Finder not launching

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Romulan, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Romulan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    Hi everybody!

    My computer is failing to launch the finder. All other applications work, and i can even access files through them. Also, when i should be in the finder, the top menu bar does not show. I'm thinking i just need to do a clean install of OS 10.3. Anyone know of any other ways to do it? I've never done a clean install and am afraid of losing files. When i do a clean install would it wipe the HD?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #2
    First, try dragging the Finder preferences file /Users/<youruser>/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist to your desktop, then restart Finder with the Force Quit... option in the apple menu.

    If that doesn't work and no-one has any better suggestions, you can do an archive and install while preserving your user files. This will reinstall the OS without touching your user data and custom installed applications. Make sure you back up anything important just in case, though.
     
  3. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #3
    A clean install wipes your drive. I got this once from having a corrupt movie file on the desktop. Either move everything off the desktop, or delete everything (and make sure it's actually deleted) and the ds store file (invisible), or safe boot (forcing a fsck) and failing that, use a disk checker ie. norton to isolate the bad file.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    If it's the top right of the menu bar that's causing you grief, then you may want to trash a file named com.apple.systemuiserver.plist which will be near the PLIST that the able-bodied gekko513 mentioned.
     
  5. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #5
    disk checker: yes

    Norton's: N O, N O & N O friggin way, dont let any s/w from norton's within 1000miles of your mac !!!!!!!!!

    been there done that, NEVER again :D
     
  6. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #6
    I meant something like it, I have on many occasions expressed my hatred for the malware made by symantec.
     
  7. Romulan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #7
    I am unable to access ANY files to remedy the problem. There is no menu bar or desktop. When I right click on the finder icon in the app bar it says "Finder Not Running."

    So to do an archive install of panther I would just use "Software Install and Restore" discs that came with the computer right? Would this leave all of my personal files such as pictures and papers alone? Since the finder is not running, I am unable to backup data, so I'm scared of losing all my memories:( . Thanks for your help so far. I think I might bring it to an apple center if nobody's sure about archive install.
     
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #8
    Instructions for archive and install. If you make sure to select "Preserve Users and Network Settings", all your data should be intact.

    I do however recommend you to first find someone with another Mac, connect the two macs with a Firewire cable and use target mode to get your important files off your Mac in case something goes wrong. Shame on you for not keeping back-ups, though. :p
     
  9. Romulan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    Thank you so much! I'm off to get a firewire cable. I'm gonna back it up to a friends ibook. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!
     
  10. Romulan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #10
    Archive install did not work. This appeared when it started installing:

    "There were errors installing software.
    Please try installing again."

    Any thoughts? Is it time to bring it in?
     
  11. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #11
    I actually keep backup apps in my dock, so I can backup some files to CD. I think if your had a file sharing network (LAN) you could copy files from the remote computer.
     
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #12
    Maybe there's something wrong with the disk. Perhaps try the steps to perform a disk repair and fsck like this.
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #13

    Did you end up getting Target Disk Mode to work? If you did manage to, and you have all your data backed up, then I'd do a clean format and install.
     
  14. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #14

    Don't quote me, but I think it's a block error, and the only way to fix that, sadly, is a reformat. It's best to do a complete, low-level format. First, boot on the OSX Install CD and run Disk Repair from the menu. I'll bet you have errors that cannot be fixed.
     

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