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macbook OS will not load finder function want to reinstall but don't want to lose data thanx for any/all help!

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What do you mean by "will not load finder function" do you mean Finder.app and then can you give the full set of thigs that hapen when you boot –  Mark Jun 1 '13 at 10:40
    
I boot up, the computer boots ok but cannot see any files/folders on desktop finder.app/screen will not initialize MacHD icon blinks on and off –  DJM Jun 1 '13 at 16:22
    
SO you go through the login screen? –  Mark Jun 1 '13 at 17:08
    
yes all is normal till desktop, finder.app does not load and cannot see desktop items...can see wallpaper, dock functions –  DJM Jun 1 '13 at 19:43
    
@bmike Can we PLEASE make literacy a prerequisite to earning question-posing permission? –  XAleXOwnZX Sep 12 '13 at 22:27
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2 Answers

You should be able to reinstall the OS without it deleting any of your personal files (those in your User folder); it's one of the install options available from the OS installer. This option only changes System and other files that belong to the OS).

(Of course, be careful not to select a full erase/reinstall option. And a full time machine backup is still highly recommended. If things go wrong, you can then do a full erase/install, and the installer will prompt you to restore personal files via your time machine backup.)

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The specific option you're looking for is "Archive & Install", which moves your data to the side, reinstalls the base system files and then moves your data back into place. You SHOULD backup before performing this but assuming disk failure doesn't occur you SHOULD be ok. Apple's KB article on the options - support.apple.com/kb/HT1544 –  Mr Rabbit Sep 13 '13 at 14:21
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Try to start up in safe mode first (by holding shift on startup). You might be able to use Finder normally.

If that doesn't work, you can back up files to an external disk by starting up from the installation DVD, opening Disk Utility, and saving a disk image of the Macintosh HD volume. See Mac OS X v10.5, v10.6: How to back up and restore your files.

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