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In a 2011 Macbook Pro, I have replaced the SuperDrive with an SSD. Now, I have an OSX partition for the OS in the SSD, and most of my data is on another HDD, connected by symlinks (i.e. Documents, Downloads, Desktop, Dropbox, etc.). For the following, the name of the HDD volume is "NAME".

When I just restarted my computer, I got an error from Dropbox saying that my folder could not be found. I navigated to "NAME" using Finder and everything seemed to be in order. In Disk Utility, everything appears to be correctly in order and mounted. I looked at my symlinks (in my user folder) and they all appear to be broken.

I looked in /Volumes/ and it appears that my HDD partition has been renamed to "NAME 1", so that /Volumes/ contains both "NAME" and "NAME 1". The system requires me to use sudo to ls in "NAME", and it only appears to contain "sleepimage" (size of 8 GB, my normal amount of memory). I also noticed in Disk Utility that the Mount Point for "NAME" is given as "/Volumes/NAME 1"

I have no idea where this new "/Volumes/NAME" is physically, if it actually exists. It does not appear in Disk Utility. If I execute a "df" command, it does not appear in the listing. I am tempted to delete it in /Volumes/ and mv "NAME 1" to "NAME"

EDIT: Noticed this in the Console right before boot:

10-10-13 7:38:29.667 PM[90]: low disk space thinning needed for volume NAME (/Volumes/NAME 1) with 8.2 <= 10.0 pct free space , 1 snapshot can be thinned

10-10-13 7:38:29.668 PM[90]: attempting to thin because of low free space on NAME (/Volumes/NAME 1) by removing 2013-10-10 19:06:28 -0400, estimate 0 bytes to recover, 1 snapshot can be thinned

And this just after boot:

10-10-13 7:41:45.723 PM[90]: attempting to thin because of low free space on NAME (/Volumes/NAME 1) by removing 2013-10-10 19:34:46 -0400, estimate 0 bytes to recover, 1 snapshot can be thinned


sudo rm -rf "NAME"

did the trick!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The new /Volumes/NAME is on the SSD. Mac OS created the directory when you logged in because the HDD hadn't been mounted yet and some critical files were missing as a result. The HDD volume was missing because Mac OS normally waits to mount additional volumes until after you log in. To change this behavior you need to modify a system-wide preference. Run this command once from Terminal:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/autodiskmount AutomountDisksWithoutUserLogin -bool true

Put the /Volumes/NAME that the system created in the Trash and restart the system. The real /Volumes/NAME should be mounted immediately after booting and when you login your symlinks to the HDD will work as you expect.

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This appeared to work once, but the problem is still recurring. I am on a dual-boot system with Bootcamp, and it also appears when I restart from Windows. Any further insight would be much appreciated. – escapecharacter Oct 13 '13 at 14:14
Hmmm. The problem might now be timing related, depending on whether the external drive is spun up or not, or some other factor that delays mounting the filesystem. – Kyle Jones Oct 16 '13 at 20:39

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