Most likely they were migrated to a new user account. Log out, then when you get the login list you should see another user listed. Your files should be there. Log into that account to find them. It's possible to move the files into the account you are now using. See: Transferring files from one User Account to another.
Well, if they did a complete wipe of my hard drive and started fresh, should they have added more than one user? I'm not sure that they would have kept the old user - I told them I had back-up everything, so I expect they didn't try to keep my old user profile.
Is there a way to find all the hidden files on a hard drive in Lion? I know they're there somewhere. I just can't access them.
So, you have backups of what you cannot find? Why don't you just restore them? I have no other suggestion for you because I don't know what the BB guy did and neither do you unless you call and ask or take your computer back to them.
If you have a full Time Machine backup, system and all, then just erase the drive and restore the backup.
Install or Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion from Time Machine Backup
Be sure you backup your files to an external drive or second internal drive because the following procedure will remove everything from the hard drive.
Boot to the Recovery HD:
Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.
Erase the hard drive:
1. Select Disk Utility from the main menu and click on the Continue button.
2. After DU loads select your startup volume (usually Macintosh HD) from the
left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.
3. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Optionally, click on
the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass. Click on
the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.
4. Quit DU and return to the main menu.
Restore from backup: Select Restore Time Machine backup and click on the Continue button.
Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible
because it is three times faster than wireless.
I'm hoping for a solution that doesn't involve erasing my hard drive. Does a solution exist that would involve my locating the hidden files on the computer?
I did a back-up using Time Machine before Lion was installed, but I can't say for sure that that means I backed-up all of the system files and everything (I'm not that acquainted with how time machine backs things up to know). I'm also hoping to avoid going back to the operating system I had before, as the computer is faster now. I just want all the itunes files and pages documents and photos and things like that.
Yes, I could just get those off my back-up drive, but then there's the problem that I have most of my 300 GB hard drive used up with files I can't access.
So, does anyone have a solution that doesn't involve erasing my hard drive?
Thanks for the suggestions, but I found a way that didn't involve erasing my entire hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. I turned on hidden files using a command in the Terminal, then I downloaded software called Omnidiskweeper for Mac and it located all the files I had put on the hard drive right away. I then deleted them all, freeing up all the space. Now I'll just restore the files I wanted to the right user account and all will be well.
. . .
"Browse other backup disks" under time machine, and pressed restore on the back-up.
That's the wrong way to do it (but neither Apple nor Best Buy make that clear ).
That copied stuff into the hidden /Volumes folder, where it's not usable -- just takes up space. See the blue box in Where did my Disk Space go? for instructions on how to delete it.
Then you need to start over and use the Migration Assistant app to transfer your stuff from the backups. To avoid losing permission to the older backups, though, you'll need one of the workarounds (#3 is best, but #4 will work) in the green box of Problems after using Migration Assistant. (The pink box there explains why.)
Post back if you have problems or questions.
EDIT: Just copying things from the backups probably won't work well -- there are hidden files, things you won't have permission to, and, especially, files in support of applications that you won't see and copy, so the apps won't work properly, if at all.
Message was edited by: Pondini