deleted etc file, can't boot, help pls

Discussion in 'iMac' started by suegannett, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. suegannett macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    #1
    hi all! you won't believe I've been using a mac for close to 20 yrs now and just did the stupidest thing to date, ugh. I bought an imac on ebay and started to clean etc and deleted a file I had never seen before named etc. when i rebooted i get black screen with error etc/master/.psswd no such file or directory. ---- i have read many previous posts and spent the last 3 hrs going thru the steps that worked for others but no luck; things I've tried 1) boot from osX 10.4.11 CD - doesn't work (can't boot from any orig install disks that do work on my other macs. tried a bunch of unix commands but keep getting file does not exist. My files are in the trash, I did not empty trash.
    Appreciate any help or ideas from my fellow mac lovers. thanks so much, Sue :)
     
  2. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #2
    Do you have access to another Mac? and what are the specifications of the Mac in question? The good news is you didn't empty the trash so restoring the directory too the original location should work.
     
  3. Cafeo31 macrumors newbie

    Cafeo31

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #3
    Clear it and reinstall the OS

    If you boot it you get a grey screen. At that point press "command + R" with sends you to recovery mode. You then can wipe the HDD then reinstall OSX nice and clean. Since you got it used I'm guessing there are no important files to you... right?
     
  4. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #4
    My guess is as the OP Mentions 10.4 this iMac does not have a recovery partition.
     
  5. suegannett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    #5
    more info to try to solve the ETC deletion, ugh

    thks for the replies...more info....I can't boot into anything other than a black screen with text lines saying that "etc/master.psswd" cannot be found; tried to boot in safe mode, failed; tried to boot from install CD using holding down C, failed; cannot get any desktop to be able to get ETC files from trash and copy back to Mac HD; appreciate all your continued help; i will close for now to sleep for a bit, but will be back in a few hours to hopefully try out your suggestions...
     
  6. Kyle-K, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  7. Cafeo31 macrumors newbie

    Cafeo31

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #7
    Did they have a firmware password...maybe?

    That would stop you from being able to make any changes in bootup. So if the OS won't start and you can't access that you might be screwed.
     
  8. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #8
    You can't boot because you deleted key system files.

    Deleting /etc/ on a Unix system is like deleting system32 on a Windows box - you have made the system unbootable and you are unlikely to be able to recover it.

    /etc/ contains the user account passwords and other things that the system needs to work.

    Your only chance of salvaging this without reinstalling is to mount the drive remotely using another system and move the folder back, but I still don't know how successful this will be since the files in that folder tend to have particular permissions and ownership and moving them around might mess with that.

    Alternatively you might be able to reinstall OS X without deleting anything if you can find the correct version of the installer for that model of iMac.
     
  9. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #9
    what model of imac is it?
    If it is recent, booting in command+R should work. From there, you should be able to reinstall.
     
  10. pcd109 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    #10
    check few things

    Hi Sue,
    Check few things. First, check your operating system boot CD. If you boot with holding 'C' pressed you should enter cd BEFORE system from the hard loads up. So if you don't see the install welcomme screen, means that your cd is not working(or is the wrong boot cd for your mac). To be sure, try this: insert the boot CD then turn off your imac; restart it and quickly press and hold 'option' key(alt on windows keyboards). You will boot into boot loader options screen, where are listed all the bootable hard disks and cd's/dvd's. If you don't see your OS cd at this stage it means that you simply need other CD. Check with Apple/google to see what cd you need for your mac and problem solved. If you are lucky and it is listed(it will have icon and text) just press it(click on it) and it will boot from it. From there you will be able to re-install.
     
  11. suegannett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    #11
    Apple iMac 17" inch Intel Core 2 Duo Airport WiFi Mac OS X 10.4.11 is the one with the problem; the 2nd one I have access to is an older eMac G4 1.42 ghz if that helps
     
  12. suegannett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    #12
    trying one of your suggestions

    just ordered Apple iMac Intel Core 2 Duo OS X Tiger 10.4.10 (Full Install) discs; got for $20 sealed originals on ebay; will try to boot with option key or C key once I receive them; I'll post if it works or not; fingers crossed and thanks to all who offered their expertise; appreciate the help!! -- Sue
     
  13. Dreadnought, Aug 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014

    Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #13
    Did you have Mavericks on your iMac? If so, the old boot cd/dvd's aren't going to work. It's all about internet recovery through Apple's servers. So make sure you have an internet connection and startup with command-r as a previous poster stated. You can then run a couple of programs that hopefully fix your mac.

    Edit - sorry, just saw you're still on 10.4, the original install discs of your mac should still work, although this is sometimes a real hassle... Good luck!
     
  14. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #14
    Does anyone actually read anymore? The OP has stated which machine and which OS

    Dread, you are completely wrong about the original disks not working. They will always work with the machine they shipped. Stop spreading FUD.

    OP, you will need the specific original "Grey" system disks that shipped with the machine in question. You will then need to boot from DVD1.

    Then go through Disk Utility from the install DVD, erase the drive and start from scratch.

    If you do not have these, you could always try calling Apple, they will ship you a copy of the DVD's, there may be a small charge plus shipping.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California

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