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Thread: Home Folder Error Message. HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    6

    Confused Home Folder Error Message. HELP!

    After starting up and logging in to my iMac I keep getting the error message: "The home folder for user "xxxxxxx" isn't located in the usual place or can't be accessed."

    I get this message every time I try to open a finder window also.

    I can still get some files or apps to open in other ways, like from the dock or opening them through " AppleIcon" > "Recent Items" or through Spotlight.

    All of my desktop icons are missing as well.

    Can someone help me fix this issue?

    Intel iMac (2007) running OS X 10.6.6

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    UK
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    1,317

    Default

    Welcome to the forum.

    I wonder if "xxxxx"'s Home Directory was inadvertently moved?

    How many User accounts do you have? Is the damaged User account the one and only Admin account? If it is, create another first, just as a safety measure!

    Go to System Preferences>Accounts, unlock to make changes, create a new Admin account if needs be, then Ctrl-Click on the damaged account to see Advanced Options.

    The Home Directory field should tell you where the OS thinks that User "xxxxx"'s Home Directory is, and offers the option to choose.

    Before doing anything, maybe post here what's in that Home Directory field (suitably redacted of course!) and stand by while a proper Guru weighs in
    Last edited by biggles; 01-09-2011 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Manners
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default

    This just started happening early this morning, the mac was running just fine late last night. Nothing was moved or deleted by me or anyone else. Yes, there is only one account on my Mac, The Admin account. I tried creating another but I am getting the same problem on that account too. The home directory field in the accounts advanced options is set to /Users/"my home folder's name" where I am assuming it should be set to, where to my knowledge it was always set to.

    Any other suggestions? Or does anyone think it's just time to take it in to the shop and let Apple see if they can fix it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    NW Montana
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    8,197

    Default Asking for info

    Have you run the basics "repair permissions" in DU? Do you have DiskWarrior?

    Do you have your data backed up? I am sure the folks here can keep you from an Apple visit. But if you have no back up and very important data. Back up first. Only you can weigh the cost of Apple repair cost vs. your time or how fast you need this fixed. There are several regulars here with you providing input I am sure can help. It might take a few posts or a few days.

    Sounds fixable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
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    Default

    This sounds suspiciously like when my hard drive died.

    If you are still under Warranty/Applecare take it into them let them deal with it. Not likely you will get your data back tho.

    If you do determine that it is a dead drive (and aren't under warranty/Applecare) I wrote a post about how to replace the hard drive that might help if you want to do it yourself. Mine is an April 2008 model
    Damien,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    6

    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone... I can still get to most of my files in other ways besides using finder... most of my apps still work this way. It seems like all of my data is still there, but It's just not finding the home folder. I've now done a disk repair, tried re-installing the OS, and a couple other things but still no good.

  7. #7
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    If you have your data saved on another hard drive, DVD/CD's or USB device ... you could erase the drive and start over to see if it's a bad drive or hosed directory.

    Did it pass the Disk Utilities "Verify and/or Repair" Disk? See if you can boot to your install DVD and run Disk Utility from it --- hold the "c" key during startup.

    If your drive is failing the more you mess with it the worse it might get. I recently lost a chance to recover a friends data as the drive died while I was trying to repair it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default

    Nothing is getting worse. I've successfully reinstalled the OS, Both verified and repaired both the permissions and the disk itself, and done a couple system/virus scans, all were complete, but I'm still having the original problem. I'm going to try one or two other things and I'll post the outcome.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default

    Also, I do have "most" of my important files backed up on disks, but no, I do not own an external HD.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    YES! I fixed it! Everything is back to normal!

    I found advice on this in another thread and on other forums.

    Open Terminal (via spotlight if you do not have terminal on the dock) and enter the command: sudo xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo /
    Including the space and "/" at the end.
    It will then ask for your account password.
    Enter password and hit enter.
    Then immediately restart your mac.

    Thank you to the person who posted this advice, I am forever in your debt.
    And thank you again to all that replied to help!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    7,787

    Default

    Interesting. Extended file system attributes were wrong/damaged.

    See this for more info.

    FWIW, I suspect a disk utility may have resolved this, such as Disk Warrior or Drive Genius. Good work finding an effective command line fix, and thanx for posted back the solution!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
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    Default

    One more command to run in Terminal:

    sudo passwd root

    Enter your admin password then type a different password for root user. It asks you to enter it twice.

    This installs a root user password. Next step is go to Preferences -> Accounts and select Login Options. There, choose Name and Password and deselect auto login. This way, if there is a problem, you can reboot and login as root to do maintenance to your possibly inaccessible Users directory.

    Fair warning. As root you can mess up anything. Be careful!

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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