Permissions errors with external HDD

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by ehmjay, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. ehmjay, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    ehmjay macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Firstly, let me state these are Mac HSF+ Journaled drives NOT NTFS. So *that* is not the issue.

    This morning I booted up VisualDiffer (great app by the way) to do some copies between harddrives and was shocked to discover that when I tried to copy files I got a permissions error "/Volumes/4 TB WD Backup/Music: You don’t have permission to save the file “Music” in the folder “Audio Vault”." Was obviously confused since this had never happened before. Did a get info on the drive and the permissions read:
    System: read & write
    wheel: read & write
    everyone: read only

    Un-locked the little lock and set "everyone" to Read&Write and now I can write to the drive just fine in Finder but not in visual differ.

    This was the same for two completely separate harddrives that I had connected to my system.

    If I do a get info for the folders inside the drive the permissions are as follows:
    username: read & write
    staff: read only
    everyone: read only

    These drives have never given me trouble before (in fact one of them is brand new and just had it's data cloned over from another drive that i'm returning to Amazon today). Opening (different) external drives connected on another mac that work just fine (i'd check these on that computer as well but they're finally copying and I have a rather large transfer going that I don't want to interupt) I notice that the permissions are similar to the folder:
    username: read & write
    staff: read only
    everyone: read only

    Interesting that the drives currently hooked up to THIS mac don't have an entry for the username but only "system". It should perhaps also be noted that both of these drives were hooked up to my Time Capsule (the first drive, the 2TB drive was an expansion drive that got upgraded/replaced with the new 4TB drive). Since I wanted to merge the data I plugged them both into this computer to check everything and this is where my problems began.

    As i mentioned, setting the flag for "everyone" to read and write allowed me to write to the disks but I'm not sure that's a good idea moving forward, especially since it seems that there should be an entry for my username and not system. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    UPDATE: Added wrinkle: one of the drives just gave an I/O error through SMART reporter. This is the older 2TB drive that had been cloned to the newer 4TB drive. Ugh. It's going to be a long night.
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here

    when you do a "get info" on the drive and look at the bottom of the window : is the tick box "ignore ownership on this volume" checked ?
    If not, check it, then try copying a file : it should work.

    Did you try to add yourself by clicking the "+" sign ?

    (note that after having added your username you can also click the gear icon and click "make (Me) the owner". However, checking "ignore ownership on this volume" should fix your problem).
  3. ehmjay thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2006
    This seemingly has fixed the problem (ticking the box) for now.

    I think I'm going to copy this material off to another drive, run drive genius on the old 2TB and re-migrate everything (it was a backup drive and for the most part I still have everything elsewhere).

    Thanks for this tip.

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