Q Since upgrading to Mavericks, I have had to live with two irritants. Normal startup leaves the menu bar hidden until I log off and back on again. One of the two accounts on that iMac often loads with the Desktop at three-quarter size. Both of these issues disappears if I Safe boot. How can I fix them?
A The fact that they disappear when you have held the Shift key down for a Safe boot suggests that they result from an old extension, driver, or other software, probably migrated over when you upgraded, and now clashing with Mavericks. This may be terminating Finder’s initialisation prematurely, and giving it the wrong Desktop dimensions.
You can rummage through various extensions and Startup Items folders trying identify the culprit, but it is better to open Console straight after a normal startup, and scroll back for error messages, particularly any from the Finder. You should then be able to associate the error with its cause, and locate that in your top-level /Library folder.
Whatever is causing the 3/4 size Desktop could be lurking in a user library folder, as it appears to affect just the one user account. One way that you can test for that is by creating another user to see if that account is similarly affected.
Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 30 issue 12, 2014.