Tiger’s sticky start up

Q. After upgrading to Tiger (MacOS 10.4) my Mac won’t start up. All I get is a blue screen with a magnifying glass in the corner. Do I need to reinstall Tiger?
A. No. I’ve seen this error a number of times on several Macs. The problem is connected to Spotlight a new technology that Apple added to enhance the ability to find items on your computer. Spotlight creates an index of all of the files on your computer and allows you to search for files and displays them by categories, whether they are images, Word documents, or MP3s, etc.
The problem occurs when you have a crash or force your Mac to restart. The files that Spotlight uses get damaged and the Finder can’t load when you restart. All you get is the Spotlight icon (magnifying glass) in the upper right corner of the screen.
To fix the problem, simply restart your Mac in safe mode by holding down the “Shift” key when your Mac starts up. (This is a common troubleshooting technique when you Mac can’t start up properly. Holding the Shift key stops the system Extensions from loading.) If the Mac gets to the Finder, somehow it also repairs the corrupt Spotlight file. Then you can restart the Mac normally and the Finder should start up correctly.
If you can’t get past the problem you can try to delete the Spotlight and Finder preference files manually. (“~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.spotlight.plist” and “com.apple.finder.plist”). Contact me if you need help on this one.

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