Cannot Modify My Desktop

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by petercw2, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. petercw2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #1
    In the last week or two I suddenly cannot see any files on my desktop (although they are there because I can see them in the Finder under "desktop") and I cannot drag and drop any files or folders onto the desktop.

    When trying to do anything like this, I get an error telling that I cannot do this action because "the desktop cannot be modified".

    What did I do to cause this lockout? Any suggestions?
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Your account (System Preferences->Accounts) must have been set to give you a "Simple Finder" - that acts exactly the way you describe.
     
  3. petercw2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #3
    Ok, I looked there and see nothing that mentions that. I cannot find a tab or access within ACCOUNTS that allows me to change anything other than, Account name, password, picture, security and startup items...
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Odd. Perhaps a prefs file was messed up. You should see a tab that lets you set your account up as - and forgive me, I'm not at a Mac now - unrestricted, somewhat restricted, and completely contained - although those aren't the terms. Are you an admin?
     
  5. petercw2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #5
    Yea. It is my laptop. Just me, the only account on the computer. I also have verified and repaired permissions thinking that might have helped, but it didn't.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    I was hoping you'd see something like the pic below, but it turns out that you don't see that if you're an admin. It would appear to me that your Mac has suddenly decided that your privs are partially admin and partially limited ("Simple Finder").

    Possible solution? Set up or go to another (admin) account - which, hopefully, you can still create in the Accounts pane - and, in there, try to alter your ("your" meaning your original account) privs - maybe by first making you a non-admin, changing your limitations, then making them "No Limits", then making you an admin again. It might work, and I don't see how it could hurt.
     

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  7. petercw2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #7
    Nope. That didn't work. I could only make a standard account, not an Admin one (is there a special method that allows you to make an admin account?)

    Also on your thumbnail. I don't have to "limitations" tab on my admin account, but one that is "startup items". Just thought I would throw that in for information.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    To make an admin account, create a new account, go to the Security tab, then select "Allow user to administer this computer".

    Good luck!
     
  9. petercw2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #9
    Ok, well that is weird!!

    I made another admin account, and as soon as I check the "make user an admin" the 'LIMITATIONS' tab greys out!

    even then I am not allowed to even see "limitations" as an option for my orginal account.
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Well, the limitations are supposed to go away for admins - but if, while logged into that new account, you edit your original account, you should be able to make it a non-admin account, then switch the limitations around a few times (to clear prefs - and 'save' between switches by going to a different prefs panel and then back to 'Accounts'), then switch to "No Limits", then make your old account an admin one again, then, finally, log back into your old account, you will hopefully be OK.
     
  11. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    Check the permissions on your Desktop using Get Info from the Finder. You might not have read & write permissions.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. petercw2 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #12
    PROBLEM SOLVED!!

    jsw!

    Thank you for your help! that finally worked. What is really weird is that I cannot figure out how that all got changed. I have not accessed the accounts sinced I loaded OSX into this machine. I wonder how all of that got mixed up?

    Thank you again for your patience and assistance.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    I'm happy to hear it worked!

    I have no idea how things got messed up, but the most important thing is that it's fixed.... :)
     
  14. Tom E macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #14
    I'm having the same problem

    I get that same error message: my desktop cannot be modified. I checked permissions and that seems all good. Something is messed up, It doesn't have my desktop icon anymore either, just a picture of a folder.

    Can anyone help?
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #15
    Follow the steps above - they might help you as well.
     

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