Desktop Icons, menu bar and have disappeared

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by girlzdesign, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. girlzdesign macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #1
    I have a Powerbook G4 and I am running OS 10.3.9. About 2 days ago when I started up my computer all the icons on my desktop are gone, including my HD and the menu bars at the top. The top menu bardoes show up when I open an application from the docking station, but disappears again when I close that application. I know my files still exist, because I can open them in various applications, I just can't see them, or access them thru the finder. I have tried disk repair, I have booted from my instal disk and run a hardware test, nothing seems to help. Any ideas?
     
  2. ricksbrain macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #2
    Have you restarted/rebooted the Finder? It controls what appears on the desktop.
     
  3. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #3
    REstart/Reboot

    I have restarted the computer muliple times and tried to force quit the finder, but I can't force quit what isn't there. I can't even get into my HD to delete the plist, cause it doesn't show up on my desktop. Is there something I am missing?
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    So you don't have a black triangle underneath the Finder icon in your Dock, correct? That would indicate that Finder is not launching at all. What happens if you then click on the Finder icon?
     
  5. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #5
    Finder

    There is no triangle under the finder, when I click on the finder in the dock nothing happens at all.
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    Does Spotlight work? Can you find the file com.apple.finder.plist and Trash it? If so, do it and try relaunching Finder and see if that helps.
     
  7. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #7
    I cannot get to the preferences file to trash it. Is there another way to do it?
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #8
    Can you open Terminal?

    If so type the following, hitting "return" after each line:

    Code:
    cd Library/Preferences
    
    rm com.apple.finder.plist
    Then try to relaunch Finder.
     
  9. Vader macrumors 65816

    Vader

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    If you have another computer around, you could do this:

    Boot your problem computer holding T (for target disk mode)
    Plug it into the other computer with a firewire cable
    It should come up as an external HD on the other computer. From here you can navigate to the file someone mentioned before, delete it, and hopefully fix the problem!

    Edit: or do the much easier way mentioned the post above mine.
     
  10. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
  11. Vader macrumors 65816

    Vader

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    O, thats right, no finder=no browsing to an app to open it.
    If you do force quit, is finder even in there?

    I guess the way I stated might be your only choice. Unless you run something like quicksilver?
     
  12. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #12
    In your previous comment about not being able to get to the preference file, was that because Spotlight doesn't work at all?

    If Spotlight is broken, is the only method of opening apps that's currently functioning for you the Dock? If so, do you have System Preferences in your Dock? Can you launch that, create a new administrator user account, and try logging into that account?
     
  13. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #13
    So I was able to get into the terminal by addiing to my startup apps and restarting, but when I put in the info I get a message that says
    rm: com.apple.plist: No such file or directory
     
  14. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #14
    Make sure you're typing exactly what I wrote above. The file is called com.apple.finder.plist.
     
  15. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #15
    I tried it 3 times, it doesn't exist. I brought my computer to work and networked it to my work Mac and went in to find the file and it isn't there. Can I reload the finder?
     
  16. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #16
    I really think it has to be there. Are you sure you're looking in the correct place? It's in <your user name>/Library/Preferences. Be sure you're looking in the correct Library folder.

    But at this point, maybe it's time to just do an Archive and Install from your install discs.
     
  17. girlzdesign thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 26, 2006
  18. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #18
    You can read about it here. Ideally, you won't lose anything and your machine will run perfectly. The next-best case scenario is that some of your apps won't run correctly and you'll have to reinstall them. But, as always the case, there's a small chance that stuff could disappear, which is why Apple suggests that you back up your data before doing this.
     
  19. dwilde macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #19
    me too!

    i ended up having to re-install OS.
    everything was fine until i re-installed native instruments kore2.
    comp froze, i rebooted then dock and all the menus were gone again!
    don't know if this helps.
    i strongly suspect "kore2"

    your help in this matter is greatly appreciated

    dan
     
  20. Winklemanus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #20
    After resetting PRAM, removing multiple 3rd party S/W and many other S/W fixes, I finally found a solution to this one: the Bluetooth module (H/W) was dead...bought and installed a new one...everything's wonderful.

    Yours may be another H/W failure (HD!)... try accessing all in the sys pref.

    http://www.ifixit.com/info/install-difficulty Note: in my case, the beachball of death was spinning when ever the mouse was over spotlight...the menubar routine kept looking for the BT, never found it. Until I replaced it with a new one. used the same steps you did below.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by croshtique
    I've had this problem before - the culprit was a hanging SystemUI Server (and curiously iTunes was hung at the same time). Don't know what caused it but couldn't fix it without restarting. Hasn't happened to me since I updated to 10.4.4.
    This sounds correct. What you want to do is immediately launch ACTIVITY MONITOR and see if SystemUIServer is RED. If so, it means that it's hung. I've had problems with this too (and it also took luanchd down with it). IF you ForceQuit SystemUIServer from Activity Monitor it should restart itself.

    What you also may want to do, is open Console and go into the system.log and see if this error pops up anywhere:
    IOATAController. IF you see this mentioned, it oculd be a faulty hard drive. I just took one of my Macs into the Genius Bar yesterday, and the Genius was like "you're probably 100% right. Let's just swap the drive."
     

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