Issues with Finder/Desktop

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by eskrocks, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. eskrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #1
    Hello,
    I use a Power Mac G4 running OS X 10.3.9. I recently went to start up my Mac to work on some layout design for a magazine. It started up as usual, with the Apple sign with the spinner below it and such, but when it is finished loading, it brings me to a desktop with no icons; just my background and dock. The cursor is there, but alternates between the arrow and loading spinner every few seconds. Upon trying to start up an app from the dock, it begins to launch, and promptly force quits. (This includes launching preferences.) When I right click on the finder icon, it has the option to relaunch, which I did, and it did nothing. It still acts this way in safe boot mode. I have not ran Disk Utility yet, as I have not found my system disks' case yet. I have over 5 years of artwork for my clothing company on this computer, and it would be a real shame to lose it all. Any tips that may get this up and running again?
    Thank you for your time.
    ESKRocks
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    The flashing cursor is because the Finder is crashing, then when it tries to automatically re-launch it immediately crashes again. This is also why you don't see anything on the Desktop--those icons are drawn by the Finder.

    As for what's wrong, something obviously got badly hosed with the system if it's not just the Finder crashing (just the Finder could just be a bad file on the Desktop), and Safe Mode doesn't help.

    If you don't have a recent backup of your files, stop doing anything else right now, find someone else with a Mac and a Firewire cable, connect your computer in Target Disk Mode, and back everything up. If the drive is dying, the more you mess with it the more the chance it's going to fail completely before you get your data off.

    AFTER you have a backup, then start with Disk Utility (unless it won't mount on another Mac, in which case try Disk Utility to repair it) and/or an OS reinstall, assuming the drive isn't dying. If you can't get it to mount/repair to do a backup, check out some of the threads here on data salvage (Data Rescue 3 is your best bet).
     
  3. eskrocks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #3
    It will not mount via Firewire, nor will it read my Tiger DVD with Disk Utility. Is five years of art now forever lost?
     
  4. iTechSup macrumors newbie

    iTechSup

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Heres what you do:

    I had kinda same problem on my MacBook on Leopard (I'm on snow now). In my situation, I had only desktop, nothing else loaded. It's your finder, it crashes (obviously). Yes, you can reinstall the system, but there's another problem, what if your hard drive is damaged? cause that's what was my problem. My recommendations, buy a new hard drive, then reinstall your os.
     
  5. iTechSup macrumors newbie

    iTechSup

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5

    what if his hard drive is damaged?
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    The fact that it won't read your Tiger DVD (you do mean that it won't boot into the Tiger installer, right?) might be a good sign, since it could indicate that something other than the hard drive is broken. More expensive to fix, but more likely to get your data off.

    Here is what you want to do to have any hope of salvaging your data:

    First, if you don't already own a firewire or USB to ATA case or adapter, buy or borrow one. (I'm assuming since it's a G4 the hard drive is ATA rather than SATA.) Find another Mac to troubleshoot with; if that Mac you're going to use to troubleshoot is older and doesn't have USB2, you're definitely going to want a firewire case.

    Once you've got the adapter, remove the hard drive from the computer, put it in the case/attach it to the adapter.

    Download Data Rescue 3 on the working Mac, hook up the adapter to it, turn it on, and point Data Rescue 3 at the bad hard drive. (Actually, there's a chance the hard drive will just mount and you can copy files normally at this point, if it's the G4 that's broken, not the hard drive. In that case no need to continue with DR3--just copy the files and burn them to DVDs or another hard drive.)

    If you are lucky, Data Rescue 3 will be able to salvage your files. Note that you can see what it will be able to save before you pay for it, so there's no money wasted trying. If it can get them, burn them to DVDs and/or copy them onto another external hard drive, and then set about getting your G4 working again (or replacing it).

    If Data Rescue 3 fails to find anything and/or can't retrieve anything usable, you're down to one option: Pay a hard drive salvage company a LOT of money to get your files back. There's a good chance they'll be able to save stuff, but it could cost you several thousand dollars. Up to you whether it's worth that much at that point.

    But, hopefully, Data Rescue 3 will work and you'll be ok--it's saved my bacon on a couple of occasions. Take this as a lesson for the future: If you don't want to lose a file, back it up. It's not a matter of if a hard drive will fail, but when.
     
  7. eskrocks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #7
    Thank you so much for all your help! I will try the external case with Data Rescue and all that when I get a chance to. I do have another computer to but the files on, a newer duel-core G4. I will let you know how it all goes.
     

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