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I have been helping someone with their iMac that is refusing to boot but after finally getting it to boot from a DVD and running disk utility on the HD, it said that it couldn't repair it and it needed reformatting.

I created an external boot drive and pulled all of the data from the root of the broken drive into a folder on the external boot drive ready to format the affected drive. This is where the problems start.

In the /Users folder there are a few profiles and they all appear to be the ones that should be there. I go into one and there are all the standard files and folders like Desktop, Documents and Downloads. I then go into the folder that was the main users account and there is nothing. No folders, no files, completely empty.

The hd only says it has 60gb of data and the owner (who is the user that has no files in his home directory) says there should be loads more.

Can anyone shed some light on what has happened to all these files that should be in his home directory.

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The files might be in the damaged part of the disk? do you see them on the original disk ? – Buscar웃 Mar 1 '14 at 13:22
Thats what I thought because that was the main account that was used 90% of the time. He is quite anxious to retrieve these as they are the valuable part of the data but I explained that I took a complete copy of the root of the hd and so if he cannot find his files on the backup of that, they are probably not available. Is that correct? – Sam Parmenter Mar 1 '14 at 14:43

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