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I have an old imac mid 2010 with upgraded ram and ssd that works really well. I mostly use it for coding and I did not updated / installed any new apps lately.

Since 24hours ago:

  • finder seems to be broken (cannot launch it)
  • cannot access the cmd+space finder
  • all files in desktop disappeared

Everything else seems to be working. The computer seems to be fine except that. I have access to chrome, spotify, terminal etc through the shortcuts clicking on the bottom menu bar.

Following some instructions, I have tried to locate ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist and there is nothing.

I would like to understand what is happening and fix it. I have run:

sudo sysdiagnose -f ~/Desktop

Here is the result https://pastebin.com/ehp52jBR

  • According to discussions.apple.com/thread/6897345, a Timemachine backup would be a solution - no backups on this old imac – jmrueda Feb 28 at 15:47
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    I'd go with a straight overwrite of the OS from Recovery as first step; nothing should be lost... hopefully... – Tetsujin Feb 28 at 16:06
  • I can confirm the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist is there on High Sierra. Since this is a user folder Do you have another User to try with. – Ruskes Feb 28 at 18:15
  • Hi @Tetsujin, I have Verified the disk on Recovery, everything was okey. Clicked on repair even it showed nothing to repair. I do not have the CD with the OS, how can I do the OS overwrite? could you point out to some instructions? Checked on google, but I think I do not have the right answer. Many thanks – jmrueda Mar 2 at 19:22
  • Do it from Recovery - Cmd/R at the chimes, Reinstall macOS; it will overwrite the OS but not the data. – Tetsujin Mar 3 at 9:14
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Massive thanks to @Tetsujin. It worked.

Just a small tip if you experience the same issue, the re-install seemed to be stuck at '1 minute remaining'. I dug a little bit and the system was copying everything from a temp folder to the final destination.

You can activate the logs by pressing Cmd/L or just wait until it finishes (it can take several hours/days).

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