That's your home folder, where all your settings are stored. You then renamed it, is that correct?

    If so, there's no mystery to what's going on, it's exactly what I suggested--renaming that folder "broke" your user account.

    Here's what happened: When you renamed that item (the OS really aught to warn you if you try to do this, but it doesn't), the computer "lost track" of where all the settings for your user account were stored.

    You didn't actually see this until after you rebooted. At that point, it went looking for the original shortname of the account (it would have been whatever you okayed when you went through the setup after you first bought it--the original name on the house icon, that is. Sounds like 'macprousers' is what it used to be.) When it couldn't find it, I assume it recreated a folder with that name, and the basic contents that it must contain--a Desktop folder, and a Library, which is again where all those settings used to be stored.

    All your stuff is still there, it's just now stored in whatever the renamed folder is. What you really want to do is replace the current "mostly empty" home folder with the one you renamed, which should still be in the Users folder.

    So, this SHOULD work, though I've never tried it:

    Open your Hard Drive, then open the "Users" folder. Figure out which folder is the one you renamed (if you only created the one account, there should be three folders: "Shared", "macprousers", and whatever the renamed one is.) If you look inside the renamed one, it should have "Movies", "Documents", "Pictures", and a few other folders in it.

    1) Remember the extact name of the folder that has a house icon right now--that is the *correct* short name for your account.

    2) Change the house icon's name to anything else, just to get it out of the way--that's an essentially empty account that you don't want.

    3) Rename the folder you had previously renamed back to the *correct* short name that you just made note of. Remember: All lower case.

    4) Restart immediately. If you're lucky, you should be right back to your properly set up account, with all of the correct default folders in it (Movies et al).

    At that point, you might also try repairing permissions again, to be safe, though it might not do anything.

    ...if that doesn't work, then your best bet is to go into the Users control panel and create a new Administrative account. Then just use that one, and delete the previous one. You might poke around in the folder you renamed for the files you want back--they should be in there somewhere, though I can't tell you where.

    Or, if all else fails, put the discs that came with the computer in and reinstall the OS, preferably from scratch just to be sure. If you had any important documents you'd created, be sure to back them up to a CDR or pen drive or whatever before you do this.

    And remember: In the future NEVER try to rename the house icon (or any of the other items in the "Users" folder. It must remain named exactly what it was when the account was created, period. Also never mess with anything in the Library (the one in your home folder or at the top level of the Hard Drive or the System folder, unless you know exactly what you are doing--those are not intended to be user-accessable folders. Leave them alone.
     
  10. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #10
    Yes, I did. It's strange though... After renaming it from macprousers to Ziggy, I rebooted the notebook. When I returned to the same directory, I noticed that the name of the folder has reverted back to macprousers! Is it because I didn't use all lower case letters?


    Everytime I open the Desktop folder, it is empty. If Desktop folder contains user settings data files, then it shouldn't be empty, correct? But it is...


    Negative. Everytime I revisit after reboot, there are only two folders: Desktop and Library. Shared folder does not exist. Ziggy folder does not exist.


    I'll try this when I get home tonight. Btw, what does repairing permissions do, exactly?
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #11
    Ok, it now makes perfect sense what's going on. The folder has NOT renamed itself; that's where you're getting confused. The OS recreated a new folder with the same name as the old one, because it couldn't find the old one (which you had renamed). Thats why the only contents of the folder are an empty Desktop folder (which must exist, so gets created automatically) and a Library folder (which contains atuomatically saved settings, and also must exist, so gets created automatically--right now, though, it doesn't have any of your original settings in it, just whatever got recreated automatically after the old folder couldn't be found.

    The desktop folder doesn't contain anything but what you see on your desktop--the files you drop on top of the desktop picture in the background. It's Library that has the settings, but again, not the ones you're looking for.

    You are looking in the wrong place--you are inside the "macprouser" folder, NOT the "Users" folder you want to be looking in.

    Re-read my instructions carefully: Open "Macintosh HD"; you will see folders in it named Applications, Library, System, and Users. Double click on the "Users" folder. THAT is where you want to be looking--within that folder, there SHOULD be a folder named "Share", one named "macprouser" (which will have a house icon), and one named "Ziggy".

    Presuming this is what you see, continue with my instructions:

    Rename "macprouser" to anything else.
    Then, rename "Ziggy" to "macprouser".
    Then restart immediately, and hope for the best.

    It just checks to make sure that the correct "people" (really, system users) have permission to read and/or write certain files (or, as the case may be, NOT read and/or write certain files.

    Generally it's not necessary unless a software installer has changed the permissions on some particular folder to allow some user access it isn't supposed to have (or prevent a user or some part of the system from accessing something it should be able to), but because of the screwy stuff you've done here, there's a small chance it will clear up any lingering problems created by this. I emphasize small--it probably isn't necessary if the above works, but it won't hurt.
     
  12. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #12
    I presume the above instructions are intended to retrieve the previous user settings. This is no longer necessary as I have currently re-adjusted the settings to the way I like it. The real source of the problem is that I am unhappy with my MBP loading settings from macprousers folder upon each reboot.

    I do not like my default folder being called macprousers for the following three reasons:

    1. It's a silly name.
    2. The first letter of the name is not capitalized.
    3. I wish to change the name of the default folder (or directory or whatever) to Ziggy which is a name I can be happy with.

    Is there a way to do #3 without having to erase/reinstall everything on my HD?
     
  13. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #13
    A New Problem...

    Your directions won't allow me to set the name of the default folder to whatever I want it to be so I tried something different. I created another account with a name of Ziggy (also the short name Ziggy) and then I deleted the original admin account. This sets the default folder to the way I wanted it originally. But now I have a new problem. The old user settings are still inside the User folder. I deleted some but there is one folder I cannot delete. When I try to delete it, it tells me I do not have sufficient privilege to do so. But the new account is supposed to have full admin privileges!

    Another strange thing: I went to the system preferences to change the desktop picture. I was not able to. No matte which picture I select, the background wallpaper does not change.

    I just noticed that the only account on my MBP has insufficient privileges to my own desktop folder!

    Did I just screw myself by creating a second account and deleting the original?
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #14
    Ok, I apparently completely misunderstood what you were trying to do. And I stand corrected--I didn't realize the shortname for an account could be capitalized, but it can.

    Anyway, what it sounds like is going on for you is that you've created an account to match the old one you'd renamed; this kicked in most of the previous settings, but my guess would be you're having permissions problems because the account IDs don't match. This is getting fairly involved, but basically some stuff in your current "Ziggy" home folder is owned by the original "macprouser" account instead of Ziggy, because of the orginal renaming you did. This is likely what's causing the problem.

    Generally the Finder will prompt you for an admin password if you don't have the proper privleges to modify an item, but on rare occasions this doesn't work.

    I'd try three things:

    1) Select everything in your current Home folder and do a "get info" (Command-i or "Get info" from the file menu). (If you don't want to have a bunch of windows pop up, hold down the "Option" key when you do either of these things--either "command-option-i" or hold down option while going to the File menu--Get Info will change to Show Inspector.)

    2) Once you've got the get info window up, click on the "Show Details" triangle in the "Ownership and Permissions" section.

    3) Click the little lock icon, and select your current shortname (Ziggy, I guess) for both the Owner and Group sections, and set both to "Read and Write" (technically, Group is usually no permissions, but it won't hurt to set it this way). Actually, to be sure, set "Everybody" to "Read and Write" too, for now--if you're the only user of the computer, that won't hurt anything. You'll probably be prompted for a password--enter it.

    4) Click the "Apply to Enclosed Items" button at the bottom, and wait for it to finish.

    If you're lucky, everything will now have the proper permissions, and you will be able to change the desktop background again. Yet again, you might try running a "Repair Permissions", just to see if it does anything.

    At that point, any files you want to get rid of you SHOULD be able to drag to the trash. If it refuses to empty the trash at this point, they will probably be empty-able after the next time you restart the computer. If they're not, there are a number of programs that will help you delete stubborn items from the trash--do a search on VersionTracker.com.


    If this doesn't work, then I'd call it a loss and just create a whole new user account. Preferably, if you're not too attached to Ziggy, use a name slightly different this time--whatever you want, so long as it's different. Let's say "Scarlet" for purposes of what I'm explaining here.

    Once you've done this, log into the new account, and you should definitely not be having any permissions problems with it, except it'll be bare of new settings so you'll need to re-tweak everything again. Now, go into the old "Ziggy" folder, and COPY any files you want out of it into your new "Scarlet" account. When you've moved over everything you need, go into the Accounts panel and delete Ziggy.

    If you have trouble accessing the files, do this: Log back into Ziggy, and move the files to the "Shared" folder. Then log into Scarlet and copy the files from "Shared" to wherever you want them. You might be prompted for a password, but that's fine. And copying them makes sure they have the permissions you want, instead of leftover privleges from Ziggy.


    If none of this works, I apologize, but that's about all I can do for you. You're best off just backing up anything you've created on a pendrive or CD and doing a complete wipe and install from the OS install discs, and making sure to create your account as Ziggy from the get-go this time.
     
  15. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #15
    This is a silly question but how do I select all files in a folder? On PCs, this is easy. But I am new to Mac so I am quite clueless even on trivial things such as selecting all files.
     
  16. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #16
    I created an admin account (temporary), deleted the previous account, and from the temporary account, I created another admin account with a name of Ziggy. (Please don't ask me why I am so attached to that name.)

    While we're on the subject of this renaming things and all the problems that can arise from it, my noticed that my laptop's name is Mac Attack. What kind of silly name is that? Naturally, I am very tempted to change that as well. Only this time, I would like to know if this can have unpleasant side-effect similar to the one I've experienced above.

    By the way, thank you very much for being patient with me, Makosuke.
     
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #17
    To select a group of items, you can just click on any blank area and drag to create a box around the group you want; alternately "Select All" can be found under the Edit menu or by hitting Command-A. (Select All works in pretty much every application.)

    I'll try not to. As long as you deleted it from within the Preference Pane, which I assume moved the folder to "Deleted Users" or some such, recreating the account with the same shortname probably won't cause any problems this time. Just be sure that if you bring stuff over from that previous account's folder that you copy it instead of just moving it, to make sure the permissions get transferred correctly. If you don't have permissions, it will copy automatically (and may also prompt you for a password); otherwise, hold down the option key when you drag and you'll see a green + appear to indicate that it's being copied instead of just moved.

    No. The laptop's name is really only relevant for network access, and can be changed without side effect. You do this from the "Sharing" preference pane.

    I'm assuming you're not the one who initially set the computer up, given the odd names that you didn't like.
     

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