Previous 1 2 3 Next 35 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2014 3:47 PM by Mac OS 9000 Go to original post
  • bdv91 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm so late with my reply back, but thanks for answering!! I ended up emptying the trash with no issue, and left the tmp alias folder alone! I think I was over questioning because of all that just happened - it totally freaked me out! Thanks Again!

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It may be too late to help the original contributors to this thread, as this is an old story. But the problem, in one form or another, still comes up, as I recently found. After extensive troubleshooting, I remembered a solution - though I never found the root cause of the problems. I post my answer here now so that others coming late to this forum, as I did, will have another solution to try.

     

    I have a friend who was having much the same trouble on her MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard as described on this forum. She could not drag & drop files - though she could move windows around by the title bar, so it was not a malfunction of the click-hold function of the trackpad. The same problem accrued when using a mouse. In addition, copy and paste did not work - or, more accurately, past did not work. The Copy function was still available in the Edit menu, while Paste was always grayed out.

     

    Further, no application showed the fonts in her user Fonts folder - even after repairing ACSs. I installed the old, free version of Linotype Font Explorer and, as with Font Book, the user fonts were not shown. Or rather, they were listed but displayed as not available. In Font Book they didn’t show at all. Nor were they available in Photoshop or Illustrator.

     

    None of the standard repair procedures made any difference, not even Disk Warrior. The temp folder, as described in other posts, was extant. But repairing permissions on that folder didn’t help. After creating a new admin user account the problems were still there. However, when I booted from an external hard drive with a separate copy of OS X, none of the problems showed up. I concluded, from all this, that the source of the trouble was not a hardware problem or a flaw in her user account. It was some kind of corruption in the main system somewhere.

     

    A common restorative, reinstalling the OS X 10.6.8 combo update, didn’t work in this case. But before defaulting to the last resort solution of doing a clean install, I remembered that reinstalling the base OS, in this case OS X 10.6.0, over the existing system was occasionally effective in fixing obscure problems. It has the added advantage of not requiring reinstalling applications, recreating accounts and settings, or migrating data from a backup (though I did do a clone back up of her system using SuperDuper! as a precaution). Fortunately I had an OS X Snow Leopard install disc on hand. The only caveat is that I had to use an external DVD drive to boot from the disc as Snow Leopard came on a dual layer DVD - and the optical drive on her old MacBook Pro doesn’t support dual layer DVDs.

     

    Well, this turned out to be the right solution. I updated to OS X 10.6.8 once more and the system was as good as new. Thus two days of grueling troubleshooting had a happy ending.

  • Mac OS 9000 Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)

    It's not working for me. After I do sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp, it says "ln: /tmp/tmp: File exists". Then I try ls -la / | grep tmp again, and it still shows the wrong permissions.

     

    Should I just "sudo rm -rf private && sudo rm -rf private/var/tmp" then remake those directories?

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    Mac OS 9000 wrote:

     

    It's not working for me. After I do sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp, it says "ln: /tmp/tmp: File exists". Then I try ls -la / | grep tmp again, and it still shows the wrong permissions.

     

    Should I just "sudo rm -rf private && sudo rm -rf private/var/tmp" then remake those directories?

     

    Don't do that.

     

    Have you tried repairing permission?

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    As I stated in an earlier post, I found an alternate solution for this problem, as follows: "... before defaulting to the last resort solution of doing a clean install, I remembered that reinstalling the base OS, in this case OS X 10.6.0, over the existing system was occasionally effective in fixing obscure problems. It has the added advantage of not requiring reinstalling applications, recreating accounts and settings, or migrating data from a backup (though I did do a clone back up of her system using SuperDuper! as a precaution). Fortunately I had an OS X Snow Leopard install disc on hand. The only caveat is that I had to use an external DVD drive to boot from the disc as Snow Leopard came on a dual layer DVD - and the optical drive on her old MacBook Pro doesn’t support dual layer DVDs.

     

    Well, this turned out to be the right solution. I updated to OS X 10.6.8 once more and the system was as good as new. Thus two days of grueling troubleshooting had a happy ending."

     

    I suggest when you are looking for solutions on these boards that you read the entire thread. It may be time consuming but it may also provide the solution you are looking for.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    WhiteDog11 wrote:

     

    I found an alternate solution for this problem, as follows: "... before defaulting to the last resort solution of doing a clean install, I remembered that reinstalling the base OS, in this case OS X 10.6.0, over the existing system was occasionally effective in fixing obscure problems.

     

    That sounds like overkill to me simply because one invisible symbolic link is missing or the invisible folder it points to has lost its permissions or is missing.

     

    Here is what Terminal should show:

     

    ls -l /         > lrwxr-xr-x@ 1 root admin  11  22 Jun 2010  tmp -> private/tmp

    ls -l /Private  > drwxrwxrwt  6 root wheel 204  9 Feb 08:28  tmp

     

    For further information type the following in Terminal:

     

    1. man ls
    2. man ln
  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It is overkill - except when it's not. The Terminal solution did not work for me as it has not worked for others posting here, including Mac OS 9000. The problem for many is clearly something more than a missing symlink or improper permissions on a single folder. It crops up with a variety of symptoms, for which the Terminal solution works occasionally. Other times it's not enough. Which is what I found. A solution is not overkill when all lesser solutions failed to resolve the issue. As I said, I stopped short of the most drastic solution, which proved unnecessary in this instance. Later that same computer got into even more serious trouble and I did have to reinstall the system. I was careful about the files that I restored from backup in an effort to avoid returning the corrupted files that caused the problem in the first place. This was a lot of work, but less onerous than reinstalling all the software on a clean system.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    I see your point. There are clearly some cases when an install is called for. However if it is that bad I suspect any improvement will be short lived unless you do a clean install without importing anything at the install stage. Unless you do this you cannot be sure that you are not reintroducing whatever is corrupted.

     

    I have had a play to see how far it is reasonable to go with a simple script to correct a few things. The script below does the following:

     

    1. creates a folder at /private/tmp if it is missing
    2. re-asserts invisible symbolic links at: /etc, /tmp and /var

     

    I have tested it on Tiger and Leopard with various of the above missing and it appears to work well.

     

    However, if the etc link is not working the password for the script will not function. A workaround is to copy /private/etc to the root. The script will then work except that it will not overwrite /etc so this should be corrected later.

     

    To use the script:

     

    1. quit all applications
    2. paste the script as one line into Terminal
    3. hit return key
    4. supply admin password
    5. hit return key again
    6. restart the Mac

     

    Script:

    sudo bash -c 'cd /; p=private; t=tmp; mkdir -p $p/$t;
    f(){ ln -fhs $p/$1 $1; echo $1 >> .hidden; }; f $t; f etc; f var' 

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You're right that a clean install is the best solution for a seriously damaged system (and it's the one Apple tech support routinely suggests for any problem they don't understand or cannot resolve over the phone). On the MacBook Pro where I did the reinstall-update procedure, the problem was somewhere in the system, not the user account, so reinstalling over the existing system did the trick. Later the same computer developed more serious trouble for which this solution did not work so I had to resort to a clean install. The challenge is to decide how serious the problem is and what is the most appropriate solution under the circumstances. For some problems, perhaps for most, a clean install is overkill. It's also important to distinguish between hardware and software problems. Back in the day my old G3 seemed to have cronic software issues. These turned out to be caused by a slowly dying motherborad, for which the only feasible answer was a new computer.

     

    Recently I had a nagging audio problem on my Mac Pro that no standard troubleshooting could fix. I finally resorted to the reinstal-update procedure there, too. And it worked. Sometimes a problem is just too obscure to figure out the precise cause and the only way around it is to use this kind of shotgun approach. Other times you may find a precise solution like the one you recommend. However, that can require a level of expertise beyong the reach of most of us. For some of us here, though, the problem you resolved was just part of a more complex mix of symptoms for which your solution was insufficient. And that's no untypical. Many times by the time you run into obvious trouble on a system, more than one thing has gone wrong.

     

    On the other hand, sometimes the most basic technique is all that's needed. I recently worked on a relatively new Mac mini on which Excel was malfunctioning. I started out, as I usually do, by validating the boot disk and repairing permissions with Disk Utility. There were hundreds of permissions problems that needed to be fixed. And, despite the fact that there is no obvious connection between Excel and the system files that repairing permissions addresses, nevertheless, repairing permissions fixed the problem with Excel. I mention this for the benefit of those skeptics who think that repairing permissions is unnecessary or a waste of time. While it's not a cureall (and I don't know anyone who ever said that it is), stilll permissions repair often does solve problems and improve system performance.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    I do:

     

    applejack AUTO shutdown

     

    once a month.

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Applejack is great if you've migrated no further than OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. But development was dropped with Lion. Apparently Apple was making things too difficult so, unfortunately, the developer decided it was no longer worth the trouble adapting his app. However, Applejack would not have prevented or solved the problems at issue here. There are other ways to do what Applejack does, though it takes more than one app to do them. I use Disk Utility and Cocktail for routine maintenance on my Mac Pro running OS X 10.7.5 Lion.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    This is the Leopard forum !

     

    Also according to Apple the most common reason for missing root symbolic links is the use of OS 9.x which does not respect their invisibility. Like several others I have OS 9, Tiger and Leopard on the same Mac.

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This may be the Leopard forum, but the specific problems raised in this thread are not limited to Leopard. Nor are the solutions.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)

    All related to tmp?

  • WhiteDog11 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    All related to Drag and Drop and Copy and Paste not working. Other symptoms also showed up for some people. The tmp file issue was not even relevant in some cases, including the one I was troubleshooting. That solution worked for some and not for others, which is why the discussion branched out looking for other answers.