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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - Desktop icons missing.


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robbiemullen

 
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Member Since: Apr 25, 2005
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ok, yesterday i noticed my powermac G5 was starting to run a bit sluggish. just playing music from itunes it was taking a bit longer then usual to play a track. after leaving my computer running for a few hours, i was prompted by the OS to tell me that i was running out of hard drive space. i originally only had about 1.3GB free on my primary drive. it was now telling me that there was only 240MB left. so i closed itunes and other apps (Word, Safari) and restarted the machine. when it booted back up and i logged in, the dock loaded up fine, but all my desktop icons were missing. also the top bar on the screen was missing, except for just the time part. i have restarted the machine twice after and it still loads up the same.....any ideas? was thinking maybe if i get my hands on a firewire cable i could repair the harddrive in the G5 using DiskWarrior via target mode..is that possible?
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chscag

 
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I think it would be better to get a new hard drive or start removing all that music and copy it to an external hard drive. What probably happened is you ran out of hard drive space because of virtual memory paging and somehow your desktop and who knows what else is now gone.

Target mode and Disk Warrior are not going to help. You need a larger hard drive or make more room on the one you have. In order to function properly the system needs paging space and room to move files. You have neither.

Regards.
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robbiemullen

 
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not exactly the answer i was looking for (no offense) , it has performed fine before. i think there is something else up with it, maybe its the last days for the hard drive, or maybe something is up with the file structuring.
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hughvane

 
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You could try booting from the OS dvd and running a disk analysis, and repair if necessary. As you suggest, it could be a dying hard drive, in which case get as much off it as possible, as soon as possible. New hard drives are inexpensive.
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robbiemullen

 
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yeah i dont mind buying a new hard drive, after all the primary drive in the machine is 6 years old, and i could do with more hard drive space. i just want to get into the drive and retrieve some data. how do you boot for disk analysis? whats the key command?
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hughvane

 
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From the dvd Disk 1, hold down the C key on booting, and keep holding it until the splash screen appears (it's different from the usual one, you'll soon recognise it). Then, once the OS is running from the dvd, go to Disk Utility from one of the items in the top menu bar (can't recall exact details). It's pretty straightforward from there. You need to run the hardware check, and then, if a fault is found, run Repair Disk.
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DRailroad

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiemullen View Post
ok, yesterday i noticed my powermac G5 was starting to run a bit sluggish. just playing music from itunes it was taking a bit longer then usual to play a track. after leaving my computer running for a few hours, i was prompted by the OS to tell me that i was running out of hard drive space. i originally only had about 1.3GB free on my primary drive. it was now telling me that there was only 240MB left. so i closed itunes and other apps (Word, Safari) and restarted the machine. when it booted back up and i logged in, the dock loaded up fine, but all my desktop icons were missing. also the top bar on the screen was missing, except for just the time part. i have restarted the machine twice after and it still loads up the same.....any ideas? was thinking maybe if i get my hands on a firewire cable i could repair the harddrive in the G5 using DiskWarrior via target mode..is that possible?
After exhausting what seemed like every avenue for the same issue (missing desktop icons, inactive desktop - unable to right-click desktop to bring up options) including a very knowledgeable in-law AND . . . oh, oh . . . EVEN Apple Tier Two (an expert!, supposedly) I found the application below. Wish I could take credit but it was posted by a very knowledgeable user who apparently KNOWS what she is doing when it comes to Apples:

Apple - Downloads - System/Disk Utilities - OnyX

This is a very powerful tool providing a lot of options. It did exactly what she (aforementioned user) said it would, and THEN some. There were so many options that, rather than taking a great deal of valuable time to familiarize myself with another application, after "Verifying" our Disk, I selected the "Automation" tab as well as .DS_Store (or "Display of Folders Content") under the "Rebuild" options.

Voila! Desktop returned and system actually seems to run a tiny bit faster (hard to tell, really, since it wasn't running that slow before, but it DOES seem faster).

Normally I do not like recommending something that I have not used frequently, but this is definitely and OUTSTANDING tool! Spread the word - seems others are having the same issue on 10.5+ (missing, unrecoverable desktop icons and unresponsive icons, for no evident reason).

After all this (again, trying everything I could think of on my own, local expertise, forums, Apple!, etc) it is a relief to get this system back to normal.
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hughvane

 
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I have to agree with DRailroad about OnyX - and it reminds me that it's high time I did some OS maintenance with it!

That said however, OnyX is not for repairing hardware faults, which is why the advice about disk analysis is pertinent. If hardware is found to be in good order, especially via Disk Warrior, then OnyX is definitely a next step.
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ForceOneStudio

 
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Go to MacintoshHD>User>Library>Preferences. Locate this file: com.apple.finder.plist Drag that file to the Trash, then empty the Trash. Reboot your Mac and see if your Desktop looks the way it should.

Also, run Disk Utility and Repair Permissions. Disk Utility is in your Applications>Utility folder. Double click to launch it. While it's open, click your mouse on the Icon jumping up and down in the Dock, and click where it says:
Keep in Dock, because you should use it at least once a week. Now.. in Disk Utility, select your MacintoshHD in the panel on the left. Click Repair Permissions. It takes about a minute or so to run this. After it's finished Quit Disk Utility. Reboot your Mac. See if the Desktop is acting normally.
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torchy

 
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Just for future reference from Apple Support:
You should maintain at least 10 GBs or 15% of your hard drive's capacity as free space.

~ 13" MacBook Air. OSX 10.9 ~ iPad 2 & iPhone ~
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