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Question: MacBook: system preferences, and all other apps, quit unexpectly. Can't access anything.

I have a 2008 MacBook. All that shows on the upper bar (where Apple icon, time, battery percentage, wifi connection, etc, usually is) is from left to right is Finder File Edit View Go Window Help, then close to right side, coffee cup icon, blanks where other icons usually are, then flag, battery percentage, blank where wifi connection usually is, then day and time.


I can put my curser where the Apple icon usually is and the drop down menu appears, but nothing works. If I choose system preferences, for instance, I get the message 'system preferences quit unexpectedly while using the AppKit plug in'. When I click reopen, the same message comes up. Clicking 'report' does nothing. This happens with anything on the drop down menu except 'restart'. The computer will restart, but it reopens with all the same problems.


If I click 'shut down', a blank white square appears, so no options to choose from.


None of the files will open that are on my desktop except for MS Word docs.


None of the apps will open, so I can't access the internet, photos, music, or any other shortcut.


The word 'Finder' shows in the top bar, as I said, but nothing actually happens when I try to open anything.


I'm about ready to try to wipe the whole computer and reinstall.


Thank you.

MacBook, iOS 11.2.6

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Question marked as Helpful

Feb 28, 2018 10:45 AM in response to Elphaba2014 In response to Elphaba2014

A Troubleshooting Protocol to Identify Problems or Fix Lion to Yosemite


You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM
  2. Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)
  3. Start the computer in Safe Mode, then restart normally. This is slower than a standard startup.
  4. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. After Disk Utility loads select the hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the side list. In the Disk Utility 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. (S.M.A.R.T status is not reported for external drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume from the list. Click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. When it finishes then click on the Repair Permissions button. When that has completed quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Select Restart from the Apple menu.
  5. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button below Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  6. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  7. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the CommandandRkeys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Partition tab in Disk Utility's main window toolbar.
  4. Set the number of partitions to one (1) from the Partition Scheme dropdown menu.
  5. Set the Format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  6. Click on the Apply button.
  7. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu
  8. Select Restart from the Apple Menu.

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Question marked as Helpful

Feb 28, 2018 10:45 AM in response to Elphaba2014 In response to Elphaba2014

A Troubleshooting Protocol to Identify Problems or Fix Lion to Yosemite


You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM
  2. Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)
  3. Start the computer in Safe Mode, then restart normally. This is slower than a standard startup.
  4. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. After Disk Utility loads select the hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the side list. In the Disk Utility 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. (S.M.A.R.T status is not reported for external drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume from the list. Click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. When it finishes then click on the Repair Permissions button. When that has completed quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Select Restart from the Apple menu.
  5. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button below Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  6. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  7. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the CommandandRkeys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Partition tab in Disk Utility's main window toolbar.
  4. Set the number of partitions to one (1) from the Partition Scheme dropdown menu.
  5. Set the Format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  6. Click on the Apply button.
  7. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu
  8. Select Restart from the Apple Menu.

Feb 28, 2018 10:45 AM

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Question: MacBook: system preferences, and all other apps, quit unexpectly. Can't access anything.