8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 14, 2013 6:41 PM by rccharles
picksixer Level 1 (0 points)

When we were moving photos from old power Mac G 5 to the new iMac we accidentally dropped the files containing thousands of photos onto the desktop.  This has caused the desktop and the drop down menus from the top menu bar to freeze up.  When they are able to pull some of them up most are in a stacked mode and they cannot be dragged to the trash or clicked on to delete or open.  The spotlight works so I can get to the systems preferences and also if I use an application it still works.  Can't shut down the computer from the menu so we have to do a hard shut down with the power button.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  We still have a very important genealogy file to move, so it is important to have the desktop functioning.  The apple store said our computer was to old to do the data transfer after keeping it for a week, so this is why they told us to do it manually by moving the files.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11), Power Mac g5 dual processors.
  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    There are several ways to accomplish your recovery.


    I can thinks of these ideas.

    1) target disk mode.  Do you have another firewire mac?

    2) rename the desktop folder.


    Here is the location of your desktop folder.


    3) create a new admin account.


    Here is how to create a new admin account.


    Get the Mac to set up  an additional administrative account.  You can then change the password on your old account.


    Start with your computer power off.  Hold down command-s. Power on your computer.  


    Type in the following:


    The first two commands will depend on your release of Mac OS X.  Look at what is typed out in the console to determine the exact format.

    # Type the follow two instructions to access the startup disk in read/write. Press return after each command.

    # in case of partial success repeat this command until errors go away.

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    /sbin/mount -uw /


    cd /var/db


    #List all files. The l is a lower case L.

    ls -a

    #The move command acts as a rename command in this format.

    mv -i  .applesetupdone .applesetupdone.old


    # reboot  your mac

    shutdown -r now


    Once you've done that the computer reboots and it's like the first time you used the machine. Your old accounts are all safe. From there you just change all other account passwords in the account preferences!!

    Limnos adds detailed explainations:



    The above the idea came from a post by JoseAranda at September 9, 2006 3:48 AM


    You will need to scroll down to see this post.  Search for applesetupdone


    This method is mentioned in an apple support page without giving an explanation.


    Once you have a new administrative account, you can change the password of your old administrative account

    blue apple > System Preferences > Accounts

  • picksixer Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm pretty good and tried to follow your directions, however being a PC person helping on my husbands old and new macs I didn't make a new desktop happen your way.  I figured out how to add my admin account under accounts.  I did a hard shut down because that -r thing I didn't understand at all.  Upon reboot it went straight to logged on under my husbands old account instead of letting me choose to log in my own account.  I have to tweak his account more so it will not automatically log in without the password.  I spent a lot of time on this today so I will have to finish tomorrow.  Thanks for trying to help me a MAC dummy!

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,242 points)

    System Preferences > Accounts, unlock the Lock, choose Login Options, there you can set which Account to automatically Login, or disable that & present a list of users.

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    I tried a few things.


    blue apple > System Preferences... > Accounts

    Here is were autologon takes place


    !!! Notice Login Options at the bottom of account names !!!




    Picture 2.png






    An easier way to change permissions.




    or get info  click on file/folder command + i






    Be very careful with this.



    You need to get into single use mode for steps one and two that are listed below.

    This page will tell you how to get into single user mode.



    Basically, you hold down the command + s key then  powering on your machine. The command key has a little apple symbol on the lower left. It is between the alt/option key and the space bar. On a PC keyboard, it will be the windows key, I think.



    here is the rename the desktop.  I tried it & it works.


    be sure to include the -i option. It prevents folder overlays.



    ichat is your short user name

    sudo mv -i /Users/ichat/Desktop/ /Users/ichat/Desktop22


    if spaces in name, you use "


    ls is list l is lower case L

    cd is change directory

    ls -l   is list long.

    sudo mv -i "/Users/ichat/Desktop/" "/Users/ichat/Desktop22"


    mac $ ls /Users
    Deleted Users/                         me/
    Shared/                                mysidekick/
    SpotlightIndexedFolder on  >Users.txt  na copy/
    a (Deleted)/                           na-old/
    compile/                               seeker/
    ftp/                                   standard/
    ichat/                                 startup/
    mac/                                   student/
    macLimited/                            t2-org/
    macPanels/                             web/
    mac $ #Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
    mac $ # press return to run the command.
    mac $ #The sudo command will ask for your administration password. No characters will appear when typing your password. Press return when done typing. sudo stands for super user do.  It's just like root. Be careful.
    mac $ sudo mv -i /Users/ichat/Desktop/ /Users/ichat/Desktop22
    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.
    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.
    mac $ # You may not get the password request. 
    # no reponse means success.
  • picksixer Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't understand iChat is my short user name?  How can I find what my short user name is?

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,242 points)

    When you open Terminal, you'll see 2 lines like this...


    Last login: Sun Jun  9 10:33:12 on ttys000

    QS2002-G5:~ bdaqua$


    Your shortname is after the ~ and before the $


    Here it is bdaqua

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    Boot up from installation disc.  See if you can find internal drive.  look around. 





    the command:

    in single user mode:

    ls /Users


    give you a list of all users.  Your husbands will be one in the list.


    look around with ls & cd




    Here is an overview of the terminal commands.  Lets assume that your account has a short user name of mac.
    Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
    #What is my short user name?  Type the whoami command.
    mac $ whoami
    mac $
    #How to list all of your disks.
    # The ls command is for list
    mac $ ls /Volumes/
    Audio CD       Macintosh-HD   Spotless       Tiger-ext
    mac $
    # Let's say your flash drive is named Spotless


    # cd is change directory
    mac $ cd /Volumes/Spotless
    # pwd is print working directory
    mac $ pwd
    mac $
    # The ls command is for list # l is long # F is type of file where / is directory mac $ ls -lF
    total 134704
    -rw-r--r--     1 mac  staff     64560 Mar  3  2009 A-picture-of-Youpi-key.png
    drwxr-xr-x    83 mac  staff      2822 Nov  7 14:52 Applescript files/
    drwxrwxrwx    12 mac  staff       408 Dec 13  2008 Christmas Cards/
    drwxr-xr-x     9 mac  staff       306 Dec 21 17:39 Christmas Cards 2009/
    ... trimmed ...
    What does all this mean?


    d = directory
    r = read
    w = write
    x = executeable program

    |  |  |
    |  |   all other users not in first two types
    |  | 
    |  group


    Every Unix resource: files, folders, etc has an owner, group, other 
    a file has one owner.
    a file has one group.  A group contains a list of users.


    To gain access to a file.  You can be the owner, in the group, or not being the owner or in the group you ended up as other. Each of these categories has read, write, or execute permissions.


    # l is long
    # a is all to show hidden files & folders
    mac $ ls -lFa
    total 134736
    drwxr-xr-x    41 mac   staff      1496 Dec 22 17:11 .
    drwxrwxrwt     8 root  admin       272 Dec 24 13:55 ..
    -rwxrwxrwx     1 mac   staff     15364 Dec 23 12:52 .DS_Store*
    drwx------     4 mac   staff       136 Jan 22  2009 .Spotlight-V100
    drwxrwxrwt     5 mac   staff       170 Sep 14 16:36 .TemporaryItems
    d-wx-wx-wx     4 mac   staff       136 Dec 31  1969 .Trashes
    -rw-r--r--     1 mac  staff     64560 Mar  3  2009 A-picture-of-Youpi-key.png
    drwxr-xr-x    83 mac   staff      2822 Nov  7 14:52 Applescript files
    drwxrwxrwx    12 mac   staff       408 Dec 13  2008 Christmas Cards
    drwxr-xr-x     9 mac   staff       306 Dec 21 17:39 Christmas Cards 2009

    ... trimmed ...
    # mv is move or rename
    mv -i the-name the-new-name




    # You can just rename the file back to what it was with mv command.
    mv -i old-name new-name


    Here is what these commands mean:
    cd is change directory
    pwd is a print working directory
    ls is list
    sudo is Super user do
    mv is move or rename


    For cryptic comments, you can always uses the manual command which is man. For example:
    man mv 


    # Type the letter q to quit.
    In case you have spaces in your filenames or directories, you need to escape them. See examples: 

    mac $ ls -l ~/"see it"
    -rw-r--r-- 1 mac staff 3171 Oct 26 23:38 /Users/mac/see it
    mac $
    mac $ cd /Users/mac/Desktop/ttt\ html\ copy/


    Do you know about tabing? Type in a few letters of a name then press the tab key. The computer will type out the rest of the name if it is unique.


    Press the up arrow key to see the previous command(s).


    To edit a command, use the left arror key to more left and the right arror key to move right.  Use the delete key to delete the key to the left.  Type a letter to insert.


    history to see many previous commands. 


    mac $ history

        2  man launchd.conf

        3  history







  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    short ( login ) name:


    blue apple > System Preferences... > Accounts


    Picture 5.png




    Using your startup dvd to examine your internal drive:


  • Insert your  startup DVD  into your reader.  Power down your machine.  Hold down to the c key.  Power on your machine.  This will bootup your startup DVD.
  • This will bring you to a panel asking you for your language.  Pick your language.
  • initial boot screen dvd.jpg


  • You you come to the Install Mac OS panel.  Do not install.
  • Now, look for your startup drive.  Double click on it as usual.