I have a graphite G4 running OX 10.28, and now when I boot, it gets past the startup screen, but then stops at a plain blue screen. The cursor is visible, but none of the screen icons, such as the harddrive or workfolders are. I can't therefore access any work or applications!

I have tried running Nortons, but this has not helped. Does this mean my harddrive has corrupted, or just my desktop file? Is there any way around this, or failing that, anyway I can recover and backup my work?

Any advise appreciated!!

12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by The Fella


It is possible there is disk corruption, it is also possible a file or two is out of whack, and also possible for a permissions problem.

Boot up with the OS X CD-ROM. Instead of starting an install, go to the Apple menu in the corner, and choose disk utility. Run a repair on the hard drive. Then run a repair of the permissions. If it doesn't allow you to repair permissions, then try to reboot with your hard drive, and then try the repair permissions option.

If you have access to another Mac, and have a network running, it might be possible to access your files through FTP or telnet or SSH, if you had those programs running. All depends on what is enabled on the machine.

You might also be able to boot with the spacebar down, and that should put you into a "safemode" type of format.

Worst case, if your Mac will boot Mac OS 9, try booting to 9, and if you have a network available, try copying the files to a server volume before re-installing.

Let us know,



Neither.. and never NEVER run Norton on your Mac again.

It's VERY doubtful that there is disk corruption, most likely it's a corrupt file that is keeping you from your desktop.

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT repair permissions from the CD. The /Library/Receipts/ on the CD are woefully out of date. And since repair of permissions doesn't descend into the /Users hierarchy, and that's where your problem is, it won't help.

Booting in Safemode is a great idea, although you hold down the Shift key, not the spacebar, when booting.

You can also hold down the Shift key when logging in to attempt to disable some of the startup items that might be causing the problem.

You can also boot into Single User Mode and remove the /Users/your_user/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist and/or /Users/your_user/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist

And finally, since you use auto-login, there's really no way to tell where the process is dying. It could be a system problem, or a problem relegated to your user. I suggest NOT using auto-login, since at least you could then log in as another user (alternate admin or root) and troubleshoot your problem.



Thank you Yellow for reminding me about the permissions problem booting with the OS X CD. I now need to punish myself for forgetting about that. I will just have to use the Windoze computer tonight...

And I just see now about the spacebar. This has not been a good posting day for Christian.

Sorry about that...



Not a problem, tons of people exclusively repair permissions from the CD, not realizing that they are potentially doing their OS a disservice. Most folks aren't even sure what it does and pointlessly do it "weekly" as some sort of 'maintenance'.


Hi Guys

Thanks to both of you for your help on this problem.

I have unfortunately not been able to resolve this issue, and so have taken my hard drive into an authorised Apple dealer.

Good to get your responses, however, and will def. post here again if I have any other issues!



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