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David
David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1495
Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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I have a Mac Air. Lately I began to get "Start up Disk if

This answer was rated:

I have a Mac Air. Lately I began to get "Start up Disk if full, delete files message." Realized I had a LOT of pictures on the drive. Tried to delete a huge file of these pics and got the dreaded spinning beach ball. Machine frozen though I can open browser.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions.

Are you using a different machine at the moment? Is the MacBook Air still frozen?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes using a different machine. Mac is still frozen.
Hi,

Press the Command + Option + Esc on the MacBook Air.

Does a window open? What does it say in it?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well I am at work right now and dont have the mac in front of me.
Hi,

Ah OK. Those keys will open 'Force Quit', allowing you to quit a frozen application.

Then what happens next depends on the issue. We may need to take further steps to fix the issue.

Please get back to me when you are next to your MacBook Air and wish to continue. Feel free to ask any questions in the meantime.

Yours sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How do I get back to you?
Hi,

Sorry, you can just bookmark this page in your web browser.

If you want to you can email the bookmark to yourself fir backup.

You can also just login to the site and this will be listed in your questions.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay so I have just tried the key strokes listed above and got the force quit window.
Hi,

What is listed in the Force Quit window?\\Do any of the items say (Not Responding) ?

Thanks,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, finder.
Hi,

Highlight Finder and click the Relaunch button.

That should relaunch the Finder and get the Mac out of the frozen state, but not finish the troubleshooting.

Please restart the Mac and let me know what happens.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just did and am relaunching - will advise.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Pinwheel is back. Ugh.
Hi,

Press Command + Option + Esc again. Is Finder listed as not responding again?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
YES
Hi,

Please select it and click Relaunch once again.

Shut down again.

This time press the power on button, and quickly press and hold Shift.

Keep holding Shift until you see the grey Apple and spinning gear.

Release when you see the spinning gear.

Let me know what happens at startup this time. IN particular you should see the login window, and Safe Mode in red letters.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am in safe boot
Hi,

Did it say Safe Mode in red letters at the login window?

Is Finder unresponsive in Safe Mode?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It said SAFE BOOT. Finder unresponsive.
Hi,

Please relaunch Finder.

Click the Go menu at the top of the screen, and click Go to Folder.

Type ~/Library/Preferences/ and click Go.

Look for a file called com.apple.finder.plist

Drag it to the Trash and restart normally.

Please let me know what happens.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
relaunched but Cannot type in library/preferences fast enough before finder freezes up again. Relaunches gives only a few seconds before pinwheel re appaers
Hi,

Are there any other user accounts in the login window?

Is the Guest account enabled?

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is a guest user account.
Hi,

Login to the guest account.

Open System Preferences.

Click Users & Groups.

Click the padlock in the bottom left.

Try entering the username and password XXXXX the administrator account.

Let me know if you can unlock the padlock.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Guest user is SAFARI ONLY
Hi,

There is a problem with Finder in the administrator account only, as Guest works OK.

The most likely thing to have happened is when you were moving a lot of files they all ended up on the Desktop.

If there are too many files in the Desktop folder it cannot launch.

To fix this we will need to do some steps using the command line and Single User Mode.

Please shut down. Start up and hold Command-S

Release when you see the text and please get back to me.

Kind regards,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I see text
Hi,

Type:

mount -uw /

Then press Return.

Type:

cd /Users/

Then press Return.

Type:

ls -al

Then press Return.

What is the name of the administrator account user folder. It should be listed below the last command.

Sincerely,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
seems to be my name johnriggi
Hi,

Please type:

mv /Users/johnrigg/Desktop /Users/johnriggi/Desktop.old

Then press Return.

Type:

reboot

Then press Return.

Please let me know what happens on startup.

Sincerely,

David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have rebooted. So far no pinwheel spin.OMG, I think it worked!
Hi,

Click the Finder and click the File menu, then New Finder Window.

Click Macintosh HD on the left, and click Users.

In the Users folder there will be a johnriggi folder, open that.

There will be a folder called Desktop.old

That is your old Desktop folder. Check the contents of it and if there is nothing you want from it move it to the Trash and empty the Trash.

Restart once again, and if everything is OK then you're all set, problem solved.

Please let me know if not. Also feel free to ask me any new Mac questions you have no or ever again in the future. You can request me again using Just Answer Concierge.

Kind regards,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is no mac hard drive listed on left. Listed are

DROPBOX

ALL MY FILES

AIRDROP

APPLICATIONS

DESKTOP

DOCUMENTS

DOWNLOADS

MOVIES

MUSIC

PICTURES

Hi,

You can get to that folder instead by clicking the Go menu at the top, and click Home in the list.

You should see the Desktop.old folder there.

Best regards,
David.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Got it. Restarted again and all seems normal. Thank you so much!
Hi,

No worries :)

Please take a second to rate my answer, and remember it doesn't close out the question. You can still follow up if you need to.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,
David.
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