Restoring my Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Joel95, May 28, 2011.

  1. Joel95 macrumors member

    May 28, 2011
    A few weeks ago, my friend changed permissions of my HDD, and made the changes to apply for all enclosed items. I cancelled it by relaunching finder mid-task and since then I've been getting "system extension cannot be used". There were so many of these i had to hold the return key for at least a minute to okay all of the notices. I think all of the system extensions cannot be used.
    Just an hour ago my mac was unusually slow so i restarted it. I cannot boot, it shows the crossed circle sign while booting. It stays in "waiting for root device" indefinitely.

    So my question is- is restoring my mac my only option?

    I can buy an install disc and external DVD drive to restore it, but I would prefer a fix.

    I haven't backed up to my time machine since I started getting the errors fearing that I might be backing up corrupt system files so I'd be losing a lot of data. I don't have permission to manually back things up into my external HDD since i'm in safe mode.

    (For those who are wondering why I didn't restore when I started having problems because Time Machine restore requires booting into the install disc, which I don't have, and my superdrive is broken too.

  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    You could try repairing permissions in single user mode.

    At the prompt type:

    diskutil repairPermissions /
  3. Joel95 thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2011

    Thanks for the reply but I wasn't able to type anything in single user mode.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I think you're going to need to buy both an install disk and external DVD. Repairing permissions takes time and is your only hope to get it back.

    I hate it that it is so easy to run amuck with command line and change permissions willy-nilly. I remember when I was working and we would get new employees, fresh out of college with comp sci degrees, and they would get themselves into an awful mess by changing permissions without understanding what they were doing.
  5. Joel95 thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2011
    Ok, I'll do that. Thanks for the help
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    If you can afford it, buy an external HDD (Firewire or USB), and you could install OSX on the external and recover files from your internal HDD and then re-install on your internal HDD and move the recovered files back from external HDD to internal HDD. Then wipe the external HDD and use it for time machine or a clone drive via SuperDuper or CCC.
  7. islandit macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2011
    saw a fix for this in the past

    It's looking for an optical drive

    I can't recall where I read the fix for this, but you can repair it without losing anything. It's not permission settings.
    Not trying to divert anyone from this forum, but forum deals a lot with boot error. Just trying to help
  8. doctor-don macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2008
    Georgia USA
    What computer are you using, and what is the OS?

    If you start your computer while holding down the option key, you should be able to get to the point where you can select the boot drive you want.

    Or select System Preferences > Startup Disk and select your hard drive. I cloned an external drive just for such an instance. It's not really difficult. I used Disk Utility and selected Restore after I formatted the drive. I can now boot from my main hard drive or the external. Also, I have been keeping up with Time Machine backups, but they would be useless if the computer won't boot. The primary reason for that happening would be failure of the main hard drive.

    Have you tried to use Disk Utility to repair permissions and / or to assess the state of the disk drive (Verify Disk)?

    Another poster suggested your problem might be that it is searching for an optical disk, but since your superdrive is broken, you might have to buy an external drive. It will have to be formatted, so you would have problems if you are unable to boot your computer - unless the external drive will allow you to boot a new OS X disk.

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