10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2008 3:11 PM by Kappy
Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
I just recently started using the iMac so while i was "experimenting" I accidentally dragged the System Preferences icon from the dock and it disappeared with a dust cloud After that i tried to restore it by dragging system preferences from the menu bar to the dock. This didn't work though. Then when I tried to open System Preferences from the menu bar again nothing happened. Can anybody explain to me what i did wrong and how to restore this without having to reinstall everything ???

2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    The "real" System Preferences application is located in your Applications folder. Simply drag the System Preferences icon in the Applications folder to the Dock. That will restore it in the Dock.

    Normally System Preferences is not in the Finder's toolbar unless you put it there.

    Now, if you cannot find System Preferences in the Applications folder then that means you probably have deleted it. If you have not emptied the Trash then open the Trash (click once on its icon) window and drag System Preferences out of the Trash and back to the Applications folder. If you have emptied the Trash then your life has gotten a bit more complicated, and you will need to extract a new copy from your OS X Installer Disc. To do that see the following:

    How to Use Pacifist to Replace Deleted OS X Applications

    Insert the OS X Installer DVD into the optical drive. Use a simple utility like TinkerTool to toggle invisibility so you can see invisible items. Alternatively, open the Terminal application in your Utilities folder and at the prompt enter the following:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles Yes
    Press RETURN.

    To turn off the display of invisible files repeat the above command substituting No for Yes.

    The install packages are located in the /System/Installation/ folder on the DVD.

    Download the shareware utility Pacifist from VersionTracker or MacUpdate. Use it to extract a fresh copy of the missing item(s) from the file archives on your OS X installation DVD. The file archives are in the /System/Installations/ folder (use Go to Folder option in the Go menu of the Finder.)

    Here are Four Basic ways to use Pacifist (courtesy of George Orville.)

    A. Drag a .pkg icon onto the Pacifist window .....proceed to step 7.

    B. Click on “Open Package ....” and navigate to package desired and click “Open” in the open/save window.....proceed to step 7.

    C. Insert Mac OS X installer CD and when it mounts, navigate to .... Menu->Go->Go to Folder.
    In the path field enter or paste ....

    /Volumes/disc name/System/Installation/Packages (where disc name is the name of the CD/DVD that you inserted.

    • Click on the "Go" button .....
    • Drag a .pkg to Pacifist..... proceed to step 7.
    The package you'll need will have to be discovered by trial and error, but for most applications you should start with the Essentials.pkg and/or Additional Essentials.pkg.

    D. Insert your Mac OS X install disk 1 .... and open Pacifist.
    1. In Pacifist, select "Open Mac OS X Install Packages" ... dialog may appear asking for disk 2, then disk 3 and finally disk 1 again.... {if DVD is not used)...If “Stop Loading” is selected...the procedure will stop!!!

    2a. When loading is complete, a new window appears, click the triangle to display contents of each package...Select item and proceed to step 7.

    2b. or click the “Find” icon in the Pacifist window and type the name of the software you need.

    3. In the list that comes back, click the top most entry for the item that you want. ..... that is the one for the English language.

    4. On the top of the Pacifist window, click “verify” .... you will probably be prompted for your password.

    5. Enter checks for.... “verify permissions” and “verify file contents.” and click “verify” ....enter password when prompted.... you will get back output which may look like this:

    20 files were scanned.
    20 of 20 files were present on the hard disk.
    0 of 20 files had file permissions that did not match those specified in the package.
    0 of 20 files had checksums that did not match those specified in the package.

    6. Click “close”. Go to step 7.

    Extract or Install........

    7. In the Toolbar (upper left), you now have the option to extract or install. Click a file in the lower list and those two icons will be enabled.

    8. If “Extract to...” is selected.... navigate to the location where the file will be placed, select “choose”, select “extract” in new dialog that appears,authenicate , if prompted, click “OK”.

    9. In the next dialog, click “Extract”.

    10. If “Install” is selected... dialog will appear with the location/path of the installed software. Click “Install”

    11. Type in your password, click “OK”

    • Pacifist will begin to extract files.

    12. In steps 8/10ß.... you also have the choice to “cancel”


    • Pacifist may find that a file it is installing already exists on the hard disk. Pacifist will present you with an alert panel....

    Leave original alone
    Update ..... Default selection
    Replace .... Replace option should only be used on full install packages
  • Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok thanks ill try that asap... Does sound like its almost as complicated as installing Leopard again
  • Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
    Mmm... It al seemed to go well and i installed the first essentials.pkg but then the pc froze up on me and didnt do anything anymore. I tried to reboot it after that and now it does nothing. Just the blue screen after it starts up. Seems like a big crash somehow. What now ???

    Message was edited by: Dutch_Alex
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    You weren't supposed to reinstall the whole Essentials.pkg, only the System Preferences application. What you have done will really screw things up. Now you will need to reinstall OS X which you should be able to do as follows:

    How to Perform an Archive and Install

    An Archive and Install will NOT erase your hard drive, but you must have sufficient free space for a second OS X installation which could be from 3-9 GBs depending upon the version of OS X and selected installation options. The free space requirement is over and above normal free space requirements which should be at least 6-10 GBs. Read all the linked references carefully before proceeding.

    1. Be sure to use Disk Utility first to repair the disk before performing the Archive and Install.

    Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions

    Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger.) After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported, then quit DU and return to the installer.

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior (4.0 for Tiger) and/or TechTool Pro (4.5.2 for Tiger) to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

    2. Do not proceed with an Archive and Install if DU reports errors it cannot fix. In that case use Disk Warrior and/or TechTool Pro to repair the hard drive. If neither can repair the drive, then you will have to erase the drive and reinstall from scratch.

    3. Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When you reach the screen to select a destination drive click once on the destination drive then click on the Option button. Select the Archive and Install option. You have an option to preserve users and network preferences. Only select this option if you are sure you have no corrupted files in your user accounts. Otherwise leave this option unchecked. Click on the OK button and continue with the OS X Installation.

    4. Upon completion of the Archive and Install you will have a Previous System Folder in the root directory. You should retain the PSF until you are sure you do not need to manually transfer any items from the PSF to your newly installed system.

    5. After moving any items you want to keep from the PSF you should delete it. You can back it up if you prefer, but you must delete it from the hard drive.

    6. You can now download a Combo Updater directly from Apple's download site to update your new system to the desired version as well as install any security or other updates. You can also do this using Software Update.
  • Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
    I had already started reinstalling it and after i was done it seemed to work and all my files were still on it. Then when i tried to update the software i didnt get acces under my previous user account The user name and password should still be the same but i simply cant get it to work. Also Safari wont start anymore... Should i try reinstalling it again ??
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    Did you select the Archive and Install option to preserve users and network preferences?


    How to get files from a previous home directory after Archive and Install
    Safari may not work after an Archive and Install
  • Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
    NO i didnt... I rebooted with the installation disc but it never gave me this option. I tried again just now and then i did find the Archive & Install option. Should i still try that or is that no longer an option ?
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    So you just did a normal Erase and Install? What exactly did you do? If you did an Erase and Install then whatever was on the drive is now gone for good. There is no need to do an Archive and Install if that's what you did.
  • Dutch_Alex Level 1 (0 points)
    I dont think i did a normal erase and install because all my documents etc. were still on there. Just Safari didnt work. Now i did the Archive an Install and now Safari does work again. Everything seems to work except for Itunes for instance because the library i have is of a newer iTunes version. So i tried to update all the software but im no longer aloowed to make those changes. My old user name and password apparently are no longer the one for administrator. I cant install the updates. What a mess....
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    The account problem may be fixable. See the following:

    I lost my admin user (Mac OS X 10.5)
    OS X 10.5- Administrator user changes to standard


    I lost my admin user (OS X 10.5)

    If you are unfortunate enough to delete your only admin user, or remove his admin capability, then as long as you have another user with login capability, you can give that user admin rights as shown below.

    Print this post out in a mono-spaced font, and type carefully, paying attention to spaces and punctuation, since you cannot copy/paste in Single User mode.

    Caution: in single user mode you have root privileges. Be careful! Substitute the name of 'youruser' below.

    Boot into single-user mode which will eventually get you to a shell prompt (ending in #). Then type the following (Press RETURN after each command):

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    Repeat the above until it says your disk is OK. Then continue with

    /sbin/mount -uw /
    /usr/bin/dscl . -merge /groups/admin users youruser

    If you get a message saying "invalid path", then type these two commands first:

    /usr/bin/dscl . -create /groups/admin gid 80
    /usr/bin/dscl . -create /groups/admin passwd '*'

    and then repeat the "dscl ... -merge" command. Then:

    You will now be able to login as 'youruser' and have administrative privileges.

    Membership of the 'admin' group is the only thing that distinguishes administrative users from ordinary users.