All my desktop files disappeared after rebooting!! Arrgh!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by effnaut, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. effnaut macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Okay, I finally got my mitts on a 24" imac 2.8GHz running tiger. Got it used but in mint shape just 4 days ago. I plan on upgrading to snow leopard soon but I wanted to burn all my files from an old HDD to DL discs first. So after transferring several gigs to a few folders on the mac's desktop and also customizing system preferences from how the previous owner left it, I noticed earlier today when I tried to save web articles that it wouldn't allow me to as it had the day before with the same browser (firefox). So I rebooted it and everything I had transferred from my HDD and also previously saved from the web disappeared from the desktop where I was storing it temporarily and it was as if all the sys preferences reverted back to default (not even how the previous owner left it), yet all the files that were stored or installed in the mac HD are still there, just not the folders with gigs of backup files I left on the desktop!! wtf? Anyone experience this?

    For what its worth, the programs I installed before this happened were Cog, Xee, updated Firefox and renamed the computer and admin login, but perhaps most importantly, I installed StartupSound.prefPane (to enable startup sound mute option in sys preferences); I say most importantly because apparently this app can cause problems rebooting! Here's the site:

    I had seen others vouch for it so figured it was safe. Anyways, I tried following the directions on uninstalling it in safe boot, but the dmg file i originally installed was one of the files stored on the desktop!! <shakes head> So I did the next best thing I could think of and went into Mac HD>Library>PreferencePanes and trashed the file from there and the other associated files in library>startup items, etc. Restarted it and nothing's changed except the option is gone from Sys Pref, the start up sound is back and I can save web pages again.

    I know the back up files must still be on the drive somewhere because the available space is still the same, plus like I said, the few other files that I did store in folders in the Mac HD are still there. This is really screwing with my head. Can someone get me out of this hell please!! I'm brand new to this system so maybe I'm overlooking something simple??
  2. lancestraz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2005
    Ya changed the name of your home directory didn't you. Go to "Macintosh HD:Users:" and look inside those folders.
  3. Bacong macrumors 68020


    Mar 7, 2009
    Westland, Michigan
    This is your problem. That can royally screw up your computer.
  4. effnaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Thanks, i found it just as i was checking back here. whew. i knew it was something simple. Weird thing tho, I tried every type of search I could think of to look for the files and nothing came up. I even searched files that i was staring at and finder didn't find them!

    On a side note, my comp is having problems saving html files again, not to mention txt files and browser links aren't opening either. What's up with that?
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    A better title would have been "my desktop files disappeared after I changed my computer and admin names".

    And that's probably responsible (especially the latter) for your current problems as well.

    I suggest you create a brand new user, copy your files across to that, and once you are happy everything is hunky-dory with the new user, delete the old one. Its probably fixable other ways but this will be far simpler and not leave some other lurking problem for the future.
  6. effnaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Or better yet, I'll just do a fresh install of snow leopard as I was planning anyways. Btw those files I was trying to save finally popped up on the desktop later and things seem to be back to "normal." :confused:
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    What's a "fresh install"? Be careful! You can lose all your files. Do you mean an archive and install?
  8. effnaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2010
    Yep. That's what all the data transferring to the mac desktop for burning to dual layer discs was about in the first post. I plan on going with OS X 10.6 + Fusion 3 + XP SP3.

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