I experience this today. I had never heard of it before. It blew my mind at first. I thought my whole system was crashing down. Alas, it's a minor issue.
After googling some I wasn't able to find an absolute cause or solution. After some tests I discovered the cause, and a solid solution.
The cause: unreadable or corrupted extended attributes in one of the files or folders which prevents Finder from properly handling and displaying the folder contents.
The solution - remove the extended attributes on the the folder contents. I didn't know which file or folder in the affected directory was the cause, so I removed all extended attributes on all items and the problem was solved.
To do this:
1. Open terminal and go to the affected folder.
2. ls -al@e to show the extended attributes on the folder contents.
Copy one of the attribute names and remove it from all items, for example 'com.apple.FinderInfo'
3. xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo * will remove this attribute from any items that have it.
Repeat step 3 for all attributes, one at a time. For example, I had to run:
xattr -d com.apple.ResourceFork *
xattr -d com.apple.quarantine *
xattr -d com.macromates.caret *
xattr -d com.apple.metadata:kMDItemWhereFroms *
That was it. Then my Finder displayed all items properly and stopped crashing.
Other responses from Google results recommended deleting .DS_store files or restoring the directory from a TimeMachine backup. Don't do any of that. It doesn't fix this issue. Only removing the extended attributes will solve this issue.
Monday, March 14, 2011
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