Help! Cannot repair permissions

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by zvitali, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. zvitali macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    #1
    I am new to Macs and I think I just ran into my first serious problem. My powerbook strarted to feel a little bit sluggish, so I decided to repair persmissions using DiskUtility. However, it started acting strange. For every Apple application it says something like:

    Permissions are not repaired for (such and such) Operation is prohibited.

    Does anybody know what the problem might be? Is it because of something I installed recently?
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
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    The West Loop
    #2
    -zvitali

    Do it from the CD.

    It sounds like you are trying it from your user account - and you don't have permission, to repair certain permissions from there :D
     
  3. zvitali thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2003
    #3
    How can I do it from CD? From what CD? My computer came with a 6 CDs that restore OS and all applications. I also have Apple Care CD with Tech Tools.
     
  4. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #4
    You may be using an "account" on your Mac that doesn't have Administator permissions. If there's more than one user account, you may have to be logged in with an ID that can use administrator-level actions. (I wouldn't have though repairing permissions to be one of these, but I could be wrong.)

    You can look in the Users preferance panel in System Preferences to see if you have admin rights, and if not, who does.

    If you need to use the CD or don't want to deal with that:

    The CD should be all grey with a gigantic X on it and say "Disk One" in small type. That's your OS X first install CD.

    Put that CD in and restart holding down the "C" key right away. That will start you up from the CD. When it asks you if you want to install OS X, just cancel or ignore or whatever.

    Go to the Disk Utilities menu and you should be able to repair permissions from there.
     
  5. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
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    #5
    -zvitali

    I'm trying to rememebr the exact wording, but I think it's "OSX System" disk or "Software Install". You could try "System restore" disk if you wish.

    Pop it in.

    Restart.

    At the 'bong' noise, hold the "C" key. (Forces boot from CD)

    When the installer comes up, don't actually do anything in the window, but go up to the menu to "Disk Utility".

    You know the rest!

    [EDIT:] DAMMIT! idea_hamster must've beat me by only seconds!
     
  6. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #6
    "...and I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids -- and that hamster!"
    :cool:
     
  7. zvitali thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    #7
    Thanks a lot for suggestions, I will try it when I get home.

    Btw, there is only user on the system (me) and I do have all the admin priveleges. So doing it from CD seems like the next thing to try.
     
  8. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
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    #8
    -zvitali

    Ok, here goes. You mentioned you were a new user, so I really hesitate to tell you this, but you need to know if it's existence for the future when you become more adept.

    Administrator is only administrator for that account (permissions, passwords, net settings), not the entire workings of the computer.

    Ever tried to rename "System"? Won't let you will it?

    Well, in order to have blanket use of the entire system - including repair permissions w/o CD is by activating the "Root User", in Solaris parlance, it's known as "Superuser".

    But like I said, you have complete and unfetterd control, and that is dangerous. If you toss teh content of your HD into the trash, and hit empty (or in the command line type -rm *.*) you computer will happily eat itself - no "are you sure"'s.

    So I hope you will pardon me if I don't let on about how to do that just yet.
     
  9. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #9
    Is that true? Can you sudo your booted OS to the trash? What happens? How much of the OS gets eaten before it forgets how to erase?

    Dave, what are you doing?
    What are you doing, Dave?
    Dave -- please stop that.
    Dave -- I feel funny....
     
  10. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #10
  11. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #11
    Hmmm...an interesting idea! Reminds me to keep in mind that unix systems pretty much treat all things as files and just because we call something a "permission" or a "hardware driver", unix deals with them all alike.

    Where would you go to trash your permissions, and would a simple re-start rebuild them? After all, if you have to re-instal OS X to rebuild the permissions file, then why trash them first? Wouldn't the re-instal just over-write the bad ones?
     
  12. mico macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2003
    #12
    had the same problem. using disk utility from disk will solve it as previously suggested.
     
  13. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    Apr 18, 2003
    #13
    My mistake, if Apple's disky utility doesn't work in repairing your permissions, it is your keychain that is possibly corrupted. If so, then you have to erase it. Starting over with a new keychain isn't exactly a party but sometines it's the only option. Go to Applications>Utilities> and run Keychain access. From the file menu, choose Delete to start over with a fresh keychain file. Honestly, I'd rather start over with a new keychain than re-install OSX. The above link for Apple's Keychain First Aid is a dud but if you search Apple's support page for Mac OSX>Keychain First Aid, you'll find the page and the link to download. My permissions were corrupted for the longest time despite Disk Utility saying it was repaired. Mail, Safari, and ichat would ask me for my password whenever launched despite me setting it to always allow. Fixed the bastard with Keychain First Aid.
     
  14. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #14
    There is absolutely *NO* reason whatsoever to enable the root user to repair permissions. Administrator users can get temporary full access when needed; Disk Utility and Installer do this when they prompt you for your user password. This allows them to repair permissions even though they don't normally have access to do that.

    If repairing permissions under an administrator work, the next step is to try from the CD, as was suggested. But enabling the root user is not at all required, or even recommended.
     
  15. zvitali thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    #15
    I was able to repair the permissions from the CD. Worked smoothly. I think it changed owner and group for almost every iApps on my computer.

    Btw, I also tried Cocktail before, but that didn't solve the problem. It just said that permissions cannot be repaired.

    I am still puzzled though. I never tried to change any permissions and even I would, why only iApps were affected. But how is that possible that one operation or installed program affect the permissions of a large group of files, so that they even can not be repaired in a normal way? I definetely expected more from Mac OS X.
     
  16. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #16
    Permission repair is a maintenance job that is part of running OS X -- it's the price we pay for (almost) never needing to shut down, stability, and the like. It's a bit like cleaning up your OS.

    I repair permissions about once a month. This may be more often than needed though, since my a friend of mine who's running Jag on his Pismo didn't even know about permission repair and ran for about six months with no problems.

    I'd be interested to know if you can prepair permissions from Disk Utility without the CD now that you've gone through once using the CD. I know, I'd be much less interested in repairing permissions if I had to restart from my CD every time.
     
  17. zvitali thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2003
    #17
    Oh yes, now I can do it without CD. Normal way works fine.

    I am still trying to decide whether to switch to Mac completely for my work (I am soon to be an assistant professor). I am planning to buy a Mac desktop for home as I am sure it will make a very nice tool to keep my pictures, music, etc. However, with work I have to be careful. That's why I bought a powerbook and planning to use it along with my Vaio to see if I can completely switch. For the moment, the most important gripe is the absence of a very good latex front-end (like WinEdt). I tried both TexShop and iMacTex. The latter is painfully slow when typing. The first one is OK, but still slower than WinEdt, does contain a table of symbols. I cannot turn live spelling as I am not a native speaker and constant feedback is very important to me. Another thing is that pdflatex on Mac is about 3 times slower than on PC (then compare TiBook 867 and Vaio P3 1.13.

    But on the brighter sight, I actually like Powerpoint on Mac more than on PC. A much cleaner interface. Entourage with Exchange support is a big plus too. ProjectBuilder seems to be similar to VisualC and is easy to use. Anyway, I will have time to decide still.
     
  18. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #18
    Glad to hear permission repair works now.

    If you haven't already, take a look here for some TeX-related info.
     
  19. andyduncan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    #19
    Those are two different types of permissions. Keychain is an encrypted repository for passwords/notes and an API that lets apps access it.

    Unix file permissions are what are fixed by Disk Utility, and they have nothing to do with keychains, they are a file-system-level method of assigning read/write/execute permissions to users and groups.

    edit: semantics
     

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