Problems with iMac

Jan 15, 2007
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A friend of mine is having some serious issues with her iMac. She has the model that came out right before they were released with the iSight (if that helps you). She wanted me to ask this...

"Help my computer seems to be closing every program I open except for fire fox which is displaying cursive fonts as the default. Also I can't access anything on my desktop? Do I have a I virus?"

She called our local Mac dealer, MacOutpost, and they told her they couldnt do anything. Shes debating just reloading her install disks and crossing her fingers.

Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions?

also, side question, how many install discs are there? i'm at work and dont remember, she has two, but is thinking she is missing one, or more.

Jan 4, 2006
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Hamburg, Germany
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Pro | iMac(2.1 G5) | MacBook(2.16 C2D) | MacMini (1.67 CD) | iPhone 4 | iPad (3rd Gen)
As the first step of troubleshooting you can try to Repair Permission using Disk Utility located at /Applications/Utilities/. If that doesn't help, install Onyx (a free maintenance App.) and run all the maintenance scripts. You can also remove all the cache (Internet, Application, etc.,). If non of it helps get back to us and perhaps we can give you more tips. ;)

Good Luck!


If novice's suggestions don't change anything, there are a couple of other things you can try.

- Deleting the Finder's pref file: your friend will be able to find this file here:

Macintosh HD -> Users -> Her home directory -> Library -> Preferences ->

She should then drag that file to the trash , restart and she can then empty the trash if everything is behaving normally.

- If nothing is fixed, she should create a new user account, log out of her usual account and log into the new one to see if the problem happens in that new account as well.

If the problem is restricted to the old account, it means that there is probably a piece of software installed in the older account that messed it up somehow.

If the problem is in the new account as well, it means the problem is system-wide and needs a harder look at things. In which case, DiskWarrior would be extremely useful to her at the moment.

- If she is running Mac OS X Panther (10.3.x), she should repair disk permissions. If she is running Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4.x), it won't change much of anything if she does, as disk permissions issues in Tiger have been solved almost entirely.
Apr 20, 2006
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Your Mac's Specs
Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
Help my computer seems to be closing every program I open except for fire fox

Closing how? Error messages? Are all programs the same? What was the last piece of software she installed? We need more details.

In the meantime, try downloading Onyx and clearing caches etc.

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