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Applications folder crashes Finder. Re-installed OS X.

Clicking on my Applications folder crashes Finder every time. I have: Nuked the finder plist. Nuked Library/Caches. Nuked the folder’s .DS_Store. Repaired permissions. Used Drive Magician to check the hard drive. Did a fsck. Entered single-user mode and watched it hang as I tried to access that folder via the command line. Nothing worked. So I reinstalled OS X, using the “archive” option, which put my old installation into a folder. The Application folder within the archive still crashes Finder. This is a pain in the butt because it means I can’t transfer my old apps into my new Applications folder.

Plus, I’m really curious about what’s going on. Any ideas?

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[LATER: System.log here.]

15 Responses to “Applications folder crashes Finder. Re-installed OS X.”

  1. Is there anything relevant in /var/log/system.log?

    What happens if you cd to /Applications in a terminal?

  2. Adam, I don’t think the system.log was saved when I reinstalled. And before I reinstalled, cd’ing to Apps in a terminal froze the system. It even froze a host computer when I mounted my MB using firewire. But after the reinstall, I am able to cd to the troublesome Apps folder in terminal. I can’t cp folders out, but that may be a permissions or ownership problem, I guess. I still can’t open the old Apps folder using Finder.

  3. “Plus, I’m really curious about what’s going on. Any ideas?’

    Yeah. You’re not using Windows :-)

  4. David, I had that kind of problem when my hard drive was getting ready to fail. Can you move the apps from the old Applications folder to the new one by using a Unix command in Terminal? That shouldn’t involve instructing the Finder to open the old Applications folder, and it seems as though it’s the old folder that’s somehow corrupted.

  5. Have you tried to transfer one application at a time from the old folder to the new one via ‘mv’ in the terminal?

  6. This morning I am able to read the bad Apps file with the terminal, and am able to mv files from it.

  7. If you can find another Mac running OS X, plug yours into it using a FireWire cable and start it while holding down the X key. When you see the FireWire logo bouncing around the screen of your computer, it’s hard drive should appear on the desktop of the other Mac. You now might be able to drag files from your old Applications folder to the new one.

  8. I’ve been having a problem with Finder crashing when I try to open specific directories on my computer. Seems to be a problem that’s below the radar for Apple – but when that starts happening, I have to rename the problematic folder (“JournalPapers” becomes “JournalPapers1” for example) – and it works for a while (1 – 2 months) then Finder starts crashing again, and I have to rename it back. Maybe its due to a bad preference? Whatever the case, I’ve searched and searched for a real fix, but haven’t been able to find one.

  9. Tim, I had tried the firewire trick. It freezes the host machine when I try to access the damaged Apps folder from it.

  10. Well – you’re still able to crash the Finder on the new install by accessing the old Apps folder from it.

    When you do that now, does anything show up in /var/log/system.log?

  11. Apple should hire you into their QA. Seriously, you find the most amazing stuff.

    You’ve already been able to get around by using the terminal/command line, which is what I was going to suggest. But another thing you can try is using an alternative finder app, such as “Path Finder.” See if that get crashed as well.

    (It’s encouraging that your bad Apps directory crashes a host machine; it means your mac / your mac os isn’t broken, but there is something very bad in that apps directory.)

  12. billo, I should have mentioned: It crashes pathfinder as well.

  13. Assuming the drive is good, and I would run SmartUtility on it, have you tried logging in from another user account? If everything is cool under that account, it may be a bad preference/cache that’s not being flushed and is being carried over.

  14. Islamoyankee, I have logged in from another account and from another machine (via firewire). Both crash. I have flushed the preferences and cache. Still busted.

    I posted the system.log lines here:

  15. where do i find the apps folder

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