I Renamed Home Folder and lost all settings, jpgs, mp3s, photos etc. HELP!

Aug 31, 2011
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First off, have a MacBook, 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo w/4GBs of RAM OS 10.5.8

I followed what I thought were proper procedures to change the name of the Home Folder from "macbook" to "rocki"
I followed the instructions at Mac OS X v10.6 and earlier: How to change user account name or home directory name
For Mac OS X 10.5 or later
1. Enable the root user.
2. Log in as root.
3. Navigate to the /Users folder.
4. Select the Home folder with the short name you want to change, and rename it just like you would rename any folder. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.
At this point I skipped steps 5 & 6 Since I already had a user named the name I wanted "Rocki" I thought I didn't need to do this. So went onto Steps 7-9, and NO everything was NOT there.
5. Use the Accounts pane in System Preferences to create a new user with the Account name or Short Name that you used in the previous step.
6. Click OK when "A folder in the Users folder already has the name 'account name'. Would you like to use that folder as the Home folder for this user account?" Note: This will correct the ownership of all files in the Home folder, and avoid permissions issues with the contents.
7. Choose Log Out from the Apple menu.
8. Log in as the newly created user. You should be able to access all of your original files (on the desktop, in Documents, and in the other folders of this Home).
9. After verifying that your data is as expected, you can delete the original user account via the Accounts pane of System Preferences. At this point I skipped step 10 b/c nothing was there as usual.
10. Disable the root user.

All my data and settings were not there. So I went back logged in as Root, navigated to the Users folder, and saw that there were two folders, one said "macbook" even though I previously just named it and there was also another folder named "rocki" there. Seeing two folders and wanting to return back to normal I deleted that "rocki" folder, I had just created, and logged back out of root and logged back into the only user I had, which was also named "rocki" which is the admin and the user that had all my files and settings originally before I tried to change the name of the home folder. And no change, everything is gone and missing.

To clarify, originally, I had a home folder named MacBook and a user named Rocki. Everything was cool and worked great! But I wanted to change that home folder name to match the user name. Whoops!

What can I do to go back to normal?!?!?!!?!? Please help me!! I'm so screwed. If I can't go back to normal, how do I find all the missing files and what not?!?

Thanks so much in advance!
Nov 26, 2010
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everything is gone and missing.
from your outline I think it has been it has been deleted.

The only successful way to change the short username is to back everything up to external drive, then migrate the User Account in and it gives you the chance to rename it, when there is an existing account with the same name. Then once you are sure you have success, you can delete the old account.

There is all manner of Unix stuff that is keyed to the short UserName that any "manual" change is likely doomed. Never, Never, Never do anything that requires root access.

You could try Data Rescue 2.

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