Unknown files and folders on HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by M@lew, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    On my Mac Harddrive (as in the main folder with Apps/Library/System/Users etc.) a few files and folders have appeared and I'm not sure what they are.

    There are two documents called ~fo-connect-little and ~server-lettle and 3 unknown folders called etc, tmp and var.

    I would like to know what these files/folders are and what they do. Also would it be safe to just send them to the trash or would they just come back?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    Well that's odd; etc, tmp, and var are three folders (or, technically, links to folders I guess) that are required by Unix. Do NOT delete them--they're supposed to be there.

    ...however, they're also supposed to be invisible from the Finder--Apple intentionally hides them along with a number of other Unix things (automount, private, usr, mach_kernel, for example) that mean nothing to the average user and will totally break the OS if you mess with them without knowing what you're doing.

    Did you happen to run a system utility or tweaker that gave you an option like "Show hidden UNIX directories" or "Show all files in the Finder" or something? There are several that will make this stuff visible, but you need to do it manually--it shouldn't "just happen" on its own.

    I have no idea what the two ~[something] files are (they're not "stock"), but they're probably related in one way or another.
     
  3. M@lew thread starter macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    Is there any way to re-hide them since they're meant to be hidden?
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    Well, offhand I'd recommend un-doing whatever it was you did to cause it--again, I'm assuming it was the result of something a system tweaker program did, in which case you should be able to un-check a box somewhere to set it back to the way it was.

    If you DIDN'T run anything like that and it happened totally spontaneously, then that's pretty darned weird, and I'd be seriously wondering what was going on with my system--anybody else might have goofed with it or something?

    Here's a MacFixIt tutorial on the hidden files, which includes some methods for toggling visibility on and off, which theoretically would restore things to the way they should be...

    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20040519001916749
     
  5. M@lew thread starter macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    I probably made them unhide when I was using Tinkertool/Cocktail. I guess they didn't want to hide again when I unchecked the option.
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    That certainly sounds like the culprit. Perhaps toggling that off and back on again in one or the other will kickstart it. You might also have to log out and back in to see the changes--at least with some things you do.
     
  7. M@lew thread starter macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    I've tried to do that and it doesn't work. =S I'll either have to hide them the manual way or just leave them be I guess.
     

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