Critical problem: Boot problems after chown

Discussion in 'macOS' started by normedia, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. normedia macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2009

    I did a chown -R MyUser /Users/MyUser last night after reading some guide on it on the net.

    The command seemed to run smoothly, but I got a few "operation not committed" or allowed or something on that on some files so I chmod them 644.

    The consequences was disaster...! Suddenly letters starting disapearing from the screen and menus. I couldn´t type properly and when booting now, the system can´t load the login screen.

    I am able to boot the DVD and startup terminal via that, but when I try to chown it with the old user it won´t work properly. All I get is:

    "chown: MyUser: Invalid argument"

    I´ve done a cat /etc/passwd, but I can`t find my regular users this way. Apparantly since I am booting from the DVD.

    Safe mode with CMD + S doesn´t work. I presume it needs the login screen also...?

    Best regards,
  2. hailst0rm macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    You can restore default permissions on a user's home folder by using the password reset utility on the OSX install dvd.

    Running repair disk permissions in the disk utility also wouldn't hurt.
  3. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008

    Why on earth would you want to screw with file permissions like that?

    At any rate, you can try using Disk Utility to "repair permissions", but I'm not sure if it'll be able to help you -- it almost certainly won't if you use FileVault.

    It sounds like you made a mistake when trying to set perms on your user directory -- given that it won't load loginwindow correctly, my bet is that you made a typo in one of your commands and borked the permissions on some of the files that OS X needs for correct operation.

    If Disk Utility can't fix it, I'd recommend backing up, formatting, and re-installing.
  4. normedia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2009
    I didnt have a HUGE plan to **** this up, I just wanted to chown it, because I found that in a guide for changing the username of my Leopard-account.

    Anyways, I am in the process of reinstalling everything here with the "Archive and install"-option on the Installation DVD, but then, when all the installation meters are completed, I am getting:

    "Install failed

    Mac OSX could not be be installed on your computer

    The installer could not install some files in "/Volumes/boot disc". Contact the software manufacturer for assistance."

    I am guessing this is chown related. Any tips on just clearing and preparing everything so I can actually do this installtion?

    Clear all users restrictions and make the DVD fix it...? HOPEFULLY this is possible. Would be **** to start all fresh now... 3-4 months of installation and usage.

  5. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    As I said, I'd just format and re-install. I don't know exactly what you did to the file permissions, but if you make a typo and recursively chown'd your root directory you don't have much of a choice other than re-installing.

    This should serve as a lesson in reading the documentation carefully before playing around on the command line. If you had done a bit more research, you'd see that you can change a user's "short username" without doing what you did. As it stands, you're probably looking at a format and re-install.

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