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Ask Michelle Your Own Question

Michelle
Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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My mac had issues with flashing desktop items a while back.

Customer Question

My mac had issues with flashing desktop items a while back. Finder was playing up and at times it would all dissappear but I found opening up Safari for a few hours would somehow encourage it all back and make it accessable (at least I thought that was what was happening). In the end it all just stayed and has worked fine for months. Well yesterday I installed Mavericks and now nothing is showing. The Mac was optimising all night and most of today but seems to have finished. No desktop items are showing though, Finder won't open at all. All I can do is open programmes and a browser. I am currently using my macbook. Can we get all my files back easily enough? I really don't want to go through resetting the whole system again, I've done that before. Thanks

UPDATE: My top bar has gone. Finder has completely vanished. If I hover over the icon at the bottom, it says 'application not responding'. I also got a little warning box/error msg that said... the application 'finder' can't be opened -600.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Michelle replied 2 years ago.
Michelle :

Hi, and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am excited to get started with you.

It does sound like you are experiencing software issues. Do you have another computer that you can chat from?

Michelle :

I see you are currently offline. When you enter our chat, see if you are able to boot into safe mode. To do this, restart your Mac while pressing and holding the Shift key. Continue to hold down on the shift key until the apple logo appears. A progress bar will then appear underneath the apple logo. (This indicates that you are booting into Safe mode successfully). Once you are in Safe mode and if your finder loads, click on the Apple logo and choose software updates. Software updates are important to run after upgrading your OS. Once the updates are complete, restart your computer and see if you are able to use your Mac normally

Michelle :

If you are still experiencing issues, re-installing 10.9 will be required (Sorry.. I know)

Michelle :

Before you re-install, make sure your HD is okay.
1. Boot to your 10.9 install partition by restarting while pressing and holding down Command+R
2. A Mac OS X utility screen will then appear.
3. Choose Disk utility
4. Select Macintosh HD in the left column and then select Verify Disk
5. If there is an issue with the drive, select Repair Disk.
6. Lastly, Choose repair Disk Permissions

Make sure you have enough Hard drive space. At the bottom right corner within Disk Utility, Check your Available storage. Make sure it is much higher than 10.0GB

Exit Disk utility and choose Re-install OSX. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Michelle :

If you have any questions regarding theses steps, I am here

Customer:

Michelle, after doing the safe mode method, it said that my updates are up to date. I restarted anyway and suddenly its all back to normal! How did it do this? How did going in to safe mode and back again manage to sort it and is it likely to go again, since I didn't really do anything? Thanks

Customer:

Also do you know how to uninstall properly? I have had issues with outlook, it won't open and it causes other issues. I'd like to uninstall the programme and then install a newer version but with all the old folders I had before. Is this possible? Sorry if this isn't your area of expertise, thought I'd ask!

Michelle :

Good Morning! Booting into Safe Mode clears any conflicting or corrupt system files. Whenever an application or your entire system is experiencing major issues, booting into safe mode will correct that. If Safe mode fails to correct those issues, the next step would be a re-install (Glad we did not have to do that :)

As far as outlook, you can delete outlook and re-install it again. Since outlook is apart of the entire MS office suite, you will need to delete that as well. Here is the most important step to preserve your outlook data. You will need to drag the Office 2011 Identities folder onto your desktop. The office identities folder is in the Microsoft User Data within the documents folder

Michelle :

Before we uninstall Outlook, we can certainly troubleshoot your issue first and save the uninstallation as our last result

Michelle :

Here are the steps you can take to troubleshoot outlook
Step One: Try to Open Outlook without Connecting to Mail Sever. To do this, make sure outlook is still closed
1. Press and hold the Shift key while clicking on the Outlook icon on the Dock.
2. This will prevent Outlook from sending or receiving mail.
3. Quit Outlook and then Re-open. If your issue Persist, move along to Step Two

Step Two: Creating A New Outlook Identity
1. As mentioned above, the Outlook database is stored in the Office 2011 Identities folder. So if you move this folder onto the desktop, Outlook will create a New One. Close Outlook
2. Open Finder and click on the Documents Folder
3. Within the Documents folder, locate your Microsoft User Data Folder
4. Drag the Office 2011 Identities folder onto the desktop (do not delete)
5. Now re-open Outlook

Does outlook Open? If so, the issue is with your actual database and not with outlook itself. You will need to re-build your Database. To do so, Quit outlook if you have not done so already
1. Hold down the Option key while launching start Outlook 2011.
2. A database utilities window will now appear. In the Database Utility window, select your database and then click Rebuild.

Full Size Image

3. When the Operating is complete, click done

If Outlook did not open after creating a new identity, the issue will be with outlook itself. Move on to Step 3
Step Three: Trash Outlook Preference files

Michelle :

1. Open Finder and choose Go from the Top menu
2. Hold down the Option Key while at the Go menu to reveal the Library Folder. You can also Choose Go to Folder and paste this inside to get to the Library folder. ~/Library
3. Within the library folder, choose preferences
4. Drag the following files into the trash



  • com.microsoft.Outlook.plist

  • com.microsoft.outlook.database_daemon.plist

  • com.microsoft.outlook.database_utility.plist

  • com.microsoft.outlook.office_reminders.plist

  • com.microsoft.Outlook.SyncServicesPreferences.plist


Michelle :

Open Outlook and try again. If outlook is still not cooperating, You will need to re-install outlook

Michelle :

If you are upgrading from an older MS office like 2008 and you are going to 2011, all you need to do is install the latest version and then delete the old MS office folder. I will be here if you need further assistance

Customer:

Hi Michelle, I had to go through all the stages in the end. Outlook is opening now but unfortunately none of my old folders and stored emails are showing. Will all my folders be stored in the 'Office 2011 Identities' folder I have put on my desktop? So even if I have to install a new outlook, I can somehow still get my original folders and saved emails back in place?

Michelle :

If you close outlook and move your identities folder that is on your desktop back inside the Microsoft user data, your data will resume

Michelle :

Yes, even if you install a new version of outlook, all of your data and folders will remain in the identities folder

Customer:

Ah, it seems to be the 'Office 2011 Identities folder' that is causing the issues. Outlooks suddenly won't open when I put the folder back into the Microsoft user data. Damn. I'm worried I may have to trash the identities folder to save this! Sorry this is going on, I really appreciate you help.

Michelle :

No need to apologize, I'll be here until your issue is resolved. If you trash the identities folder, you will loose everything. Have you already tried rebuilding your identity while the identities folder was in the microsoft user data folder?

Michelle :

If not, try that out

Michelle :

Do you have a backup of a time before your were experiencing issues with outlook?

Customer:

Unfortunately no back up. Would that be using time machine? I've only ever backed up files and folders with work and personal items. I have clicked rebuild with the identities folder back in the user data and it is doing something. It has been stuck on step 1 for about 5 mins though with the little colourful wheel spinning around. Is that normal?

Customer:

It says step 1 of 3: Scanning

Michelle :

It can take some time to rebuild, especially when there are larger issues

Customer:

I do have tonnes of e-mails in there too

Customer:

So be patient then?

Michelle :

Yes, it will continue to display the steps

Customer:

Ok thanks Michelle. I will update you soon :)

Michelle :

You are welcome. I will continue to stand by

Michelle :

Has it progressed a little? or is it still on step 3?

Customer:

All done and I thought it was loading up but then it just shut down again :( Will I need a new version of outlook now? If I did get a new version and dropped the same folder in, will it cause the same issues with that? It is definitely something to do with the identities folder.

Michelle :

Because the issue is with your identities folder, upgrading outlook will not resolve your issues :( All of your emails should be stored on the server. Who is your email services provider?

Customer:

A friend who runs my website. It all goes through him

Michelle :

Do you know if the emails are stored on the server? Meaning that it is set up as an IMAP enabling you to check your email from another computer or mobile phone?

Customer:

Yes it is.

Michelle :

Oh ok so then If you create a new identity, you can sign back in and your emails should download. Lets try it. Click on the option key again while launching outlook. Choose the + sign at the bottom to add a new identity

Customer:

ok done

Michelle :

Now choose Outlook and Choose Preferences to add your email account

Michelle :

Click on Accounts

Customer:

Outlook won't open. Where do I find preferences?

Michelle :

Okay, remove the identities folder back to the desktop again

Customer:

Ah of course, sorry

Michelle :

When Outlook opens, Click on Outlook at the top menu bar and choose Preferences

Customer:

ok, i have put my email address in and a password. It also wants username, type and incoming/outgoing server

Michelle :

Do you know your incoming/outgoing server settings?

Customer:

No, sorry. I would need to speak to my web guy. He emailed it all over once but there's no chance of getting that or finding it at the mo. Also if we do this, I understand it will download all my emails to date but am I right in thinking that all my folders/organisation will have gone?

Customer:

Oh sorry, I do know my incoming/outgoing settings. They are on this machine I am using

Michelle :

Okay go ahead and enter all of your settings

Customer:

before I carry on it says - pop account?? Is that ok?

Customer:

On this machine it is set to pop

Michelle :

It should be an IMAP. Do you know for sure if your email account is set up as and IMAP or POP?

Customer:

I only know that I have full access to my emails on the macbook that I am using and it says pop account on here.

Michelle :

If it says POP account, then your emails will not re-download. What application are you using to access your email on your macbook

Customer:

I'm using outlook on here.

Michelle :

Good news is you can backup the identity on your macbook and transfer it to your troubled outlook

Customer:

Oh ok. Although just so I know… my folders will be gone right?

Michelle :

It will look exactly how it looks on your macbook

Customer:

I have only recently just set the macbook up so I don't have any folders set here like I did before on my main machine :(

Customer:

But I guess bette than nothing

Customer:

Michelle can we reconvene as I have to pop out for a few hours shortly??

Michelle :

Of couse. When you get back we can resume

Customer:

Thanks Michelle, I better dash now. Thanks!!!

Michelle :

See you when you get back

Michelle :

When you return, here are the step you will need to take to transfer your outlook information from your macbook onto your main computer. You will need an external hard drive. A thumb drive will also do. Before you begin, check to see if there are more than one identities. Sometimes backups are created. Go back to your office 2011 Identities folder and see if there are more then one Main Identity Folder. If there are, select them and double click on Database. If your identities are still messed up, close outlook and follow the below instructions.



1. Plug your external hard drive into your Macbook and drag over the Office 2011 Identities Folder onto your external hard drive. Make sure it copies and does not Move the folder


2.On your Main computer, move the Outlook 2011 Identity folder back onto the desktop.


3. Plug your external hard drive into your main computer and drag over the Office 2011 Identities folder and place it inside the Microsoft User Data folder


4. Open Outlook. It should now mirror your macbook pro



I know this will be a tedious process, but you will need to spend some time re-arranging your folders.

Customer:

Hi Michelle, I have dropped the folder in on my main mac. The emails have come through but not the same as my macbook. On my macbook I have a folder for another mailbox that my web guy set up. Is there a way of doing the same? I know he had to play around with 'rules' and things! If not, needn't worry, I cans peak with him and get it finished off. I have lost all my original folders but it's my fault for not somehow backing everything up. Thank you for getting the mac going and restoring outlook! :)















Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience: Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
Michelle and 5 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Michelle replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jamie,

I am excited that you are finally up and running again. Without knowing the exact configurations of your POP email account, your web guy will certainly provide better assistance as far as locating your folders. Have a fantastic rest of your day and please let me know if you have any further questions :)

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