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I changed some of my file shareing options on my Mac mini (El Capitan) server and now it does not start. It does shows desktop but i have no control no menu bar (not even hidden) no dock, no spotlight ability... basically dead. The option that I did was to remove the Home directory form the file sharing list. I suspect that it i got it to remove all access to home folder for all users! Any idea on how to fix this.

It is normally running without screen and mouse and keyboard so i remote desktop into it. Remote desktopping into it shows the unresponsive desktop, but I can still use finder on other machines to access files on it. My plan is to connect keyboard, mouse and screen to it and try to log in in single user or safe mode and try to fix permissions from there. Any other clever suggestions?

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Let us assume you've broken all the users, to fix that, connect a keyboard and display and hold S to start into single-user mode and remove the set up file. Making a new user is non-destructive and it gets you a usable shall immediately with superior tools available to diagnose and fix the issue.

When you type halt, you can then start up the Mac and make a new local admin user with correct permissions and a working home folder. At that point you can evaluate whether to:

  • restore from a backup
  • make a backup
  • fix whatever was broken or try to narrow down what broke
  • wipe and start over

If you're someone who's going to make a go of fixing things in single-user mode, I would enable SSH login which gives you a bunch better error message when user home folder Sprague and also debility to do remote maintenance in many cases where screen sharing brakes.

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