4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2010 3:33 AM by Neville Hillyer
Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4
After hitting the much documented mDNSResponder not found loop on my Intel Xserve yesterday I decided to reformat the disk and reinstall from DVD. I had it working for an hour until the problem returned.

I now have an unusable Xserve. There is some circumstantial evidence that mDNSResponder cannot be found after a permissions repair.

Can anybody shed any light on this?

Is there a permanent fix which will survive a permissions repair?

Xserve and two 733 MHz G4s with Leopard !, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4
    I was mistaken - it was not a permissions repair issue.

    As far as I can tell (I will test further) it was caused by sharing the boot volume via Server Admin and then removing read access for 'everyone' (within Server Admin). In my opinion this is a serious bug - Server Admin settings should never be able to inhibit booting - preferably file sharing controlled by Server Admin should be totally independent of any local conventional OS X file sharing, or is this too much to expect?

    Others finding this may be interested in my investigations and solution below:

    OS X will not boot if the boot volume lacks read access for 'everyone'.

    My investigations show that this can be caused by:

    Tiger - Terminal (sudo chmod 770 /) - G4 with OS X 10.4.11

    Leopard - Terminal (sudo chmod 770 /) and Finder Get Info - G4 with OS X 10.5.8

    Snow Leopard Server - Disabling 'everyone' access to boot volume in Server Admin (bug?) - Xserve with OS X Server 10.6.2

    Symptoms: Boot failure with indefinite (sometimes intermittent) spinning gear. This step is unnecessary but it provides another symptom of this issue - boot in Verbose Mode (cmd v at start-up) and look for the following repeated every few seconds; 'posix_spawnp("/usr/bin/mDNSResponder", ...): No such file or directory'.

    To confirm that the cause is incorrect boot volume permissions start in Single User Mode (cmd s at start-up). Wait until all activity subsides and type:

    ls -ld /

    followed by the return key.

    Correct permissions are: drwxrwxr-t

    The eighth character is critical. If it is not an r you can correct it as follows:


    /sbin/mount -uw /

    followed by the return key.


    chmod 1775 /

    followed by the return key.



    followed by the return key.

    Hopefully your Mac will now be OK and booting correctly.
  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4

    I can now confirm that OS X 10.6.2 Server will fail to boot if boot volume permissions for others/everyone are set to no access via Finder Get Info, terminal or Server Admin as per the following.

    Server Admin

  • Eloy Level 1 Level 1
    You just saved me!!!

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4
    I can confirm that I did report this to Apple as an OS X Server bug.

    Although my initial search failed to find it they have said that it is a duplicate of another bug report which they are working on.