Repair Disk Permissions not working?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by QuantumLo0p, May 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    When I use Repair Disk Permissions I suspect it isn't working. In the results window, other than "Repairing permissions for hdd" and "permissions repair complete" there are no other details. Yes I know you might say well perhaps there is nothing to repair but apparently there has been nothing to repair ever since shortly after I installed Lion and about a dozen third party apps which I find completely unusual. I have always had at least a few permission go awry from time to time.

    Just to try another step I booted into Repair Utilities and then Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACL's. That just seemed to hang; not completing even after about an hour. (perhaps DHS, Anonymous or Art Bell is in my machine?!?)

    Any thoughts on what is going on?

    I'm baffled ATM.
  2. macrumors G4

    Jul 17, 2002
    You "suspect" that permissions repair is not working? I suspect that there is no reason to repair permissions on your system. Permissions repair is one of the most used and least needed tasks that novice Mac users do to their machines. They think that these permissions get "broken" and that repairing them will magically fix all problems real and imagined. Permissions don't routinely break and users don't need to routinel repair them.

    It is important to understand what a permissions repair does. Each application's permissions are stored in its .pkg bundle in the /Library/Receipts/ folder. A permissions repair merely ensures that the application's permissions matches those of its receipt. This is a task repeated whenever you update your OS and many applications. There is no magic involved.
  3. macrumors 68030

    Jul 13, 2008
    I agree with MisterMe. You're probably wasting your time. Using Disk Utility to "fix" permissions doesn't necessarily solve your permission issues even if you have them. It cannot tell what you intend with your own files. It's like asking a spell checker if your post makes sense.

    If you are this interested get a book on Unix permissions and start reading up. There will be lots of sections on how to manually change permissions and when to do so. I also think there's a Take Control book on the same issue.

    But if you don't have any specific problems, why mess with it?
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Pertaining to repairs I have heard your sentiments in other forums. Perhaps it's useless these days. The main reason I wanted to try it because ooVoo works for only one of my users but other users, on the same machine, cannot use it; the app just bounces in the dock and never starts up. The other thing I was trying to address is SophosAV keeps unlocking itself which could very well be a glitch rather than a permission issue.

    Permission repair aside, do either of you have experience running the password reset utility, from command+R on boot, which has the ability to reset user folder permissions and ACL's? IMO it has a useful purpose and I'm very interested in using it. However, like I mentioned in my OP when I tried to use it, it appeared to hang and I killed it after an hour.
  5. macrumors G4

    Jul 17, 2002
    Wow! Permissions repair has always been a useless exercise. It did just become useless last month.

    SophosAV? Why?

    I get the feeling that you are here asking for help implementing prescriptions for problems that you don't understand. For example, your ooVoo problem sounds like an improper installation. For a problem like your in the case of a proper installation, the standard strategy for remedying the situation is to remove the associated .plist file from the [user's] ~/Library/Preferences folder to the Desktop. Then relaunch the application.

    It might be useful to explain how and where you installed ooVoo for each user.
  6. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.

    Five Mac maintenance myths
    There are times when repairing permissions is appropriate. To do so, here are the instructions:
    If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
    I recommend that you avoid using Sophos, as it could actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.

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