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yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
198
111
So on M1's Monterey 12.5 internal drive I changed path to my home directory via Settings > Users & Groups > additional settings (right click on my account). I set it to my home directory on external drive (bootable and works fine). Now I think may be it was my fault and I shouldn't had chosen other existing home directory but copy the home directory from internal drive to external and point to that copy instead. Anyway, after that my Mac won't boot from internal, it hangs on the apple loading progress bar indefinitely it seems. Safe mode also doesn't help: it boots on the screen where I enter password for my account but also hangs after I enter it.

So my question is how do I revert the home directory path to its previous value in this situation for this Mac could boot again? It seems this should be so trivial to fix as a wrong path or not working external drive etc. is a high probability, but instead appears to be a dead end.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,756
12,863
I reckon it's not such a good idea to move one's home directory to an external drive.
Best to just "leave it where Apple puts it".
Not saying that it can't be done, but moving it invites problems and unintended consequences.

If your home folder is growing too large, then it IS advisable to move certain things INSIDE OF it elsewhere, such as a huge library of movies, music, or pics.
... and (at the same time), leaving the actual home folder itself "in place"...
 
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bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
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Anyway, after that my Mac won't boot from internal, it hangs on the apple loading progress bar indefinitely it seems. Safe mode also doesn't help: it boots on the screen where I enter password for my account but also hangs after I enter it.
I’ve once tested in a virtual machine what happens if you rename/move (mv ~/home ~/newhome) the home directory and reboot. macOS showed the setup again and created a new home directory.

It might be a solution to get out of the stuck boot. You could rename/move the home folder from Terminal in Recovery.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
198
111
It might be a solution to get out of the stuck boot. You could rename/move the home folder from Terminal in Recovery.
Unfortunately, the path of internal drive's home directory is already set to other home directory on external bootable drive. If I move or rename it, I also will lose ability to boot from external.

I know that this path is stored in the "directory services" and can be accessed and changed with "dscl" command via Terminal like this: sudo dscl . -change /Users/$USERNAME NFSHomeDirectory $OLDPATH $NEWPATH. The problem is I don't know how to access that "/Users/$USERNAME NFSHomeDirectory" entry on internal drive from external and is it possible at all.

dscl . -read /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/serista gives me "Invalid Path", dscl . -read /Users/serista displays the data (and home directory path among it), but it's my user's data on this external drive from which I boot currently.
 

bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
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Unfortunately, the path of internal drive's home directory is already set to other home directory on external bootable drive. If I move or rename it, I also will lose ability to boot from external.
You mean you have replaced the home folder in Users with an alias towards the external drive?
In this case, disconect the external drive, boot into recovery and delete the alias.
 

yellowhelicopter

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2020
198
111
You mean you have replaced the home folder in Users with an alias towards the external drive?
Not exactly, I changed path to Home directory by "official" means as I described in the first post (via "Users & Groups" utility").

Anyway, I was able to resolve the problem by removing /var/db/.applesetupdone file and restarting. It brought setup screen as if I was installing the system anew and I created new admin account with which fixed the home directory path for main account. It's easy but still a hack, strange that Apple didn't think about proper way of recovery in such case given the ability to move or rename the home directory is quite official. It could automatically propose to create another account if it can't locate or load home folder.
 
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