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need help deleting a corrupt file

einmusiker

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 26, 2010
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Ok, so I downloaded a corrupt file that I should not have and need to reinstall mavericks. I have 2 administrative accounts on my mbp and the account that I dl'd the file to was my main account. I cannot log into that account because of the corrupt file (spinning rainbow pinwheel). I'd like to delete that corrupt file from my other admin account and save the rest of the desktop to an external hd and do a clean install of mavericks and start fresh. Is this possible? as a last resort I have a time machine backup that was last saved about 3 months ago but I'd prefer not to go that route as I'd lose some files and work. Thanks for your help
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,891
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California
It is odd you can't get into the other account because of this file. Is it because that file it auto launching when you login to the account? If that is the issue, try a safe mode boot by holding the shift key at startup. That will bypass any startup items and maybe get you back in.

If that does not work, tell be exactly where this corrupt file is in the other account and I may be able to piece together a Terminal command to delete it.
 
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chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
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to be clear, I can log in but when I do I get nothing but the spinning pinwheel. The file was downloaded to the desktop

It may be that the Finder is trying to do something on the corrupted file, such as make a preview, and it's failing in this unpleasant way (wedged).

It may be another component, such as the mdimporter daemon for Spotlight is failing, as it tries to scan the file and fails.

Since Finder is apparently wedged, I think you'll need to post the exact name of this file, so it can be deleted using a few Terminal commands from the other admin account. If you don't know the exact name, that can be determined using other Terminal commands from the other admin account. Please tell us exactly how you want to proceed.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,891
10,682
California
to be clear, I can log in but when I do I get nothing but the spinning pinwheel. The file was downloaded to the desktop

Is there anything else on the Desktop in that account you care about?

This command will delete everything on the Desktop in the account. To tun the command login to the second account then open Terminal and enter this command, but change the "username" part to the real username for that hung account.

Code:
sudo rm -rf /Users/username/Desktop/*

If there are other files on that Desktop you want to keep, you will need to enter the exact file name like this substituting the exact file name and file extension where I have nameoffile.ext. You will also need to sub in the real account username.

Code:
sudo rm -rf /Users/username/Desktop/nameoffile.ext

If you can't recall the exact file name this will list files on the Desktop in that account. Again run this from Terminal in the good account and sub in the bad account username.

Code:
sudo ls /Users/username/Desktop/
 
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