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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder System
I didn't realise this was possible, but it happened to a friend. She must have inadvertently clicked the trackpad while typing on her MacBook, and overtyped the home folder name -- which is indeed possible, without so much as a warning!

On the next reboot, she had a brand new user account, with all her stuff apparently gone! I helped her to put things back by simply renaming the new user folder (which appeared in her correct short user name) to '123,' then renaming the 'good' folder with her short user name and re-logging in. All was good again!

But what a bummer that this is possible! I wonder how many people had this happen and had to give up living....

[robg adds: This bug (feature?) has existed in OS X for as long as I can remember, so I was surprised to find we've never run a hint about it before. You can indeed really ruin your day by renaming your user's home folder then restarting. The fix shown here is the one I've used with friends in the past, and it seems to work with no ill effects. If you ever want to change your short user name on purpose, Apple provides a solution -- at 40 steps, this is not something to undertake lightly. A much better solution, in my opinion, is ChangeShortName, a free program by Dan Frakes and James Bucanek. Full disclosure: I work with Dan Frakes at Macworld.]
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There actually is a warning
Authored by: paulio on Jul 20, '07 09:15:41AM

There is a warning when you rename the user folder. The computer asks you for your password if you are about to do anything dangerous.

This is indeed a feature. If you reflexively type in your password whenever the computer asks for it, then this will bite you. Once you type in your password, the computer will do whatever dangerous thing you just asked it to do.

This will usually bite power users who are switchers from Windows.

Guidelines for Power users and Switchers:
- If you did not create the file/folder then don't move/rename/delete it.
- If the computer asks you for your password, stop and think. You are giving the program asking for the password, permission to do *anything*.



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There actually is a warning
Authored by: DanFrakes on Jul 20, '07 09:24:09AM

Unfortunately, there isn't always a warning. I don't recommend testing it ;-) but it's possible to change your home folder's name without seeing an authentication dialog.

---
Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld / Senior Reviews Editor, Playlist



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There actually is a warning
Authored by: unforeseen:X11 on Jul 20, '07 09:31:19AM

There has been a warning up to 10.2.x, but sometime then it was gone. I just discovered that I cannot rename my home-folder, which is FileVault protected, at all.

---
this is not the sig you`re looking for.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: mantrid on Jul 20, '07 09:17:09AM
Same thing more or less from Apple.
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107854

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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: ptwithy on Jul 20, '07 01:12:58PM

Perhaps a good reason not to run as admin? I make my normal account _not_ an admin user, create a separate account that is admin. This keeps me from shooting myself in the foot.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: skapplin on Jul 20, '07 10:16:12AM
And also see the Xlabs FAQ: <a href="http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/renamehomerecovery.html">Recovering From Renaming Your User Folder</a>.

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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: etresoft on Jul 20, '07 10:46:44AM

I actually rename my home directory all the time. It is one of the easiest ways to restore from backup or put your account on a new system. All you have to do is create a new account with the same user name and password as your old one. Copy your old home directory into /Users with the name "newme" or something. Then, in the terminal, rename your old home directory to "oldme" and rename "newme" to your short user name. Log out and log back in.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: mikael on Jul 20, '07 11:17:12AM
I did have a client that did the same thing last week.
On that machine I already got Applejack installed:
http://applejack.sourceforge.net/
Where you can start up in single user mode and
the type applejack, and if you press x you got into the
Advanced meny, where you can choose to "enable new machine setup"
which delete the netinfodatabase, but not the users folders.
(So if you the only user on the computer and havent done any special
with your netinfodatabase its pretty safe to run).
Then you get to the Apple Setup like the first time, and when you create a new user the set the shortname to same name that you have renamed it under /Users/therenamedfolder Applesetup in 10.4 take that folder as your home,
and everything works fine, at least those time i have done this.

---
Mikael

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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: fud on Jul 20, '07 12:36:10PM

From the very beginning, back in the 128K Mac days, I have thought that clicking and typing made it too easy to change a file/folder name. I have seen countless non-power user Macs with weird named files because of miss placed mouse clicks. Even on a rare occasion when I am working quickly and my Mac is struggling to keep up, I have inadvertently renamed a file. Fortunately not my Home directory.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: 3rdmartini on Jul 20, '07 01:19:17PM
I had this happen to a friend who was a proud Windows switcher. In my troubleshooting I indavertently did it to my computer too! I'll add that if you saved any folders or files on your desktop, you will kiss those goodbye once you get everything else switched back. Unfortunately, my friend quickly quipped "this would have never happened in Windows" and immediately took the iMac back to the Apple Store.

---
--
Jeremy Fuksa: Creative Generalist
http://blog.3rdmartini.com
http://hidethisthing.com
http://jeremyfuksa.com

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Breaking up is hard to do
Authored by: Lectrick on Jul 20, '07 02:19:42PM

Talk about going back to your abusive husband. What the hell? Didn't she ever make mistakes in Windows? I'm sure Windows would have complained if she tried to change the home user folder over there too. Did you set up an expectation that a Mac has an almost magical resistance to users' screwups? Did you bother to explain that, because there are certain "administration" cases where you might WANT to change the name of a user folder, it's allowed once you put in a password? Sigh...

---
In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 20, '07 10:01:01PM

Obviously this has something to do with the perms on /Users. Now to just figure out how to set them back again so this can't happen. Currently they're 1775 and it's owned by root:admin which means admins can screw with it. Seems to me 1755 might be a good bet.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 20, '07 10:07:50PM

OK, I had some really freaky stuff happen here. Up to date Tiger. Rename it and it works OK because this is an admin account I presume. Then a new directory with only 'Library/Preferences' with the old correct name pops up by itself. This indicates to me there is some funky low level stuff going on there. Either that or it was the running apps saving prefs to Library/Preferences created it.

But if I chmod to 1755 then I can't add or delete from /Users - but root can so that works OK for setting up additional accounts. And with 1755 I can't rename it either. So that's pretty safe I think.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: garumph on Jul 20, '07 10:35:04PM

Key thing here is to always have a backup account with root access. create it, but don't use it. If you ever have something go wrong with your regular account, it makes it much easier to fix.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: jelmore49 on Jul 21, '07 09:40:56AM
If you create an account with the short name of "admin" -- the full name is irrelevant -- OS X does not allow admin privileges to be removed from it. It's kind of a "root--lite", and it's the first account I create on any new Mac OS X install.

To hide that it exists from casual perusal of your machine, either switch the Account Preferences so that it displays username and password fields to fill out (which provides a bit more security against casual attempts to access your machine in general, since a potential sneak has to guess both a username and a password) or use a utility such as lwn to enable hiding of accounts with admin privileges.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18752

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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 21, '07 11:55:04AM

The one thing you do not want to do is have an activated root account. If you know how to make a disabled but active root account (logs in to false) and set sudo to require the root password - yes that is safer. But otherwise the OOTB config is a lot safer and having a root account lying around is really asking for it. And anything you need to do you can do from a sudo -s session anyway.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: thirdrockphoto on Jul 23, '07 06:48:31PM

"Key thing here is to always have a backup account..."

Well, yeah, backup everything, of course. But the "account" is typically the largest folder on the computer. Mine is 16.8GB so it needs a dedicated second hard drive for the account backup.

The Windows switchers who think it is dumb to loose access to your account after the name is changed should realize it is part of UNIX security which is far better than Windows security.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: JamesJM on Jul 20, '07 11:04:21PM

This bug wiped me out. I switched to Mac in March. I downloaded that list of the 10 most common mistakes Windows users make when switching and didn't make any of them.. HOWEVER... this one wasn't on the list.

It was SO exasperating I nearly returned the computer... I'm not joking. Some will try to justify it but the truth is that it's such an egregious bug that I consider it Mac's WORST failing, on a par... and this is nasty I know... with the WORST of the numerous Windows bugs. WORSE than most.

Don't misunderstand... I have fallen in love with my Mac... unless the world turns upside down I will never return to a PC, (Windows). Today I'm using the shortname 'user'... and I'm going to keep using it. I've read Apple's remedy and even saw a 3rd party application that will supposedly allow you to change the name... to HECK with it. I am taking NO CHANCES. That was the most frustrating bug I've ever had to deal with... Mac OR Windows. - JamesJM



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 21, '07 12:03:17AM

This is *not* a bug. And it's really far from being on par with Windows' worst bugs, particularly since it doesn't make you lose any data and it is super easy to recover from (basically, just rename your folder to what it was).

However, it is bad design, and not consistent with the spirit of the Mac (it came from the Unix side of Mac OS X). A user should of could be able to rename his own home folder (as long as the administrator allows him to do so) with no bad consequences.
It would be easy for Apple to fix this situation (either by using aliases to the users' home folders instead of paths, or by asking a user if he wants to change his short name when he renames his home folder), and it's a shame that they haven't fixed it yet.

Still, not a bug and no danger for your data, AFAICT.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 21, '07 12:05:27AM

"A user should of could" --> "A user should of course"
Sorry.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: JamesJM on Jul 21, '07 05:20:57AM

I concede that the use of the word 'bug' is most likely inappropriate. However, simply changing the shortname back to what it was is no guarantee... several sites have recovery steps listed when this doesn't go well... as I learned. There is no data loss, true.

Now picture yourself 'new' to Mac, as I was. Also consider the 'stability' of a Mac... when I made this error I didn't restart my computer for a considerable amount of time... when I did I had no idea what had happened or why. Basically I never did figure it out until long after I had made the 'new' home my home. So it may not be a 'bug'... I'll give ya that... but a rose by any other name... :) - JamesJM



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: DanFrakes on Jul 23, '07 10:12:45AM

I disagree. This is a major (and inexcusable) bug in OS X. And it's only "super easy to recover from" (for a typical user) if you immediately change the folder name back. If you log out and back in (or restart), a *new* user folder named after the actual account name is created and used as the account's home directory. Yes, the original data is still on the drive, but to the user, it looks as if it's gone. And the recovery process, at that point, isn't obvious to a typical user.


---
Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld / Senior Reviews Editor, Playlist



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Caution: Do not rename which files/folders?
Authored by: sjk on Jul 23, '07 03:59:37PM
This is a major (and inexcusable) bug in OS X.
Whatever you want to call it, I can't think of any good reason why it should be possible for anyone to rename their own home folder while logged in normally. At worst it seems there'd only be possibility of some minor, obscure inconvenience to restricting that, not widespread negative side effects.

I'm curious how you'd categorize (and handle, as much as possible) the general issue of someone understandably (and mistakenly) believing their data is irretrievably missing after they've unwittingly renamed any folders (or individual files, for that matter) primarily accessed and managed with specific apps like iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, etc. rather than Finder or some other file manager.

For instance, would it be (un)reasonable for certain user files/folders to be (un)hidden from "file manager" interaction, similar to Apple's policy of select system files/folders being hidden from Finder by default (which highly irritates some people while others are blissfully oblivious to it)?

This topic suggests many questions/ideas to me than don't necessarily have quick and obvious answers/responses (if any), which probably makes it better for interactive forum discussion (given enough interest) than getting into it too deeply here.

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Caution: Do not rename which files/folders?
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 23, '07 05:27:27PM
I'm curious how you'd categorize (and handle, as much as possible) the general issue of someone understandably (and mistakenly) believing their data is irretrievably missing after they've unwittingly renamed any folders (or individual files, for that matter) primarily accessed and managed with specific apps like iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, etc. rather than Finder or some other file manager.
I would call it badly designed apps, not a problem with the OS. Everything is present in the OS for these apps to behave correctly even if the user renames their files/folders: reference to these files/folders should be kept by the apps as aliases, not paths. Oh, and btw, everything is present in the OS to allow these apps to hide some files from the user if their developers wanted to. But they shouldn't do that.

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Caution: Do not rename which files/folders?
Authored by: sjk on Jul 24, '07 09:38:35PM
Everything is present in the OS for these apps to behave correctly even if the user renames their files/folders: reference to these files/folders should be kept by the apps as aliases, not paths.
If it were practical for all "these apps" to reference files/folders that way why isn't it being done? Seems to me one misbehaving app could spoil the party. Look how easy it is to remove a Finder (Spotlight) comments by using UNIX commands instead of Finder to manage files.
Oh, and btw, everything is present in the OS to allow these apps to hide some files from the user if their developers wanted to. But they shouldn't do that.
I picked file (in)visibility as one example of how to make parts of the system less vulnerable to disruptive changes because Apple's happens to do it. ACLs would have been another possibility. Oh, that And They Said the Mac Was Intuitive article about a guy deleting /usr thinking it was a duplicate of /Users just came to mind. ;)

Sure, OS X (and ever other OS) has capabilities that are abused and not being used advantageously enough. There isn't enough room here for should/shouldn't reasons and debates about (in)visibility, et.al. so I'm satisfied with the simple "it depends" consensus perspective. :)

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Caution: Do not rename which files/folders?
Authored by: jet59or on Oct 07, '07 09:02:04PM

Reading this too late, I have renamed a folder in the Apple Mail application. This was an older version on a friend's computer - I believe it is version 1.02 or maybe 1.2x.

Anyway, I renamed the folder and all of the messages disappeared. I'm praying they are not really gone. The .mbox file is about 280k so there is something there. I've tried repairing, renaming back to the old name, reimporting into mail with no luck.

I tried running File Salvage which is pretty good at finding missing or erased files, but it won't seem to run, maybe because she is running OS 10.2.

Any suggestions I can try before upgrading her OS and trying again?



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 23, '07 04:15:43PM

> This is a major (and inexcusable) bug in OS X.

Nope. Not a bug, but very bad design.
Which is actually worse than a bug for the users, as it tends to take a lot longer to fix a bad design than it takes to fix a bug. :(

I agree that it is inexcusable, though. You would expect this kind of behavior from Windows, not from Mac OS.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 22, '07 09:47:20AM

Hey no one's ignoring your fright over this. And I've yet to see an explanation why Apple changed the perms on /Users. But I think many people are curious: why would you want to do this in the first place?



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 23, '07 05:18:21PM

Actually, I can see very well why a user would want to change his user name and/or the name of his home folder (as long as the administrator allows it).
Both shoud be easily doable with no bad consequences. It is already the case for the (long) user name. It's a shame that it's not the case (yet?) for the name of the home folder.

The fact that the home folder uses the short user name is a very bad idea: it is exposing an implementation detail that the normal user should never see (a normal user should not even know there exists such a thing as a short user name; all he should know about is his long/real user name).

And the fact that the reference to a user's home folder in the NetInfo database is kept as a path is a shame. The problem described here would not happen if an alias was used instead.

Alternatively, in order to keep the current path-based implementation and/or ensure that the name of the home folder stays "simple" enough for compatibility with old Unix software, a solution would be to rely on the mechanism used to display localized folder names. This way, only the long user name would be shown to the user while the real folder name would still be the short user name.
Apple would then have to tweak this mechanism so that when such a folder is renamed through the Finder, only the displayed name changes, and not the real name of the folder. Then, of course, it would be a good thing and solve many problems with users renaming their library folder.

So, solutions exist. Let's just hope Apple will use one (and a good one) soon.



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Long name, short name
Authored by: MJCube on Jul 23, '07 09:51:47PM

"(a normal user should not even know there exists such a thing as a short user name; all he should know about is his long/real user name)"

I disagree. I have never once typed my long name into my own computer for login or authorization, since I established it 7 years ago. And why would anyone want to do that when the short name is easier? But I do like to see my full name displayed where appropriate.



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Long name, short name
Authored by: beepotato on Jul 25, '07 10:25:10AM

By "normal user", I meant a basic user who will log in by choosing his account from a list instead of having ot type his account name, or will even have autologin activated, and will never do remote login through a shell.
This kind of user won't use a separate admin account, so the name field of authorization dialogs will be pre-filled automatically for him with the right name (his).

For this type of user, having to type his user name happens very, very rarely (for the occasional AFP access to his computer, for example), so why confuse him with a short user name that he can't even change easily (but he is never told that during setup!) but will look ugly on his home folder?

Of course, power users will know about the short user name and use it, but it doesn't mean this implementation detail should be shown to all the other users.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: ezerouali on Jul 21, '07 05:53:32AM

Sorry Vonkas, but in fact this is a TREMENDOUS POWER the OSX gives you. Try to imagine a computer at company X that has just hire a new worker to replace one that just left the company, obviously the new user would like to continue all pending work from previous user but having everything with his own name (i.e.: home folder ;-) ).
Just logout from any account and then logging using the previously enabled "root" account ... with the Netinfo Manager tool you can easily achieve all needed changes. REMEMBER netinfo is the local DB for all you users, groups and a few more things so be aware that improper settings might render your OSX unusable ... in that case just boot in single user mode, mount the root partition and delete the /var/db/netinfodb/ directory and your machine will, after a convenient reboot, go through all the configuration screens as if you just installed new system.
Just in case you all want more detailed howtos .. just let me know :-)



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: jelmore49 on Jul 21, '07 09:32:26AM

If you ever want to change your short user name on purpose, Apple provides a solution -- at 40 steps, this is not something to undertake lightly.

I've got a better solution, straight from my Apple Support Essentials class notes. It works best if you're not doing it when logged in as the user is question -- logging is as another admin user works best.

  • Enter this from the Terminal: sudo mv /Users/olduser /Users/newuser
  • Go to Account Preferences and delete "olduser". OS X will not prompt for deletion of home directory, since it's not there.
  • Create user with shortname "newuser"; the Accounts pane will detect the newuser home directory and ask if you want to use it; confirm it, and OS X will change ownership of the new folder and its contents to the new UID.

Obviously, you should replace "olduser" and "newuser" with the appropriate usernames on your machine. And also, this does not work with encrypted home folders.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: thirdrockphoto on Jul 23, '07 06:58:53PM

"If you ever want to change your short user name on purpose, Apple provides a solution -- at 40 steps"

Simpler: Create a new admin account called "test" and be sure it has your preferred short name. Login as "test", delete the original user. It will become a disk image owned by "test". In the Accounts pane of System Preferences, rename "test" to your real name (doesn't affect short name). Copy any and all files from the disk image to your new user.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: timhaigh on Jul 21, '07 04:43:43PM
This had been a known issue for a long time.

I am not knocking this hint but it has been news for a while it has been documented on apples knowledge base for while now.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.4/en/mh1951.html


http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=155374








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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: keishi-sama on Jul 21, '07 07:11:52PM

I renamed my "Home Folder" which was named "Caster" and switched it to "Keishi-Sama". SHortly after that i noticed my Address-Book was wiped clean, so naturally i restarted. Upon starting up my mac made and new home folder, with none of my data. So I went to my newly formed Home Folder and saw my "Keishi-Sama" folder still there so i changed it's name to Caster and changed the name of the new home folder to keishisama. I restarted and it booted and loaded all my data , I was thrilled. I hope this helps you guys out I see the fixes online and it just looks like they are going out of the way to fix the problem.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: keishi-sama on Jul 21, '07 07:14:38PM

I renamed my "Home Folder" which was named "Caster" and switched it to "Keishi-Sama". SHortly after that i noticed my Address-Book was wiped clean, so naturally i restarted. Upon starting up my mac made and new home folder, with none of my data. So I went to my newly formed Home Folder and saw my "Keishi-Sama" folder still there so i changed it's name to Caster and changed the name of the new home folder to keishisama. I restarted and it booted and loaded all my data , I was thrilled. I hope this helps you guys out I see the fixes online and it just looks like they are going out of the way to fix the problem.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: jedislurpee on Jan 03, '13 05:50:35PM

OMG, THANK YOU! This worked for me perfectly. I clicked Apple > Log Out. At the log in screen I clicked "Other" and typed "root" for "Name" and my password for "Password." Once I was logged in as root I did exactly what you said here. I rebooted, logged in and everything was back as normal! Thank you!



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Do Not Move Folders Either
Authored by: paulio on Jul 21, '07 07:56:07PM

I know that I said this before, but I'm going to say it again with different emphasis.

I had one client "reorganize" her User folder. She dropped her ~/user/Library folder into her ~/user/Documents folder. On restart she had much of her stuff missing: Preferences, Mail, Address Book, iCal. Coming from Windows, she thought she had lost everything.

Realize that there is *no* error message when making such a move because these are all the user's folders. The user has read/write permissions to them. There must be many other folders like this, but the Library folder is the most obvious one.

This will usually bite power users who are switchers from Windows.

Guideline for Power users and Switchers: If you did not create the file/folder then don't move/rename/delete it.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: solipsism on Jul 22, '07 08:14:00AM

An *anonymous* source tells me that this will no longer be an issue in Leopard.




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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: JamesJM on Jul 22, '07 11:09:23PM

Good question Fairly...

My first reaction is obvious... "What does WHY matter?"... this shouldn't happen in the first place, not without 'decipherable warning' anyway. I mean, asking for a password really doesn't tell you much.

BUT... I'm new to the Mac world... and for Mac users I see, (now), how one might ask this question. I used Windows for years... time out of mind... this kind of change in Windows is commonplace. Changing the name of a folder remaps everything? The concept is almost, not entirely, unheard of. In fact, and although it causes less of a headache, renaming the "My Documents" folder in windows can cause headaches as well.

So, when setting up my Mac Pro I inadvertantly left my shortname named "User". No big deal. BUT... after all else was working fine, I thought... "Make my shortname more meaningful... personal"... the process to change it was a snap... what could it possible hurt to change it from some impersonal computer designated name to something that meant something to me? So I did.

I have noticed that Mac users, in general (certainly not referring to everyone), are very content leaving things "AS IS". When I don't want to I get a lot of responses along the "Why do you want to change that...." variety. Well... it's just bred into ya with Windows. <smile>

And once again... lest someone thinks I'm dissing Mac... I am a 100% convert... I'm just not up to speed. It was what I considered an innocuous and trivial edit.... and I paid for it dearly. - JamesJM



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: UnusualAspect on Jul 23, '07 09:36:42AM

Funnily enough, I did this on Saturday. I actually wanted to depersonalise the machine, I'd prefer a folder called home rather than my username next to a picture of a house. The folder I'm after is my home folder, the fact that the underlying OS named that with my username should be irrelevant.

I assumed I was changing a label (the name I changed wasn't represented as a folder, it was an icon on the sidebar next to a picture of a house).

I also fixed it by creating a new login as described and so far I've found no issues.

As for the comment about entering the password, that isn't really much of a warning, it's not like the system warned "You're changing the name of your home folder, this will remove all personalisation and settings". The password prompt was for changing the folder name, exactly the procedure I wanted to perform, am I sure? Of course I was, when not informed of the side-effects.

A minor annoyance, but I imagine it could trip someone up, so it will be good if tiger corrects this (e.g. by just useing an alias instead of the physical folder)

fwiw <- windows switcher here.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: thirdrockphoto on Jul 23, '07 07:02:39PM

"If you ever want to change your short user name on purpose, Apple provides a solution -- at 40 steps"

Simpler: Create a new admin account called "test" and be sure it has your preferred short name. Login as "test", delete the original user. It will become a disk image owned by "test". In the Accounts pane of System Preferences, rename "test" to your real name (doesn't affect short name). Copy any and all files from the disk image to your new user.



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Caution: Do not rename a user's home folder
Authored by: suzbinky on Oct 17, '07 02:35:43PM

In an effort to network a pc to a mac, and following the pc protocol to have the profile names match, I tried it on our Macmini OSX. I right clicked on the home icon and chose the option: "rename Thomas" -- I renamed to "Finch". Seemed fine, but mail disappeared.

Tried to rename it back to "Thomas" and I was told that name was taken.

Rebooted because that's what PC people do when they are scared... EEK! Back on as thomas -- but ALL preferences, files and mail are gone. Like starting from scratch.

How to I get back to what I had (on my husband's computer)? How do I get all of the files back to Thomas can see them? Please help. There is a deathly quiet silence in the house right now.



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