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What have I done????

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Need some help from more experienced Apple users than I (i.e. everyone).

I just got my first Apple, an ibook, the other week, and installed Jaguar. Then today I decided to rename my hard-drive icon. Didn't cause any problems until I shut down. Upon restarting, all of my preferences were gone, and most importantly, my Address Book and Mail content were missing.

Here is where I renamed it: after opening the dektop icon for the hard-drive, I went into the 'users' folder, and renamed the icon with the little home symbol.

When the computer was restarted later in the day, it came up with the generic blue blackground, my dock settings and extra icons had been erased, and all preferences for all programs had been forgotten. For example, when I opened Mail, it asked me to sign up my acocunt all over again. My Address Book is empty, Internet Explorer shortcuts are gone, and etc etc etc.

I hope/think there is a simple solution to this, but I am still figuring out Apples, and am lost. I want very much to be a happy "switcher" and here is your chance to ensure that!

Any clues on how to restore my computer preferences and Address Book and Mail content? Renaming the hard-drive to the original name and restarting had no effect. I tried a couple of times to make sure it wasn't case-sensitive.

Thank you very much.

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Drew Vankat ]</p>
post #2 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by Drew Vankat:
<strong>
Here is where I renamed it: after opening the dektop icon for the hard-drive, I went into the 'users' folder, and renamed the icon with the little home symbol.

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Drew Vankat ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

I am not quite sure I understand your whole story there, but that little home icon is not your hard drive but rather your home directory. The mac looks for your preferences in there. OS X is really designed to allow more than one person to use the same computer and let each person have there own preferences and stuff. It knows which preferences to be using by looking at the name of the person who is logged in and then looking under Users for that persons directory to find their preferences. If it looks at who is logged in and doesn't find a corresponding directory... well I guess you are doing that experiment now and from the looks of things, I don't think I want to try it. I would think that renaming that house icon (if it still looks like a house, it might look like a regular folder now) and logging out and back in should fix things. However I don't think I will be experimenting on my own machine. Sorry.

Welcome to the mac. Hopefully things will get better from here.
post #3 of 37
Eek! Yeah, you didn't rename your hard drive, you renamed your home folder. Bad juju will ensue, as you found out.

Rename your home folder back to what it was, and it *might* work... I have a funny feeling there may be some NetInfo majick that needs to be performed at this point. I suggest getting a goat ready.
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post #4 of 37
yes, you could try logging out (go to the apple in the top left corner, click and scroll to the bottom)...then log back in as your first log in......i'm sure others can help...or try sherlock and applecare in there....g

some info about home directory:
<a href="http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106167" target="_blank">here</a>

and <a href="http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106824&SaveKCWindowURL=http%3A %2F%2Fkbase.info.apple.com%2Fcgi-bin%2FWebObjects%2Fkbase.woa%2Fwa%2FSaveKCToHomePa ge&searchMode=Expert&kbhost=kbase.info.apple.com&s howButton=false&randomValue=100&showSurvey=false&s essionID=anonymous|156407125" target="_blank">here</a>

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: thegelding ]</p>
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post #5 of 37
Why did you try to change your home folder name?
For that matter, HOW did you change it?

Please don't say you used that evil root account.
post #6 of 37
no kidding, i just tried to change mine and i can't. dunno, something about this story doesn't add up.

-alcimedes
post #7 of 37
brad i was thinking the same thing..."how did he change the name of his home directory?"....now if you go to "user" and then right click the "house" and click on "get info" and then click on the triangle next to "Name & Extension:" it looks like you can change the name of your home directory.....the question is why would anyone take that many steps to try and change the name of the Hard Drive (is doesn't change the HD name, but the Home directory) when it is very simply done in one step on the desktop......and the other more important question for drew is how is the damage undone?? i don't want to "play" with my computer to find out.....maybe call apple...if mr drew is a newbie to apple, he should still be under applecare...they are very nice humans....g

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: thegelding ]</p>
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post #8 of 37
[quote]"how did he change the name of his home directory?"....now if you go to "user" and then right click the "house" and click on "get info" and then click on the triangle next to "Name & Extension:"<hr></blockquote>

nope, i tried that too. i have no idea how this happened the way it says. unless he was logged in as root 24/7
post #9 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by thegelding:
<strong>now if you go to "user" and then right click the "house" and click on "get info" and then click on the triangle next to "Name & Extension:" it looks like you can change the name of your home directory.....</strong><hr></blockquote>Yes, but unless you change the default permissions on the /Users directory or use root, you still *can't* change the name of any of its contents, namely the user's home folder. (alcimedes beat me to this one, you devil!)

There are three possibilities here:

1. He logged in the GUI as root to change it.
2. He su'd to root or sudo mv'd the directory in the Terminal.
3. He changed permissions on the /Users directory so he could rename his home.

Number one is a TERRIBLE thing to do. You should NEVER log in the actual GUI as root unless you are an expert on Mac OS X and know precisely what the consequences are.

Number two would assume he has a good working knowledge of a UNIX command line. This may be possible, but I would think that having knowledge of UNIX would mean also knowing that UNIX system often rely on hard-coded paths and that things so haywire when they are moved.

Number three seems the most likely. Yet, even *this* would require pretty good knowledge of the Finder to figure out.

Of course, all this guessing gets us nowhere. We need to know *exactly* what was done here.

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
post #10 of 37
Windows makes you look at things in strange ways...
<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />

Jeff
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post #11 of 37
call me a sucker but i'm gonna try #3 on the list since that's the only slightly plausable one.

if you don't hear back from me, don't try it too.
post #12 of 37
ok, here goes.

you can change the permissions. after that, you can also change the name of the folder.

when you do that, everything (as stated above) is still fine.

however, when you reboot, OSX will recreate a Users folder using your login name as the default. here's what you need to do.

rename the new "Users" folder something else. (Junk) would be a good one.

now find the folder that you renamed earlier. RENAME that folder "Users"

now, get info on the folder and change the permissions back to System.

the Junk folder can get tossed. restart your machine and everything should be back to normal.
post #13 of 37
and once again alcimedes is the master....i sure didn't want to **** around with my system too much to find out....g
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post #14 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by jeffyboy:
<strong>Windows makes you look at things in strange ways...
<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

It's scary how much this discussion sounds like Windows troubleshooting. Just in time for Halloween.



Boo!

And kudos to alcimedes for figuring out Drew Vankat's problem.

Escher

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Escher ]</p>
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post #15 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by Brad:
<strong>
There are three possibilities here:

1. He logged in the GUI as root to change it.
2. He su'd to root or sudo mv'd the directory in the Terminal.
3. He changed permissions on the /Users directory so he could rename his home.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

4. Someone wants to make trouble. What better way to get a bunch of Mac nerds to render their machines unusable.
post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
wow. this is insane!

thanks for all the replies.

here is exactly what i did:

1. double-clicked on the dard-drive icon on the desktop.
2. opened the "users" folder
3. clicked on the little icon with the house symbol.
4. clicked again so i could edit the name
5. changed the name
6. continued using my computer
7. shut down, and later in the day restarted
8. when i restarted, it was more or less as if i was starting in Jaguar all over again. all prefs were gone.

also, maybe this will help:
when i now open the users folder, there is my renamed house symbol, then a regular folder icon with the original name that used to be on the house symbol. the third third and final icon is the "shared" folder.

hopefully that clarifies things.

not being so familiar with Macs, I don't think there is any way I was fooling around with all of the complex methods of changing names that people have suggested.

thanks again

drew
post #17 of 37
[quote]here is exactly what i did:

1. double-clicked on the dard-drive icon on the desktop.
2. opened the "users" folder
3. clicked on the little icon with the house symbol.
4. clicked again so i could edit the name
5. changed the name
6. continued using my computer
7. shut down, and later in the day restarted
8. when i restarted, it was more or less as if i was starting in Jaguar all over again. all prefs were gone.

also, maybe this will help:
when i now open the users folder, there is my renamed house symbol, then a regular folder icon with the original name that used to be on the house symbol. the third third and final icon is the "shared" folder.

hopefully that clarifies things.

not being so familiar with Macs, I don't think there is any way I was fooling around with all of the complex methods of changing names that people have suggested.<hr></blockquote>

here's the deal. normally you CAN'T do what you just described.

the folder "Users" is used by the system to track the different documents and settings for the differen users in OSX. in order to chnage the name of that folder, you need to do a "Get Info" on it, then change the permissions. before you can change the permissions, you need to enter in the admin password.

IF you change the permissions on the User folder, then you can rename the little house icon inside of it. if you DON'T change the User folder permissions, there's no way (outside of being root) to change the name.

i'm going to try what you described and see what happens, i think it will be the same thing, only in this case you'll want to toss the new house folder and just rename the old one back to what it was. (wait until i reply before doing this though) however, this raises an interesting question.

is there anyway to rename a user while keeping their settings if they're the only user on the machine? Brad?

i looked and didn't see anything.
post #18 of 37
ok, i just went through what you did. do the following.

find the folder with the house icon.
change the name to junk.
now find the folder you renamed.
change the name back to the username that had the house icon before. (what it was orginally)
then toss the junk folder.
now when you restart your machine everything should be back to normal.

now that it's back to normal, please do the following and let me know.

click on the users folder and do a "Get Info"
there should be a group labeled "Ownership & Permissions"

click on that and you should see something labeled "Owner"

what does it say there?
post #19 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by Drew Vankat:
<strong>wow. this is insane!

thanks for all the replies.

here is exactly what i did:

1. double-clicked on the dard-drive icon on the desktop.
2. opened the "users" folder
3. clicked on the little icon with the house symbol.
4. clicked again so i could edit the name
5. changed the name
6. continued using my computer
7. shut down, and later in the day restarted
8. when i restarted, it was more or less as if i was starting in Jaguar all over again. all prefs were gone.

also, maybe this will help:
when i now open the users folder, there is my renamed house symbol, then a regular folder icon with the original name that used to be on the house symbol. the third third and final icon is the "shared" folder.

hopefully that clarifies things.

not being so familiar with Macs, I don't think there is any way I was fooling around with all of the complex methods of changing names that people have suggested.

thanks again

drew</strong><hr></blockquote>

Sounds like you renamed your 'home' directory. If your machine is set up for a single user (ie no login screen, boots straight into your account) then you SHOULD be able to rename the new 'home' folder, rename the old 'home' folder back to what it was, log out and back in, and trash the other. OR, you could go into your old home folder, copy the ~/Library/Preferences/ folder over to your new 'home' folder, and that should fix your preferences. Or you could find the individual Mail and Address Book prefs in said old Preferences folder and copy just those.

To those more experienced/wiser than I: If'n I'm talkin' outa my hiney, please feel free to put the smack-down on.

(tig)
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post #20 of 37
Odd. So I tried to do the same thing, and it worked fine. Just click on my Home folder and I'm allowed to rename it.

Of course I'm logged in as the Admin account- but that makes sense cause Im the only person who uses this computer- so there only is an admin account.

And to my knowledge, Ive never dicked around with the permissions of my Users folder...

Yet theyre set to Owner = "system"...
post #21 of 37
hmm, what version of OSX are you running? on my machine it won't let me do this, and my User folder is owned by System as well.

strange.
post #22 of 37
For what it's worth, you *should* not be able to do this unless someone has changed your system's permissions. Is this a brand new Mac? I suspect that for some reason the permissions might have been bad when you first started. This is very unusual.

[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>is there anyway to rename a user while keeping their settings if they're the only user on the machine? Brad?</strong><hr></blockquote>I believe this can be done though some wacky tooling around in the NetInfo manager, but I have never tried myself and would certainly not recommend this to a beginner. The best option is to create a new user account and migrate all the previous user's files into it.

Anyhow, Drew, after you've recovered your home directory (alcimedes' suggestion should work here), I would STRONGLY recommend you open Disk Utility (in your /Applications/Utilities folder) and do the following:

* Select your drive name in the list.
* Click the First Aid tab.
* Click the Repair Disk Permissions button.

It will take a while to complete. What this does is scan all your folders and files to be sure the permissions are correctly set on them. Once finished, you should probably reboot just for safe measure.

digitalandres: I suggest you do that too. Even as an admin user, you should *not* be able to change these folder names.

What can cause your permissions to get messed up? Not many things, really. Permissions usually only get changed by the user himself or by a misbehaving installer. Yes, you read that right. An installer. Some developers STILL seem too stupid to figure out how to properly install things without over-writing your own permissions with their own. This is one reason that most Mac people prefer the drag-and-drop method of installing an app. Fortunately, most apps are just that easy to install. You download it, decompress it, and just put it wherever you like. No fuss, no mess.

Well, this is certainly not a good first impression of Mac OS X for you. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" /> In all honesty, I cannot say why your permissions got munged and allowed you to change that folder name. The whole permissions system is set up to prevent these kinds of goof ups.

I hope your future dealings with Mac OS X are a tad more pleasant!
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
I tried renaming the home symbol folder to the original name, deleting the other folder, and restarting. didn't seem to have an effect.

Ownership of "users" is "system"


the only realy pain about all of this is losing my Mail prefs and messages, and losing my Address Book entries--where are those and could I just drag them into some new folder to reinstate them???

If I can do that I will never ever ever rename that Home folder again haha.

Thanks

drew
post #24 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by Drew Vankat:
<strong>I tried renaming the home symbol folder to the original name, deleting the other folder, and restarting. didn't seem to have an effect.

Ownership of "users" is "system"


the only realy pain about all of this is losing my Mail prefs and messages, and losing my Address Book entries--where are those and could I just drag them into some new folder to reinstate them???

If I can do that I will never ever ever rename that Home folder again haha.

Thanks

drew</strong><hr></blockquote>

Address Book data APPEARS to be contained in
/Users/(user name)/Library/Application Support/Address Book/

Preferences and such are in
/Users/(user name)/Library/Preferences/

As I said before, you might try just replacing (copy or drag-n-drop) your Preferences folder (and Application Support folder) with the old ones. Might I suggest that you back up your current folders first, just in case...

Again, Wiser Ones, if'n I'm talking nonsense...

(tig)
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post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 
well i got the address book and mail prefs back. everything works great, and i'm half-way home.
i know they're hiding out somewhere, but i can't find (and searches don't turn up anything) my music and Word, etc. files. However, I can open those files in Word from the list of recently opened files. where can i find these things??? Hard-drive space is what clues me in on them not having been deleted.

Don't worry--as soon as I get those, we can close out this thread and you won't have to deal with me anymore hah

thanks

drew
post #26 of 37
If you can open a file (like in the Recent Docs menu) but don't know where it is on your drive, try this little trick.

If the document shows a proxy icon in the window title bar, hold the apple key and click on the name. A menu will pop up showing the path to the document. Select the folder just below it and it will open in the Finder. This technique works for most apps.

It looks like this when you do it:


Chances are they're in your *original* home folder that you renamed the first time (when this mess started). Dig through it. Your files should still be there.

And lastly, DON'T FORGET that you should run the permission fixer when you're finished.

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
post #27 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by Drew Vankat:
<strong>well i got the address book and mail prefs back. everything works great, and i'm half-way home.
i know they're hiding out somewhere, but i can't find (and searches don't turn up anything) my music and Word, etc. files. However, I can open those files in Word from the list of recently opened files. where can i find these things??? Hard-drive space is what clues me in on them not having been deleted.

Don't worry--as soon as I get those, we can close out this thread and you won't have to deal with me anymore hah

thanks

drew</strong><hr></blockquote>

If you've been using iTunes, then the mp3 files should be located in
/Users/(user name)/Music/iTunes/
Seems like I've also found them
/Users/(user name)/Documents/
before as well.
I don't personally use Word, but check in
/Users/(user name)/Documents/

Hope this helps.

(tig)

&lt;edit&gt;
Oh yeah, when using search from a Finder window, make sure you are searching the ENTIRE hard drive, not just your home folder. To do this, open a Finder window, click on the 'Computer' icon (which takes you to the root of your hard drive), and THEN do your search for your files. Try entering *.doc in the search window. This should search for all .doc (Word) files. *.mp3 will find all mp3 files as well.
&lt;/edit&gt;

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: The Grimace ]</p>
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post #28 of 37
Lol- very odd.

Ya I'm in X.2, Just bought the computer a month ago- iMacG4. Like I said- I never much played with the Account settings, beyond giving it a neat icon and such.

But yeah, I just click my home folder and I can rename it whatever. Owner = system.

I guess I'll indeed run that First Aid thing Brad- thanks.

(as for installers, the most exotic things I've downloaded are Duality, some themes, and a few "haxies"- shadowkiller and the like.)


EDIT: Oh Brad you'll love this: I just ran the Permissions Repair from disk utility, restarted, and I can STILL rename my home folder just by clicking on it. (owner still = system).

What do ya make of that?

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: digitalandres ]</p>
post #29 of 37
digital you aren't logging in as root, are you?
post #30 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by digitalandres:
<strong>Lol- very odd.

Ya I'm in X.2, Just bought the computer a month ago- iMacG4. Like I said- I never much played with the Account settings, beyond giving it a neat icon and such.

But yeah, I just click my home folder and I can rename it whatever. Owner = system.

I guess I'll indeed run that First Aid thing Brad- thanks.

(as for installers, the most exotic things I've downloaded are Duality, some themes, and a few "haxies"- shadowkiller and the like.)


EDIT: Oh Brad you'll love this: I just ran the Permissions Repair from disk utility, restarted, and I can STILL rename my home folder just by clicking on it. (owner still = system).

What do ya make of that?

[ 10-25-2002: Message edited by: digitalandres ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Check Group permissions. Get Info -&gt; Ownership & Permissions. If the Group permissions are set to Read/Write, and your account is of the same Group, then you'd have permission to change it still.

(tig)
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post #31 of 37
digitalandres, are you logging in as a regular admin user, not root? also, have you ever added your username to any other groups, specifically the "wheel" group?

The priv repair should set the /Users firectory to rwxrwxr-t and owned by system/wheel. I know this because I just tested it. Is that how your /Users directory is set now?
post #32 of 37
owner; system
group; wheel.

I am positive I am not in root. I am in my regular ol Admin account- the only one on the computer. When I login, my username is Andres, not 'root'. I see no hidden files. I am not in root.

I have no idea weather or not Im part of the "wheel" group. I have no idea what that means, or how I would go about adding myself- but I'd be happy to check if you told me how....
post #33 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by digitalandres:
<strong>owner; system
group; wheel.

I am positive I am not in root. I am in my regular ol Admin account- the only one on the computer. When I login, my username is Andres, not 'root'. I see no hidden files. I am not in root.

I have no idea weather or not Im part of the "wheel" group. I have no idea what that means, or how I would go about adding myself- but I'd be happy to check if you told me how....</strong><hr></blockquote>

If'n you're using Jaguar, then that info is readily available via 'Get Info'. Select your home folder, 'Get Info', and check what the 'Group' is. If you're part of the group associated with said folder (and you SHOULD be), it'll have the group name plus '(Me)' next to it.

Man, I LOVE Jag's 'Get Info' dialog. Lot's o' power packed into a small package...

(tig)
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post #34 of 37
In that case, no, Im not part of "wheel". (Clicking on that bar reveals I'm in the group "staff".)
post #35 of 37
[quote]Originally posted by digitalandres:
<strong>In that case, no, Im not part of "wheel". (Clicking on that bar reveals I'm in the group "staff".)</strong><hr></blockquote>

So the next question is: What Group does the 'Users' folder belong to? And what are the Group permissions for said folder?

(tig)
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post #36 of 37
Golly- My Bad. This whole time I though we were talking about the Users Folder (because that's what alcimidies said when he brought up all this 'get info' nonsense in the first place )

"Users" Folder:
Owner = system
Group = wheel

"UserName" Folder (Inside Users folder):
Owner = "username"
Group = Staff(Me)

That makes a bit more sense now
post #37 of 37
Boot into OS 9 drag all the contents of your renamed folder into the newly generated one that should fix it right?
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