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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Desktop problems...


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coydna

 
Member Since: Feb 17, 2010
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Hi all,

A little conversation has turned into a big problem for my wife and I. A few nights ago we were discussing what a good idea it would be to backup our computers, and ensure that if ever the 'sad mac' appeared we would be covered.
The next day fate decided it would beat us to the punch. My wife was installing a shiny new iTunes to her iMac (OS X 10.4.11) and browsing the web using Firefox. All of sudden everything froze. This had happened a couple of times and we figured, we given it a bit too much to do as per usual, and pressed the power button and restarted.
Then the problem hit. She logged on as usual and nothing was out of the ordinary. Then she was greeted with a blank desktop. No background except the basic blue one, her files that would normally be on her desktop had vanished along with any folders and her dock at the bottom was back to its basic layout.
Attempts so far...

1: We've finally got the external hard drive and, using file salvage, found a whole host of files and exported them across. Of course these are all files that were EVER deleted on the system as well as random bits and pieces related to other programs. Any attempt to go through these and sort them or even use FileSalvage's handy file renamer have failed.

2: My reaction was that the link between our desktop file and the drive was broken so a quick trip to disk utilities and I repaired it. No luck either.

3: You folk. Any thoughts as to what can be done to salvage my wife's Mac? 4 years of university and family photos (and an entire iTunes library!) have disappeared and she's getting kinda freaked out now.

Cheers in advance for any advice/help/consolations!
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blackmac11

 
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You could try taking it to an apple store if you live near one, but that sounds like a real bummer. Good Luck, I hope someone can shed some light on it


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chscag

 
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Quote:
3: You folk. Any thoughts as to what can be done to salvage my wife's Mac? 4 years of university and family photos (and an entire iTunes library!) have disappeared and she's getting kinda freaked out now.
First thing to do: Quit using her computer, especially any access to the hard drive.

Next: Download a trial version of recovery software to see if it can recover your files. If it can, buy the full version.

I recommend "Stellar Data Recovery" because I know it works. I've used it before. Download from here.

Remember, this is a trial version and won't actually do any recovery, however, you'll be able to tell if it can recover the files before you buy the software.

Regards.
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I'd follow chscag's advice on this one, but just wanted to add that what happened when you rebooted was that your wife's Home folder was corrupted, so the OS by default created a new one.

You can check this by looking in the Users folder of the damaged HD (preferably NOT by booting it up, but by mounting it on another machine via Firewire Target Mode). Normally there are at least two folder in Users; one with the user's name (their home folder) and another one called Shared. You may see that you have three, with two of them being similarly named.

If that's the case, then its quite likely that all or most of the data in the original account is fine and recoverable.
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