Did my sister screw up her machine? (Renamed /Users/ folder!)

hayduke

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 8, 2005
1,177
2
is a state of mind.
So here's the deal...

My sister called tonight complaining that most of her files were gone. It took a bit of interrogating to learn that she had renamed her home folder from /Users/her_name to /Users/family_name.

Fine. Not too big of a deal. The trouble is that as I was describing to her why this was a problem and explaining that it was a big deal, an OS X flaw, but also recoverable she changed it back! So she changed /Users/family_name to /Users/her_name (the original name).

My heart sunk. I think this last act would have clobbered the still existing (but hidden) original home folder. Before she logged out I told her to change it back (again) from /Users/her_name to /Users/family_name thinking that she had likely already lost her files, but this *might* help things from getting clobbered when she logged back in. I don't know when exactly the new folders are created, but I think some things are created at login.

I have ssh access to her machine so I can dig around, but it doesn't look good. I think she clobbered herself. Any advice?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Have you seen this? Her data should still be somewhere on the machine and it technically shouldn't matter how many times she changed the name so long as it eventually gets changed back to the original name. :)
 

hayduke

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 8, 2005
1,177
2
is a state of mind.
Have you seen this? Her data should still be somewhere on the machine and it technically shouldn't matter how many times she changed the name so long as it eventually gets changed back to the original name. :)
I have seen the previously noted links. Here is another (for completeness):

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070719183238202&query=rename%2Buser%2Bfolder

It looks like all (most?) of her stuff is there, but she has things in strange folders. It took a bit to figure out because all of her photos are on the Desktop, which iPhoto linked to and her music is not in the Music folder. I'll proceed cautiously.

Okay. Done. Just talked with her. She was a bit gleeful upon re-logging in.

Mad(Crazy mad!) Jew was right. The repeated cycles of ***** things up didn't really matter. I was mostly thrown by her odd file organization.
 

JNB

macrumors 604
...The trouble is that as I was describing to her why this was a problem and explaining that it was a big deal, an OS X flaw...
A minor quibble: it's not an OS X flaw, but a standard function of any *nix system. Unix, Linux, doesn't matter, you can't go changing the home directory names all willy-nilly.

Mac users have a hard enough time! ;)