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I have an external drive plugged in to my MacPro via eSATA. At the moment, the disk only mounts if I log in. Since I am using the computer remotely, this is annoying since I have to open up VNC, log in, and log back out. Is there a way to have external drives automatically mount without user log in?

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I found a preference that might do the trick:

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

In a variation using a boolean value (which should be more accurate):

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

You can do the same through Property List editor (if you have it installed):

sudo touch /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/autodiskmount.plist
sudo open !$

… and set it manually as a boolean:

enter image description here

However, and I'm sorry for that, it appears to be older, and I can't try it out, so let me know if it works.

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  • After searching around on a solution to fix my wallpaper being reset on each reboot in OS X Mavericks, I only found AppleScript workarounds. Enabling this preference did the trick since it was missing in the SystemConfiguration folder and my wallpapers are indeed stored in an external HD. Thanks slhck.
    – user194149
    Nov 9, 2014 at 16:48

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