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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2008
    Exclamation Please Help! This is a very strange problem...
    hello everyone, this is my first time posting.

    I have a macbook pro, 17-inch, which I purchased on March 7 2008.

    Something very strange and distressing happened to my mac today - it was working normally for a while but then I had to reboot it because it was acting sort of glitchy. when the OS started up again, it was sort of like i turned on my computer for the first time! the welcome video for leopard played and all of my preferences were set at default again. what's worse is that all of my files were gone! some of the applications on the dock bar had just "?" as the icon - applications like ichat, iphoto, itunes, and ical were all gone. Some of the applications i'd installed after i bought the computer (such as the adobe CS3, Adium, and such) were still there. There was one folder on my desktop (which previously had TONS of files in it) and it only had one photo file in it (which I suspect was still there because I had a problem with permissions). When I looked in the trash (which was previously full of lots of stuff) there was only that aforementioned photo file.

    I don't know what happened but I am very panicky right now - as I would love to get these files back.

    I have a slight feeling it has something to do with the user folder - the one with the picture of the house - because I looked at the last time it was modified and it was RIGHT before this problem reboot had to happen... Perhaps it accidentally got moved or renamed?

    If anyone has any sort of suggestions as to what I should do I would love it. I talked to a guy who does data recovery today - but I dont know if i should let him do it or not... And there's no Apple Store where i live!

    I would be happy to answer any questions if you think you can help me! Thanks everyone!


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2008
    oh yeah i forgot to say
    that i called mac support and all they really had me do was run the disc utility thing to make sure nothing was wrong with the HD i guess? but nothing was wrong...

    of the files that i am trying to recover - i can't find them anywhere. they had me trying to look for keywords with spotlight and that didn't work.

    under the user folder the house is still there, but it contains nothing. and there's nothing in the libraries.

    all i really want is to recover my files - and someone told me that they don't get deleted, they just get overwritten... and that there might be a way to get them back...

    if i think of any more details i'll post them...

    thank you

  3. #3

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Modesto, Ca.
    iMac late 2007 10.11.b4, iMac 2008 10.10.5, Macbook2007 10.7.5, Mac Mini 10.7.5, iPhone 3GS Note 8!!
    Did you by chance Rename the USER folder? We have many come here who do with the same symptoms as yours.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2008
    no, it's still the same name as before... but if i accidentally did, i don't see any changes to it. is it possible that i renamed the user folder and it still looks the same?

    i do think i moved the user folder (i thought i was making a shortcut) to the lefthand side panel under "places". but when i look at the /User folder, my house is still there...

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2008
    i also made a NEW folder in my user folder... would that have been a problem?

    thank you for your help

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2008
    Okay I've been researching this problem a little more, and it seems as if I may have (in the process of thinking I'd made a shortcut to my user folder) thrown my home directory into the trash.

    But my question is, if a home directory is thrown into the trash, is a new one automatically made in the /user folder? and if so, when the computer is rebooted, does it automatically empty the trash? there are some remnants of trash in the trash right now (previously the trash was full) that I didn't put in there.

    i am hesitant to try the directions listed here
    because while it seems this happened to me, the symptoms aren't exactly the same. i don't think my home directory was renamed, but maybe moved. its there there under /User with the correct name.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jun 19, 2008
    Sounds like your in trouble, you basically have a 50/50 chance of getting your data back. But still seeing signs of the data in trash is still a good sign. As for the data recovery guy how professional is he? otherwise he could really mess up your chances. You might want to use this website as a guide if your going the data recovery route

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