Lost all desktop files and directories!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by musu, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. musu macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011

    I have a very big problem: my desktop suddenly emptied, and i can't find any file or directory that was there anywhere on the HD.

    Background: yesterday i updated to OSX 10.6.6, and everything worked fine until this morning, when i opened Papers (which worked perfectly until yesterday) and got an error message stating that it could not relocate the library from /User/Documents/Papers to new location /User/Desktop/Papers because the old library didn't exist. At the same time (I could see it in the background) ALL the icons on my desktop disappeared (Except "Macintosh HD").

    I opened Terminal and looked everywhere for them, with no success. Even tried "whereis" and "find" on the Users folder. none.

    On a side note, which could be important, i am running the OS in Italian, and have noticed that the desktop has actually been renamed in all locations (it was "Scrivania" in the left panel in Finder windows, now is "Desktop".)

    The computer is working perfectly and I can see and access normally all other files that were in different folders.

    I have a feeling that this happened because the upgrade renamed the folders, and this caused a conflict with papers. could it be?

    Is there any way to see if the files are still on the HD, and where they are?

    All help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance

  2. cosmic-girl, Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011

    cosmic-girl macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Same issue

    I just added Boot Camp with Win7 and ran the updates on my Mac yesterday. When I restarted the computer i go the message that the library did not exist, etc...and my home screen returned to the original Snow Leopard screen as if I had wiped my computer clean and started over. It still has my user file but my home settings (which fortunately I had moved all to an external drive) were not there. I restarted and it went back to normal and found my files, desktop etc. but upon restarting this AM, it is totally void of my settings and can not find my home folder at all. If I try and repoint the user file to my home folder it does not keep the settings when I restart. I do not know what to do. Also, my Time machine had stopped working apparently and if I roll back I will lose everything I have done locally for the past few days.

    If you figure this out please let me know and I likewise. Thanks.

    Oh and here is an update. When I go to my Home file and my Macintosh HD folder all it contains now is a lost + found folder.
  3. Mactrillionaire macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2010
    Sounds like you have either uncovered a bug in the operating system or there is a mechanical problem with your hard disk. I would recommend submitting a bug report to Apple.

    Did you check the Trash on reboot? Did it contain any items? What does /Applications/Utilities/Console say about the time that this event occurred?
  4. rpmac macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2007
    Lost all desktop files and settings when forced to reboot

    I have G4 mac with 10.4.11
    While using Safari, got message I had to restart my computer. I did so, and when the screen came up, my desktop was blue with all the files and icons missing. The dock at the bottom of the screen was there.

    When I clicked on Users /HOME I saw only three folders DESKTOP (empty) Documents (microsoft user data folder only) LIBRARY with some folders in it.
    There was a folder with my name in the USERS folder. That's where all my files and folders were. The DESKTOP folder had all the contents that was displayed on my desktop before.

    Did the HOME location lose it's link to my folder with the files?

    How do I fix this problem?


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