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10.4.9 Update released. Remember: Repair permissions before you update!!!

14630 Views 98 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2007 7:20 AM by Alexander Santos RSS
  • GW Schreyer Level 4 Level 4 (2,985 points)
    Perhaps the most 2nd most important thing (after a backup which is #1) to do is to verify, and repair if necessary, the director structure. This where I have had problems in the past.

    Most of the problems that people have with unbootable ugrades PROBABLY resulted from a corrupted directory before they did the upgrade.

    The Intel iMac booted twice, it was a surprise. The PB G4 did not boot twice, neither did a G3 iBook.

    - gws
    iMac Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.8), 20"
  • lkrupp Level 4 Level 4 (3,085 points)
    "Is Bruno's Bakery still around in Collinsville?"

    Long gone. Building is vacant now but was a TV repair shop for a number of years. The new reigning king is Kruta's Bakery and THE place to obtain one's favorite pastries. People come from all around Madison and St. Clair counties.

    And now back to our regularly scheduled program...
    Dual 2.5GHz G5 Power Macintosh, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • SDIllini Level 6 Level 6 (16,670 points)
    Thanks, lkrupp!

    :)Sue
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz 20FP & (2)iMac G4 800MHz 17FP, Mac OS X (10.3.9), OS X 10.4.8 / iLife 4,5,6 Superdrives & 1 G RAM / QT6 pro
  • John Wallace3 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Would it create a problem to skip 10.4.9? I recently have gone through a ton of issues with my home network (security update issues, key chain issues, modem dieing). I need a break from fixing things.

    So, if I stay on 10.4.8 on my two Macs, will I run into issues to simply upgrade to 10.5.x when I'm ready?
    PowerBook 12 + MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.8), Airport Extreme BS + 2 Airport Expresses
  • RickV Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    It shouldn't be a problem.
    First time buyers of an OS X release don't need it

    Rick
    iMac G4 17, Mac OS X (10.4.9), iMac 17" G4 External LaCie 160GB
  • Rodney Parker Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    It really is a good idea to repair permissions before major updates. I had no problems even with my slow/outdated dual processors. Software update AFTER disk utility repair is the way to go......



    Power G4 DP 450   Mac OS X (10.4.9)   15 G/30 G hardrives, 2 second generation iPods,
  • Alexander Santos Calculating status...
    Maybe arrogance beyond belief; however, one thing is clear. Apple does not advise on repairing permissions before or after an update so your note on this bogus.

    I challenge you to clearly quote where Apple recommends doing this relative to a system update. Apple does not even post this on their updaters, via the standalone updater nor the one via system update software.

    The only thing this article http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25751 mentions is the fact that disk utility gets updated along with the updates installed to reflect any security issues and that it doesn't repair permissions to files installed outside of Apple's updates or those files which have missing receipts.

    Personally I see this as an issue Apple will have to contend with. There was a similar fiasco around the product revision update cycle for 10.3.x.

    My main point is this. Some of the more adept users on this forum do like to refer to docs on the Apple site pointing to do's and don'ts. Point is those docs files contain in depth information about some of the innards of various processes and products but from a user standpoint, if any actions are necessitated they must be in the read me part of the update. People can't expect to just know they have to repair permissions before and after but like I said, no where in that article, http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25751 is this mentioned.

    Apple is quite thorough about what they do, we all know this but they do mess up on occasion and obviously from the number of posts made relative to this particular Tiger update, 10.4.9, something has gone array and Apple obviously has to respond in some form or fashion. Be it at the Apple store, or another software update or what have you. I'm sure a lot of customers will be taking their macs to the Apple Store and some of them are pretty upset because from what I read, it looks like some people have lost data in some cases. I know my friend on a mac mini intel has.
    Intel iMac, iBook 800, Newton 2100, iPod 30GB, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • GW Schreyer Level 4 Level 4 (2,985 points)
    I tend to agree with Alex. Nowhere does Apple mention that a permissions repair is necessary. Besides, the installer has root priviliges so it doesn't matter to it WHAT permissions are set.

    A corrupt directory can mess up an install big time. There was also a blog post recently that described a "bug" in the installer where a system install may be corrupted if certain thing happened to the "optimization" or prebining portion of the install. Mac users might want to read this. It may or may not be accurate, but it couldn't hurt.

    http://www.unsanity.org/archives/macos_x/shock_andawe.php

    Also, DaringFireball also had these recommendations. They sound measured and reasonable.

    http://daringfireball.net/2004/12/software_update

    - gws
    iMac Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.8), 20"
  • Alexander Santos Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
    Until there is evidence suggesting that repairing permissions before and after an update buffers any maladjustments to the OS I remain a skeptic.

    There reason for my skepticism is as follows.

    Computer science is a science not magic, so reason is the prevailing winner.

    If you have solid evidence proving that repairing permissions before and after an update or any installation for that matter yields positive results then please forward the link here for all to see.

    Until there is evidence, I won't believe it and therefore would say it's untrue.

    Since Jaguar I have never repaired permissions before and after an update. I have had only one issue but it was a wide spread issue, specifically a 10.3.x update, whose specific version number slips my mind, if I'm not mistaken, it was one of the later dot x updates - 10.3.7 or later.

    Now it looks as though something new has come up with 10.4.9.

    In any case. Permissions repair is not the reason behind this. If someone can clearly prove that permissions repair is beneficial to the pre and post update process I, as many others would, be happy to have the led shed upon us.
    Intel iMac, iBook 800, Newton 2100, iPod 30GB, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (43,485 points)
    It never ceases amuses me to see that it is always the users with the problems who (a) refuse to believe that it can be the fault of their own mishandling of their computers, and (b) accuse the very experts they are consulting of being the ignorant ones!

    I challenge you to clearly quote where Apple recommends doing this relative to a system update.

    Please read on:

    What are permissions?

    Every file and folder on a Mac OS X hard drive has a set of permissions—settings that determine which user(s) have access to each item, and exactly what that access is. For example, permissions dictate whether or not a particular user can open and edit a particular file. But permissions also determine which items the operating system—or specific parts of it—can access and modify, and which files are accessible by applications.
    What does repairing permissions do?

    The Repair Disk Permissions function—the process that actually performs the task of repairing permissions—examines certain files and folders on your Mac’s hard drive to see if their current permissions settings are what Mac OS X expects them to be; if discrepancies are found, the offending permissions are changed to match the expected settings.
    (In Mac OS X 10.3 and later, repairing permissions also performs one other, unrelated, task: If the invisible /tmp symbolic link—which is linked to the /private/tmp directory—is missing, the link will be recreated.)
    Why is it necessary to repair permissions?

    If permissions on particular files are “incorrect”—i.e., not what Mac OS X expects them to be or not what they need to be for your Mac’s normal operation—you can experience problems when the operating system tries to access or modify those files. For example, you may have trouble logging in to your account, printing, launching applications, or even starting up your Mac. Similarly, if an application—from Apple or a third-party developer—needs access to a particular file or folder to function, and the permissions on that item have changed in a way that prevents such access, the application may not function properly (or at all). The Repair Disk Permissions function can fix such problems by ensuring that certain files have the correct permissions.
    There’s also a security element here: Many system-level files have permissions set a particular way so that applications or users that shouldn’t be meddling with those files can’t. If the permissions on certain system-level files somehow get changed so that access to those files is no longer restricted, you’ve got the potential for a major security issue. Repairing permissions can resolve such issues by resetting permissions on those files to prevent unauthorized access.

    How do I repair permissions?

    The Repair Disk Permissions function is part of Apple’s Disk Utility (in /Applications/Utilities). After launching Disk Utility, select the desired disk—generally your startup disk—in the list to the left, then click the First Aid tab. At the bottom of the First Aid panel, click the Repair Disk Permissions button. (You could instead use the Verify Disk Permissions option to preview any potential repairs before performing them, but for most users there’s little benefit from this extra step.)
    Permissions can also be repaired via the shell (Terminal) by using the command sudo diskutil repairPermissions /. However, it’s unlikely that the typical user will ever need to perform the task in this manner. It’s useful if for some reason Disk Utility itself won’t launch, or for repairing permissions on a remote Mac when connected via Remote Login (SSH), but otherwise you’re just as well served using Disk Utility.
    How does the Repair Disk Permissions function know what the “correct” permissions are?

    When you use Apple’s Installer utility to install software (such as Mac OS X itself or an OS X update), the installation package (the .pkg file you double-click to begin installation, or that Software Update downloads in the background for an automatic installation) generally leaves behind a receipt—a smaller Mac OS X package that includes information about every file installed, including the permissions each file should have. This receipt is placed in /Library/Receipts. When you run the Repair Disk Permissions function, it examines the receipts in the /Library/Receipts directory of the disk being repaired—which means the feature works only on volumes with Mac OS X installed—and compares the information in the receipt with the actual files on your drive. If the Repair Disk Permissions function finds a file with permissions that differ from what a receipt claims they should be, that file’s permissions are reset to their receipt-specified values. (If you’re curious about the information contained in a receipt, the easiest way to view it is to use the utility Pacifist; simply drag and drop the appropriate receipt into the Pacifist window and you’ll be presented with a list of all files installed by the similarly-named installation package, along with each file’s original permissions.)
    It’s worth noting here that although the function is called “Repair Disk Permissions,” what is actually happening is that files’ permissions are being reset or restored to a particular state. It’s possible—though not common—for a particular file’s permissions to differ from what a receipt claims they should be without those permissions actually being “broken.”
    Are all files affected by Repair Disk Permissions?

    No. As you may have inferred from the above description, only those files installed using OS X’s Installer utility and whose installation packages leave behind a proper receipt in /Library/Receipts are affected by the Repair Disk Permissions function. This means that most of the files affected by the Repair Disk Permissions function are system-level files, application files, or system add-ons—not applications installed by drag-and-drop, and not your documents or other user-level files.

    If repairing permissions is useful in general, why doesn’t Apple recommend it as routine maintenance?
    Apple does, quite explicitly:

    It’s a good idea to repair disk permissions as a regular maintenance task after upgrading or installing new software.

    That’s taken from Mac Help—in both Panther and Tiger—right on your Mac. Similar statements can be found in other Support articles.

    Needless to say Apple are hopelessly wrong and should have consulted you before daring to write their own help menus.
    20" 2.1GHz iSight iMac G5, 250GB HD, 1.5GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.9), iLife 6.0.3, Toast 7.1.2, iTunes 7.1.1, QTPro 7.1.5
  • RickV Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    If repairing permissions is useful in general, why
    doesn’t Apple recommend it as routine
    maintenance?

    Apple does, quite explicitly:

    It’s a good idea to repair disk permissions as a
    regular maintenance task after upgrading or
    installing new software.


    That’s taken from Mac Help—in both Panther and
    Tiger—right on your Mac. Similar statements can be
    found in other Support articles.

    Actually that's taken from the article referenced by Gulliver which is a troubleshooting article for 10.3. The document on 10.4 which you pasted from above doesn't mention it as a routine maintenance function nor can I find such a blanket recommendation in the 10.4 help docs. It hardly matters though. I doubt repairing permissions would have saved some peope from all the grief they have been experiencing most recently.
    But if you aren't experiencing problems and you run the repair and some permissions are repaired, the more pressing issue is why were permissions changed to begin with? After third-party installs that use the installer I always run verify permissions, simply because I need to ask myself, Do I really want those permissions changed? And why did this install change them?

    It's a security thing.

    Rick
    iMac G4 17, Mac OS X (10.4.9), iMac 17" G4 External LaCie 160GB
  • RickV Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    And I forgot to ask:

    The security update was supposed to upate /usr/bin/tar from version 1.14 to 1.16.1 but on my machine it is still 1.14. Anybody else have this happen?

    R
    iMac G4 17, Mac OS X (10.4.9), iMac 17" G4 External LaCie 160GB
  • David Gimeno Gost Level 7 Level 7 (20,770 points)
    Klaus,

    You appear to be confusing level of expertise with points. There is no way a “very expert” would say that not having repaired permissions before installing a system update is the most likely reason a system update failed, ignoring other much more likely, dangerous and documented causes of that kind of problems:

    Troubleshooting installation and software updates

    Where exactly in Mac Help have you found the information you posted? Could you please provide a link or the title of those articles?

    Where exactly is it documented that repairing permissions before installing a system update could have a bearing on the ability of the installer to do its job? There are certainly reasons why repairing permissions can be useful for solving certain problems, namely that if a file has wrong permissions, a process may be unable to access it. The thing is, the installer runs with administrative privileges and AFAIK doesn’t care what the permissions of the files currently there actually are.

    And just to be clear, it’s not repairing permissions as part of regular maintenance tasks, be it after installing a system update or not, that I’m saying is wrong or useless. What’s wrong is telling people that they should follow some kind of magic ritual when installing system updates, ignoring other much more likely and dangerous possibilities and making it much harder for everyone to be able to determine what the real causes of the problems could be and what it really is that users should do to avoid these problems every time Apple releases a system update.
    iMac G5 17" (iSight), Mac OS X (10.4.9)
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