1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2013 12:00 PM by Susan Swartz1 Go to original post
  • 15. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,780 points)

    Allow me to explain something. FileVault is a powerful tool, but it's only suitable for advanced users. It deprives you of the ability to boot in safe mode, which is an important means of troubleshooting software conflicts. Therefore, if you're going to use FileVault, you have to keep your system free of potentially troublesome system modifications, especially the useless ones. You have many such modifications.

    Your system is so heavily modified that, instead of trying to remove the modifications piecemeal, you should erase your boot volume, reinstall OS X, and then go through the initial setup process, importing only your user data and settings from backup — not applications or other files.

    Back up all data to at least two different storage devices, if you haven't already done so. The backups can be made with Time Machine or with a mirroring tool such as Carbon Copy Cloner. Preferably both. You must be certain that you can restore everything to the state it's in now.

    First, deactivate FileVault. That will take a few hours. Then boot into Recovery (command-R at startup), launch Disk Utility, and erase the startup volume with the default options.This operation will destroy all data on the volume, so you had be better be sure of your backups. Quit Disk Utility and install OS X. When you reboot, you'll be prompted to go through the initial setup process. That’s when you import the data from one of your backups. For details, see here:

    Setting up a new Mac from an old one

    Import only "Users" and "Settings" – not "Applications" or "Other files." Don't import the Guest account, if it was enabled on the old system. After that, run Software Update. If you still have the problem, take the machine to an Apple Store or other authorized service provider for hardware testing.

    If the problem is resolved after the clean installation, reinstall your third-party software selectively. I can only give general guidelines. Self-contained applications that install into the Applications folder by drag-and-drop or download from the App Store are usually safe. Anything that comes packaged as an installer or that prompts for an administrator password is suspect, and you must test thoroughly after reinstalling each such item to make sure you haven't restored the problem.

    Never reinstall crapware such as "TechTool," "Drive Genius," "SIMBL," "AppCleaner," or "CleanApp."

    Before installing any software, ask yourself the question, "Am I sure I know how to uninstall it without having to start this process all over again?" If the answer is "no," stop.

    Never install any third-party software unless you know how to uninstall it.

  • 16. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Susan Swartz1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    A-okay.  Just did a quick glance at what you wrote.  For starts, I had no idea FileVault was enabled & don't know how or when I did that.  (I've never had any desire for it, let alone a need or use for it.)

     

    I so appreciate the customized advice & will try to do what you said by following your directions carefully & thoroughly.

     

    Thanks again, so very much.

     

    — Susan

     

    PS Awhile back, I read a lot about the differences between Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner (and also read Pondini's brilliant stuff on Time Machine) but right now I don't remember the exact distinctions.  Is there any way to explain the difference in short, simple terms, and why you suggest backups with both?  (Of course I know backups are essential for everything one doesn't want to lose.  However, it feels like I've spent the last few months with computers just 'troubleshooting,' as opposed to doing anything substantive.)  Do you have preferred backup drives?  I now have a Rikiki LaCie.  [Not really related but I'm still miffed that according to my local Apple place (true or not), it was my Seagate backup drive that got me into trouble in the first place.]

  • 17. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,780 points)

    Both Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner make periodic backups, but the former is closely integrated with the operating system and can do it more efficiently, so that hourly backups are feasible. With other backup tools, it's usually not practical to back up more than once a day.

     

    Seagate external drives are well known for causing problems with Time Machine. Apart from avoiding those, I don't have a recommendation.

  • 18. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Susan Swartz1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Now I'm even more confused.  I went into FileVault in System Preferences, & it showed as turned off.  Is there some other place it exists, with another way to deactivate it?

     

    I really appreciate your ongoing patience & assistance.  Please hang in there with me…

  • 19. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,780 points)

    I think this thread may have run its course and it's time to start a new one. I took your work for it that you were using FileVault. If it's not active in the preference pane, you're not using it. Good luck.

  • 20. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Susan Swartz1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Agreed.  Thx again.

  • 21. Re: Recurring Finder Problems; & Folders That Appear Empty But Aren't
    Susan Swartz1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Sorry to bother, but just wanted to update.  Looked at the terminal output & trashed some that were easily trashable.  Computer's now working, but will do a lot of what you said & might yet start over.  Among the biggest lessons was to avoid willy-nilly downloading stupid apps.  Couldn't have gotten where I did w/o your help, so thanks again.

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