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Mysterious Tilde Folder Appeared

1656 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2007 6:53 PM by Viands RSS
Viands Calculating status...
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Sep 8, 2007 5:55 PM
Does anyone know how a folder got to the root of both our MBP and iMac with just a tilde (~) for a title? I thought my husband accidentaly changed a folder name until it appeared on my computer. It's new just this week.
MBP, iBook, iMac, iPods, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • megatron5150 Calculating status...
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    Sep 16, 2007 12:56 AM (in response to Viands)
    I have the same thing happening to my PowerBook G4, here's a link to the screenshot:

    http://scottorchard.com/downloads/tilde.png

    Does anyone have any ideas? Both subfolders seem empty as well.
    PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Bob\'syourUncle Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)
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    Sep 16, 2007 10:34 AM (in response to Viands)
    Hi, to know what the folder is, open Terminal - ( Finder > Apps. > Utilities ..) and drag the folder into the new "shell" - (window).
    This will copy the folder into Terminal and reveal its path -(origin).
    If you post back with this info. maybe an expert -(No - not me!!) will be able to guide you through the fix.
    The ~ tilde represents your Home directory, so don't touch the folder to delete it until you know you can!
    Also have a look at similar problems here .. http://www.pinkmutant.com/articles/toovisible.html
    Regards,
    Robert.
    iMac G5 17", Powerbook G4 12", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Bob\'syourUncle Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)
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    Sep 16, 2007 11:04 AM (in response to Viands)
    Hi, sorry for the last post regarding opening Terminal for info. on the folder. It's correct, but unnecessary, just click on the folder concerned and press "Command" + "I" to "Get info".

    Regards,
    Robert.
    P.S. I was working with terminal at the time when I saw the post - that's my excuse anyway!
    iMac G5 17", Powerbook G4 12", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • megatron5150 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 16, 2007 1:46 PM (in response to Viands)
    If I drag the folder into Terminal, this is the path that shows up:

    /\~/

    It's on my Macintosh HD, with the Applications, Developer, Library, System and Users Folder. It shows up as a Zero KB folder, with 2 empty folders, Documents & Movies. I have invisibles files hidden, but just to make sure it was empty, I viewed the folder with Transmit (which does show invisible files on my hard drive and on servers I work with) and it still appeared empty. It just seems odd that it would show up.

    If I was to guess, I'd think that it would be something to do with a program creating temporary files there and possibly not cleaning the empty folders up when it's done, but I'm not a software developer, so this is just a guess.
    PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • chris_R Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)
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    Sep 20, 2007 3:15 AM (in response to megatron5150)
    It's probably a bug in some application that you've installed. As you no doubt know, '~' is a shorthand for your home directory in the Terminal, but it doesn't always work in other situations, e.g. I write fortran programs and if I use '~' in a file name it looks for a folder called '~' in the current working directory, rather than for my home folder, for which I have to use the full path (or explicitly read the $HOME variable).

    In your case, it seems likely that some app is trying to write files to your home directory, but the programmer has been lazy and used the '~' shorthand in his/her code, which won't work. Since the new folder only contains Documents and Movies, it's probably a movie related application of some kind. It should be perfectly safe to remove the folder if its empty.
    MacBook Pro / 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,860 points)
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    Sep 21, 2007 6:52 AM (in response to Viands)
    chis_R is correct. The application is question could be an Apple application. Look in your Home -> Library -> Preferences folder for a file that contains a tilde. You may have to use the terminal:

    cd ~/Library/Preferences
    grep ~ *

    When you find it, you'll have to change that ~ to "/Users/<shortname>". If it were me, I would just double click that file and change it in plist editor. I think that program comes with Apple developer tools. In any event, it should tell you which program is causing it. Then you can change the preferences from within the application if you don't want to hack up the preferences file like I would.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 1.83Ghz/2GB Ram/80 HD +iMac G4 800
  • chris_R Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)
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    Sep 21, 2007 1:50 PM (in response to etresoft)
    Might be better to do something like

    cd ~/Library/Preferences
    grep ~/Documents *

    because most of the system preference files are in binary and searching for just a single character will give a lot of false matches (in my case 92 vs 14).
    MacBook Pro / 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10)

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