5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2012 4:13 PM by Barney-15E
scsiboy71 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

We have two newer iMacs that came with 10.7 preinstalled.  A consultant used the Migration Utility to transfer settings and applications from iMacs running 10.5, and the users are having permission problems with folders and documents.


I have run the Repair Permissions utility, ACL reset on the home folder, and ACL repair using a 3rd party utility, and have resolved some of the issues.  However, in looking at the HD and contained folder/files permissions, I noticed that the "System" user is missing from the permissions list.  I've been unable to find any good information about what effect this has on the permissions that are assigned to files and folders, and I'm wondering if there's any way to correct the permissions globally on the machines so that they are returned to the OS defaults (i.e. system = Read & Write ; wheel = Read only ; everyone = Read only).


Any assistance will be appreciated.



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • 1. Re: Migrate utility removed the System user
    chrisgalz Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    You may just want to start fresh and reinstall the system on the computers that are having the problems, but instead of using the built-in Migration Utility, you should just copy the files that you need through Firewire using Target-Disk Mode by holding down T on the computer you want to copy files from while it is plugged into the newer computer with a firewire cable. I usually don't use Migration Utility because it gives me problems, so you should probably just use the built-in Lion recovery partition to reinstall your system, then copy the files you need to it through target disk mode. Here are some links that may help.


    Lion Recovery: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718


    Target-Disk Mode: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661

  • 2. Re: Migrate utility removed the System user
    scsiboy71 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much for your take on this; I've never put much stock in "migration" applications, and thankfully I'm not the one who attempted to use one in this case.


    So is it the case that there is no way (even in Terminal) to "baseline" the permissions on a drive?  I'm sure the users would very much prefer that the machines don't have to be reset since they are used in a production environment.



  • 3. Re: Migrate utility removed the System user
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    There isn't a user or group called "System"

    The Finder disguises the root user as System when it displays the permissions in Get Info.


    For system files, what does it say where System used to be?

    If it says "fetching…" there are likely ACLs still where they shouldn't be.


    Did the consultant actually transfer the accounts over directly, or did the consultant migrate the stuff to a different user, then copy it into each user's home folders?

  • 4. Re: Migrate utility removed the System user
    scsiboy71 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There is a user called "fetching" in the permissions list, but I'm not sure which method was used to perform the migration.  Is there any way to reset the invalid ACLs on a system-wide basis; I did run the startup utility to reset the user's home folder, but I presume that wouldn't cover the entire drive.


    I think that the "fetching" user may have been deleted on at least one of the machines.  Not to add another layer of mess onto this, but is there any way to deal with it under those circumstances?

  • 5. Re: Migrate utility removed the System user
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    "fetching" is also not a user. It is a message telling you the Finder is trying to figure out the permissions. It genrerally can't.


    I'm not sure what to use. I couldn't find anything from a source I trust.

    I do know that


    sudo chmod -RN /


    will remove all the ACLs on the entire drive. Might take a while. Then you could try repairing permissions which will hopefully replace the necessary ones, and then do the repair on each home user, but I think reinstalling Lion over the top of everything will be easier.


    If the machines are all the same, download the installer on one, then put it on an external to copy to each of the ones that need fixing.