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Michelle
Michelle, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 806
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
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Help! Finder is hung up on my iMac. Relaunch has no effect.

Resolved Question:

Help! Finder is hung up on my iMac. Relaunch has no effect. Can turn off or restart with Ctrl/eject, but that doesn't fix Finder either.
Am running a 2009 iMac 266 intel Core 2 Duo. Haven't upgraded to the very newest OS so I guess that leaves me at Snow Leopard.I think problem began about 2 weeks ago when I installed a Sprint cell phone Airave. Got a message it had taken the IP address but I didn't understand what I was supposed to do about that, and it seemed to work fine. Friday the iMac informed me that it couldn't do my Time Capsule backup, and when I finished my session and thought I powered down, the iMac apparently hung on Finder.
Now I held down Shift when booting up, from chime until Apple logo. I got the slow gray bar boot up, but I cannot launch applications, like Tools! It now shows the Safari folder enlarged on the desktop, indicating it was last modified Jan. 14, which is not correct.
Should I go to my install disks? Could I have some directions for that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Michelle replied 1 year ago.

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.

Thank you for the detailed description of your issue. So I can better understand and assist you, I will need additional information from you. Is your computer still frozen? Is it currently in safe mode (happens when you press and hold down the shift key)

Customer: I think it is still in Safe Mode. It looks the same as usual, though, and I cannot select or open anything with the mouse.
Appleologist :

Ok, first Restart your computer and boot into your normal account.

Customer: I cannot restart in usual way. Have to use Control-Eject. Have done this several times already and get same hung home page.
Appleologist :

Try this instead. Press and hold the power button until it shuts down. (the power button is located in the back of your imac) Then unplug your computer for 10 secs before plugging it back. Then press the power button again this time, press and hold the option key until you see a hard drive image appear

Customer: OK. There it is.
Appleologist :

Ok now click on your hard drive and it will boot into your desktop. Let me know when it boots up

Customer: OK, there it is. It is showings couple of widgets that hung on it during ear
Appleologist :

Ok. Are you able to open any applications?

Customer: ierearlier attempts to fix it. I am not able to close them with mouse.
Customer: Cannot open applications. BTW, Two widgets are stuck on desktop from earlier attempts at fixing this.
Appleologist :

Ok, lets try to force quit. Press and hold Command+Option+escape key. Or if you are able to use your mouse, you can click on the apple logo in the upper left corner and choose force quit

Customer: Haven't been able to use apple logo quit at all. Force quit not working at all today. Yesterday I could highlight Fnder and hot Relaunch--which was ineffective. Today, I can't highlight Fnder.
Appleologist :

Ok we may need to re-install your operating system. Before we do that, lets reset your computers PRAM. To do this,


1.Shut down the computer.


2.Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.


3.Turn on the computer.


4.Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears. Let computer chime 4 times

Customer: Today, I removed the Sprint Airave and relocated the Wireless router so Meier is connected to my iMac. Also removed the external hard drive for Time Machine.
Appleologist :

Ok before you reset the PRAM as instructed earlier, make sure you remove all devices connected.

Customer: I have dome a PRAM resent 2twice already, after researching the problem online.
Appleologist :

Ok cool. So lets start the re-installation of your OS. Do you have your installation disk handy

Customer: yes. There are two, Install DVD and Applications Install DVD.
Appleologist :

We will need the install DVD. Before we re-install your operating system, we will need to scan and check your hard drive. The symptoms that you are describing sounds like it is related to your hard drive. Insert the disk and restart your computer

Appleologist :

While pressing and holding the option key

Customer: OS X install DVD is for version 10.6
Appleologist :

Is that the message you are getting?

Customer: No. Just inserting disk now,
Appleologist :

Ha ok. Just making sure

Customer: Forgot to hold down option key, but it is showing me option to install Mac OS X. Is it OK to do that from home page, or should I restart again?
Appleologist :

You will need to restart again since we need to scan your hard drive first. When you hold down the option key, you will see the disk image

Customer: Ok, I see an arrow below the hard drive image, and image of DVD next to it. Keyboard over to DVD and hot enter?
Appleologist :

Yes. Select the DVD image and press enter

Customer: It is whirling away...
Appleologist :

Cool. When it loads, choose english

Customer: Done. It is now at the install Mac OS X prompt. Should I just hit Cntinue? I have Time Machine backups, but they ,ay be affected by the suspected IP address problem.
Appleologist :

Nope. In the top menu, choose utilities and then choose disk utility

Customer: Ok, so I don't follow the Continue, but go into Utilities up at the top?
Appleologist :

Correct

Customer: Can't select Utilities with the mouse. U doesn't work either. It has now gone to the license agreement without my hitting Continue.
Appleologist :

Is there another mouse that you can use? If not, try placing it onto another USB port

Customer: It is a wireless mouse. Don't have another Apple mouse.
Appleologist :

oh ok. We will need to troubleshoot your mouse issue before we move forward. Is it the magic mouse or the mouse before that one

Customer: I lusted after the Magic Mouse, but never got one. This is an A1197.
Appleologist :

Are you able to press and hold the round scroll button

Customer: Oh, there I finally get some action on he menu!
Appleologist :

Ok now can you choose disk utility from the utilities menu?

Customer: Bingo! I am now at Disk Utili.
Customer: what do I choose?
Appleologist :

Ok now im the left column, you will see macintosh HD. Select that, then choose verify disk at the bottom

Customer: Done. It is verifying now.
Appleologist :

Ok. We are looking for "Macintosh HD is OK"

Customer: It says volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.
Appleologist :

Ok good. Now before we move forward. Lets boot back into your desktop again. It appears the issue may be with the mouse and not your computer. I would hate to have you re-install your operating system if the issue was related to your mouse

Customer: OK, so I closed out he Disk Utility. i am unable to Quit Mac OS installer.I can open the menu below the apple, but I cannot choose Restart or Shut Down.
Appleologist :

Do you see choose startup disk

Customer: Ok, got it to quit and now have choice of Start up disk, can el and Restart.
Appleologist :

Great. When it restarts, try to see if you can click around

Customer: Ok, I chose Startup disk, and now have choice of hard drive, install DVD and network startup.
Appleologist :

choose hard drive

Customer: ok, clicking restart.
Appleologist :

ok

Customer: Ok, DVD is still in, so I have th eOSX stuff in top right corner, but I was able to X out those darned widgets. Should I eject the DVD?
Appleologist :

yes go ahead and eject the disk

Appleologist :

Then see if you are able to open and close applications

Customer: Yay! I can launch Firefox! Don't know why, though.
Appleologist :

It sounds like early signs of your mouse failing to connect

Appleologist :

It could be due to age or the battery may be weak.

Appleologist :

I would also suggest checking for update on your computer

Customer: now if I can just change the IP address on the Sprint Airave so it doesn't mess with the Mac, that will be good. It is supposed to be Mac compatible...
Customer: Gee, is this an excuse to get a Magic Mouse?
Appleologist :

Ha ha.. It can be

Appleologist :

Now do you use the Sprint device to connect to the internet?

Customer: Maybe I just need to open it up and clean it.
Customer: So why wouldn't Relaunch work on the Finder? I was able to highlight it and hit enter, but that didn't fix it. Was the Mouse somehow hung up in the middle of it?
Appleologist :

That is what I am thinking. Your mouse did not work in safe mode or during the install set up screen which means it defiantly not your user account. When I advised you to press and hold the center button, it forces it to connect

Customer: The Sprint device is essentially a router which connects to the broadband and gets the signal for my phone off it, then rebroadcasts it in the house, and picks up the signal from my phone as well-- or so I am told. You hook it up ahead OS the computer and Wireless router. When we hooked it up, it took my computer's IP address, which was my theory as to what set this in motion.
Appleologist :

oh ok so it is a tethering device. Do you have a main internet service provider?

Customer: Yes, we are line-of-sight with Cascade Networks.
Customer: the Airave came with a DVD but there was no prompt when we turned it on.
Appleologist :

So what additional service is the spring airave suppost to provide if you are already connected to the internet via Cascade Networks

Customer: internet research indicates we need to change the IP address of the Airave. My husband nodded his head to that, so I think he has some idea how to do that.
Appleologist :

If you click on the apple logo in the upper left corner, choose system preferences

Customer: the Airave enables us to get the cell phone Signal from the internet. We live in a rural area and the cell phone signal comes and goes.
Appleologist :

Ok I totally understand that now. When you have open system preferences, choose network

Customer: Ok, so I could change my iMac's IP address there? Where? Would it mess up my time machine?
Customer: posts on the Internet said folks were changing the IP address of the Airave device.
Appleologist :

You should change your computers IP address for your computer since it needs it to connect to the internet. You can change the IP address of the sprint device via network in system preferences

Customer: It says I am at 192.168.0.3. I don't thin that was the original address.
Appleologist :

In the left column, do you see your Sprint device?

Customer: I don't have it hooked up right now, since I though it was responsible for my travails...
Appleologist :

You may or may not have had a separate issue. Your main issue was resolved by reseting your mouse. Since timecapsule works via internet connection, if the sprint device is not set up correctly, there may be some issues with connectivity

Appleologist :

I am looking at the airwave manual and I can not find anything about Mac. I only see PC

Appleologist :

But since it uses your phone to connect, I dont think that matters

Appleologist :

Are you still there?

Customer: Can't lay my hands on the DVD right now, but would swear there was one and it said both PC and Mac compatible. Nuts!
Appleologist :

Its totally fine. How did you guys set it up before?

Customer: Just a minute, Time Machone doesn't use the cloud. It uses an external hard drive. Could communication have been disrupted because of the IP address change?
Appleologist :

Are you using a regular external Hard drive to backup or are you using time capsule

Customer: I use Time Machine and an external. I am running 10.6.8 and don't have an iCloud subscription.
Appleologist :

It does't backup to icloud. If you are not using time capsule to backup, your external hard drive has nothing to do with the internet and should be able to backup without being connected

Appleologist :

to the internet

Customer: Yep. However, I got an error message telling me that Time Machine couldn't do a backup.
Customer: That was Friday.
Appleologist :

Ok, that is a separate issue that is not related to your sprint device. Can you connect your external hard drive to your computer?

Customer: i will plug it in now.
Appleologist :

ok

Customer: Here it is. It shows a backup in progress Saturday (not Friday) and the latest one being jan. 16. I have used the Mac almost daily since then, including more than an hour on Jan. 28', so that doesn't seem right.
Appleologist :

A backup can fail for several reasons. It may not have enough space left. Click on the time machine logo in the menu bar

Appleologist :

and choose backup now

Customer: You mean open Time Machine? It doesn't seem to give me a menu like that. It just shows me a progression of backups, each of the Finder of my desktop.
Appleologist :

No, there is a time machine logo in the menu bar next to the bluetooth sign. if you can not find it, you can open system preferences and option time machine preference from there

Customer: The external has plenty of roomlefy. It has only used 70.36 GB out of 499.76.
Appleologist :

Ok no problem. I am sure it will resume backup. Have you opened time machine preferences yet

Customer: Interesting. When I click the icon at top right, It wants my MobileMe password. Haven't had that in years.
Appleologist :

They are actually simular icons. Click on the other half circle

Appleologist :

Full Size Image

Customer: Ok, the circle is going round.
Appleologist :

Did you choose backup now already

Customer: finished. before that, it said the last backup was at 5:01.
Appleologist :

Ok so that it done

Customer: Ok, preferences are open. It is supposed to do hourly backups, but obviously did not.
Appleologist :

is it always connected

Customer: Yes. I may have disconnected it, though, when I was trying to copy contacts off my old cell phone and the darned Mac wouldn't recognize the phone. So, I guess this may have been operator error........
Appleologist :

Its ok it happens to all of us :)

Appleologist :

Was there anything els I can assist you with today?

Customer: I think we fixed it. Thanks much! May I get a transcript of this for future reference?
Appleologist :

You are very welcome. We do not have the option to provide transcripts however you can copy and paste our entire chat into a word document OR You can just log back into your account and you will have access to the thread

Michelle, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 806
Experience: Apple Computers and Mobile support with 10 years of exp.
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