Permissions Changed, can't change 'em back...

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Hi there!

I have been struggling with a few issues the past few days. Please help.

I screwed up my Mac big time with a stupid thing...

On the Get Info tab of my Applications folder I changed the permissions so that I have all the read and write rights of the whole folder. The it somehow changed to Name: system, and the Privilege: Read and Write. I didn't know that I was NEVER supposed to do that until I googled the issue.

I googled a lot, and most of the solutions says that I need my mac DVD. I am currently in North Africa visiting my parents, and my Disks are back home.

I tried many things, but the more I try, the more I seem to mess up my macbook.

I have a macbook white with Mac OS X 10.5.8

Some suggest to go to Terminal, and use chown -R, but as soon as I open Terminal, i get the following:

-------
login: PAM Error (line 400): System error
login: Could not determine audit condition

[Process exited - exit code 1]
-------


I tried many suggestions, namely: "http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=804099&highlight=application+folder+-permissions But I can't use Terminal.


Tried to repair permissions with Disk Utility, but no luck. (since, I don't have my disks with me.)

I went to Single-user Mode and tried several commands, no luck.

Deleted com.apple.terminal.plist no change.

And on top of all this, my Safari does not save History, I can't empty some items in my trash, Can't install any apps, Address book is not working, iTunes crashes whenever I attach my iPod... don't know what else will stop responding...

Please help me.
Thanks!
Christiaan
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,857
7
USA
Can you get back to the Get Info for the Applications folder? Is "everyone" listed as one of the names? If so, you can give it read and write access and that may allow you to fix things.
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Thanks for the reply...

I'm on the Get Info window right now.

On the left hand side under Name are three:

system - Read & Write
admin - Read Only
everyone - Read Only

I can't change it to Read & Write. I can click the two arrows to select, and it gives me the options, but does not pick it...
 

janush

macrumors newbie
Dec 8, 2009
18
0
as long as you have all your important documents backed up (and passwords in keychain) one possible solution might be to create a new user account in system preferences, accounts with full admin preferences. Log in to this account and check everything works okay and then delete your previous user account.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,857
7
USA
I can't change it to Read & Write. I can click the two arrows to select, and it gives me the options, but does not pick it...
You may have tried this, but just in case, there should be a little lock icon at the bottom of that section on the Get Info window. Click it so that the icon changes to the unlocked icon.
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Thank you guys, some good news, but not much...

Can you get back to the Get Info for the Applications folder? Is "everyone" listed as one of the names? If so, you can give it read and write access and that may allow you to fix things.
"Everyone" is listed, but it was read only, and it would not change, even if i press it 20 times... (just out of frustration...sorry) But after some struggles in Single-user Mode It is now "Read & Write" in my Applications folder.


as long as you have all your important documents backed up (and passwords in keychain) one possible solution might be to create a new user account in system preferences, accounts with full admin preferences. Log in to this account and check everything works okay and then delete your previous user account.
Tried this, but even from other accounts, the application folder looks the same. Maybe I don't know how to create an account with it's own applications...


You may have tried this, but just in case, there should be a little lock icon at the bottom of that section on the Get Info window. Click it so that the icon changes to the unlocked icon.
Yes, thanks, i know about the little lock, and i have no problem unlocking the Get Info Boxes.


Another thing, i think i hit the "Apply to all enclosing folders" On my MAC drive. So not just my home folder, but my WHOLE mac... stupid... i know...

Now for some good news. I did something, but i have no idea what... I went into Single-User Mode, tried /sbin/fsck -fy again, and nothing seemed to happen. Long story story short, I got to a place where I could type chmod 777 -R It didn't seem like anything happened, but when I booted back into my profile, I now have the rights to install applications again..

But, there are applications in my trash that I can't delete, due to permission issues. I tried emptying trash while holding Option - but nothing.

My address book still does not open, even after deleting it's .plist, and Terminal also not working. Same error as in the first post.

Thanks guys - any more advice? Questions for more info?
 

aplnub

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2008
123
73
You are stuck in Africa. Create another user account like the person said above. Be sure you give it Admin privileges. Copy over programs and important data.
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
You are stuck in Africa. Create another user account like the person said above. Be sure you give it Admin privileges. Copy over programs and important data.
Thanks, I did this and gave it admin privileges, but it seems like it just takes all my applications and keeps it in the same folder. My address book works in another account, (with no addresses but the default user's) and Terminal also gives me that PAM error.


Are you able to open Disk Utility? And if so, can you use it to repair permissions?
Tried this also again, this is what I get.
----
Disk Utility stopped repairing permissions on “Mac” because the following error was encountered:

The underlying task reported failure on exit.
----

Also tried verifying Disk Permissions

---
Verify permissions for “Mac”
Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit.

Permissions verification complete
---
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Oh my, and Safari is also not keeping history, or keeping any new bookmarks I'm adding.

I love keeping my history, so all the sites I've been google-ing the past few days, looking for solutions, are gone... bummer
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Boot from your install disk and repair permissions.
Thank you, I already know that is a solution, but I am visiting my Parents in North Africa, and my disks are home in South Africa... Bummer, I know. I didn't want to travel with my disks, because I have not made backups of them yet. I did make a full backup just before I left home, so i will be able to restore my system, BUT, that won't be till the beginning of Jan. If I could just get my Terminal to function again, I will be able to repair all the permissions.

Is it possible to use X11 to fix Terminal, or to change my permissions? If yes, what are the commands?
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
9,000
25
Portland, OR
Thank you, I already know that is a solution, but I am visiting my Parents in North Africa, and my disks are home in South Africa... Bummer, I know. I didn't want to travel with my disks, because I have not made backups of them yet. I did make a full backup just before I left home, so i will be able to restore my system, BUT, that won't be till the beginning of Jan. If I could just get my Terminal to function again, I will be able to repair all the permissions.

Is it possible to use X11 to fix Terminal, or to change my permissions? If yes, what are the commands?
you could pirate a copy of OSX from some torrent site and use that disk to fix your permissions.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
9,000
25
Portland, OR
Haha, what? Is there really no other way? Come on... I'm sorry... I'm pretty frustrated at the moment. I've been in front of my computer for two days now... that's not cool... But thanks..
well it's either that or find an OS X disc somewhere. Frankly, I don't think there's anything wrong with downloading software that you already have for one reason or another.

Is there an Apple retail store near you? Or a business that deals with repairing OS X based computers?
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
well it's either that or find an OS X disc somewhere. Frankly, I don't think there's anything wrong with downloading software that you already have for one reason or another.

Is there an Apple retail store near you? Or a business that deals with repairing OS X based computers?
O okay, sounds like a plan. Will see what I can do about an ISO.

Coming to think of it, i believe that one of my dad's friends here might have a Mac... wow.. Now, would it be possible to boot my mac into disk mode, and then hook it up to the other one with Fire Wire, and repair it that way?

Wow, that would be amazing if that could work... then I'm going to bed now, and trying it in the morning... it's already 12:45 here...
 

gortw4j

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
12
0
Centurion, South Africa
Hey Guys,

Thank you so much for all your suggestions and help!

I went over to a friend's house, started my mac in Target Mode, enabled permissions, and then REPAIRED PERMISSIONS!!! YAY!!! I was soo excited to see it happening.. It took abou 4 and a half hours though... Must have messed it up good!

Thanks a million!
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,454
2,415
Sunny, Southern California
I know you were able to fix this.... I had some similier happen to me. I was able to get what I needed done by doing the following in terminal:

sudo chflags 0 /Volumes/Volumename
sudo chown 0:80 /Volumes/Volumename
sudo chmod 775 /Volumes/Volumename
sudo chmod -N /Volumes/Volumename
Glad to see you were able to get it taken care of!
 
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