Where did my Documents folder go?
July 14, 2005 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Where did my Documents folder go? (OS X)

My Documents folder was empty when I turned my computer on this morning. All of the other folders in my user folder look OK. (I installed the 10.4.2 update yesterday, but the folder was there after I did the update.) Any ideas on how this could happen and how I could fix it?
posted by kirkaracha to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Can you do a Get Info (?-I) on the folder to look at permissions? If the folder's permissions are locked, you should be able to unlock it with an admin account and view the contents.
posted by Rothko at 10:46 AM on July 14, 2005

My account is the admin account, and I have Read & Write permissions (755).
posted by kirkaracha at 10:56 AM on July 14, 2005

Have you tried looking at it in the Terminal?
posted by jjg at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2005

Can you find any of the files if you search for them via Spotlight? (That is, can you try typing in the name of a known document and see if it comes up?) Sometimes users who encounter disappearing files in OS X can still turn them up with a find.

Either way, though, sounds like you have some sort of disk corruption. jjg's suggestion is a good one, and on the off-chance that it works, you can copy the files to a backup.

I'd run Disk Utility (repair permissions and repair disk -- you'll have to start up from the OS X install disc for the latter) and, if you have it, AlSoft's DiskWarrior, which specializes in directory damage. At the very least you might turn up some more specific clues to your problem. And if you don't have a backup, Data Rescue is the most frequently recommended document-recovery app for OS X.

Unless repairing permissions is all you have to do to get the folder back to normal, I wouldn't trust this install of OS X. Once you've done everything you can to retrieve your docs, I'd back up everything, wipe the disk and reinstall from scratch. And keep an eye on the drive, too. How old is the Mac?
posted by TPIRman at 12:05 PM on July 14, 2005

I tried the Terminal, too, and nothing's there that isn't visible in the GUI. I'm repairing permissions now (I can't repair the disk right now 'cause I don't have the instal disk handy). I'm not sure how old the Mac is; it's a 733 MHz G4.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:42 PM on July 14, 2005

I'm not sure if they've changed the schedule in Tiger, but in eariler versions of OS X it was easy for the computer to miss routine maintenance tasks. You could try running them in terminal,
>sudo periodic daily weekly monthly
and see what happens. It'll ask for your password.
posted by OmieWise at 2:51 PM on July 14, 2005

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