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Fix path to home folder after external drive mount failure Apps
In Leopard, if you've changed your home path from your Mac's internal hard disk to an external hard disk, as in this hint, and maybe you turned off your drive or maybe it unmounted for no specific reason, you'll see that it isn't sufficient to turn it back on to see all your preferences back to normal.

Why? As an example, let's assume you had moved your home folder here: /Volumes/HD300GB/users/yourname. When Leopard realizes the drive is missing, it automatically creates a folder named /Volumes/HD300GB (in this example). Then when you logout/login or restart your Mac, Leopard will remount your original drive with a different name; in this example /Volumes/HD300GB 1.

Consequence: You'll not have access to your home directory and your desktop, preferences, etc. will be (falsely) lost.

Here's how to fix it:
  1. Login as a different user (with admin rights).
  2. Go to /Volumes and delete the folder that Leopard created (HD300GB in this example).
  3. Turn off your external drive, wait a couple minutes, then turn your external drive back on. It should mount with the correct name.
  4. Go to Accounts, in System Preferences, unlock the panel, and control click in your main account. Choose Advanced Properties from the pop-up menu.
  5. Change your home folder to a random one, like /Volumes/onono. When you login with your main account, the system will create this temporary, useless folder.
  6. Logout of the secondary admin account, and login with your main account.
  7. Go to /Volumes and delete the folder onono.
  8. Open Accounts in System Preferences, and use the Advanced Properties feature again to set your home directory to the correct HD300GB location.
  9. Logout and login one last time.
Presto! Your preferences should load as before, and all should be back to normal. Maybe there's a shortcut to all this, but I didn't find an easier solution.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, but similar issues arise if you have an iTunes or iPhoto library stored on an external drive and the drive vanishes -- see this older hint for one such story.]
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Fix path to home folder after external drive mount failure
Authored by: Quatch on Apr 11, '08 08:21:19AM

I've had this happen using paralells, I keep my virtual machines directory on an external. Parallels will automatically create the false external folder in volumes if the external isnt mounted when parallels is run.

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Fix path to home folder after external drive mount failure
Authored by: zpjet on Apr 16, '08 05:25:21AM

can you xplain why you can't just skip steps 4, 5, 6, and 7?

it even seems to me that you're changing your home directory while you're logged in which i would compare to cutting a branch you're sitting on - i would never try that.

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