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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop Desktop
I was working on something yesterday when, all of the sudden, the Finder closed and opened, then closed and opened again, and again, and again until it was annoying and became apparent that it was a loop. First I restarted, but it was the same all over. I then tried to login as another user, and everything was just fine. So I was puzzled; I tried some stuff like open firmware restart and single user mode, but couldn't do anything -- the Finder kept crashing.

So I tried Google (some apps actually worked when this was happening), and I got some leads on macosxhints.com, but these tips didn't help me out. They did, however, get me thinking that it probably was a file on the Desktop that was causing the loop (I had a desktop full of stuff) ... and Path Finder was mentioned on one of the websites I had googled.

So I downloaded a Path Finder demo from cocoatech.com, and managed to open it because I had to be faster than the crashing Finder. When I finally opened it, I made a new folder on my hard drive and moved all the files I had on the Desktop to the new folder.

I did not even needed to reboot; the crashing Finder loop was over. So I don't know which file originated this, but it was finally done. It took me more than three hours to figure it out. If you have this symptom on your Mac, maybe my little horror story can help you out -- and give Path Finder a try.

[robg adds: While Path Finder is indeed worth trying (it's a previous Pick of the Week winner here), there's another somewhat more straightforward solution to this problem. Logged in as the second user, just use sudo mv in the Terminal to move all of the troublesome user's Desktop files to a new spot:
$ sudo mkdir /Users/username/Documents/tempfolder
$ sudo mv /Users/username/Desktop/* /Users/username/Documents/tempfolder
I'm sure there are other ways to do this as well, but the above would work...]
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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: sphen on Mar 14, '06 07:16:06AM

this usually has to do with a corrupt character that the finder cannot display in the desktop. for some reason it does not effect the finder when it is in a folder other than desktop. alot of times there will be a .textClipping file that is causing the constant crash loop, do you have one of those?

the other root of the problem is many times Fonts as well. have you removed some fonts from the /System/Library/Fonts folder? Some of the asian fonts are actually needed to prevent finder crashing when it encounters this bad character as well...



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: BORGNZ on Mar 14, '06 11:50:48AM

Note also i have had the same problem with corrupt dstore files, if anyone wants a copy of a corrupt dstore file? send us an email



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: philipgalitzine on Mar 14, '06 08:30:40AM

You know, this exact thing happened to me a few days back. I had installed the newest version of DesInstaller (an uninstall program) and mistakenly removed the AsianCharacters.pkg (called something like that). I got the finder loop as soon as the uninstall was done. Restarting had no effect. Finally I booted from the system DVD and did an Archive and Install. Not sure if it was the package I removed or DesInstaller itself that caused the problem. Wish I had thought of the Path Finder thing. Ah well!



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: philipgalitzine on Mar 14, '06 08:33:46AM

Hmmm. Wish I had read the other comment before posting. Lesson learned.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: sveinbjornt on Mar 14, '06 08:46:42AM

This bug can also happen if you have a corrupt application bundle, e.g. one with a damaged .plist file or icon. Apple could put some more work into making the Finder more robust in dealing with these sorts of things.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: yan on Mar 14, '06 09:25:40AM

I see this problem a lot. As other posts have mentioned it's usually the fault of an evil .textclipping file sitting on the desktop. The problem is reproducible in Mail.app by dragging a word document attachment from an email to the desktop. Only seems to happen if the user has previously changed their default program for opening word files from MS office to TextEdit.

I always do a custom install of Mac OS X without the asian language support files to save HD space and these might be needed to display the text clipping on the desktop else the Finder crashes infinitely. It's a pain that the finder in 10.4.5 isn't more robust in this manner. If the user is a non admin user they are helpless to fix this.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: merelycurious on Mar 14, '06 07:53:36PM
I run into this all the time when I'm preparing a machine for pre-press use and I strip the system font folder down to bare minimum

Here is a safe (I think) way to reproduce the problem if anyone is interested

1 - goto System-Library
2 - pull a copy of the Fonts folder to the desktop
3 - go back to System-Library-Fonts and delete all but:
Geneva.dfont
Keyboard.dfont
LastResort.dfont
Monaco.dfont
LucidaGrande.dfont
4 - restart
5 - Back on the desktop, double click on Fonts folder there and enjoy the finder restart
6 - can be fixed by moving contents of Fonts folder back to System-Library-Fonts via terminal or
activating the fonts within via Suitcase or Fontexplorer X

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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: bitman on Mar 14, '06 10:36:32PM

To weird. Wish I had found this thread earlier. I just spent hours trying to find a cure for this ailment. I first thought it had to do with the new security update. Did all the usual.

Finally logging in as another user I just happenedd to look at my other desktop and saw this attachment I had dragged there earlier. Bingo... file name and I too have removed asian fonts.




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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: qrulf on Mar 15, '06 12:04:52AM

Doing the mv command robg recommends will not preserve all resource forks and metadata on the desktop, probably some users will not want to do that!

Instead using ditto and then removing the files with rm will be a better way to do it, if any metadata is to preserved.

~ Jørgen



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: encro on Mar 15, '06 10:12:43AM

Actually with OS X 10.4 Apple sadly modified common Unix tools such as cp, mv, tar, rsync to supprt resourse forks so it will retain the fork unless you set a flag to not do so unless you are on an older version of OS X of course then you will need ditto or cpmac.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: yan on Mar 15, '06 03:20:45AM

Does anyone know if Apple are aware of this Finder problem? I don't have developer status or access to the radar system and have been waiting for a bugfix since 10.4.0. I'd rather avoid installing the Asian Fonts package to fix this as it will add 1Gb to my Apple System Restore build image. I also use Monolingual to remove unused languages to save space.
Cheers for any info.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: Zeitkind on Mar 15, '06 04:55:42AM

Another reason for Finder crahsing constantly is a another damaged .plist. Had this problem on several Macs before. If this hint doesn't work, try to remove
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

To the fonts problem: I had so many problems with fonts removed by Users. It not only affects OS X itself, but also other programs if their fonts are removed. Filemaker 8, Office 2004 etc. tend to crash with debug entries (from crash-log) like

Thread 0 Crashed:
0 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x9073fba4 CFRetain + 60
1 com.apple.CoreText 0x90235b08 TFontCascade::InitParams() + 324
2 com.apple.CoreText 0x90235bac TFontCascade::CreateFallback(__CTFont const*, __CFString const*, CFRange) const + 52

If you see simular entries, check if all standard fonts are installed.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: zelig on Feb 15, '07 01:39:40PM

Awesome -- this just saved me hours of rebuilding that wouldn't have worked anyway if the user account was re-imported. The culprit was a file on the desktop named ???.textClipping . I suspect this appeared due to a failed/incomplete download, as it wasn't user-created. Since deleting it fixed the finder loop, it may be possible to re-create the problem (if one were so inclined) by creating such a file and rebooting or logging out.



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Recover from a constantly restarting Finder loop
Authored by: Custom Mac on Nov 29, '09 04:44:30PM

Did what to post suggested but nothin doing, finder still crashes. Path Finder worked. The Finder only crashes when I move files over a gb. Any ideas? Thanks!



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