HELP!!!--preferences just vanished

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by joeliethegoalie, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. joeliethegoalie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #1
    I'm on a 15" 2.5 MBP Penryn CD2 running 10.5.3 w/2MB of RAM. Everything's been great, but today I somehow lost all of my preferences.

    Here are some clues. Anything you can do to help is much appreciated.

    I was preparing to download something from an FTP using Transmit. I must have clicked on something weird because I got the spinning beach ball. I wanted to give that a minute or so to try to resolve so went to Mail to check some messages. When I went to delete them, they would vanish for a sec, then come back in a different color, and the Delete button in the top bar would change to Undelete (something I've never seen before).

    I went back to Transmit and force quit. It had been giving me some sort of error message, but a coworker was talking to me at that moment about some stupid crap, I didn't pay much attention to it (though I remember seeing something about "XPanel" or "XSomething" and the option to stop or continue--clicking stop did nothing, clicking continue would close the box and then it would pop right back up)

    I returned to Mail to see what was up and checked to see if the problem was occurring in one of my other Mail accounts; everything was fine. I returned to the problem account and tried reopening one of the messages that triggered the Undelete and the msg was blank. I went back to the mailbox and no messages showed up.

    Looked at Mail in Library--the Inboxes for my accounts are all empty. Uh-oh. Quit Mail and restarted. Got the "welcome to mail let's setup your new account" dialogue. Double uh-oh.

    In addition to Mail and Transmit weirdness, I did get the weird impression, right before the Undelete thing occurred, that while in Mail I had mistyped and accidentally entered some weird key combination.

    Quit everything (and while doing so noticed a message that Acrobat had also crashed), did a full shutdown of my computer, restarted. All my preferences are gone, my wallpaper is reset to the standard Mac Aurora thing, the dock is factory fresh. The custom icons I had made for some folders are still there, and my identity is still in place also.

    As far as apps go, everything is still in the folder though, as I noted above, my dock is reverted to out-of-the-box status. All of my bookmarks in Safari are gone-- though they're still there in Firefox.

    I still get the "Welcome to Mail" message when I launch that. I've tried randomly launching a few other apps. Whereas Firefox started right up, others (DeeJay, MS Messenger, Transmit) act like it's the first time I've opened them, showing me the license agreement and all that.

    iTunes did the same, and started the create account process, but I clicked "Cancel" on that and my library popped up good as new, w/playlists and all other metadata intact. iCal has a different display than what I had, but all of my appts are there.

    And there you have it. The good news: all of my files appear to be OK (and I last ran a backup about 10 days ago). The bad: most of my prefs appear to be gone. It's not a tragedy, but it's definitely a major inconvenience.

    I'm bummed that I had to deal with someone blabbering at me in my office as all of this was happening. If I'd have been paying closer attention, I might have been able to prevent it, or at least provide additional clues.

    Has anyone every heard of or seen anything like this before? Any suggestions you can make are much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Did you rename your home folder in /Users? That's what it sounds like.
    Or, have you run out of disk space?
     
  3. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #3
    No and no. Same User name (and I'm the only user), and about 70gb out of 250gb left on the HD.

    I did compare my Library, Prefs, Cache to what's on my last backup and there are a lot of discrepancies. Seems like a bunch of stuff is missing on my machine. I just don't understand how it happened, and am hoping there's a way to undo what's been done.

    Any other thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  5. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #5
    Nope. I did see on some forums that people were having issues w/that, but I've never used it--at least not knowingly.
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Open Terminal.app.

    Type in (and post results):

    id

    (hit return), and

    ls -laF /Users

    (hit return).

    Results will look something like this:

    Code:
    null:~ yellow$ id
    uid=501(yellow) gid=20(staff) groups=20(staff),98(_lpadmin),81(_appserveradm),79(_appserverusr),80(admin)
    null:~ yellow$ ls -laF /Users
    total 0
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root    admin   170 Mar  6 11:00 ./
    drwxrwxr-t  34 root    admin  1224 Jun  9 14:30 ../
    -rw-r--r--   1 root    wheel     0 Sep 23  2007 .localized
    drwxrwxrwt   4 root    wheel   136 Mar 12 16:07 Shared/
    drwxrwx--x+ 39 yellow  admin  1326 Jun 13 07:24 yellow/
    
     
  7. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #7
    total 0
    drwxr-xr-x 5 root admin 170 Mar 9 12:15 ./
    drwxrwxr-t@ 41 root admin 1462 Jun 13 06:15 ../
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Nov 24 2007 .localized
    drwxrwxrwt 8 root wheel 272 Mar 3 12:52 Shared/
    drwxr-xr-x+ 33 sivad sivad 1122 Jun 2 18:25 sivad/
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    You forgot "id". :)

    Also, this now:

    sudo du -h -d1 /Users/sivad

    Code:
    null:~ yellow$ sudo du -h -d1 /Users/yellow
    4.0K	/Users/yellow/.adobe
    4.0K	/Users/yellow/.citrix
    4.0K	/Users/yellow/.cups
    1.7M	/Users/yellow/.fontconfig
      0B	/Users/yellow/.gnome2
    4.0K	/Users/yellow/.mplayer
    4.0K	/Users/yellow/.ssh
      0B	/Users/yellow/.TemporaryItems
     72M	/Users/yellow/.Trash
     23M	/Users/yellow/Archive
    3.3G	/Users/yellow/Desktop
    1.9G	/Users/yellow/Documents
     13G	/Users/yellow/Downloads
    1.5G	/Users/yellow/Library
      0B	/Users/yellow/Mail
    8.5M	/Users/yellow/MountScripts
    1.4G	/Users/yellow/Movies
     16G	/Users/yellow/Music
    1.3G	/Users/yellow/Pictures
    8.0K	/Users/yellow/Public
    328K	/Users/yellow/Sites
     19M	/Users/yellow/Source
     38M	/Users/yellow/Virex
     39G	/Users/yellow
    
     
  9. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #9
    Here are the results w/"id". Running the next sequence now.

    uid=502(sivad) gid=502(sivad) groups=502(sivad),98(_lpadmin),80(admin)
    Joel-Davis-Computer-2:~ sivad$ ls -laF /Users
    total 0
    drwxr-xr-x 5 root admin 170 Mar 9 12:15 ./
    drwxrwxr-t@ 41 root admin 1462 Jun 13 06:15 ../
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Nov 24 2007 .localized
    drwxrwxrwt 8 root wheel 272 Mar 3 12:52 Shared/
    drwxr-xr-x+ 33 sivad sivad 1122 Jun 2 18:25 sivad/
     
  10. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #10
    Code:
    4.0K	/Users/sivad/.adobe
    4.0K	/Users/sivad/.cups
    104K	/Users/sivad/.dvdcss
    4.0K	/Users/sivad/.mplayer
    4.0K	/Users/sivad/.ssh
    162M	/Users/sivad/.Trash
    1.2G	/Users/sivad/CONDUIT
     42G	/Users/sivad/Desktop
    3.8G	/Users/sivad/Documents
      0B	/Users/sivad/Downloads
     51G	/Users/sivad/Elements
    1.8G	/Users/sivad/Library
     93M	/Users/sivad/Movies
    7.8G	/Users/sivad/Music
     17G	/Users/sivad/Pictures
     92M	/Users/sivad/Production
     22M	/Users/sivad/program
    8.0K	/Users/sivad/Public
     20K	/Users/sivad/Sites
    126G	/Users/sivad
     
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Well, everything certainly looks "normal", other than having 42GB of stuff on your Desktop.

    Did you accidently move your ~/Library folder to your Desktop? That too could account for the issues you're seeing.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    it also looks like his /Mail folder is missing
     
  13. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #13
    Well, my Library is not on the desktop, but for some reason I'm seeing mailboxes, icons and fonts there. Might that be the culprit? If so, which folder should I drag those back to?

    Thanks for your help, btw.
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    He wouldn't have a /Mail folder unless he was using Mutt.

    Could be.. but the where depends a lot on files/folder they are. If you feel comfortable sharing a list of what's on your Desktop, do this:

    ls -laF /Users/sivad/Desktop
     
  15. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #15
    You may also want him to do:

    ls -laF /Users/sivad/Library

    I also noticed that he has a user id of 502 and a group id of 502. Is he the only user on this system? Did he make another account for himself?

    The usual uid and group id for a single person (administrator) on a MacOSX system is 501.
     
  16. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #16
    Here's the result of that:
    Code:
    Last login: Fri Jun 13 11:48:03 on console
    Joel-Davis-Computer-2:~ sivad$ ls -laF /Users/sivad/Library
    total 16
    drwx------@ 26 sivad  sivad   884 Jun 13 10:45 ./
    drwxr-xr-x+ 33 sivad  sivad  1122 Jun  2 18:25 ../
    -rw-------@  2 sivad  sivad  6148 Apr 28 12:49 .DS_Store
    -rw-r--r--@  2 sivad  sivad     0 Feb  9  2005 .localized
    drwxr-xr-x   5 sivad  sivad   170 Mar  5 20:30 Acrobat User Data/
    drwx------   2 sivad  sivad    68 Feb 10  2005 Address Book Plug-Ins/
    drwx------@ 52 sivad  sivad  1768 Jun  3 12:17 Application Support/
    drwx------@  2 sivad  sivad    68 Jan 29  2006 Assistants/
    drwx------@  8 sivad  sivad   272 May 29 21:52 Audio/
    drwxr-xr-x   2 sivad  sivad    68 Jun  5 14:28 Autosave Information/
    drwx------@ 95 sivad  sivad  3230 Jun 13 11:48 Caches/
    drwxr-xr-x  18 sivad  sivad   612 Jun 12 23:56 Calendars/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 12 16:50 ColorSync/
    drwx------   3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 12 16:45 Cookies/
    drwxr-xr-x+  3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 12 22:39 Favorites/
    drwxr-xr-x+ 90 sivad  sivad  3060 Jun 13 10:46 Fonts/
    drwxr-xr-x   4 sivad  sivad   136 Jun 13 10:44 Keychains/
    drwx------   5 sivad  sivad   170 Jun 12 17:24 Logs/
    drwx------  27 sivad  sivad   918 Jun 13 11:49 Mail/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 13 10:45 NeoOfficeJ-1.1/
    drwx------@ 70 sivad  sivad  2380 Jun 13 11:50 Preferences/
    drwxr-xr-x   5 sivad  sivad   170 Jun 12 16:45 PubSub/
    drwxr-xr-x@  9 sivad  sivad   306 Jun 13 11:46 Safari/
    drwx------   3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 12 16:43 Sync Services/
    drwxr-xr-x   5 sivad  sivad   170 Jun 12 17:44 Thunderbird/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad   102 Jun 12 17:23 iTunes/
    Joel-Davis-Computer-2:~ sivad$
    ls -laF /Users/sivad/Desktop

    And here's what's on the desktop (I probably oughtta clean that up, I know):

    Code:
    total 1361048
    drwxr-xr-x@  8 sivad  sivad        272 Oct  8  2007  Mac/
    drwx------@ 55 sivad  sivad       1870 Jun  7 17:17 ./
    drwxr-xr-x+ 33 sivad  sivad       1122 Jun  2 18:25 ../
    -rw-------@  1 sivad  sivad      21508 Jun 13 11:09 .DS_Store
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad          0 Feb  9  2005 .localized
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad        102 Nov 13  2007 ARCHIVE/
    drwxr-xr-x   4 sivad  sivad        136 Apr 25 10:56 ASAToday/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      86987 Mar 19 13:57 Arapahoe-RecSkate.pdf
    drwxr-xr-x  13 sivad  sivad        442 May  9 13:12 Banquet Of The Spirits/
    drwxr-xr-x  18 sivad  sivad        612 Apr 20 12:41 Continental Drift/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad        102 Aug 19  2007 Desktop Folder/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad        102 Nov 13  2007 DubPalToday/
    drwxrwxrwx   4 sivad  sivad        136 Jan 13 15:14 FONTS/
    -rw-r--r--   1 sivad  sivad    6039048 May  2 13:13 Firefox Setup 2.0.0.14.exe
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad        491 Feb 14 12:46 HI Itin.rtf
    drwxr-xr-x  16 sivad  sivad        544 May 10 18:09 Heavyweight Gringos/
    drwx------   4 sivad  sivad        136 Mar  9 12:11 Icons/
    drwxr-xr-x   9 sivad  sivad        306 Feb 29 18:16 Jill Stuff/
    drwxr-xr-x   4 sivad  sivad        136 May 18 12:08 Kill Bill/
    drwxr-xr-x@  5 sivad  sivad        170 Jul 12  2007 LaCie Storage Utilities/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad       2004 May 11 11:36 MCALBob580968.ics.txt
    drwxr-xr-x  10 sivad  sivad        340 Aug 19  2007 MIS/
    drwx------  23 sivad  sivad        782 Mar 31 13:18 Mailboxes/
    drwxr-xr-x  12 sivad  sivad        408 Jun 12 02:59 PDFs/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad          0 May  8 18:00 Picture clipping.pictClipping
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad   36403326 Apr 19 10:47 Saye Mbott (feat. ALIF).aif
    drwxr-xr-x  15 sivad  sivad        510 Jun  7 17:15 TSonicToday/
    drwxr-xr-x   7 sivad  sivad        238 May 21 11:52 Trance Mantric Groove/
    -rwx------   1 sivad  sivad          0 May 22 17:04 WSR_YogaStoresNAR_080522.xls*
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      26554 Mar 23 17:01 WSYM_comp_100.jpg
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      44986 Mar 23 17:00 WSYM_comp_200.jpg
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad     145117 May 28 14:34 Woman.9.17.07.Page1RH
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad    5348929 May 28 14:32 Woman.9.17.07.Page1RH.pdf
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 sivad  sivad         42 Mar 20 01:06 XP@ -> /Users/sivad/Documents/Parallels/XP/XP.pvs
    -rw-r--r--   1 sivad  sivad    1867918 Mar 26 10:39 conduitinbox
    -rw-r--r--   1 sivad  sivad     112810 Jan 21 14:47 contacts.vcf
    drwxr-xr-x  15 sivad  sivad        510 Apr 19 10:50 conversions/
    -rw-r--r--   1 sivad  sivad  368132259 May 20 14:23 dTunes.zip
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      32261 Mar 23 16:45 desert_dwellers_alt_logo_1.jpg
    drwxr-xr-x  84 sivad  sivad       2856 May 22 23:30 dmgs/
    drwxrwxrwx@ 94 sivad  sivad       3196 Jun 13 10:45 downloads/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      96462 May  5 13:03 dpusa_header_08.tif
    drwxrwxr-x   3 root   admin        102 May 29 01:35 iSync.app/
    drwxrwxrwx  52 sivad  sivad       1768 May 23 00:27 iTouch pics/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad   26720898 May 29 12:41 iTunes Library copy
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad   25073304 May 29 12:41 iTunes Music Library copy.xml
    drwxr-xr-x   5 sivad  sivad        170 Mar 26 23:59 itunessinatra/
    drwxr-xr-x   5 sivad  sivad        170 Mar 26 23:59 itunessivad/
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad       7057 Feb 12  2007 label source #3 (ccoa show '99).rtf
    -rw-r--r--@  1 sivad  sivad      90750 Mar 26 23:36 movement.pdf
    drwxr-xr-x  86 sivad  sivad       2924 Oct 15  2007 rescued playlists/
    drwxr-xr-x   3 sivad  sivad        102 Dec 28 00:56 restore touch/
    drwxr-xr-x  10 sivad  sivad        340 Dec 28 00:07 summerboard/
    drwxr-xr-x   2 sivad  sivad         68 Jun  2 17:37 untitled folder/
    -rw-r--r--   1 sivad  sivad  226148326 Mar 18 16:46 unused tracks for Parmita 2.zip
    
    I am the only user on the system and did not create a new user or account.
     
  17. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    None of those folders on your Desktop are necessarily related to what should be in your ~/Library.

    Did you buy this computer 2nd hand?

    id 501

    Will give the info of who has UID 501.
     
  18. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #18
    Nope. Ordered it new the day they came out.

    uid=501(joel) gid=20(staff) groups=20(staff),98(_lpadmin),101(com.apple.sharepoint.group.1),81(_appserveradm),79(_appserverusr),80(admin)

    It's possible the 502 is a result of some migration issues I vaguely recall having. Possible?
     
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  20. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #20
    Yes, a PB G4.
     
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #21
    So when you go this new computer, you popped it out of the box and set it up with the username "joel", and then used the migration assistant to migrat the stuff from your PB over, and it recreated the user that was on your PB (sivad), and made that your primary user.

    Correct?
     
  22. joeliethegoalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    boulder,co
    #22
    I don't recall exactly, but that's more or less how it went.

    I've been on this machine for about three months and haven't experienced many problems until this popped up yesterday, seemingly out of the blue.
     
  23. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #23
    Give 3 things:

    1) The creation date of many of the items in your ~/Library (yesterday & today)..
    2) The lack of folders that I would expect to see in a Library folder in use for a couple months..
    3) The issues that you've described..

    I'm going to have to go with this assessment:

    When you were using Transmission, you accidently overwrote (or something similar) your own Library folder with someone else's when you were downloading with Transmit.

    Were you using FTP or SFTP to copy stuff from someone else's Mac?

    At this point, there's no 'going back', so you're going to have to rely on your last good backup to fix this mess.
     
  24. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #24
    Do you have automatic login turned on in Account Prefs? I'm wondering if your are being logged in as Joel and not "sivad". If so turn automatic login off and see if both names are listed. If so, login as sivad and see if your preferences are not intact.

    If they are, I would delete the "joel" account. You can then turn automatic login back on for "sivad".
     
  25. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #25
    But then his id wouldn't return "sivad"
     

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