can't open the application 'app name' because it may be damaged or incomplete

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Crypt00, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Crypt00 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2018

    I'm needing some help I'll explain the best I can where I'm up to and what the issues are. Thanks in advance to anyone who offers some guidance, your help is very much appreciated.

    Model: Macbook Pro 13 inch Mid 2012
    Processor 2.9 Ghz i7
    Memory: 16GB DDR3 (Upgraded)
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
    Storage: 525GB SSD (Upgraded)
    OS: High Sierra 10.13

    It started after the mac would not turn on and had a blank screen with a flashing question mark folder on. After some digging I thought to replace the sata cable. The problem was partially fixed. The mac turned back on but now EVERY app is missing. The icons are just question marks and when I try to open them i get the message 'cant open application because it may be damaged or incomplete'. Also icons are missing from EVERY file, folder etc. and I can't open any file or folder.

    So I started single user mode, deleted the apple set up done file and successfully created a new admin account.

    This new account all the apps are back and working. However the old user account is still in the same shape.

    I wondered if anyone can help me restoring the old account or transferring files to my new user to see if they work.
    Note: I tried to transfer files from the 'broken' user via shared folder but the files wont copy!

    [A little history, don't know if this is relevant]
    I bought the mac second hand. I tried to migrate an old account from a macbook air I had but after a few months the mac had a total HD meltdown which was when I replaced the HD with the SSD and updated the RAM. I'm not sure if it was an incorrect migration set up what did it. I migrated an OS X Mavericks onto OS X Lion. After replacing the HD and retrieving some files from the corrupt hard drive I had the mac working for a month and then I got this problem (starting with the flashing question mark folder)
  2. Shadow Jolteon macrumors regular

    Shadow Jolteon

    Feb 1, 2018
    United States
    If you're not backing your computer up, I would definitely start doing so as soon as possible, just in case the problem was more than just a SATA cable, or if you need to wipe your machine to fully resolve your issues. It's also just a good idea in general to keep regular backups.

    As for getting your files over, try updating the permissions of the old account's home folder to allow your new account to read and write files inside it. To do this, right/control-click the old home folder in /Users, choose "Get Info", expand the "Sharing & Permissions" section, click the lock and enter your administrator credentials, then click the add button, add your new user to the list, then click the gear and choose "Apply to enclosed items...". You'll probably see a loading bar, which could take some time while it updates the permissions for the files in the home folder. After this completes, you should be able to access any file in that home folder and copy it over to the new account.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It sounds like a corrupted hard drive registry have you tried to repair the disk in disk utility??
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'll try to offer some help migrating stuff from your old (problem) account into the new one.

    You are going to need some kind of external drive, either:
    - an external hard drive (USB hard drive is fine)
    - a USB flashdrive (of sufficient capacity).

    Let's begin.

    You want to be logged into your NEW account.

    Copy the home folder of your OLD account (the whole thing) to the external drive. A "finder copy" should do the job.
    Did you also keep files "outside of" your home folder? If so, copy those files to the external drive, as well.

    I'm not going to address applications here. They can be reinstalled later.
    For this move, we're talking about -files-.

    You want only the icon of the external drive showing in the finder. If there are any open windows, close them.
    Click ONE TIME on the icon of the external drive to select it.
    Type "command-i" (eye) to bring up the "get info" box.
    Down at the bottom of get info there's a lock icon. Click it and enter your password (for the new account)
    In "sharing and permissions" put a checkmark into the box "ignore ownership on this volume".
    Close the get info box.

    Now you can copy files from the old account into the new one, and the copied files will "come under the ownership" of the NEW account.

    Now you're ready to begin copying files over, BUT FIRST, a warning:
    You CANNOT just copy the "first sub-folders" in your home folder. These are the folders named Documents, Downloads, Library, Movies, Music, Pictures.
    However, you CAN copy "things inside them".
    That means you must first open the Documents folder, and then (once inside) you can copy stuff from here into the Documents folder in your NEW account.

    This works for the other folders, as well.

    One folder that you have to be careful about is the Library.
    There are many subfolders inside.
    Some stuff will "copy over" easily.
    Other stuff won't
    You'll have to try things and find out for yourself what's "moveable" and what isn't.

    Set aside a free day, and keep notes.

    It's quite a bit of work, but you -can- "manually migrate" if you take the time and effort.
  5. Misland macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2018

Share This Page

4 March 13, 2018