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David
David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1253
Experience:  BSc, H.Dip, Apple Certified
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my mac will turn on but screen is frozen...im sure I have

Resolved Question:

my mac will turn on but screen is frozen...i'm sure I have too much data on my hard drive but don't know how to delete it since I can't access anything.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions.


What is the last thing in startup before it freezes, and what's on screen when it freezes?

Do you see just the Apple logo, or the spinning gear below it?


Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


the logo is up .. the last thing I did was to try to move all my photos to a burn file...19,000 +... the gear was going for quite a while...when it did not respond I turned it off....


 


thanks, XXXXX XXXXX can help me,


barbara

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Do you also see a spinning gear?

Try holding Command-V at startup, what are the last two or three lines?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no, I don't see the gear...just the arrow (which will point to everything but not engage.


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

One last before I give you some steps, thanks for your patience :)

What type of Mac is it?


Yours sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I think i'ts a MacBook pro, with snowleopard...thE model is MC413LL/A

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,


The model numb, I think is an iMac.

Is this your iMac? http://support.apple.com/kb/SP576


Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I think so, the processor name is, intelcore 2 duo and the id is imac10,1

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Please power down the iMac, it's OK to use the power button to do that.

Then disconnect all connections at the back, including the power.

Leave it all disconnected for more than 60 seconds at least, and what is known as the System Management Controller or SMC will be reset.

Connect just the power, keyboard and mouse.

Power on, and let me know how it goes.


Yours sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no change


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


did you get my answer?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

For some reason I didn't get notification till now, I apologize.

Please power down again.

I would like to reset the PRAM, where you hold down the  + Alt + P + R keys at startup.

So first shutdown.

Now press the power button, and quickly press and hold those keys.

That is the  (Command) + Alt + P + R keys.

Continue holding those keys until the second startup chime sounds.

After the second startup chime release the keys.

Please let me know how this goes.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no change...the color wheel is now gone again..

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,


Did you hear the startup chime twice before releasing the keys?


Next hold just the Option (Alt) key at startup.


Let me know what you see.


Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I only heard it chime once... I held the alt key & now I see a pic of the harddrive


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Is it only one hard drive pic, and what does it say below it?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


only one .. under it says 'macintosh HD under that is an up arrow..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


one hd .. under it is Macintosh HD .. under that is an up arrow..

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Do you have the install disc that came with your Mac?

If not you would need to get it or a cable to connect the iMac to another Mac using Target Disk Mode.

Do you have any of those?

Please let me know.

Yours sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have 2 discs; app install dvd .. and
mac os x install dvd... which do I use?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Insert the Install DVD. When it appears, click the arrow below it.

When you get to the language screen, choose English, and continue.

Don't go any further with the installer.

Instead click the Utilities menu, at the top, and click Disk Utility.

Select the Repair Disk option.

Let me know what it says.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I put disc in... clicked arrow... then the old screen saver, etc. came up...disc will not eject..

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Next power down again, using the power button.

Power on and hold the C key until you see the spinning gear.

It can take about 5 minutes to start from there, let me know how it goes.

Regards,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no spinning gear just the pointer (which moves)


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Please leave the disc in the iMac, and power down.

Now hold the Option key (Alt) when you startup.

This time you should see an icon of a hard drive and the Install disc.

Please get back to me to tell me if you see that or not.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


they are both there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


did u get my message saying I got both of those?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Click on the disc, the Install DVD.


Let me know if you see the language selection.


Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


arrow does not move.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

are you using a wireless or USB mouse?

Can you connect the USB to a different port ans see if the arrow move.

Thanks,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am using a wireless ... screen changed to screen saver and spinning color disc


the internet icon bounced (like it usually does) but has now stopped.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Can you get a USB mouse?

Does the mouse pointer move at all now?

Thanks,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I do not have a usb mouse... screen saver is back..has the spinning color wheel

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm fairly sure at this stage that because of other problems, the wireless mouse cannot connect.

Is it also a wireless keyboard? The keyboard is working OK.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am, also,, using a wireless keyboard. the colorwheel moves as if it were the mouse.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Sorry for any confusion so. Just to clarify, the mouse pointer moves, but the arrow you were referring to was the arrow below the Install DVD icon?

Can you power down again. Power on and hold the Shift key only.

Do you get a grey Apple and spinning gear?

Leave it for 5-10 minutes if you do. If not let me know what happens.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I got both..the disc ejected, but a gray bar is now loading (stopped loading...


now the mac os x safe boot is up asking for my password?


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Excellent we are finally getting places. This must be very frustrating for you, I appreciate how time consuming these issues can be.

Login with your password. If everything is OK and as it should be, then the problem was with a startup item.

To fully test that the startup item was removed by Safe Boot, you will need to restart normally, using the Apple menu in the top left.

If the issue reappears, not to worry, just shutdown and power on holding Shift again for Safe Boot, then get back to me.

Sincerely,
David.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


back up (thank you)...trying to delete 'iphoto' trash...moving very slow...i'll let you know what happens next

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Take your time. There will be a few follow up procedures I will want to be carried out when you are done. I would recommend Time Machine for your iPhoto, as a backup, but the follow up steps are to make sure Mac OS X is up to date and working properly.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'LL HAVE TO GET BACK TO YOU IN AN HOUR OR SO.. THANKS!


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi Barbara,

No problem whatsoever :) Take your time :)

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can not restart from the apple...I am given the option but it does nothing.


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Click Force Quit under the Apple menu. Close any applications listed, click Force Quit on any that are not responding. Then click Finder, and Relaunch.

Now try Shut Down instead of Restart.

Let me know if it still gives any problems.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am able to force quit...it takes several mins. to respond...but then when I 'shut down...nothing happens.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Please power down using the power button.

Next we start the mac in Single-User Mode. Hold Command -S at startup, and release when you see the text.

Type: mount -uw /

Press Return.

Type: mv ~/Library/Preferences/ ~/Library/Preferences_old/

Press Return.

Type: mv ~/Desktop/ ~/Desktop_old/

Type: reboot

Press return, and then login.

Your settings will be reset so it will appear as though none of your preferences or files are there. Ignore this for a moment, that is expected, they are still there.

Please let me know how this goes.

Regards,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


the only text that comes up is in the top bar...where should I type?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

After powering down, power on again holding Command( key) and S.

You should get Single User Mode, which is text based interface.

There you can type those commands.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


after typing in , it tells me that there is no such file or directory

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Was that the first command?

It is 'mount' then a space, then '-uw', then another space and '/'

Then press Return.

It is referenced also in this article:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1411

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I re did it... it comes back 'Removed 7 Orphaned / unlinked files and 0 directories


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

If the mount command went OK then you should be OK with the continued steps.

Type: mv ~/Library/Preferences/ ~/Library/Preferences_old/

Press Return.

Type: mv ~/Desktop/ ~/Desktop_old/

Type: reboot

Press return, and then login.

Let me know if you have any problem with those.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


apparently it did not go ok..the mv~/Desktop (etc) command came back as: no such file or directory

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

In your reply you leave out the space that should be there.

Does the mount command go OK? If so the others should too, but only with the correct syntax.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


it did not give me an opportunity to log in...went directly to apple with gear...then to screen sver with arrow.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Can you get back to Single User Mode?


Thats Command-S at startup.


Then can you try the mount command again?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


tried command-S and mount command again...got apple, gear..then screensaver and pointer

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Can you tell me if you got to a text based screen, or if it went straight to screensaver pointer?

Do you have a USB keyboard in case the problem has now started happening with the keyboard too?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no text...straight to screensaver....do not have a usb keyboard..

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

It did go to the text startup before, and the only reason it wouldn't any more is if the keyboard connection now stopped working.

Can you check the batteries, check that there is no other new interference such as satellite or audio transmitters nearby.

Then without being able to start in Single User Mode you will need to get a USB keyboard and mouse preferably to continue troubleshooting.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I put new batteries into the keyboard...there are no satellite or audio transmitters nearby.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Make sure the Caps Lock lights when you press the Caps Lock key, or check the batteries are oriented correctly.

Try holding just Alt at startup, do you get to the Startup Manager with the icon of the HD?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


the caps light does come on...and yes I get the hd and an up arrow

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Now insert the install disc, and click the arrow that appears under the install disc when it loads.

Let me know when you get to the language screen.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I can not click on the arrow...after about a min. the disc ejects.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Please check the disc for any smudges or scratches.

Also verify that it is the correct disc for this particular Mac, and not from another one.

Then try again holding Alt at startup, waiting, then inserting the disc.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am back to screen saver


 

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

What happened? Did the disc not appear in startup manager?

When you hold shift at startup, if you don't see the icon of the hard disk with an arrow under it, it hasn't worked. Try to boot to Startup Manager again holding Shift at startup.

When you are in Startup Manager insert the install disc.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


screen came up with all apps...will now allow me to click on the small apple...very slow to respond but stays open long enough to decide on action

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

First thing you should try to do is check how much free disk space you have, it could be the whole problem.

Empty the Trash, and check how much space is on Macintosh HD. You can check in a Finder window.

Click the HD, and click File -> Get Info from the menu.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I emptied trash... it says I have 764.92 gb avail

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Next click the  in the top left and click Software Update.

Install any updates it finds.

Let me know how this goes, or how long it says it will take.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


nothing is happening

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Do you mean the mouse pointer is frozen?

Try pressing Command + Alt + Esc. Does Force Quit window open? What is listed in it?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


yes it opens...finder is listed in it

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Great, can you click on Finder and then Relaunch? Is the mouse pointer completely frozen?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


pointer is not frozen... I did relaunch...box with finder in it is now on screen

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Now go again to the Apple menu and click Software Update. Does anything happen this time?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


no, nothing happens...as a side issue...the numerous photo files from iPhoto trash are still appearing in upper left hand of window

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


nothing happens

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Where in the upper left are they? Are they on the Desktop? If a Finder window, what part, can you see the folder they are in?

Does anything happen if you click the Apple menu at all? Do you see About This Mac? What happens if you click that?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


they are on the desktop right in the upper left corner ...not in a finder window, they are all stacked on top of each other


yes I see 'about this mac'..when I click on it nothing happens.

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Are those files items that you want to move to the Trash, or save?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


move to the trash

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

If you can click one to highlight it, press Command and the backspace key, which is above the return key.

That should move it to the Trash.

Now try clicking one and press Command - A to select them all, and press Command + backspace to move them to the Trash.

If this doesn't work then there is another way to remove the Desktop folder.

Sincerely,
David.
Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi Barbara,

Were you able to delete any of those files from the Desktop?

I'm sure we can get to the bottom of this unusual issue and fix it.

Let me know when you would like to continue.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


hi david, no I was not able to get them to move (I was able to highlight them..however, all folders on my screen highlighted with them... at this point i'd be willing to delete everything... I did a backup last week

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Well I don't think that is necessary yet. The steps I have in mind can take a lot less time.

I would like you to start Single User mode first.

Power down, power on and quickly press and hold Command-S.

Leave those keys go when you see text on screen.

Let me know when you are there.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


ok text is up

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Type: mount -uw /
Press Return.

Then type: cd /Users/
Press Return.

Then type: ls
Press Return.

Let me know what it says after you enter the ls command.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


says Is: command not found

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi


When you get to the text prompt enter just:

mount


Press return, what does it say?

Sincerely,

David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


root_deviceon

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Then the command should work, I think you could be missing some spaces.

it is 'mount' space '-uw' space '/' without quotes

Then press Return.

Let me know what it says to you for that.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


says: removed 2 orphaned / unlinked files and 0 directories

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Great.

Now type: 'cd' space '/Users/' without quotes.
Press Return.

Then type: ls
Press Return.

Let me know what it says.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


users root #

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Excellent.

Now type: 'ls' space '-a'
Press Return.

There will be a list of files, please let me know the ones that don't start with a full stop.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


command not found

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

The command is L S in lower case, try it on it's own without the -a bit. So type just:

ls


Then press Return.

What does it say below it?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


:Users root#

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Now type:

'ls' space '-a' without quotes.

Press Return.

Right after that line, there will be a list of filenames, some begin with .

Please let me know what the names of the ones without the . are.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


it is telling me : command not found

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Try ls on it's own again.

Immediately below where you type ls and press Return will be a list of folders, maybe they have your name, they are User folders. Please list what it says.

Not the last line, everything after the line where you type ls and press Return.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


hi david...did you send me another message?...I received notification of one but did not receive it

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi I did, here it is again:

Try 'ls' on it's own again, without quotes. That's L S in lowercase with no space.

Immediately below where you type ls and press Return will be a list of folders, maybe they have your name, they are User folders. Please list what it says.

Not the last line, everything after the line where you type ls and press Return.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


localized Shared macowner

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Excellent.

Now type: cd macowner
Press Return.

Type: ls
Press Return.

What is listed now?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


a number of files


under those is .... macowner root#

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Is one of those files 'Desktop'?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


yes

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Here is the next thing I would like you to type:

mv Desktop Desktop_old
Press Return.

Then type: reboot
Press Return.

Let me know if there are any problems with those commands.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

no problems

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Now click Finder, to open a Finder window.

Click the Go menu at the top of the screen, then click Go To Folder.

Type: /Users/macowner/
and click Go.

Drag the folder Desktop_old to your current Desktop. i.e.. out of the folder and onto your 'Desktop'.

That folder has all of your iPhoto items that were moved to the Desktop accidentally.

Let me know if there are any problems.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


how do I get to finder?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

When you typed reboot, and hit Return, the Mac should have restarted.

Now you should see your Desktop, Finder is the blue smiley face Apple icon on the Dock.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


it's moved... do I now put in trash? ... sorry but i'm apprehensive to do anything without asking first...

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

That's OK, no worries. No need to move it to the Trash in a hurry either, not least until you make sure you have all of your photos.

Then I would recommend some quick follow up steps, maintenance of the system is all.

Let me know when you are ready and take your time, make sure you have all your photos in iPhoto etc :)

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I have all photos that I need... next step?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Click on the Apple in the top left corner, and click Software Update.

Software Update will contact Apple servers, and will download and install the latest version for your system.

This could take a while but will most likely iron out any issues, and having your system up to date should prevent problems.

Then when you are sure you have your data, you can move Desktop_old to the Trash, empty the Trash, and restart your Mac.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions, I will be glad to help.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


GREAT...THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP! everything done and it runs so much better...., however, it still runs pretty slow...how can I clean unnecessary items from hd?

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

There are a few other maintenance steps. the best improvement you will get is if you add RAM to it. They could do that for you at the Apple store.

To repair the OS if you think it is running slowly, open /Applications/Utilities/ and launch Disk Utility.

From there select Macintosh HD, and click Repair Permissions.

This and regularly checking for updates will take care of maintenance, but you should always keep your backup current and updated.

Here is a link to information about upgrading the RAM:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1423#1

There are diagrams etc. but if you prefer then take it to an Apple Store for upgrade, it will be worth it for the extra bit of performance.

First check that you don't already have the maximum RAM.

Click the Apple menu, and About This Mac. What does it say for memory?

Thanks in advance,

David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


memory is 4 GB ... 1067MHzDDR3

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Your iMac supports up to 16 GB, and you would see a big improvement if you installed the maximum.

You could also choose to leave it as it is, or try a smaller upgrade first, whichever you choose.

Let me know if I can answer anything else.

Yours sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi David,


You have been so very helpful...patient as well ! thank you,


Barbara

Expert:  David replied 1 year ago.
Hi Barbara :)

This is a routine I have gone through before, but it is you whose patience I was relying on. This is a particularly tough one to recover from, and only those sequence of steps done right will get it back with the least amount of disruption and time.

It only happens if by some chance you are moving hundreds or thousands of items, and they accidentally are moved to the Desktop. The Desktop cannot load under the pressure of trying to display all those items. I imagine a writing desk would collapse under a ton of paper too :)

Let me know if you ever have any follow up questions, I will be glad to help .

Sincerely,
David.
David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1253
Experience: BSc, H.Dip, Apple Certified
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