I posted this in the Apple Discussions forums, but have yet to get an answer that applies to the depth of which this situation currently exists.
My Mac's hard drive (running Mojave) suffered some corruption recently, and I found myself unable to boot into the system. I am able to boot into Recovery Mode, and my intent was to rescue the important data sitting in /Users/(my username), but to my surprise, the entire /Users/ folder is just not there when I try to access it via Terminal.
- Boot into Recovery Mode.
- Open up Terminal.
- Navigate to /Volumes/(my OS drive name)/
- Type ls to see directory tree. I see every other folder I am expecting to see (I think), except for /Users/. It simply is not there.
What I have tried:
- Navigating to literally every partition and folder I can think of to find where /Users/ might be instead.
- Doing "chflags nohidden" on the drive does nothing.
- I don't believe I have FileVault on, so I don't think anything in that category would apply to my situation.
I can only come up with two possible conclusions:
- The hard drive corruption annihilated ONLY the /Users/ directory (unlikely, I assume???)
- Recovery Mode is hiding /Users/ in a way that I cannot figure out, and this is apparently not documented anywhere on the internet. I have seen other sites/posts talking about /Users/ being hidden, but they were not referring to situations similar to mine, and were resolved with simple (somewhat obvious) steps. They were not like what I am experiencing.
In the meantime, preparing for the worst, I have ordered an external drive enclosure so that I can pull the drive out of my computer and view its contents on another computer.
I am very hesitant to reinstall MacOS right now, because IF /Users/ has been compromised in the corruption, I don't want to do anything further that will prevent it from being recovered somehow. In other words, I am trying not to write any new data to the drive at all.
Thanks for any help or suggestions in advance.