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Desktop icons get mixed up after reboot

9581 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2011 10:04 PM by RosemaryHoff RSS
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Wellenbrett Calculating status...
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Aug 23, 2010 3:22 PM
The file and folder icons on my desktop get mixed up after reboot. The problem does not appear always but quite often. It cost me much time to arrange the desktop icons back to their original state. The problem aready exists since MacOSX 10.6.2 (or previously).
MacMini 2.26 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
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    Aug 23, 2010 4:09 PM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Hi W,

    That is really strange. Do you have some application which can perform any modifying interaction with Desktop?

    A good practice is to keep on Desktop only temporary items. Every time that you hide, minimize or close any opened Window and your Desktop gets to be shown, all items within have their icons visualization processed again, this increases the CPU and Memory usage.

    Our Snow Leopard have great solutions with Stacks in Dock, give it a try, you can create a Folder in Desktop and drag it to Dock, manage Stack settings for it and get a quick and handy access to items.

    Good luck.

    Hey! And feel welcome here!

    Message was edited by: KXsig
    MacBook Pro 1,1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
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    Aug 24, 2010 3:18 PM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Hi W,

    Your goal is more than fair. You both are having the same abnormal behavior, this do not happens in my 10.6.4 OS build.

    This hint you found could lead us to a solution. The .DS_Store files are present in every folder you previously visited using Finder, this Desktop Services Store file holds a number of informations about the folder attributes, like present items, icons positions, customized visualization settings and others.

    You can remove this file and it will be recreated right away. If your Finder is not modified to show hidden files you can use Terminal to remove it with the command line "rm /Users/YourUerName/Desktop/.DS_Store".

    Would be a good procedure you perform a boot in Safe Mode, remove item, Repair Permissions on startup volume and restart machine. To Safe Mode you hold the left SHIFT key right after Power button till progress indicator shows up.

    Check out if some other folder is not holding the Icon view settings too.

    Bring back results here.

    Good luck.
    MacBook Pro 1,1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
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    Sep 3, 2010 6:16 AM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Hi W.

    I do not think this is about that file. I do not have another clue, and now I remember bumping into a folder like this. If I get that again I bring a notice.

    Good luck.
    MacBook Pro 1,1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Ties-Malte Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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    Sep 6, 2010 6:07 AM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Wellenbrett wrote:
    The file and folder icons on my desktop get mixed up after reboot. The problem does not appear always but quite often. It cost me much time to arrange the desktop icons back to their original state. The problem aready exists since MacOSX 10.6.2 (or previously).


    Same problem here! Happens to appear from time to time, but can’t see any crucial points that leads to this behavior.

    Wellenbrett wrote:
    Mounting and unmounting of external drives (Firewire 800 and probably USB) seems to be part of the problem.


    I’ve got some FiWi 800 divices, but don’t use them really often. Maybe the mounting/unmounting of time capsule does play any role?
    MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Matsd Calculating status...
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    Sep 8, 2010 5:25 PM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    I have a similar problem when I reboot. All my icons gather in the right hand corner of the desktop more or less every time i reboot. I also lose settings for specific finder windows. They all turn to default at reboot.

    To my knowledge I do not have any special applications that interfere with the finder desktop.
    MacBook Pro 2,5 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Berillo Calculating status...
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    Sep 17, 2010 2:24 PM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Same problem here. It happened with my older Power PC G3 running Panther, and then Tiger, and now with my iMac, both with Leopard and now with Snow Leo.
    I've asked lots of friends, some very knowleadgeable of Mac OSes, and no one could ever give me an answer.
    When I run MainMenu or Spring Cleaning, after they complete the tasks, the desktop icons are mixed, some piled upon the HD icon, the others arranged in coluns with no evident criteria.
    But it also happens spontaneously, not always, but when it happens it's a drag.
    iMac 2.66 GHZ, 4 GB RAM 320 GB HD
  • KXsig Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
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    Sep 17, 2010 4:07 PM (in response to Berillo)
    Hi there,

    I tested that step by step W posted and desktop icons are in the right same place as before, I could not reproduce the problem and I did not bumped into displaced icons since last post here, in spite of the fact that I saw this behavior here before.

    Sorry I can not help any further. I advice you to use this thread to elaborate a clear text description of the problem and post a feedback in http://www.apple.com/feedback/

    Good luck.
    MacBook Pro 1,1, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • socheesome Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
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    Sep 23, 2010 7:24 AM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    I have similar problem occurring when I connect external USB HD to my MacBook pro with 10.6.4.

    Never had issues before (I use often two monitors and connect external HDs)

    Any IDea ?
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Macbook, Powerbook, MAcplus, MacMini
  • Romanus Mikolajek Calculating status...
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    Sep 27, 2010 8:47 AM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Hi Wellenbrett,

    i have the same problem with the same OS x version.
    iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 2,66, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,055 points)
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    Sep 27, 2010 8:56 AM (in response to Wellenbrett)
    Have you tried to use the Finder view options to set up how you want your icons displayed? Go to Finder -> View -> Show View Options and then choose "arrange by:..."? I have mine set to "none", which means they stay and re-appear in the exact spot I originally put them. I've not had a problem with that since 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, and now 10.6.

    And, for what it's worth, the other poster was correct: it will definitely slow down your Mac's performance to have too many icons on the desktop because each one is treated as an "application" when you boot up. But, of course, that is up to you.
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 4 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie d2 Quadra ext HD , Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • socheesome Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2010 11:17 AM (in response to babowa)
    Hello Barbara, the "None" is my default setting from a while.
    I never had this kind of problem, I'm using OSX since 10.1.

    In my opinion is a bug, upon certain conditions the connection of a new external divice generates this strange behaviour.

    Looking for a fix ..or a workaround.

    Thanks a lot
    MacbookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Macbook, Powerbook, Macplus, MacMini
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