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My late 2019 iMac was running out of disk space and since all the upgrade kits seem to be out of stock (and the upgrade process difficult) I decided to try moving my home directory to an external thunderbolt SSD as per the instructions here https://www.lifewire.com/move-macs-home-folder-new-location-2260157

Whether a result of encryption (external SSD is encrypted APFS with the password stored in my users keychain), or a slow mount, I’m no longer able to login to my computer which simply states ‘unable to login an error has occurred’

I’ve tried using single user mode and disabling various security features to mount the drive to no avail which always results in ‘permission denied’ as per https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/388479

What I’ve been able to do is boot into recovery mode and mount the ‘Macintosh HD - Data’ drive through disk utility.

I can see my home directory is still on this internal drive and is writeable and think if I can just change the setting back manually I should be able to login.

Does anyone know where this setting is located so I can simply edit it through the command line?

(Example screenshot from Apple discussion) Screenshot from https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6084975

Max OS Monterey 12.? 27” iMac 2019 FileVault enabled on local ssd APFS encryption on external thunderbolt SSD

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  • Try this: dscl . -read Users/bb NFSHomeDirectory should print the current value, and with dscl . -change Users/demouser NFSHomeDirectory oldValue /Users/bb you might be able so reset it to the default.
    – Martin R
    Feb 23, 2022 at 9:52
  • Thank you for the prompt reply, unfortunately this returns “Cannot open remote host, error: DSOpenDirServiceErr”
    – waffl
    Feb 23, 2022 at 9:54
  • My mistake I missed the . But now it returns DS Error -14136 (eDSRecordNotFound)
    – waffl
    Feb 23, 2022 at 10:01
  • I know that user information is stored in the “directory services” and that can be accessed with the dscl tool. But to be honest, I do not know what exactly is possible in the single-user mode. Does dscl . -list Users show your account? What about dscl . -read Users/yourUserName ?
    – Martin R
    Feb 23, 2022 at 10:05
  • I’m also wondering if dscl queries a differnt set of logins when in recovery mode? ‘dscl . -ls Users’ shows a long list of users but not my username at all
    – waffl
    Feb 23, 2022 at 10:05

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