Messed up hidden file permissions = no finder

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MonkeyMike, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. MonkeyMike macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2004

    I am using a g5 1.8ghz, 10.2.8 (I think).
    Today I am pretty sure I stupidly changed the file permissions for the hidden folders usr/bin and usr/lib. I then, also stupidly, rebooted. This left me with the machine starting up and going through the process bar, and when the finder and dock are meant to appear nothing happens. I am left with a blue screen and mouse icon.
    I've been to Apple's page on Your Mac won't start up in Mac OS X and gone through the steps to try and get it running again. The same thing happens in safe mode, and running fsck from Single User mode comes up with an error mentiong B-Tree (I think, sorry I should have written it down).
    I've atttemped a re-install from the OS X cd's but there was no volume to select to install it to.
    Looking around on this forum I've found out thay verify/repair disc and disc permissions are accesible from the menu in the installer. I have no got access to the machine at the moment but I plan on trying these two out tommorrow. I am hoping that anyone here can help me, whether they have any other suggestions or know if what I am planning to try tommorrow may set things right. I'd rather not format and start over (if even that is possible) but if it has to be...
    Thanks for reading this and any help you may be able to offer me.

    (yes, I do very stupid things with computers)
  2. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Once I did something stupid when attempting to fix the permission on the .DS_Store files on my computer. I thought there was a space between a slash and a dot (/.), and including that space when typing the command into the terminal effectively made it so I had permission for nothing on my computer, and it could no longer open the finder or anything else.

    Anyways, the way to fix the problem is as you described. Boot from the OS X install CD, and select disk utility from the installer menu to the right of the apple menu in the menu bar. Then run repair permissions. That should fix your problem. In my case, it corrected the permissions on 1 (yes, that's right one file) to get things working again. Permissions can be a very dangerous thing to mess with if you don't know what you are doing.
  3. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Here's a suggestion that may save you the trouble of booting from the install CD to fix permissions. You talked about when the Finder and Dock appear... presumably that means you can get to the login screen when it boots up (assuming it's not set to automatically login)? If so, follow these steps:

    1. Press the down arrow key to highlight a user icon.
    2. Press Option-Enter. You'll now get a plain login dialog asking for Name and Password.
    3. Enter ">console" into the Name field (no quotes) and press enter. Now you'll have a text login prompt.
    4. Login with your usual username and password.
    5. Type the command "sudo diskutil repairpermissions /" (again no quotes). You'll be asked for your account password again.
    6. Type "logout" and enjoy. I'm not sure, but you may or may not need to reboot at this point for everything to work properly.

    Alternatively, if you know for sure that the only permissions you touched were /usr/bin and /usr/lib, you can fix it in single user mode:

    1. Restart and hold down Command-S.
    2. At the # prompt, type "chmod 755 /usr/bin /usr/lib" (no quotes, you know the drill).
    3. Type "reboot" and enjoy after the machine comes back up.

    Hope this helps! :)
  4. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    To try and make you feel less stupid, I'll tell you what I did.

    I 'accidentally' (for reasons unknown to me) made the Finder folder hidden to the user. So instead of Finder, it was .Finder, that cause me to loose access to the Finder, and to make things worse, when I typed in the command ''mv -i Finder .Fidner" I misspelled Finder :D so it took me like 2 hours to figure out wtf I did and how to fix it.

    lol, I'm an idiot! :D :cool: :rolleyes:
  5. MonkeyMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2004
    Thanks for all the positive responses and advice. :)
    I'll take your advice bankshot, and fix it in single user mode with the command line you've given me, (automatic login is turned on, so its either this or the install cd).
    I feel slightly less an idiot now, its good to share stories about acts that break a computer by perhaps doing things I shoudn't. :D
    Its been some years since I screwed up a Windows system, and this is the first time with a mac, so its been quite a ride...
    Again, thanks for all the help everyone, this time tommorrow everything should be set right, and I'll never touch invisable files again without first thinking it over. :D

  6. MonkeyMike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2004
    Hi all,

    Just wanted to say is well again. :D
    I tried fixing the permissions through single-user mode but was told the folders could not be modified, but after repairing file permissions with the OS X install disc the g5 came back to life.
    Thanks for all the help,

    MonkeyMike :)

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