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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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Hi, I have a macbook OSX 10.5.2. I have no icons on the desktop and finder ac

Customer Question


I have a macbook OSX 10.5.2. I have no icons on the desktop and finder activation white dot to the left of the dock is flashing. I cannot access my hard drive to get to applications. Please help


Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
I suggest starting by resetting the pram, this may bring things back to normal. You do need to do updates though.

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 that your computer makes when it starts up, it is like a boonngg. The screen should also cycle from white to black and then back to white along with the chimes.

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.

Do that and let me know, then we will work on getting your Mac back to performing like it should.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That did not work.

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
What did not work? The reset or after resetting the desktop did not come back?
Try this.

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.

Let me know
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The PRAM restart did not bring back any desk top icons. I only have the dock. Applications on the dock seem to work OK (Firefox allows internet use) and access to the menu at the top of the desktop becomes visible when dock icon is initiated. Time machine will not open nor will Finder. iPhoto opens with accessibility to pix etc and Preferences accessible when dock icon used i.e. Firefox.

Do you still want me to try this Safe Boot?

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Good description Chris,
Before you do that I recommend repairing the permissions.
This PDF will explain it.
After doing that than from the Apple menu select Software Update, you will probably have to run that more than once to bring your system up-to-date.
After you've gotten all the updates you can than I want you to run the permissions repair again.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How do I access Disk Utility if I am unable to see the hard disk icon? Also, when I did the restart, a File Vault screen came up for about 10 seconds. Also the Finder icon in the dock has a activation white dots flashing about every 5 seconds but will not launch.

I am downloading a firmware update and an OSX Combined update at this time.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
This way.
Try that.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am waiting for the firmware and OSX update....about 30% complete. I notice that while I am using any application for the dock, my Macbook sounds like it is running or burning a disk, which did not occur when opening files on the desktop before I had this problem.

I am communicating to you on my desk top mini-mac with same OSX.

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Ok, you may want to do the same after the MacBook is fixed to the Mini.
You may need to reset the PMU (power management controller), that controls fan speed and other goodies like that.
Please keep me posted.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The Firmware and OSX Combined updates did the trick! Everything is back to normal (all folders and Macintosh HD icon visible and operable) without doing the Permissions Repairs. Should I still do the Permissions Repairs or stick by the 'ol "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy?

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
I strongly advise running permissions repair. It will save you many headaches.
Now I also suggest doing the same thing on the Mini.
Glad to hear it all works like it should.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sounds good. Now as I am simply checking email on my macbook, that disk fan is running as if I'm burning a CD. How do I rest the PMU?

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
This is how this is done, follow it closely.

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the computer, if it's connected.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  5. Release the power button.
  6. Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.
  7. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Daniel and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for everything, Daniel. You were a big help.

Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
You are very welcome, thank you.