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Fix for applications appearing as folders Desktop
In some instances, your OS X disks may display all your applications as folders. When you double-click them, they open like folders to show the package contents, instead of launching. This usually happens after after a crash. There's a relatively simple fix, which you can see if you read the rest of this article.

The solution is courtesy of Apple's Tech Info Library (TIL), which you can find here:

http://til.info.apple.com

This site hosts all sorts of interesting material (I've added it to the links section); just change the drop down to "Operating Systems" and type (without the quotes) "OS and X" to find relevant articles.

The actual URL for this particular problem is: http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n106241

I've detailed the fix in the remainder of this article (modified from Apple's site).

You can resolve this issue when started up from Mac OS 9.x or Mac OS X. You must navigate to the filepath /Users/username/Library/Preferences and delete three files. Delete these three files in that directory:

LSApplications
LSClaimedTypes
LSSchemes

If you are using Mac OS X, logout and login again; if you're in OS 9, reboot into OS X. The correct icons should now appear.
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This happened to me...
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 29, '01 01:02:26PM

This happened to me when I tried to relocate my Users directory to another partition. After I started up, it claimed it could not find my home. So I moved everything back and that fixed it too. Now I am anxious to get home and try it again. :D



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