Only background shows up on Mac

Only the desktop shows up on the Mac even after reboot.  I have absolutely no idea if there is a setting missing or corruption.  Any trouble shooting tips?

See attached image
mac.jpg
al4629740Asked:
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strungCommented:
Is the dock there? If so, click on Finder and see if a Finder window opens.

Otherwise do a safe boot while holding down the Shift key and see it boots properly. If it does, post back here and we will tell you what to do next.
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al4629740Author Commented:
how do I do a safe boot if there is nothing on the desktop?

No dock is there.  Just what the picture shows
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strungCommented:
Do a hard shutdown by holding down the power button for 5 seconds.

Then reboot while holding down the shift key.
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al4629740Author Commented:
We can get into safe mode
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strungCommented:
Okay. While in safe mode, open Disk Utility, which is found in /Applications/Utilities and Run Repair Permissions. You will probably get a whole bunch of repairs. Don't worry about that.

Then run Verify Disk. If you get any error messages that are not repaired post back here and we will tell you what to do next.

Also, unless your Mac has an SSD, there should be an item at the bottom right of the Disk Utility Window call S.M.A.R.T. status. If it is anything other than "verifed" let us know.

If you get no errors, shut down and then do a cold boot while holding down the Command-Option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time, then release.

If it boots normally the problem is fixed.

If not, boot back into safe mode and post back here and we will tell you what to do next.
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al4629740Author Commented:
Ok so what happened is I booted into safe mode.  Then after another restart everything was ok.  Weird huh?
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