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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 13, 2012
    Posts
    2
    User settings and documents missing
    My wife and I share a MacBook (1.83 GHz, 2GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.8) with separate accounts and fast switching allowed. Two days ago my son switched over from my account to hers; when it was activated all her documents were gone, the OS prefs were reset to factory (dock, desktop picture, Finder prefs, etc). Applications are intact. I've rebooted the machine, repaired hard drive and disk permissions from a Snow Leopard installer disc, deleted the com.apple.systemprefs.plist, all to no avail. Her user name was not changed, nor was her user folder relocated. I have a backup, but it's a couple of months old. I haven't tried archiving and reinstalling the OS out of concern of inadvertently deleting her now-invisible documents, but that may be the next logical step. Any other suggestions?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,479
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    It almost sounds like her home folder name was changed or it's possible that her account has become corrupt. Chances are her documents are still there but you may have to do some juggling of things to recover them.

    What you can try before doing a reinstall is to log on the machine as ROOT and move her documents to your document folder. As root you should be able to see all documents in any account and move them.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Feb 13, 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the suggestion. I enabled root login but when I look at her user folder her documents are still missing. Is there a way to view invisible files?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,479
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    That's strange. Unless the files were somehow deleted they should not have been hidden. To make sure the documents are really not hidden do this:

    Open your terminal application: (Applications, Utilities, Terminal.app) When the box opens type the following and press enter:

    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

    When you no longer want files to be visible:

    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

    Note... the first command will unhide everything including files that are normally hidden by default. When you're finished finding the documents, issue the second command to get everything back to normal.

    If unhiding files doesn't work to find her documents, they may have been accidentally deleted.

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