Changed user name now lost all desktop files

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
I purchased this PPC white 2005 iMac 4 years ago. The other day I changed the name of the user, I restarted the computer this morning and the desktop looks like I re installed the OS. The opening name is mine but the user name is still the previous owner. I just want my desktop files where are they?

I can re-install the OS at another time when I back up the HD on my external drive but for today I just want my files which I had on the desktop. All other documents are still in my hard drive.

I am sure they weren't deleted and I have the original discs along with other old CD's to undelete. Any other tips?

Thanks in Advance,
Linda
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
I purchased this PPC white 2005 iMac 4 years ago. The other day I changed the name of the user, I restarted the computer this morning and the desktop looks like I re installed the OS. The opening name is mine but the user name is still the previous owner. I just want my desktop files where are they?

I can re-install the OS at another time when I back up the HD on my external drive but for today I just want my files which I had on the desktop. All other documents are still in my hard drive.

I am sure they weren't deleted and I have the original discs along with other old CD's to undelete. Any other tips?

Thanks in Advance,
Linda
How did you change the name of the user? Did you rename the 'Home Folder" (Looks like
?

If so, that is inadvisable. This is a guide to help.
 
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Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
I may have done that, I'll read the link but it is tool long right now at work.

But where did the guy who posted it find all her files?

Thanks linda

How did you change the name of the user? Did you rename the 'Home Folder" (Looks like Image?

If so, that is inadvisable. This is a guide to help.
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
I may have done that, I'll read the link but it is tool long right now at work.

But where did the guy who posted it find all her files?

Thanks linda
I would imagine that they would be in "Macintosh HD" (or whatever your hard drive is called)> Users.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,484
15,344
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
If you are using an OS previous to 10.5 Leopard it's major surgery to change the short name of your user account. The short name is the name of the folder located here: Macintosh HD>Users>~username (where the username displayed is the short name).

Changing the shortname from the Finder can result in what you are experiencing. You have to do this from inside System Preferences>Accounts. Versions of OSX before 10.5 will only let you change the long name of the account. There are tools to do this with 10.4 and below but it's dangerous.

Rename the short name of the account back to the old short name (as this is what it sounds like you did, changing it from Finder and not System Preferences). You should be able to boot normally and have all your files come back.

If you truly want a different short name and are not using 10.5 then it's advisable to create a new account (from System Preferences) and migrate your data over. When that's done, delete the old account (again, from System Preferences).
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
I believe I am using 10.4.11 because it is the last version for PPC.
I believe I changed the name under the little house icon. But when the computer restarted the screen gave me a login with my new name and the little house icon kept the previous name. Therefore there is no place to change my name for the previous owners name.

Under users I don't see a folder or icon with my name but I do see the house icon with the previous owners name. I'll know more when I get home and I'll be more clear as well. I'm just using an old Mac here at work using 10.4.11 to explain.

Someone at work mentioned I could use target mode & firewire to locate my files. I have used target mode before if I do that where would I find those files?

Thanks Linda



If you are using an OS previous to 10.5 Leopard it's major surgery to change the short name of your user account. The short name is the name of the folder located here: Macintosh HD>Users>~username (where the username displayed is the short name).

Changing the shortname from the Finder can result in what you are experiencing. You have to do this from inside System Preferences>Accounts. Versions of OSX before 10.5 will only let you change the long name of the account. There are tools to do this with 10.4 and below but it's dangerous.

Rename the short name of the account back to the old short name (as this is what it sounds like you did, changing it from Finder and not System Preferences). You should be able to boot normally and have all your files come back.

If you truly want a different short name and are not using 10.5 then it's advisable to create a new account (from System Preferences) and migrate your data over. When that's done, delete the old account (again, from System Preferences).
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
I believe I am using 10.4.11 because it is the last version for PPC.
10.5.8 was the last version.


Someone at work mentioned I could use target mode & firewire to locate my files. I have used target mode before if I do that where would I find those files?
The Users folder I mentioned above. Target disk mode would be pointless because when you are logged in, you can access any file (if you have the admin password).
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
OK sorry for the panic and not reading posts clearly.
I don't think my OS is above 10.4.11 because it wouldn't allow any more updates and I assumed that was as far as PPC would go.

OK MisterKeeks I believe you are saying the desktop files are somewhere on my hard drive. Would you have any idea what the the folder would be called or are you saying they are just there under their names. I will look for them by name when I get home.

Thanks again,
Linda


10.5.8 was the last version.



The Users folder I mentioned above. Target disk mode would be pointless because when you are logged in, you can access any file (if you have the admin password).
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
One more question how do I get that other user account back so I can get my bookmarks and address book back?

I'm reading through the link you sent and I see this:
___________________________________________________________

""If you ever want to change your short user name on purpose, Apple provides a solution -- at 40 steps"

Simpler: Create a new admin account called "test" and be sure it has your preferred short name. Login as "test", delete the original user. It will become a disk image owned by "test". In the Accounts pane of System Preferences, rename "test" to your real name (doesn't affect short name). Copy any and all files from the disk image to your new user."
_______________________________________________________

Your thoughts?

Linda



OK sorry for the panic and not reading posts clearly.
I don't think my OS is above 10.4.11 because it wouldn't allow any more updates and I assumed that was as far as PPC would go.

OK MisterKeeks I believe you are saying the desktop files are somewhere on my hard drive. Would you have any idea what the the folder would be called or are you saying they are just there under their names. I will look for them by name when I get home.

Thanks again,
Linda
 

MacinDan

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
131
2
OK MisterKeeks I believe you are saying the desktop files are somewhere on my hard drive. Would you have any idea what the the folder would be called or are you saying they are just there under their names. I will look for them by name when I get home.

Thanks again,
Linda
The desktop files are in /Users/yourusername/Desktop.
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
:)

BINGO!!!!!

Found everything!!!!!

Thank You

Thank You

Thank You All!!!!:)



The desktop files are in /Users/yourusername/Desktop.


----------

Now that that is cleared up what is the safest way to rename the computer as I don not have the original disks.

Thanks again,
Linda
 

MacinDan

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
131
2
I don't know a way to safely rename the home folder in Tiger, though you can go into System Preferences --> Accounts and change the name associated with your account. Notice though the short name that sets your home folder name is grayed out. You can also go to System Preferences --> Sharing and change your computer's name on the network.

If you want a renamed home folder, probably the path of least resistance is to create a new user and move all your files over to that.
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
Thanks guys I renamed it the old name but a folder appears with the new name called Grunthaner and all the files address book and bookmarks are in that folder but not allowing me to access my bookmarks probably because they are not in the house folder now renamed back to the previous owner named Pin-wan. The Grunthaner folder does not have the house icon on it. I'm trying to backup all my files before I experiment more but when I try to transfer using target mode on the iMac through my Titanium and onto my external drive it says files are busy and can't copy. I'm going to try and compress the files and then transfer tonight unless anyone has a better idea.

Once I get the majority of files copied to external drive I think I'll move everything to the House icon folder called Pin-wan and see if my bookmarks and address book returns.

If that doesn't work I'll wipe the HD and reinstall OS and start over from scratch. I'm using OS 10.4.11 but I do not have the original disks. I do however have the original Mac 10.0 discs. Could I use them and then upgrade via the net? Or will I loos drivers etc. for CD/DVD and all other peripherals?
Thanks again,
Linda


I found that a few years back. It comes with a VERY STRONG warning about what can happen if things screw up.

I would take great care in using this and as MisterKeeks says, don't blame him or jbarley if catastrophe occurs.
 

MacinDan

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
131
2
You can't upgrade to Tiger from 10.0 discs. Besides, since this is a user account problem, there's no reason to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the whole system. When you're done getting all your files, you can create a new user and delete the old user accounts.
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
OK if I create a new user account and put all the folders in it I should be able to get my address book and bookmarks?
Thanks again,
Linda

You can't upgrade to Tiger from 10.0 discs. Besides, since this is a user account problem, there's no reason to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the whole system. When you're done getting all your files, you can create a new user and delete the old user accounts.
 

MacinDan

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
131
2
If your address book is from Apple's Address Book.app then the data is in /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/AddressBook. And if you're using Safari, your bookmarks are in /Users/yourusername/Library/Safari. You can move just those folders over if you otherwise want to start with a fresh Library folder. Though your old Library folder may have other things like emails and keychain passwords in it.
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
OK I was able to back up my files using Copy Cloner thanks everyone most especially the one who posted CC. Now I can comfortably experiment. I will not wipe my drive I may buy Leopard although that is only if it offers something like the ability to connect my iPhone or great other upgrades so until then on hold.

I grabbed the bookmark file I believe that has my bookmarks called (In Safari folder) Bookmarks.plist but when I put it in the folder listed below and restarted Safari I see no old bookmarks. I'd like to buy a book on how the system works so any suggestions? Till then more tips and tricks needed. I'm on the fence regarding buying a new computer this summer.

Any other ideas on locating my bookmarks?
BTW I LOVE COPY CLONER :)

If your address book is from Apple's Address Book.app then the data is in /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/AddressBook. And if you're using Safari, your bookmarks are in /Users/yourusername/Library/Safari. You can move just those folders over if you otherwise want to start with a fresh Library folder. Though your old Library folder may have other things like emails and keychain passwords in it.
 

Grunthaner

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
61
0
Excellent worked great now can I do that for the addressbook?
And what is the correct method to change the name of my Mac if I don't have the install discs? I want the little house/home to have my name :)

Wow lots of progress and love learning new things.
Many thanks Linda

You can go into Safari and choose Import Bookmarks... from the File menu and then choose your Bookmarks.plist file.
 

Nizamwoo

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2017
1
0
I purchased this PPC white 2005 iMac 4 years ago. The other day I changed the name of the user, I restarted the computer this morning and the desktop looks like I re installed the OS. The opening name is mine but the user name is still the previous owner. I just want my desktop files where are they?

I can re-install the OS at another time when I back up the HD on my external drive but for today I just want my files which I had on the desktop. All other documents are still in my hard drive.

I am sure they weren't deleted and I have the original discs along with other old CD's to undelete. Any other tips?

Thanks in Advance,
Linda
Try to check your Users folder , i think you will find last desktop or files u are looking for in previous folder name there
 
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