9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2012 7:03 PM by Shootist007
ctlow Level 1 (0 points)

Some of the Lion problems I've been having (on 2 laptops: an older "Pro" and a new "Air"):

          -can't delete some files without password;

          -can't move some files or folders, only copy;

          -opening a program by clicking a data file also opens other data files from previous uses (not necessarily the most recent use);

          -rebooting opens several programs, always the same ones with the same data files (not necessarily from the most recent uses);

          -opening Safari opens several tabs always with the same sites;

          -Safari's History is gone, except for 2011 items, and new items are not being recorded;

          -Keychain issues, often needing repair;

          -MobileMe syncing issues.


Why and how do all of these things happen? How are they related to each other? Why should I have to tinker like this? And what would happen if I weren't geeky? (I've left my iMac on Snow Leopard, which is wonderful.)


Things are coming under control, but I have pulled all sorts of information from a variety of Web sources, none of which I found all in one place; hence this compendium. The exact sequence of what I did is lost, and what factors were the ones which worked I do not know. (Very time-consuming …) Comments welcome!


Should I just have re-installed Lion on the laptops?





A lot of these problems seem related to obscure permissions.


Here is a Terminal command which clears all ACLs, at least in the "Home" folder.


          chmod -R -N ./*


(But it generated this message on the MBPro:

chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file abc.numbers: Operation not permitted

chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file Commands: Invalid argument

chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file Notification: Invalid argument

chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file ubiquity.socket: Invalid argument

chmod: Failed to clear ACL on file Saved Application State: Operation not permitted


… partly perhaps because I had "locked" the abc.numbers file and the Saved Application State folder. I doubt if these things matter.)


Reboot while holding Cmd-R: this is something like "re-install" mode; when it opens, instead of choosing one of the options presented, open Terminal from the Utilities menu, and type "resetpassword". A program opens but don't reset the passwords, but rather reset all of the permissions, including ACLs, using the button at the lower right. Close it, close Terminal, and the reboot normally.



File menu, Empty Cache and Reset Safari


Library (from Home folder, requires special steps to get to it in Lion, e.g. hold the Option key when at the Finder "Go" menu):

          Library/Preferences: moved then later deleted several plist files for offending programs, which I then had to reconfigure (e.g. Safari: reconfigure Toolbar, go through Safari Preferences …) -(they will all reappear instantly in some "default" state) -trying to delete the plist.lockfile as well caused problems - Trash wouldn't "empty" it ("in use"), but doesn't seem to matter.

          Library/Preferences, ByHost: see below

          Library/Saved States: see below



Some users opine to go to ByHost, close all apps, then "lock" (using the "Get Info" feature) the file com.apple.loginwindow{…}.plist. See this "discussion: https://discussions.apple.com/message/17213577#17213577


Saved States:

Some users say to delete "Library/Saved Application State" files (folders) before doing the above (https://discussions.apple.com/message/17499355#17499355 and http://applehelpwriter.com/2011/09/13/turn-off-resume-the-definitive-solution/). Then "lock" the "Saved Application State" folder. There may be some problems getting it to stay locked(?).


But I moved several  of the "Saved Application State" folders and I forget just what, but one computer seemed unhappy afterwards, the other fine. On the unhappy one, I replaced them (but not yet having locked the overall folder), and deleted some of the files inside the individual folders, like com.apple.TextEdit.savedState. (I suspect this paragraph is unimportant, but cannot be sure.)


Sharing: remember that the settings under System Preferences, Sharing, also matter. (So do the settings under "Accounts and Users", Guests.)


The "resume open applications feature" on reboot seems weird. If I say "no", I wonder if it wasn't bringing back all of the programs from some distant previous reboot.


Make sure that under System Preference, General, the option to restore on restart is unchecked.


I have learned that Disk Utility's "Repair Permissions" works for quite specific files and doesn't work for the Home folder.



Make sure that there aren't numerous "Login" items under System Preference, Users/Accounts.


Changing permissions via the "Get Info" windows, and "applying to enclosed folders" can be a bad idea, especially if applied to something like the Home folder. Apparently it propagates ACLs too(?), although not visible there, and the effects can be undesirable.


Some permissions on "Get Info" panes have two "everyone"s, and the one with "Custom" settings can not be changed nor deleted.


Make sure all systems updates have been done (as usual).


MobileMe sync issues are another story - seems to be settling - perhaps related to "Permissions" issues above …


And what about Preferences, Caches? Anything there that would help with the above problems? What about the "root"(?) Library?


Some of the above tasks can be accomplished by 3rd-party software, but I'm getting there without using anything other than native Mac OS X Lion tools.




Anyway, as said, it's all settling down.


Comments/corrections most welcome.



MBPro, 2007 Dec. -24" iMac 2.93 GHZ, 4MB RAM, 2009 June - iPhone 3G, 8 GB RAM, 2, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Airport Extreme Base Station, USB printer, wireless printer
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,472 points)

    Boot from your recovery partition by holding down the key combination command-R at startup. Release the keys when you see a gray screen with a spinning dial.


    When the recovery desktop appears, select Utilities ▹ Terminal from the menu bar.


    In the Terminal window, enter “resetpassword” (without the quotes) and press return. A Reset Password window opens.


    Select your boot volume if not already selected.


    Select your username from the menu labeled Select the user account if not already selected.


    Under Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs, click the Reset button.


    Select ▹ Restart from the menu bar.

  • ctlow Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Linc.


    And that's in my original (long) message. You've fleshed the procedure out more thoroughly.


    My remaining question is: would that have been sufficient to do just that, for all of the problems I list at the start?



  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,472 points)

    I don't know. Seems that way.

  • Starklassik Level 1 (0 points)



    I just migrated from a 2008 MBP (Snow Leopard) to a 2010 MBP running Lion. Somehow during the transfer to the new machine, all my file permissions got messed up (mostly all my server-related files in the Sites folder).


    I rebooted to the backup, pulled up the Reset Password screen, and did the Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs. However, the reset never completed. I thought at first that it just needed to take a long time because there where a lot of files affected, but then I let it run overnight, and it still didn't finish after 8 hours.


    Any thoughts?

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    Please start your own NEW thread on this. You will get better help that way.

  • bigbookjoe Level 1 (0 points)

    At least I'm not the only posting lists of problems with the new OS. I think Shootist maybe right - several new topics, focused on individual issues. I will do the same with my list.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    Hey Joe you screen name is BigBook. Are you referring to the blue Big Book.

  • bigbookjoe Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep. Originally it was red, then red and yellow, then blue and now has a blue and yellow dustjacket around a blue book. 27 years, about to be 28. I use my Macs to publish related material, such as this and this.


    I have AppleCare on this one and, when I get time later today, I will open a case and what they cannot resolve I will repost here. I don't hink Apple will revert, but they should at least make those kinds of major changes options rather than force us to lose work time to have to learn the re-throught.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    20 here.