What the hell has happened????????

Discussion in 'Apple Forum' started by Empgamer, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    I cannot believe what has happened this morning or what I might have done to make it happen (seeing as all I've been doing is normal surfing/using).

    I just looked at my e-mail which was open in the background and then checked on a draft I was compiling. On opening it said something like 'the content of this draft has not been downloaded this account needs to be taken online' or words to that effect. I then shut Mail down and when I opened it up again it strated to take me through a new set up procedure as if I had no accounts at all!!!!

    I then shut the whole Mac down and restarted it. Result, it seems like it's virtually a new machine. The Dock is back at the bottom, not the side where I had it, the 100 or so entries in Delicious Library are gone and it's asking me whether I want to load the demo!!!!!!. I dread to think what else has been erased. Safari has also gone back to the default settings it seems with al the original feeds and default groups set up which I had taken pain to set up the way I wated. Also I notice that it seems just about every single folder has the pale blue default folder marker where as the left side of Finder used to have Icons and whatever? It's as if 75% of the machine has gone back to if ite's had never been used.

    I hope to god that having spent the last week setting this up and creating files etc as I really do not have the time to go through it al again. If this is the way Macs behave Apple can have this back and I'll have a refund and get something that works. Really not impressed at all and have absolutely no idea what has caused this and/or why, or, more importantly, how to fix it. It really calls into question the stability of MacBooks for me and at the moment I'm not impressed at all :thumbsdow
     
  2. jont

    jont
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    OK ... couple of things you can do ...

    Check the users setup in the system preferences - is your profile still there ? have you set up another profile (which will have 'default' settings) which has been loaded ?

    Take a backup of your 'user' folders - if you can - eg photos, library, music, etc - ignore the apps as they can be reloaded if the worst happens

    Run 'repair permissions' in Disk Utility to tidy up any loose file threads

    restart in safe mode by holding down shift key on restart which will load a 'clean' system for the main user without any 3rd party startup apps ...

    Let us know if any of those do the trick ...

    HTH

    Jon
     
  3. hutch

    hutch
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    Firstly, calm down.

    Secondly, no this is not how Macs "behave".

    Have you checked user account to make sure that another user hasnt been created hence the loss of all your settings? I have seen this before on a Win XP machine at work but nothing was lost it was just hidden as the computer has set up a new default logon account.

    I would be amazed if you have just lost everything, its not that easy.

    Have you backed up?
     
  4. hutch

    hutch
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    beat me to it :hiya:
     
  5. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    I'm calm believe me, just a) anoyed and b) sufering from shock :eek:

    I seem to have got most of what was gone working again. What I can't work out is what went wrong?????

    All I've done today is, on a couple of recommendations in books, dragged the Home, Applications, and Documents to the Dock. As part of that process, one or two seemed to get duplicated so I trashed them.

    Now I looked at my Home folder (after a restart I think) and it had only Library and Desktop in it. I figured my real Home folder might be somewhere else so I did a Spotlight. It was there, from an hour ago but was in 'Folders'??? I couldn't work out how to replace one with the other so I copied the folders from the Home account in 'Folders' to the actual 'Home' account with the house icon. I then renamed Library in the Folders version to Lib 2, copied it over, deleted Library in the Home and renamed Lib 2 to Library. Re-Booted and all is well. Well at least I hope it is.

    I'm wondering now

    a) How did it happen? Perhaps placing SOME folders on the Dock is either not advisable or fraught with some risks

    b) Whether i need to run any kind of utility to either clean up any crap and/or make sure things are working?

    Thanks for your help guys and, like I say, believe me I was calm, but shocked and EXTREMELY concerned that I'd lost some fairly important stuff in e-mails.
     
  6. jont

    jont
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    Ok ... first - is anything left in the trash or did you empty that ?

    What I suggest doing is re-installing the complete OS ... but select the option to 'Archive and Install' and 'preserve users and network setting' ... this will move all your user 'system' files and settings to to a safe folder and re-install a clean system and set of apps, etc ... it will keep you email prefs, etc and then allow you to pick through the old folder and transfer anything else that you need ...

    Sounds drastic but with your folder moving/deleting to try and resolve your situation it is probably the best way to easily start over

    jon
     
  7. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    No, Trash still has contents. One Home Folder, three desktops and one Library.

    As it seems that the problems were caused by a deletion of the Home account which has now been restored, I'm wondering if a complete re-install is needed seeing as everything is working now. I have a lot in the Trash which I could no doubt delete which would doubtless tidy it up and i wonder if it's worth running that utility? A complete re-install does seem a little drastic seeing as it's now working. Possibly something I could look at if i starts to play up?
     
  8. jont

    jont
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    Do any of them have any contents or size ?
     
  9. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    Most are empty. Folders that were on the desktop at some stage as the contents were moved across.

    One is a desktop and it contains the original Home folder contents all of which were restored to the desktop, copied across to the new home, and then deleted.

    The other seems to contain the library from the 'new' Home account which was created and has 14 items in versus the 31 in the 'restored' original library.
     
  10. jont

    jont
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    OK ... just to be double-sure about not losing anything which might be important to you - move the library folder back to the desktop and rename 'xxxlibrary' ...

    Then I do suggest booting from the master disc and doing a clean install using the archive and preserve option I outlined above - this way you will get a clean system but keep your settings and old library/data files that you can then pick through after and safely delete ... once everything is working

    Jon
     
  11. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    Wonder if I might be better copying back over both the new library that was created when the Mac did a new account AND the old Home Account (inc its Library) that seemed to have got inadvertently deleted, and just delete the empty folders from the trash before a re-install?

    What about the various downloads and plug-ins I have? Will a re-install delete all those and will I have to go get them again, re-install them again AND set and/or populate them all again? That would be a real chore. The only concern that I have with going over the preserved folders on after a re-install is that I would have little to no idea what I was supposed to look for and what to do with it. As such I could end up with a half a dozen or so half baked apps that are not working at all :(

    Also, presume there is a Help somewhere on doing a re-install? I'd hate to make assumptions about how to do it and bugger it up now I have it all working again after this morning's fiasco :rolleyes: I've also read quite a few threads on this and other forums about systems or parts of them (superdrives, iSight, and sound etc) not working after a re-install, hence my EXTREME hestiancy. Presume the need to re-install is created from all that might have been going on in the background with routes being re-mapped etc despite the physical appearance of only moving folders back and forth?

    Oh for a system roll back that I could just select 7am from!!!
     
  12. jont

    jont
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    Your existing applications (non-Apple) will remain on the disk so you shouldn't need to download those again ...

    I'd leave the new library alone - the archive/preserve install process will keep that and tuck it safely away in the 'previous system' folder it will create ...

    The archive/install option is a walk-through as part of the install - if you want to read-up first look here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301270 and here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120

    jon
     
  13. rob_finch

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    Leopard will give you that.

    I did exactly the same thing as you, I moved my Home folder (to a separate partition in my case) and all my settings were not there. I think OS X creates a new user account from a template when it cannot find all it needs when you login.

    This is another example of why regular backups are so important. You may still have to perform some re-installation, but all your important data should be stored somewhere else. I've just purchased .Mac and the bundled app backs up my Library folder as well as anything else I choose each day.
     
  14. apolloa

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    May I ask why you moved and deleted those files and folders? It sounds like it's the same as deleting system or users setting files in windows. I don't undertsand why a book would tell you to do that?
     
  15. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    The book merely advised items that might be useful in the dock. Either I messed up moving them or I moved them from the wrong place and took the original instead of an 'Alias'. Somehow in the confusion the original was deleted. Whichever way, they got deleted and it wasn't the intention.

    Given that I do plan to go for Leopard, would that resolve the issue of doing an OS re-install now. Mind sounf odd but after this morning's fright I have a real sense of dread about doing a re-install. Or is just installing Leopard likely to write over the top of the existing OS as opposed to doing effectively what a re-install of Tiger with Archive and Restore.

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent 320 GB freestanding hard drive which I plan to take a load of FLAC ripped CDs overseas with. Think I might strat using that to back this up to once a week. Presumably there will be no problems in he Mac seeing and using that drive, even if filed have been dumped to it using a Windows PC in a seperate directory?
     
  16. jont

    jont
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    You have the same options to install under Leopard as with Tiger - i.e. wipe drive and install, install and overwrite OS, archive and install ...

    It's up to you - if you think everything is working OK then leave it and decide when Leopard ships later next month ...

    If you are still having problems then I'd archive/preserve now and sleep easy for a few weeks !! ...

    Jon
     
  17. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    Understandably perhaps, this morning's events have left me a little paranoid about touching anything. I have now copied my User Account contents safely away!!!!

    Given that Leopard is coming out soon, which I will clearly HAVE to install (and I suspect everyone will install with the save user option), I may well wait until then. IF I start to get problems in the meantime I will do the re-install now. I've checked and re-checked eveything now and ALL is working so I may just let it do what it might be best doing when Leopard arrives. I shall buy it on day one for the Roll Back alone :rolleyes: Maybe once I've stopped shaking I may get the courage to do a re-instll before Leopard but it may be wasted time/effort if I have to do it all again anyway when Leopard arrives.

    Meantime: memo to self - jab self in eyes and break fingers if they stray ANYWHERE near User Account or related folders ESPECIALLY Library.

    In hindsight I think I tried to move folders to the Doc from Finder rather than the Mac HDD icon, not sure if that matters but that seems to be when it all started going pear shaped. One way or another the original folder got moved as opposed to it creating an alias which is what I thought would hapen.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  18. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    Wonder if it would be worth running the Repair Permissions?? If so, I believe it has to be run from he disc (insert disk, shut down and reboot?).

    I had a look at the utility on from the Utilities folder (but believe it can't actually work on the disc it's on). I notice you get the overarching complete drive option and also the Mac HDD section/partition. Would you tell it to do the subordinate Mac HDD only or thw whole lot. Again, a bit paranoid about wiping my disc by mistake!!!
     
  19. jont

    jont
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    You can run repair permissions from the hard drive - you don't need to boot from the dvd ... select the lower drive entry and click repair ...

    IOf you want to keep things nice and tidy then I'd suggest downloading 'Cocktail' from here: http://www.maintain.se/cocktail/index.php and run that in pilot mode - I use every couple of days ...

    jon
     
  20. Empgamer

    Empgamer
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    Thanks Jon, that's a real help. I've run Repair Permissions from Disk Utilities and I've Downloaded and run Cocktail in Pilot. No problems encountered.

    As an aside, I think I have this part right. Using Cocktail as the example, once downloaded you get the 'Drag Icon to Applications Folder to install'. Having done that you then have the Cocktail.dmg and also what lloks like a USB stick icon with Cocktail below it. I believe these can be deleted or, in case you need to re-install, copy just the .dmg icon to a folder, say in Documents and marked up as whatever, 'Installed Applications' for instance?

    I noticed that when I installed Acid Search it handles things differently (as zip if I recall) and it leave behind Acid Search Installer. I copied this to Applications too but I suspect that as a browser plu-in, as oposed to a full blown App, I didn't really need to and I could just drag that out to the same folder as above. Clicking it gives the options to install or uninstall so hence my reason to keep it. Unless they are Apps that require dragging to the App folder I suppose it's best not to clutter that with anything that doesn't have to be there.
     
  21. SamRadford

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    Oops. :D That's what did it.

    It's remarkably easy to screw things up royally on a Mac. Just delete or rename something that's absolutely critical, such as your user account. Ignore any warning messages like "do you REALLY REALLY want to delete this?"

    "Ah, there's a cute little house called "johnsmith". I'll just rename it "myhouse". Oh! Where has everything gone? <sob> :rolleyes:
     

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