Permissions need constant repair

jpine

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 15, 2007
383
69
My hard drive permissions needs repairing every couple of days and there is usually a big long list of items that were repaired when the process is completed. Is there something wrong with my HD? There's too much valuable stuff to risk a failure, even though I do backups. I just don''t need the headache.

Oh, I'm running Lion.
 
Last edited:

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
Is there anything that is broken or you can't do because of permissions? If not don't worry about it. I have had some Java prefs output busted for years. No issues. You can usually safely ignore repetitive output if there is no residual issue.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
759
My hard drive permissions needs repairing every couple of days and there is usually a big long list of items that were repaired when the process is completed. Is there something wrong with my HD? There's too much valuable stuff to risk a failure, even though I do backups. I just don''t need the headache.

Oh, I'm running Lion.
If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.

Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.

Disk Utility repairs the permissions for files installed by the Mac OS X Installer, Software Update, or an Apple software installer. It doesn’t repair permissions for your documents, your home folder, and third-party applications.

You can verify or repair permissions only on a disk with Mac OS X installed.
Does Disk Utility check permissions on all files?

Files that aren't installed as part of an Apple-originated installer package are not listed in a receipt and therefore are not checked. For example, if you install an application using a non-Apple installer application, or by copying it from a disk image, network volume, or other disk instead of installing it via Installer, a receipt file isn't created. This is expected. Some applications are designed to be installed in one of those ways.

Also, certain files whose permissions can be changed during normal usage without affecting their function are intentionally not checked.
There are times when repairing permissions is appropriate. To do so, here are the instructions:
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,490
1,474
I have had some Java prefs output busted for years. No issues. .
The preferences aren't busted as much as the preference checker is busted. Unless there has been a recent fix a large bulk of the "issues" are because the system has problems recognizing symlinks to files are effectively OK.

Really any difference in the file metadata can set it off as a "permission" problem. What is defective is that the checking isn't really a "metadata checker" , it is something less than it should be so it spits out lots of false positives.

It is usually a good idea to run the "repair" after some Application install that may mess things up. Usually those are the ones that ask for an "administrator's password" when doing the install. It also a good sanity check to run it consistancy before (or after ) an OS update. Otherwise, there is no really good reason to run it periodically.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
"busted output" was my definition of false positive. Being that the output is not really valid.
 

jpine

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 15, 2007
383
69
"busted output" was my definition of false positive. Being that the output is not really valid.
I'll take a false positive over a false negative any day.

Thanks everyone! I'll keep a eye on it but not stress every time Drive Genius yellow flags my drive.