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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    Mac 10.6.5 - User account and data not accessible
    Today after I restarted my Macbook Pro with OS X 10.6.5, my user account suddenly disappeared from the login screen. I therefore logged in using admin account and discovered that the user account is not appearing in system preferences as well. System preferences -> Accounts lists down only Admin and Guest accounts. I tried to create user account with the same name but it gave me an error saying user with same name exists already. When I tried to navigate to my user account using Finder and Terminal, it was showing my home folder but I could not view contents because of insufficient privileges. I could also not verify that my data is intact.

    After spending some time on internet, I came across a solution following which I logged in using root user and removed /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/users/<username>.plist file. Then I restarted my Mac, logged in using admin and created user account with same name. This time, it didn't throw any error but to my utter dismay, my home folder is now replaced with new one with only one system specific file when I log in with this user account.

    I have absolutely no clue what went wrong and how can I recover my data. Any thoughts / suggestions would be of great help!!

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    Sounds as though that fix has allowed you to overwrite your old home folder.

    I hope you have some sort of back-up like Time Machine
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    When I created user, it asked me whether I would like to use the already existing home folder to which I replied yes. I assumed that the content would remain intact as there was no warning that the existing folder will be overridden.

    Is there any way I can search my old data on hard disk using this account?

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB PCI-e storgae StOS X.13.3
    Do not experiment with Home folder.

    Have you an external backup using Time Machine or SuperDuper? If not no good news sadly as a format and clean install may well be coming up!
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
    MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.6.5
    Hi... I had a similar problem today.
    I restarted and the login refused my password several times, and then asked if I wanted to change the password as administrator. Since I am the administrator, I thought that wouldn't help. From then on the only login option was the Guest account.
    Eventually I used my Guest account and browsed the net to find a solution. I came across this link on another forum and I followed the instructions in shell. This worked a dream. If you have a look and follow the instructions there, it might help solve your problem, which seems very similar.
    I think the whole issue in my case might have been created by removing a USB external drive incorrectly.
    Good luck!

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    This reminds me of my first experience with OS X. Years ago when it was released, I tried to change the name of my home folder to my actual name, seeing what I thought was a typo in my short name. The next time I logged in, I had a clean account, since a new home folder was created automatically, but leaving the original intact, yet severed from my log-in ID.

    Moral? Don't much about with home folders unless you know what you are doing.
    Dead-thread Necromancer!

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