Login issue (mount point changed)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macstatic, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I can't access my home area any longer. It's there but when logging in with my usual username/password I just get a default OSX user setting with the desktop wallpaper/dock icons etc.

    This is on a Mac Pro running OSX 10.6.8 with multiple internal hard drives where my home area is on a separate drive ("Data") from the boot drive/Admin home area ("MacOSX").
    I unfortunately unmounted the "Data" hard drive in order to locate another, unrelated issue (more about this below), logged out, then in again. This is when I got the default wallpaper and dock icons. Using Disk utility I managed to mount the "Data" drive again, then tried to log out and log in again hoping that my home area would reappear. No suck luck. I already checked the path (in System Preferences-Accounts, then right clicking on my account's name to access "Advanced options") and it all looked fine.
    So, using Disk Utility once again I tried checking the "Data" drive which checked out fine. Finally I noticed something strange: Although the drive's name is the same as it always has been ("Data") its mount point is show as /Volumes/Data 1
    I'm not quite sure what a mount point is but I believe OSX somehow thinks my home area is somewhere else now and is directing to that new place.

    Furthermore, if I go to the Finder's Go-Go to folder menu, then enter /Volumes/ I get the following list of drives) my comments in parenthesis):

    Filecache (drive icon with alias arrow)
    Backup2 (drive icon with alias arrow)
    Data (plain folder icon)
    Data 1 (drive icon with alias arrow)
    Ext2_bak (locked folder icon)
    MacOSX (drive icon with alias arrow)
    TM_backup (drive icon with alias arrow)

    (The reason I unmounted my drives (other than MacOSX) in the first place was because of "Ext2_bak" showing up (it's an external drive which isn't connected and I no longer have a drive by that name. It's likely that I've used that name in the past with an external drive, then renamed it, but I don't see why it should be there in any case which is why I started to troubleshoot and see if it was somehow attached to another one of my mounted drives -so I unmounted them one by one to see if that changed anything).

    Anyway, my actual home area is the volume now named "Data 1" and has a generic blue folder icon.
    I know that I can seriously mess things up by playing with the advanced settings in the accounts System preference pane, so I thought I'd ask what to do here before causing any more trouble. Thanks.
  2. Taz Mangus, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Create a new admin user and let the account stay resident on "MacOSX". Logout all other users. Login to the new admin user. Make sure no other programs are running when you are logged into the new admin user. Unmount all hard drives other then "MacOSX". Open terminal app and enter: ls /Volumes. You should only see listed drive names that are mounted. Sometimes a folder can get created by accident that looks like a mount hard drive. Do you see any folders listed in "/Volumes" other then "MacOSX" after all other hard drives have been unmounted?
  3. macstatic, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Yes, I see 3 drives when doing "ls /Volumes" (or using "Go to folder" in the Finder which is a better option IMHO as their icons differentiate, whereas in the Terminal they all look like the same type folders or paths):


    In Terminal it looks like this:

    drwxr-xr-x+  3  coyote  admin  102  Mar  1  19:38 Data/
    d--x--x--x+  3  root    admin  102  Feb 28  2014  Ext2_bak/
    lrwxr-xr-x   1  root    admin    1  Mar  2  06:55 MacOSX@ --> /
    "Data" is a generic blue folder icon which has the following content (I assume this is the newly generated user which comes up in place of the original one):
    The "Desktop", "Documents" etc. folders are all (except "Public" and "Sites") red "access denied" folders.
    "Ext2_bak" is also an "access denied" folder (that's the volume I tried to figure out in the first place as it's not really a hard drive).
  4. Taz Mangus, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    So what looks like happened for whatever reason, the Data folder got created in /Volumes and when you mounted the hard drive, OS X saw that there was already a Data folder and then mounted the hard drive to Data1. I assume that what is in Data is your user account data. You will need to copy that data to another location and delete it from /Volumes. Here is what I suggest.

    With all hard drives unmounted except "MacOSX" and you still logged into the new admin account, open terminal app:
    • sudo mv /Volumes/Data /Volumes/Data_sav
    • sudo rmdir /Volumes/Ext2_bak

    Remount all hard drives. If you look in /Volumes there should now only Data not Data1. Now you need to copy over the user data that is in /Volumes/Data_sav to where your user account is and then remove that directory from /Volumes.
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Yes, "Data" is the drive volume where all my files/settings etc. are located. My home area. I've followed the suggestion in the Mac performance guide for separating the system and home areas.

    You said I should unmount all drives (except "MacOSX") first, but this wouldn't allow access to my files (they're on the "Data" drive), or have I misunderstood?
    Also, "Data" is currently quite full, so is there a way I could move everything over to another location instead of copying? That would save me a lot of work and time, but if not I'll gladly do it as you suggest.

    Would it be easier to create a new OSX user account (a different name), then (from having logged in as admin) move the files over, or would this cause ownership issues? What exactly does the "mount point" mean?
  6. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    If you re-read in my previous post I stated to create a new admin user and let OS X create it on "MacOSX" drive (not do anything with Advanced user options). Log out of your current account and then login into the new admin user that you just created. Then unmount all hard drives except "MacOSX". Now you have a user account that does not need access to the "Data" hard drive. Did you do this yet?

    What you are trying to do is unmount all the hard drives so that you can clean up /Volumes so that when you do remount all the hard drives the "Data" hard drive will get mounted to /Volumes/Data.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Hey, it worked! :)
    I think this is what confused me:
    I assume that was if I created any new files that I needed to keep (which I didn't), right?
    So the "mount point" is actually something active that happens when a drive is mounted on the desktop, and not something static (like a previously created folder path) then? That should explain why Disk Utility told me that the "Data" drive now had the mount point "/Volumes/Data" (not "/Volumes/Data 1").

    I also got to remove that offending "Ext2_bak" volume (or rather a folder), and I believe I should remove "Data_sav" the same way:

    (since it won't be empty and "sudo rmdir" wouldn't allow me to delete the "Ext2_bak" volume). Although "rm -rf" could easily mess things seriously up if you don't know how to use it, is this the way to do it?
    Thanks a million for helping out and saving my day :D
  8. Taz Mangus, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Glad I was able to help you sort out the issue. Yes, "rm -rf" is very destructive. I did not suggest that you do that because I was not sure if the Ext2_bak folder was empty. Now that you have been sorted out you can get rid of Ext2_bak and the old Data_sav folders.

    Mount points are created at the time the hard drive is mounted and OS X creates the mount points in /Volumes. When there is nothing mounted the /Volumes directory will be empty. Of course "/" (e.g. MacOSX) is always mounted.

    By the way, I also place all my user accounts on a separate hard drive or separate partition. The main reason why I do it is because it makes it easier for me to reinstall OS X, especially when I do a clean install. When I do do a clean install I let OS X create the user accounts first. I then rename the old user accounts to "_old". I then copy over the new user account to the separate hard drive or partition, repoint the account through the advanced option in users/groups in system preferences. I then copy over any need data from "_old" and when I am done I delete the "_old" account. This makes it really easy. I have been doing this type of installation since Snow Leopard in 2011.
  9. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Thanks for explaining what a mount point is. All looks good now.

    Separate drives for OSX and home: good advice! I've done it once but your explanation will come in handy when I in the near future will upgrade my OSX 10.6.8 to Mavericks.
    What do you do when it comes to apps? Do you keep them from your old OSX installation or reinstall them all from scratch?
  10. Taz Mangus, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    My iMac has 2 internal hard drives, one SSD and the other a conventional hard drive. I install OS X on the SSD and the user accounts on the other hard drive. My MacBook Pro has only one hard drive so I split the hard drive into 2 partitions. I reserved about 75GB for OS X and the rest for user accounts.

    I always install apps from scratch. I never do time machine backups of the hard drive where the OS is installed which includes the applications, OS system files and OS library files. I only do time machine backups of user accounts. I also do a secondary backup every few days on a separate hard drive which I plug into the USB port and do a time machine backup. I do the secondary backup because a few years ago I had my backup hard drive fail and I could not recover the files on it. I do the secondary time machine backups on 2 Mac computers in the house.

    I also keep a separate hard drive with a pure clean version of OS X Yosemite installed on. The only third party app I have installed on it is Diskwarrior. It is my rescue hard drive. If I need to I boot to that hard drive where I can run DiskWarrior if there is a problem.
  11. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    You can never get too many backups!
    I have a dedicated drive in my Mac Pro for Time Machine backups. It's good advice though to exclude backing up OSX. Should give more room for user files and take less time to do.
    Inside the same Mac Pro I also have a separate dedicated drive for backups. This is a bootable drive which backs up OSX, all my apps etc. and of course my user area. In case something happens to my main drive I can just switch over to this drive and reboot. I use Chronosync to automate this every 3 hours or so.
    Finally I have an external drive which I attach now and then for additional backups of my user-area.

    Diskwarrior is an app I've been looking to buy for a long time but have been hoping for a discounted app bundle, discount code or similar as I find it quite expensive. I've also read several comments/articles on such apps being unnecessary. I do have Disk Drill though, so I'm not sure how much I would need Disk Warrior.

    When you re-install OSX and all the apps on your boot drive, how will the preferences and other system/app-related files in the ~/Library/ folder affect the new setup?
  12. Taz Mangus, Mar 5, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

    Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Support data for apps usually reside in ~/Library/Preferences and ~/Library/Application Data. A lot of times the registration information is stored in ~/Library/Preferences files. I copy over data from those areas for re-installation of applications. I copy over things like ~/Library/Safari folder and associate ~/Library/Preferences file. I am selective in what I copy over from the old user account to the new user account and I keep the old user account (renamed to "_old") around for a couple of weeks until I am sure enough data has been copied over for the new user account. The person using the account will tell me if everything is working okay. When it looks like everything is reinstalled properly again I go ahead and delete all the "_old" accounts. I like a live version of the user accounts but I still do have backups to go back to if needed. I just find it easier to pull from the previous user account.

    I also keep an eye everyday on how well the new install is doing. If I find weird behavior happening like waking from sleep and faced with a black screen and unable to login, I usually uninstall the last third party app I installed. I keep a log of what applications I have installed in what order. This time I have been reinstalling one application each day. It is a slower process but so far it has allowed me to find 2 applications which has caused the system to not behave properly. This has so far worked very well. I plan to try reinstalling them later just to verify that those programs are causing an issue. The reason for doing the slow install was that I originally clean installed 10.10.2 and went ahead and reinstalled all applications and associate user data right away. The system would not work properly. So I started over with this approach the second time. This is why I separate out the install into 2 hard drives or partitions. I can erase the OS without needing to erase the user accounts.

    DiskWarrior has always comes in handy. In cases where the system will not let me login, I have to hard reboot. Systems don't like to be hard shutdown as sometimes system files are not flushed out correctly and you are left with a corrupted system. DiskWarrior as always been able to repair those situations. When I am faced with doing that, I hard shutdown the computer, attach my rescue hard drive, boot up to it using the option key to select it, and run DiskWarrior from it. I have been using DiskWarrior since 10.2 days. I consider that program invaluable.
  13. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Your approach to installing apps one at a time sounds like a smart move.

    Regarding Disk Warrior I've read plenty of positive reviews saying it can fix stuff other utilities can't but there's also a lot of user-feedback saying it can't fix things other (less expensive?) tools can, and the customer support is lousy as in this thread among many. If you've used other similar utilities, how does it compare to Disk Drill (which I already have a license for), Drive Genius, Techtool Pro, Stellar Phoenix or Data Rescue? There are probably a few others as well. Things were easier back in the Norton utilities days when there was only one choice ;)
  14. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Interesting that you mention customer service. First of all in my previous post I stated I had been using DiskWarrior since 10.4 days which really was 10.2. There was a bug in OS X 10.2 where the disk volume would get corrupted which happened a lot. I had read good things about DiskWarrior at that time and I ended up giving them a call and speaking with their customer support person who walked me through resolving the volume corruption issue. Phone support did that several times and was always very helpful. That stuck with me until today. I haven't had a issue come up that I needed that kind of customer service help with DiskWarrior since then. So maybe things have changed since then, who knows. This is why I continue to use DiskWarrior plus the fact that I already own it and it seems to work for my intended use.

    I don't believe I have used Disk Drill or Stellar Phoenix. I have used Data Rescue and Tech Tools. Data Rescue helped recover some files on a hard drive that I accidently deleted. It is true that DiskWarrior does not do some thing that other utilities do. I mainly use it for repairing hard disk volumes which is why I bought when I was using OS X 10.2. It has saved my butt several times which has more then paid for itself.
  15. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Upon further research I see that the utilities I mentioned do different things. I believe Disk Warrior tries to fix a drive if it's rendered unreadable while some of the other tools (e.g. "Disk drill") handles undeleting accidently deleted files. So we should probably all have each type tool "just in case"...
  16. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    I was just looking at what I have in my downloads folder and as it turns out I do have both Drive Genius and Disk Drill. I guess I have used them in the past.

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