Desktop Gone/Disappeared/Unresponsive (Lion 10.7.3)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by penter, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. penter, Mar 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

    penter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2006
    Hi there,

    Not too long ago, for some reason, I needed to obtain access to the hidden system files. I must have been using an outdated version of TinkerTool (prior to the Lion release), because once I relaunched the finder, my desktop and all of its contents would not reappear.
    The Finder is active, and I can access my HD but it seems like the desktop is completely dead and unresponsive. To the point where the finder windows won't come to the top of the screen if I click on an empty desktop area, as if the desktop area wasn't clickable.
    However, I can access the documents stored on the desktop through finder windows.
    Also, if I have the finder selected (i.e. if "Finder" is what shows up on the menu bar) with no finder windows open, the File menu does not allow me to create new folders, as the option is greyed out. It's as if my desktop literally does not exist and isn't even recognized by the Finder application as a location into which to create a new folder by default. But because I have access to the desktop through Finder windows, I can create new folders onto the desktop or any other location as I please. I don't know if I made any sense... Basically, I just cannot use the desktop interface, all the icons disppeared from my desktop; it's dead.

    I've tried the following: rebooting, re-launching the finder, repairing permission, deleting the files, summoning the .MacosX/environment.plist through single-user command line.
    I've even upgraded the system 10.7.2 to 10.7.3 in the meantime.

    I tried looking for the file, but that seems to be missing from ~/Library/Preferences/ folder.
    I have a feeling that this might be the root of the issue: Somehow, after summoning the hidden files via TinkerTool, the system managed to permanently delete the com.desktop.plist file.

    Please, help me out. I really don't want to do a fresh install of the system, neither go to a "Genius" bar :(
  2. penter thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2006
    So... no one has a clue?

    I tried re-installing the OS (without erasing my personal data) but that didn't work. I think I might have to do a clean install. But I still refuse to believe that is ever necessary. I've always been able to cleverly solve my issues after almost 11 years of using OSX.

    So, for all you heavy hitters out there, please if you have an idea, please don't hold out!
  3. jackhdev macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    I would move your home folder to another hard drive, and then do a clean install. After that's done, drag all of the contents of the home folder back to your new folder, except for the Library folder. Do the same with applications, etc. The reason I recommend this is because almost all software problems can be fixed with a clean installation and Time Machine will back up files that could be the root of the problem (or not back files up that are needed).

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