I'm being asked for my password too much?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by pianoman1976, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. pianoman1976 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I don't understand why System Prefs asks me for my password to relock after I already entered it seconds earlier to unlock.

    Network prefs is where this happens, and it occurs about half the time.

    I'm hesitant to blindly enter my password whenever I'm prompted when it seems to be out of place like this. I'll enter my password to unlock so that I can make a change. Then when I relock it asks me again. If I do not enter the password, and instead close the password box, the entire Network Prefs window contents disappears leaving a blank box.

    System bug, or malware/intrusion?

    Thanks.
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Might be a permissions issue:

    Repair permissions.
     
  3. pianoman1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #3
    Thanks.

    I did a permissions repair and it hasn't happened upon further tests, yet it didn't happen all the time - so I'll come back if I encounter it again.

    Is there a brief, simplistic way to explain to me how permissions would cause something like this to happen?

    I come from the Windows world. I equate permissions in OS X to group policy in Windows. In Windows, group polices never seemed to get screwed up on their own and result in problems like this. Yet in OS X it has been my experience that permissions problems seem to be at the root of most mishaps we encounter on our Macs.
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    What are permissions?
    Every file and folder on a Mac OS X hard drive has a set of permissions —settings that determine which user(s) have access to each item, and exactly what that access is. For example, permissions dictate whether or not a particular user can open and edit a particular file. But permissions also determine which items the operating system—or specific parts of it—can access and modify, and which files are accessible by applications. (Brian Tanaka offers more details about various types of permissions in this excerpt from his Take Control of Permissions in Mac OS X ebook .)

    What does repairing permissions do?
    The Repair Disk Permissions function—the process that actually performs the task of repairing permissions—examines certain files and folders on your Mac’s hard drive to see if their current permissions settings are what Mac OS X expects them to be; if discrepancies are found, the offending permissions are changed to match the expected settings.

    (In Mac OS X 10.3 and later, repairing permissions also performs one other, unrelated, task: If the invisible /tmp symbolic link—which is linked to the /private/tmp directory—is missing, the link will be recreated.)

    Why is it necessary to repair permissions?
    If permissions on particular files are “incorrect”—i.e., not what Mac OS X expects them to be or not what they need to be for your Mac’s normal operation—you can experience problems when the operating system tries to access or modify those files. For example, you may have trouble logging in to your account, printing, launching applications, or even starting up your Mac. Similarly, if an application—from Apple or a third-party developer—needs access to a particular file or folder to function, and the permissions on that item have changed in a way that prevents such access, the application may not function properly (or at all). The Repair Disk Permissions function can fix such problems by ensuring that certain files have the correct permissions.

    There’s also a security element here: Many system-level files have permissions set a particular way so that applications or users that shouldn’t be meddling with those files can’t. If the permissions on certain system-level files somehow get changed so that access to those files is no longer restricted, you’ve got the potential for a major security issue. Repairing permissions can resolve such issues by resetting permissions on those files to prevent unauthorized access.

    Source: http://www.macworld.com/article/52220/2006/08/repairpermissions.html
     
  5. pianoman1976 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5

    The issue is still persistant, despite a permissions repair.

    I'm mostly interested in learning how this is happening over finding a fix.
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Preferences > Security > General > Require password to unlock each system preference pane

    Try deselecting that.
     

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