/private/var/tmp Gone... How to get it back

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ingenious, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #1
    This is the culmination of a long series of events.

    It all started with not properly uninstalling Microsoft Office 2004 Test Drive before installing Office.

    Then, I started (of course) having problems. If I opened Word first, everything was normal. However, if I clicked on a Word document first without Word being open, a German localized version would open instead.

    I tried to hunt down the Remove Office application, but I had the name wrong and so I didn't find it in my normal Office install. I found it in /private/var/tmp/ "something" / "and then the folder that contained what I took to be the Office Test Drive [German/every other language inside]" I ran it, and it did strange things.

    For one thing, it showed a copy of Office X Test Drive on the computer (there's not one) along with two copies of Office, 2004 and 2004 Test Drive. I clicked Remove and it did its thing, but everything was still there (except for my registered version).

    I, unfortunately in hindsight, since I was having trouble getting this to remove, thought that the folder had been created by Microsoft Office because I had never heard of it. I then proceeded to delete the folder and empty the trash.

    Now, all sorts of weird things are happening.

    The keychain is stored in that folder (no saved passwords, no ability to recreate keychain).

    No Web 2.0 apps.

    No secure connections.

    Weird Word printing errors (click File > Print and Word immediately crashes)

    Microsoft AutoUpdate won't.

    edit: I tried manually updating Office (I reinstalled from the CD) and the installer says Office is not installed.

    Is there anyway to just install the parts I need or should I just Archive and Install?
     
  2. t1937r0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #2
    You could try just recreating the directory and then rebooting your machine.
    Open the terminal, and type the following:

    sudo mkdir -p /private/var/tmp

    It will ask you for your password. Once you type that correctly, then type
    the following command:

    sudo chmod 01777 /private/var/tmp

    This time it won't ask for your password (unless you type too slowly...)

    Reboot the machine and see if things work better.
     
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #3
    As stated above, you should just be able to recreate it making sure the user is root, the group is wheels and the permissions are set to 777.
     
  4. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

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    Jan 13, 2004
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  5. t1937r0 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 5, 2006
    #5
    I would hope that the Apple engineers are smart enough to not put
    anything that important in a more or less standard UNIX temporary
    directory!
     
  6. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
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    #6
    Me, too!
     
  7. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
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    #7
    I just tried recreating the directory, and after a restart, everything's back to normal (except Mail and iChat passwords don't show up in the keychain... in fact, almost nothing's there except for a certificate, but it's working again.).

    Can someone explain this to me?

    Why was this directory so important and why wasn't it "in use by Mac OS X"?

    Why did I need to restart?
     
  8. t1937r0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #8
    Lots of processes running on your computer use files in the /private/var/tmp
    folder. Some of them will fail to start if that folder does not exist. You
    needed to reboot to make sure that all of those processes got a chance to
    start up correctly. Most (hopefully all) of the files found in that folder are
    of a completely temporary nature. In fact, a lot of UNIX based OSes clean
    out their temporary directories (such as /private/var/tmp, /var/tmp, /tmp,
    /opt/tmp) as one of the first things that happens when the machine is
    restarted.

    Files can be removed in UNIX even when they are in use under certain
    circumstances. Any software that has a file open when it is removed will,
    in general, continue to function properly. At least until it closes the file and
    then tries to re-open it for reading.
     
  9. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #9
    Hey, thanks for the explanation!

    edit: so would the folder and everything else have come back on their own if the computer had just been restarted?
     
  10. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #10
    OK, I'm still having problems.

    The keychain will still NOT remember any passwords, and it's causing problems (Mail won't send [doesn't always ask for passwords], iChat needs to have its password everytime...)

    Help, again?
     
  11. t1937r0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    #11
    Probably not. The system assumes the /private/var/tmp folder exists, and that it has the correct permissions. Why shouldn't it? :eek:

    At this point I'm not sure why there are still problems with your keychain. As I said, I'm pretty surprised that the removal of /private/var/tmp should have had such an effect. Is it possible that your keychain file, which generally lives in /users/USERNAME/Library/Keychains/login.keychain has been damaged, deleted, or had its permissions changed?

    Navigate to it and double click on that file to see if keychain access can open it. If not, hopefully it will give you some error message that points you in the right direction to a fix.
     
  12. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #12
    Okay, I found the file and it opened okay, but it looked exactly the same as before (as it should have I guess, but all of the same stuff was missing).

    Can I just scrap my keychain and start over?
     
  13. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #13
    [Mod, can you please move this to the pre-Leopard troubleshooting forum?]

    Okay, sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but it was the easiest way for everyone to know what was going on.

    Anyway, the problem never completely went away; I still had issues with passwords being remembered and things like that.

    It was tolerable in hopes that someday I'd get it fixed, until today.

    Today I tried to install Leopard, and it won't install because of this problem (I think.) It says it must wipe the drive because it can't write to it... and Disk Utility on the Leopard DVD says the HD needs repair. I repaired both the drive and its permissions with the Tiger DVD (Leopard DVD wouldn't do it) and it said the drive didn't need repair, but it fixed a myriad of permissions issues.

    I honestly cannot afford to wipe this drive, and the only external drive I have is a 250GB USB drive formatted in FAT32.

    Is there someway to migrate the account and network settings (etc.) to an external volume for use with Migration Assistant after Leopard wipes the drive?
     

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