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Old Sep 20, 2004, 06:31 PM   #1
edesignuk
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GUIDE: Zap PRAM, Repair Permissions, & run FSCK

The idea for this quick GUIDE was thought up in this thread by kingjr3. Like the networking thread the idea of this is to have a quick point of reference for those common questions.


How to Zap PRAM

Zapping PRAM is simple, just reboot your Mac and hold down "Command(the Apple key)+Option(the Alt key)+P+R" while it is booting, when you hear the startup sound for the seond time the operation is complete, and you can release the key combination. Now just let your Mac boot as normal.

How to Repair Permissions

• Navigte to "Applications > Utilities", and open up "Disk Utility".



• Select the volume where your OS resides, and hit the "Repair Disk Permissions" button.



If you are comfortable with using the Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app), you can also enter this command to run repair permissions - "sudo diskutil repairpermissions /" (without the quotes), just enter your password when prompted.



How to run FSCK

• Restart your Mac holding down "Command(the Apple key)+S" key to enter 'Single user mode'.
• Type "fsck -f", and hit return.
• Once complete type "reboot" and hit return to reboot you Mac back in to OS X as normal.


If there is anything that you think is wrong here, or you think I have missed any vital steps out, please post and let me know so that I can ammend this.
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Last edited by edesignuk; Apr 17, 2008 at 08:27 AM. Reason: updated :-P
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 07:47 PM   #2
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edesignuk, can you explain why you can't just double-click on the Disk Utility application in Applications/Utilities (to repair permissions)?
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus_dave
edesignuk, can you explain why you can't just double-click on the Disk Utility application in Applications/Utilities (to repair permissions)?
ya i dont know why she said that...even apple does not have that

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=152064
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edesignuk
How to Zap PRAM

Zapping PRAM is simple, just hold down "Command(the Apple key)+Option(the Alt key)+P+R".
... while starting up. You will hear an extra bong of the gong.

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Old Sep 20, 2004, 08:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NusuniAdmin
ya i dont know why she said that...even apple does not have that

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=152064
edesignuk is a he. His avatar is not him.

People have said in the forums that permisions are repaired "better" if you aren't using the volume that you are repairing permissions on when you do the repair. That is why they recommend the CD method.

However, others have said that since new files are added and permissions might be adjusted by the x.x.x (i.e. X.3.5) updates, repairing permissions without the CD is better, since these changes are not on the original install disc.
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elan0204
edesignuk is a he. His avatar is not him.

People have said in the forums that permisions are repaired "better" if you aren't using the volume that you are repairing permissions on when you do the repair. That is why they recommend the CD method.

However, others have said that since new files are added and permissions might be adjusted by the x.x.x (i.e. X.3.5) updates, repairing permissions without the CD is better, since these changes are not on the original install disc.
lol ok great to know
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 09:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elan0204
However, others have said that since new files are added and permissions might be adjusted by the x.x.x (i.e. X.3.5) updates, repairing permissions without the CD is better, since these changes are not on the original install disc.
This is correct. Do not boot from the CD to repair permissions. Repairing permissions compares the permissions detailed in the BOM (Bill Of Materials) of entries in /Library/Receipts/ to those of your installed applications and OS updates. Anything that is out of whack will have it's permissions fixed. The BOM files on the CD are woefully out of date in most cases.

As an alternative, you can repair permissions from the command line:

sudo diskutil repairpermissions /
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 09:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by realityisterror
... while starting up. You will hear an extra bong of the gong.
... You can let go after you hear the bong for the 4th time.
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edesignuk
Type "fsck -f", and hit return.
Some might argue that you leave yourself open to a minor security risk by not specifying WHICH fsck you want to run, as in "/sbin/fsck -fy". Just typing fsck means any old fsck that appears in the SUM path first would get run instead. We're talking potential trojans here.. but this is not to say that someone couldn't replace /sbin/fsck either.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by aus_dave
edesignuk, can you explain why you can't just double-click on the Disk Utility application in Applications/Utilities (to repair permissions)?
As far as I understood it you needed to be logged in as root, or boot off the CD to have the necessary permissions to make permission changes to system files. Am I wrong then? I know I am not the only one who does this, I learnt this way of doing it from posts on this forum We need to get a definite answer on this, the Apple doc link isn't working for me btw

As for the fsck thing, I believed -f was the correct switch to use with the command as it forces a full check regardless, this seems to make most sence to me.

edit: OK, the link Rower provided in this thread to apples repair permisisons guide seems clear. I've changed this guide to run disk utility from within OS X, and not from the CD
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NusuniAdmin
ya i dont know why he said that...even apple does not have that

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=152064
If I was a she, and I looked anything like that pic in my 'tar do you honeslty think I'd be here!?
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by edesignuk
I've changed this guide to run disk utility from within OS X, and not from the CD
Now add 'at the startup tone' or similar to the end of the instructions for zapping PRAM
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:45 AM   #13
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Yep, you should add to the PRAM zapping that it is done while starting up. This is a newbie guide after all, isn't it?

Edit: beaten to it
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 03:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Diatribe
Yep, you should add to the PRAM zapping that it is done while starting up. This is a newbie guide after all, isn't it?

Edit: beaten to it
I really thought I had said you do it while rebooting actually, I must be going crazy. Anyway, it's fixed now
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 06:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by yellow
As an alternative, you can repair permissions from the command line:

sudo diskutil repairpermissions /
Can you please add this to it?
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 07:11 AM   #16
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Can you please add this to it?
Done. I'll add a screen cap when I get home to be able to do it as well.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 07:14 AM   #17
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Cool, thanks!
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 08:10 AM   #18
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Hi edesignuk,

great idea to add another guide. The one thing I am missing, that it does just explain HOW to do the task, but does not explain WHY and WHEN.

Could you add that ? Would be great

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Old Sep 21, 2004, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by CmdrLaForge
Hi edesignuk,

great idea to add another guide. The one thing I am missing, that it does just explain HOW to do the task, but does not explain WHY and WHEN.

Could you add that ? Would be great

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Problem is there are so many reasons why you might be advised to do any of these things. It's not like it's one cause that leads you do do these things.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 08:39 AM   #20
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*begins to write a Stickies note* edesignuk is male, not female *end note*

sorry bout that edesignuk

*sets note as a floating window*

Last edited by NusuniAdmin; Sep 21, 2004 at 08:41 AM.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 09:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by edesignuk
Problem is there are so many reasons why you might be advised to do any of these things. It's not like it's one cause that leads you do do these things.
I concur. However, you could dispel the myths surrounding the repairing of permissions. IMO:

It's only necessary/advised to repair permissions after installing anything that requires an admin password. This includes, but is not limited to, system/security updates.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 09:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edesignuk
Problem is there are so many reasons why you might be advised to do any of these things. It's not like it's one cause that leads you do do these things.
OK, if so - then thats a problem. Even I have no idea what FSCK could be good for and I thought I know something about Macs. Obviously I don't


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Old Sep 21, 2004, 12:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CmdrLaForge
OK, if so - then thats a problem. Even I have no idea what FSCK could be good for and I thought I know something about Macs. Obviously I don't


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CmdrLaForge - you familiar with Disk Utility and its "Repair" option for hard disks (the one that looks for and fixes directory problems)? That button is nothing more than a graphical front-end to the fsck utility, which actually checks and fixes your disk. Essentially, running fsck is equivalent to opening Disk Utility, selecting the disk you want checked, and clicking Repair.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 12:21 PM   #24
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Actually.. if we want to be entirely correct, the "repair disk" button is a frontend for:

sudo diskutil repairdisk /

Which is a Appleized version of fsck.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 12:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by yellow
Actually.. if we want to be entirely correct, the "repair disk" button is a frontend for:

sudo diskutil repairdisk /

Which is a Appleized version of fsck.
You're saying it's three layers deep? Disk Utility -> diskutil -> fsck instead of Disk Utility -> fsck? Didn't know that - thanks yellow.
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