13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2011 7:24 PM by Denl10
James Mol Level 3 (695 points)
My sister's hard drive has disappeared off the desktop.

It still shows in the finder window side bar and when you choose GO>Computer, it shows up in the list, but not on the Desktop.

When I try to drag it from the Computer to the desktop the eject icon shows up where the trash can is.

Any ideas how to get the hard drive back on the desktop?


Power Mac Dual 1.4GHz G4; iMac Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 2GB Ram, SATA RAID external drives; 1GB Ram; FCP6
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    Go to Finder -> Preferences, click the General tab and make sure the Hard Disks box is checked to show them on the desktop.
  • dickie001x Level 1 (30 points)
    You'll need DiskWarrior. I had the same problem and using this fixed it.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    Nonsense! The hard drive is still accessible through other methods, as James already said, so disk repair of any kind does not play a role in the solution in this particular case.
  • dickie001x Level 1 (30 points)
    To quote the DiskWarrior website: "Perhaps you've tried to open a document and all that happens is a color wheel that spins and spins and spins… Or when your Mac starts up, all you get is a blinking question mark… Or you were in the middle of editing a movie and now your external hard disk isn't on the desktop… Or your MP3s won't play... Or every time you look through your photos, your Mac crashes. DiskWarrior gets you back up and running fast!"

    I'm not lying. I had the exact same problem and using DW fixed it. Not 'nonsense' at all.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 (75,069 points)
    That's a different problem. The OP's hard disk is appearing in the Finder Sidebar, so it's just that it's not appearing on the Desktop - it doesn't mean it's not working at all (or the computer wouldn't start). Finder Preferences>General and under 'Show these items on the desktop' checking 'Hard disks' should sort it. If it doesn't, then would be the time to start thinking about Disk Utility or possibly DiskWarrior.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    I had the exact same problem and using DW fixed it.

    No, you didn't. You had a hard drive that was damaged and, I imagine, wouldn't show up _at all_. James simply lost the icon on the desktop, but the computer is still functioning and the hard drive is accessible from the sidebar. Nothing he said indicates any need for Disk Warrior, and further, even if disk repair were needed, it would be advisable to start with Apple's tool (Disk Utility) first rather than spending money on a third-party tool that may not actually be needed.

    I appreciate that you're trying to help, but what you're doing is potentially confusing James with advice that does not apply to the problem as stated.
  • dickie001x Level 1 (30 points)
    Yes, I did! Thomas, I don't understand why you are convinced otherwise - I'm not lying! Here's my story:

    My Mac Pro was working normally but one day I noticed that the icon had disappeared from the desktop. My other two drives where there but Macintosh HD was missing. It appeared in the Finder and I could access it from there without problems but it had simply vanished from the desktop (and yes, the setting was set correctly in Finder preferences). No big deal but it bugged me nonetheless.

    I repaired permissions, verified the disk and even tried reinstalling the latest OSX combo update but to no avail.

    So I searched on here and someone had suggested using DiskWarrior. So I purchased it, ran it and it worked a treat - the icon was back on the desktop!

    Completely relevant advice to resolve James's problem, in my opinion.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    DiskWarrior repairs damaged disks. If that fixed your problem, then it was because your disk was badly damaged and could not be mounted, in which case it would not show up anywhere else, including the sidebar. If your machine was working normally, then either that drive was not your boot drive, or it was your boot drive but you were unknowingly booting from a different drive with a bootable clone.

    DiskWarrior will not fix the problem James has described. Period.
  • dickie001x Level 1 (30 points)
    Yeah. You know best
  • fjsdofnsjgv Level 1 (10 points)
    That is a pretty bad attitude to take when attempting troubleshooting. While DiskWarrior can fix major disk problems, it can also solve minor onew. I have no doubt it could have fixed the missing icon problem as described. I wouldn't go so far as to say it will probably fix the problem James is having, but I would never say something like "DiskWarrior will not fix the problem James has described. Period." - that is assuming too much. You wouldn't know that until you tried it. Would I recommend going out and purchasing Disk Warrior to try to fix this problem? No. But don't doubt that DiskWarrior can fix simple problems that the tools built in to OS X can't. It has worked miracles on all levels for me in the past, including stupid little things like disappearing icons. You assume you know DW wouldn't fix James' problem, and you also assume you know more about the problems dickie had on his system that he did. I don't think dickie is lying, or even confused. I believe whatever problem he was experiencing was solved by DiskWarrior. Obviously it was his boot drive (The boot drive is usually named "Macintosh HD") - it would be pretty hard to re-install the OS to another drive, and then somehow not know you did that, or be booting from a completely different external drive with no knowledge. I know you are trying to be helpful, and you may even be right, but using absolutes like "DiskWarrior will not fix the problem James has described. Period." is not the way to approach trouble shooting.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    You assume you know DW wouldn't fix James' problem, and you also assume you know more about the problems dickie had on his system that he did.

    As James described the problem, the machine was functioning fine, and the only problem was that the hard drive icon didn't show on the desktop, while it was accessible just fine from anywhere else. That in no way whatsoever indicates that DW would be helpful. DW is a tool for repairing damaged directories. If the directory is so damaged that the drive won't show up on the desktop, it also won't show up on the sidebar or anywhere else, and you won't be able to boot from it. I'm not sure what is so difficult to understand about that.

    It doesn't matter how useful a program is - and yes, DW is very useful, for its intended purpose - recommending it for the wrong problem is like a doctor prescribing an asthma inhaler to fix a broken leg.
  • Denl10 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same problem and tried what Thomas suggested and it worked for me.