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Resolving generic folder issues System
[Editor: Submitted by 'nikon' last week]

If you ever get generic folders in the dock and filesystem, there are three things that normally cause this:
  1. Corrupted prefs.
  2. Corrupted NetInfo database.
  3. No privilieges on home folder.
For a solution to the generic folder problem, read the rest of the article.

Step #1
Boot into Single User mode (hold command-S during startup) and type:
fsck -y
This will run a disk repair utility on your OS X disk. Repeat this step until it reports no errors found.

Step #2
Try trashing LSClaimedTypes, LSSchemes and LSApplications from:
Users/your_username/Library/Preferences/.

Step #3
Check the privilieges on your home folder. If you haven't got priviligies, then open a terminal and use chown (sudo chown your_username /Users/your_username) to make the correct user owner of this home folder.

If all these steps still won't solve the problem, then follow this procedure. Boot into Single User mode (command-S at startup) and type:
mv /var/db/netinfo/local.nidb /var/db/netinfo/local.bak
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
After this is done, restart the computer (typing 'exit' should work).

This will open up the setup assistant again. When you now go trough creating a new user it is important to use the exact same _short name_ as you did the first time. This will force OS X to replace the NetInfo database. This should be considered a last resort step.

nikon

[Editor's note: I haven't tried the Netinfo database replacement step, but throwing away the three preference files specified is Apple's preferred method, and running fsck -y is also a good idea.]
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