Freaking out. OSX reinstalled itself? everything gone.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jenangelcat, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. jenangelcat macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2006
    I've been on the computer all day. Something this afternoon, one by one all my programs have gone back to the intro you get when you get new software, safari, firefox, itunes, msn messenger, iphoto, everything.

    My documents all still there but my photos, bookmarks, movies, music is all gone. The garbage contents are still there.

    it's osx 10.4.11
    2.16ghz intel core 2 duo.

    I'm at a loss.
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Something probably wiped out the plists which store each applications preferences. Did you throw anything out?

    Look at Home Directory > Library > Preferences. If preferences for programs you've used in the past, but not since this happened are missing,or if the creation/modification dates are recent, this is what happened.

    Do you have a backup?
  3. jenangelcat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2006
    I fixed it. For some bizarre reason the home file was renamed "/". A new folder was made with the home file's old name "myname" so all the apps were going through the new folder which had no info in it. Once that folder was deleted, we could rename the home file "myname" and everything went back to normal.

    Before I figured it out, I noticed that when I searched in spotlight for files nothing would come up but if I looked around manually I could find some of them.

    The big question of course is why it happened in the first place. Who magically created the new file and changed the name of the old one? I was the only one using the computer today and I was just surfing the net.

    Will be buying some usb keys today to back up files on to.
  4. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008

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