Fix the problem connecting you Apple Mac User to a home directory on and external drive.

 
Advanced preferences for users screenshot user Andrew Watson
 
Are you having problems connecting you user account on an Apple Mac (in OS X) to an external drive? Does this sound familiar: you go into preferences and click on users, then you unlock it and right click the user in question to make access advanced options. You proceed to change the home directory, BUT you are using an external drive and when you select it by clicking "Choose" the home directory path shows the right drive (volume) name but has a 1 after it and when you try to log in to that account all you get are the default settings, it's clearly not logging into the right place or not connecting to the right location for the home directory on the external disk. I hope I save some trauma with this post because I know the solution! Read on.

 
NOTE: This is to solve the "user won't connect properly to external disk on an Apple Mac" problem possibly using Mavericks or Lion (note sure if it affects leopard or snow leopard). This article is specifically designed to solve the problem that the system adds a space plus the number 1 to the path of the home directory. No, I don't know why but I know how to fix it just understand that if your problem connecting with an external hard drive is NOT because the home directory path is wrong in the system preferences, this solution might not be for you.
 
Enough preamble….
 
As always before altering your Apple Mac, make sure you have an adequate backup.
 
1st, Show hidden files on OS X Mavericks.
 
To fix the error we have to start by enabling the display of hidden system files (don't worry if you follow my instructions you won't damage your system).
 
Do this by installing this handy free app:InVisible
(Once installed you can show and hide hidden Mac OS X files with ease)
 
Alternatvely you can paste this into terminal (remeber to do it again with "false" instead of true when you're finished:
 
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true
killall Finder
 
Carefully perform some OS X surgery:
 
Time to be a bit careful, you don't want to delete the wrong file. Remember I said you should make sure every thing is backed up I meant it!
 
Once you are able to view your hidden files. Browse your hard disk you will see a folder called "Volumes" open this folder.
 
Take a look in that folder and note you will see one or more folders with the name of the volume (or folder) you have been trying to connect to that is on an external drive but that also have a space and then the number 1 after them.
 
For example you want to connect to a volume "ExternalHD" then you would see a folder called  "ExternalHD 1". This is what the system keeps seleceting in preferences when you try to connect.
 
OK. to fix the problem all you have to do is delete the folder with the "1". Then, when you go back to the Apple Mac system preferences and and click choose to point to the the home directory in the advanced screen the extra 1 digit should no longer appear and it will correctly point to the external hard disk and allow the user acccount to correctly connect to it, no  longer showing the defaul screen but instead the full user account.
 
Problem solved right? Make a comment!