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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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I cleaned out my hard drive yesterday using SPRING CLEANING

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I cleaned out my hard drive yesterday using SPRING CLEANING and evidently threw out something which permits me to enter FIREFOX. When I could not open it, I stripped the hard drive of everything with a FIREFOX "tag" and downloaded the latest version from the Internet. Despite everything I've tried, the FIRFOX refuses to open. I can open SAFARI and GOOGLE CHROME and once into them, allis well. BUT - - - - - I cant get FIREFOX to open. H-E-L-P!

I'm on an iMac using version 10.6.5.

If you would find it easier, feel free to call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Jack Forristel
Hello Jack, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
I do not use Spring Cleaning and that is one of the reasons why, it is unpredictable.
I suggest a bit of maintenance that may bring things back online.

One is to repair permissions, this PDF will explain how.

After doing that I suggest a safe boot.

To do a Safe Boot, restart and before the first chime press and hold the 'Shift' key.
Wait until you see the Apple logo and the spinning gear appear, then let go.
It can take as long as 20 minutes to load, so please be patient.
When the login screen appears it will say in red on the login window 'SafeBoot'.
Now login and give it a few more minutes to finish loading.
Try doing whatever it was it was giving you the problem. If it works then probably the problem is solved, so restart normally.
If the problem persists then restart normally also, other fixes will need to be done.
Make certain that you restart normally after doing this because some things will not work while in safe mode.

A pram reset would not be out of order.

To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys.
‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P'.
Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes, this is the sound your Mac makes on startup.
If you have a wireless keyboard then the procedure is a little bit different.
Use the very same keys but wait until the first chime and immediately press and hold those keys. I recommend getting your fingers ready because timing is critical.
This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.
This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.

This is not guaranteed to fix the problem but it will certainly do a lot of good for your machine.
You may have missed the Firefox plist. I suggest using spotlight to find any remnants.
Let me know how you make out.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I've already tried to clean up the PERMISSIONS which didn't help. In order to do as you have suggested, i'll have to leave SAFARI and don't know if I can get back to this page. I'll try though.
Bookmark this just like any site you wish to return to.
I do not know what you mean by 'Clean up permissions'.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I meant that I cleaned up the DISK PERMISSIONS (within the Mac's utilities folder). Since then, I completely re-installed the entire operating system and then did the updates. Two hours later, I downloaded FIREFOX again and still am unable to get it to open.

I'm finally at a loss and don't know where to go from here. If I accidentally discarded some kind of a system file, it should have reloaded when I did the 100% re-installation.

I assume you mean you used Disk Utility? You repaired them and not verified?
With a new OS install it should not do what you describe.
Where are you launching from? The dock or the Applications folder?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I did the repair of permissions followed by the verify disk.

I have tried opening from within the applications folder and the dock. In addition, I've highlighted the FIREFOX icon inside of the application folder and then tried to open with Command-O. None of the three work.

I know it is on the hard drive as evidenced by the GET INFO page.
Try a new user account, create this in System Preferences/Accounts, call it test for all categories and give it admin privileges.
This will help with that.
It may be a little different but it will do the job.
After creating it sign in and try Firefox.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Once I set up the new account it all worked just fine. But --- when I returned to my own administrators account, NO SOAP.

This is getting kind of strange huh?
That means that your account has issues that the built in utilities cannot fix.
These can be quite difficult to isolate and repair, one possibility is to trash system preferences plist (not system preferences), it will create a new one, and may kill the problem.
Another possibility is an erase and install an whole new system. The key here is backing up important data and not the whole thing as in Time Machine, this will save the problem along with the data.
Back up movies, iTunes Libraries, iPhoto libraries and all documents plus any other data you care to not lose.
Check it very carefully because once started there is no going back and any thing not saved is lost.
With 10.6 you have to choose that option at the beginning where it says Options on the splash screen, otherwise it will do an archive and install which may not solve it.
It is worth trying if you have not done that yet.
Make sure to repair permissions before doing anything even though it was just done.
One last thing, I use Disk Warrior to rebuild my hard drive directories and perform other tasks. It is a $100 utility but well worth every penny.
Those are the options that do the trick, first trash the System Preferences plist, use Disk Warrior, back it all up and erase the hard drive and start fresh. In that order, from easiest to least invasive to scrape and pave.
Best I can do.
One more thing, dump Spring Cleaning, it is not the worst utility out there but is not far from it.

Edited by Daniel on 12/2/2010 at 5:02 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
With the help of a neighbor who is an Apple Programmer, we found the problem. It was a Firefox casch folder which had been locked (somehow) apparently when I was doing the Spring Cleaning thing. Once that file was unlocked, everyhthing came up just fine excepgt for the history and five years worth of bookmarks.

Spring Cleaning is now in round file next to the desk.

I know you spent a lot of time on this problem so please let me know how much I owe you for your very much appreciated effort.
Jack Forristel
I knew it had something to do with Spring Cleaning, it caused me issues when I tried it a while back so that is why I recommend against it as I do Drive Genius, that wiped two customers drives that were lots of fun restoring.
I do recommend Disk Warrior as the first defense.
Having a neighbor like that is invaluable and being able to actually have the machine makes a big difference.
As far as pay goes, only what you agreed to if you are satisfied.
Happy to have been of help.
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