I have the same issue as the OP. I will be the first to admit that though I am more computer savvy than the average person, I am NOT nearly as advanced as most of the people on here. I have never done a Permissions Repair. My essential question is this: I inserted my Install DVD, booted the computer, and ran Repair Disk Permissions. I do not think it repaired everything, as a few of the lines read "...and will not be repaired." I now want to take the DVD out and boot my computer normally to see if anything has changed - but silly as it is, I'm stuck. I know the wrong button will erase my HD and I really don't want that to happen. So how do I proceed from here?
Here is my detailed story of how I got here in the first place:
I went to use my Macbook (2010 white unibody, running OS 10.6.8) and I noticed I couldn't open anything. I tried to restart, but it wouldn't proceed, so I manually turned off and turned back on my system. I noticed it was a touch slower in the startup, and a blue screen appeared in between the initial white screen and my desktop. I don't recall there being a blue screen ever before, but if there was, it was never long enough to notice it. At my desktop, it took longer than usual to become ready to use. I tried opening Google Chrome first, and nothing happened. I then tried clicking on a few apps in my dock, and none would open except Finder. I closed the Finder window, tried to do a restart again and it still wouldn't power down on its own. I did another manual off/on, and the startup took even longer.
The same situation happened - a blue screen for a few seconds, then my desktop which needed an extra second or two to get functional, but then I'd click ANY app on my dock, and the dock would disappear for a second, then come back. I tried opening Finder, but I got an error message -10810. The error window wouldn't close, and if I tried opening another application, another error message window would open in front of it. The only quasi-functional part of my dock was my Downloads folder. I could open it in the dock but NOT in Finder. I tried opening a photo, but nothing would happen.
My boyfriend, who is in general great with computers, but is not really familiar with Macs, did a bit of research and figures this is an OS issue. My goal now is to not lose all of my data. He suggested booting in Safe Mode, so I did that. I logged in, I still wasn't functional, but I read that sometimes
just logging in with SafeBoot will clear some cache and yuckiness out. So I had to again manually off/on, and there was only two small changes: when I clicked Google Chrome, I got a message that said something along the lines of, "This is the first time you are opening this application.... if you'd like to continue, click open." I clicked open, and the window went away, but Chrome didn't open. The other change was now that when I tried to open Finder, there wasn't a coded' error message, it was simply a window that said something along the lines of "This application is not available." (I feel silly not remembering verbatim the error messages. I'm sort of in a panic about this).
Something worth noting: I am still under AppleCare for another few months and I do have a Genius Bar appointment later today. I just wanted to see if I could take some steps first.
Thanks in advance!!