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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mom bought a white MacBook from Staples a little more than a week ago. It's of the last generation, and she got a discount on it because it was the floor model (and the last of such models they were selling).

Today, she apparently was trying to quit Mail, but it wasn't working so she Force Quit it. Upon reopening the program, everything was set to default and after going through the introductory wizard again, all her emails and settings had vanished.

Opening the Address Book, there was an error about Keychain (forgot the precise message), and all her previously input contacts were gone - the program as it had been when she'd first opened it.

Opening Safari - a similar error about Keychain.

When I restarted the Macbook, her account had reverted to complete and utter default: default dock, default desktop background, default icons. A new home folder had been created in the default name. Her original home folder still existed alongside it on the HD (and seemed the only trace of her original use of the computer).

This is very troubling. It seems to be linked the keychain but I don't understand how, and it appears to have happened with complete spontaneity.

Hypotheses?
 

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31,013 Posts
Is there only one User account??

Have you repaired the drive from the installer?
 

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Sounds like a classic "I renamed my User folder and %&@) happened."
Either Mom changed something, or a crash altered the default user folder -- the missing options, keychains, mail, bookmarks etc. are all downstream symptoms of that.
 

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Indigent Academic
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If this was a floor model, it has probably taken a serious sh!t kicking by all the "tyre kickers" passing throught the store. Was it set up properly in the first place? By that I mean was a complete and total clean install done on it before she took possession? If you cannot definitively answer in the affirmative, I strongly suggest - if it was MY mom, I would absolutely insist - on a total wipeout and clean install of OSX from the discs that came with it. If she has only had it for a week then this would be the time to do it to minimise the disruption. The renaming of the user folder is a known pain inducer. Why not just fix everything and wipe away all traces of the "tyre kicking" it most certainly has taken all in one fell swoop right now? You can just about guarantee that this will save you further issues even in the short term.
 
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