Can't reboot after changing permissions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by AbbyK, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. AbbyK macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    I changed some permissions on my mac yesterday, including enclosed items and since am unable to reboot the computer. I know there are similar posts on here but was struggling to find the solution applicable to my case. When I try to start up I get a grey screen with apple and spinning gear.
    From what I've read I'll need to get into single user mode, but what then?
  2. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    You didn't specify what changes were made, but —if you did indeed "Apply to enclosed items..." then —chances are there is no simple fix from single-user mode. BTW, was it permissions that you changed, or ownerships?

    If you can manage to boot from the System DVD, try a permissions repair from there. If that fails to produce a bootable Mac, the likely 'solution' is to reinstall the OS.
  3. AbbyK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    Good news! All sorted, it was permissions I changed. Managed to retrieve data using Target mode and then had to reinstall.

    Thank you!
  4. arustagi macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2011
    no simple fix but hard fix?

    Hi Hal,

    You say no simple fix (I did the same thing, applied to enclosed items) but is there a hard fix? Would reinstalling the OS files preserve precious user data?
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    When I reinstall OS X, I normally pick "archive and install" which preserves user data. I have only done a wipe and install once when dealing with a machine that had been so badly hacked by a user who figured out the admin password I wanted to belt sand everything away and start over from scratch.
  6. reddhandd macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    I think that I may have done this. I was messing with permissions so I could use target mode from my mac to my Ubuntu box. I changed something and then I kept getting a strange error about not reading the file system or something so I restarted. Now it just hangs at the boot page with the apple logo.

    Problem is I don't have an OSX disk. I bought my computer used and it didn't come with one. I do have a time machine back up. I can probably borrow a boot disk from someone.

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