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system preferences has question mark and does not open

system preferences has question mark and does not open. how do i repair

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Did you have it in your Applications folder? Have you tried to use Finder to see if you have moved it elsewhere?

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Try creating another User Account and see if the problem persists. If it doesn't, then you might have inadvertently deleted it. If thats the case, then you can either do an Archive and Install if you are using Leopard, or do a clean install and use migration assistant to copy over your user data if running Snow Leopard. Of course, I say this assuming you have a current back up. Another option, is just to re-install all native apps using your system installation DVD. Your System Preferences plist file should still be available and all your settings will be untouched. Here's a link describing the [ http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?...)|Archive & Install] procedure I recommended. Just make sure you select the option to preserve User Accounts in order to save all your User Data.

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Just open your applications folder and locate System Preferences and drag it to the dock and let it go. It will make a new alias.

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Please give me more details on how this would work, it would create an alias from what files?

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The System Preferences is listed in the applications folder. Not Utilities. Any time you drag an app to the dock and drop it, it will create an alias in the dock.

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Ok, I got that. But if it was already on the dock and the question mark appears, wouldn't it be safe to say it has been deleted? I don't know. I have never deleted a Native App.

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Sometimes the aliases just lose the link and the question mark appears. If I remember correctly, there is even an option of repairing the link when you click on the question mark and you can tell it where to look. Same thing happens with songs in iTunes..

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Yeah, you are right about the iTunes songs, but it usually does that when you have deleted the song's original file, and the system can't find it. So it gives you the option of trying to locate it, just in case you moved elsewhere. That's why i recommended the PO use finder to see if he had moved the app unknowingly. If he/she didn't, then he must have deleted it.

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i can't fine the applications folder either

the only thing that comes up is in finder icon

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