OSX/users on separate drives -ownership issues

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by macstatic, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I have a Mac Pro with multiple internal drives where OSX, my apps and the admin user is on an SSD while my regular users are on a separate drive. Mac Performance guide's "relocate the Home directory off the boot drive" explains how and has been working fine for a long time.

    But recently I've been having various problems and made it worse by messing around with changing permissions/ownerships, so I've decided to backup and reinstall everything. So far the SSD is done, so next is the data drive.
    But after creating the additional (normal) users I tried to copy these over to the data drive (logged in as administrator) and got some error messages about permissions and/or ownerships, so now that I've backed up the whole drive my plan is to reformat the data drive, copy the user folders over to that drive, relocate the users ("Users & Groups" advanced settings in system preferences as described in the above Mac Performance guide), then copy over my files/folders one by one.

    My questions is: when formatting ("erasing" in Disk Utility) the data drive prior to copying the newly created user folders (from the SSD), should I be logged in as admin or as the main regular user or doesn't it matter? Obviously I need to be logged in as admin to copy over the other users and relocate them, but I want to ensure that the permissions will be correct when I erase the data drive to begin with.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It makes no difference. A formatted drive is a formatted drive no matter what account you did it from.
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Thanks for clearing that up, and of course it makes perfect sense as the permissions/ownerships belong to the files and folders, not the drive itself.

    The problems I had were easily solved by logging out of the admin account, then into the account I wanted to move the home folder (i.e. "Testuser").
    Once I logged into the same user as the folder belonged to I was allowed to copy it (i.e. the "Testuser" folder) from the SSD over to the data drive. Following that I rebooted the Mac, logged in as admin, entered the "Users & groups" system preference where I right-clicked on the "Testuser" account (to access "Advanced options...") where I changed the path to its home folder by selecting the (newly copied) "Testuser" folder on the data drive instead. Once that was done I deleted (I could probably rename it first just to be on the safe side) original "Testuser" folder on the SSD and repeated the whole procedure for the next user.

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