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  1. #1

    bob_gnarley's Avatar
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    Can't Rename Folders in Finder
    Hey Everyone,

    I've been a silent reader on this forum for a few days and have finally decided to join what seems like a great community.

    My problem is the following. I've had my unibody Macbook 17" for about a week now, and today I've all of a sudden noticed that I can't rename folders within my finder. For example, if I create a New Folder, when I go to rename it it's as if my key strokes just don't register, no matter what I type. It's the same case when I try to rename existing files or folders.

    On some other websites some people said to trash the comm.apple.finder.plist file, located in user>library>preferences>comm.apple.finder.plist

    I tried that, logged out and back in, and it seemed to work for a few hours, but now the problem is recurring again and I'm clueless as to what's going on.

    Any help is really appreciated as it seems from doing a simple google search that this has happened to people before, but none of the solutions have worked for me so far. I attached a screenshot of the problem, and as you can see even though the text is highlighted in blue I can't delete it, rename it, or even right click on it and cut. Thanks a lot everyone for your help.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    bob_gnarley's Avatar
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    Unibody Macbook 17" 2.66Ghz Anti-Glare
    I also noticed today that sometimes if I create a new folder even on my desktop that I can't rename that. And when I try to drag a document to my finder it's been giving me a weird message, as seen below. Thanks.

    Ian
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3

    Pomeroy's Avatar
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    Mar 11, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_gnarley View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    I've been a silent reader on this forum for a few days and have finally decided to join what seems like a great community.

    My problem is the following. I've had my unibody Macbook 17" for about a week now, and today I've all of a sudden noticed that I can't rename folders within my finder. For example, if I create a New Folder, when I go to rename it it's as if my key strokes just don't register, no matter what I type. It's the same case when I try to rename existing files or folders.

    On some other websites some people said to trash the comm.apple.finder.plist file, located in user>library>preferences>comm.apple.finder.plist

    I tried that, logged out and back in, and it seemed to work for a few hours, but now the problem is recurring again and I'm clueless as to what's going on.

    Any help is really appreciated as it seems from doing a simple google search that this has happened to people before, but none of the solutions have worked for me so far. I attached a screenshot of the problem, and as you can see even though the text is highlighted in blue I can't delete it, rename it, or even right click on it and cut. Thanks a lot everyone for your help.
    Is Master an external HD ???? if not this may be the start of your renaming problem..

    This message should ask you to authenticate before you can make changes to your disk drive.
    When the popup message pops up you should click on "Authenticate" then type in your Administrator name and password..

  4. #4

    bob_gnarley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pomeroy View Post
    Is Master an external HD ???? if not this may be the start of your renaming problem..

    This message should ask you to authenticate before you can make changes to your disk drive.
    When the popup message pops up you should click on "Authenticate" then type in your Administrator name and password..
    Hi Pomeroy,

    Thanks for the reply. I have only one internal hard drive that came with the laptop (320 GB 5200 RPM). However, I did partition it into a Boot drive (for my applications), Scratch Disk (for Photoshop), and Master (for all of my data, e.g. music, photos, documents etc.) if that's of any help.

    Also, when in finder, if I click on Master and then try to create a New Folder it does not give me that option in the pop-up window (please see attached image). It only gives me the options of "Eject Master," Get Info, View, Show View Options, and More.

    Yet when working in Boot or Scratch if I right click on that same field I can create a New Folder with no trouble. Not sure if that's any help with diagnosing the problem, but it is one more symptom I've noticed.

    Thanks a lot for the help
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

    Pomeroy's Avatar
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    I think your problem is not going to be easy to solve with out redoing your hard drive... you can't make a folder on the root of the drive, so you will never have much luck doing anything on Master. I think you will be able to use a Scratch Drive partition for Photoshop, but you should be using the Application, Documents, Music and Picture folders under ikimble001,,, That is your account and that is who you are as far as the Mac cares. You can drag folders for Music and Pictuers to the side bar of finder if you want easy access. Under ikimble001 you can make a folder and rename files all you want too, but put all your applications in the Application folder and other stuff in folders under ikimble001. You can't rename Apps or folders in the Application folder, you can drag'em out and rename then put back, but I would advise againest it untill you have a little more understanding of OS X. Hope this helps .

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    imho:

    There is not really a good reason to bring the Linux behavior of those 3 partitions into OS X. Personally, would suggest a reinstall with a single partition. If you want a scratch disk, it should be a separate drive, not a separate partition on your boot disk.

    You are not going to be needing to re-install OS X the way a lot of folks in the Linux realm re-install their OS. This really is the primary reason to have a separate partition for your data. After all, if your drive fails, you have still lost everything, no matter how many partitions you have set up.

    I believe it would be to your advantage to move back to a single partition, invest in an external drive and maybe set it up with a couple of partitions, one for backup and one for your scratch disk.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7

    bob_gnarley's Avatar
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    Excellent, much thanks to both of you for your input. I got the idea to split up a single hard drive from this article,

    Macintosh Performance Guide: Setting up Your Mac

    In the "Avoid Mixing Data With System and Applications" section I know he says that you preferably don't want to put your data on the same physical drive as your system, but that you can partition one drive into two partitions as a halfway solution if you only have one internal hard drive, such as with a Macbook Pro.

    Is it bad computer hygiene then to partition a single internal drive like I have done? And since you have recommended sticking to just one partition, what do you guys do for your scratch disk when you're on the move and can't haul around an external HD with you?

    Thank you again

  8. #8

    Pomeroy's Avatar
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    I skimmed over the link you posted and this guy probably has been on a Mac longer than me and most likely a lot smarter, but I only see problems ahead with chopping up a Macs Drive like he suggest, much like you have already experienced. A good backup plan is important if you have a lot of valuable files to protect. Your mac came with a good first line of defense ( Time Machine), but you may want some more extra protection too. If I were you I think I would reinstall the OS and leave off all the extra languages that I didn't need. I leave all the printer drivers because I never know what printer I might need connect to.
    I hardly ever use Photoshop anymore, I just drop a Photo on Pixelmator or GraphicConvert do my edit and can be done before Photoshop can even open up. So as are as a scratch disk you might have better luck with someone on a Photoshop site..

  9. #9

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Would say he's got it pretty much right on as relates to getting the best speed out of a system. What he says holds true regardless of which OS you may be using.

    This paragraph is key:
    Avoid mixing data with system and applications

    Avoid putting your data (images, spreadsheets, documents, music) on the same volume as your system, and preferably not even on the same physical drive as your system (eg a partition on the same drive as the system). It’s one thing for a hard drive to fail; it’s quite another to have both the system and your data gone simultaneously!

    This means you need at least two hard drives to do it right, though you can partition one hard drive into two volumes as a half-way solution. This is an unfortunate situation for the MacBook Pro, iMac, etc, which can have only one internal hard drive, but there’s no excuse for bad hygiene with a Mac Pro.

    By putting all your data on one data volume (I call my data volume Master), you can backup just that drive (and perhaps your home directory too). See how I set up my Mac Pro.

    The separation of system and data generally means better performance as well, since there is no contention between software and applications for access to the hard drive. Also, less total data is stored on each drive, so the fast part of the drive gets used.
    The only real portion I would disagree with is where he notes that partitioning your internal drive is a half-way solution. I'd say it's not even a quarter-way solution. Your drive fails, you lose both partitions, so no help there. At any time the system needs to access both partitions, you have also lost all the speed gains which his entire article is geared toward.

    To do what he is talking about, you need the separate drives. If you're not going to take the advice on the separate drives, looks like he does have some very good info on trimming your system install down and for tweaking Photoshop. This guy is attempting to get the last ounce of speed out of his system (and sparing no expense).

    I'm also not a Photoshop user. I've read many, many posts by those that do about using a separate scratch "disk" and I can see the advantage there.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    My solution for not being able to rename folders
    I occasionally have the problem of not being able to rename folders. The Finder basically is unresponsive to the keyboard. I have a 17" MacBook Pro. Mac OS X 10.5.8. This is what I do when that happens:

    1. Select "Force Quit..." from the Apple menu
    2. Select "Finder"
    3. Select the "Relaunch" button

    That always fixes the problem for me.

  11. #11

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    2-1/2 year old thread

    But, if that tip doesn't work, try a new User Account.

  12. #12


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    Pefect. Thanks for the tip
    Thank you so much for your perfect answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by iowaCityCyclone View Post
    I occasionally have the problem of not being able to rename folders. The Finder basically is unresponsive to the keyboard. I have a 17" MacBook Pro. Mac OS X 10.5.8. This is what I do when that happens:

    1. Select "Force Quit..." from the Apple menu
    2. Select "Finder"
    3. Select the "Relaunch" button

    That always fixes the problem for me.

  13. #13

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowaCityCyclone View Post
    .
    I just noticed the oxymoron.

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