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
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

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.
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
Do a hard shutdown by holding down the power button for 5 seconds.

Then reboot while holding down the shift key.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
The 7 Worst Nightmares of a Sysadmin

Fear not! To defend your business’ IT systems we’re going to shine a light on the seven most sinister terrors that haunt sysadmins. That way you can be sure there’s nothing in your stack waiting to go bump in the night.

al4629740Author Commented:
We can get into safe mode
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.
al4629740Author Commented:
Ok so what happened is I booted into safe mode.  Then after another restart everything was ok.  Weird huh?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Mac OS X

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.