4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 1:21 PM by Neil2
Neil2 Level 1 (0 points)

I did a clean install of Mountain Lion last month.  I reinstalled all my apps from freshly downloaded installers, rather than copy anything to my pristine system folder.  I copied my music, photos, and other documents from my Time Machine drive.  Now, I have constant permission problems on all these folders.  I don't have permission to do anything to any of these folders or subfolders.  I can't rip a CD to iTunes,  I can't sync my iPhone.  I can't download anything. I can change the permission on each folder individually, but there must be thousands of them.  There must be an easier way.  Changing permissions for a parent folder doesn't change the subfolders.  Disk Utility reports no problems when I repair disk permissions.  Thanks in advance for any help.


Also, the iPhoto app disappeared after the clean install.  I don't know how to re-install it.  Do I have to wipe my drive clean again and install Leopard from  my original DVD that came with my iMac?  That would be a huge job to get back to Mountain Lion.  I'll post this question in another thread and link it here.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Eric Root Level 9 (50,299 points)

    If you create another admin user account, does it have the same problems?


    Do you have the same problem if you boot into the Safe Mode?


    Starting Up in the Safe Mode


    What is Safe Mode


    You may need to rebuild permissions on your user account.


    To do this, boot to your Recovery partition (holding down the Command and R keys while booting) and open Terminal from the Utilities menu.


    In Terminal, type:  'resetpassword' (without the 's)  and select the admin user. You are not going to reset your password.


    Click on the icon for your Macs hard drive at the top. From the drop down below it select the user account which is having issues. At the bottom of the window, you'll see an area labeled Restore Home Directory Permissions and ACLs. Click the reset button there. The process takes a few minutes. When complete, restart.   




    Is iPhoto in your Time Machine Backup?

  • Neil2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Eric.  I'll try your suggestions.


    Re: iPhoto, it wasn't on my Time Machine drive, but it turns out I was looking at the wrong system restore disk for the wrong Mac.  Anyway, I was able to install iPhoto, but it quits on launch now.  I didn't see anything in the crash repont about permissions, but something about a library not loading because the image wasn't found.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,529 points)

    Back up all data.

    This procedure will unlock all your user files (not system files) and reset their ownership and access-control lists to the default. If you've set special values for those attributes on any of your files, they will be reverted. In that case, either stop here, or be prepared to recreate the settings if necessary. Do so only after verifying that those settings didn't cause the problem. If none of this is meaningful to you, you don't need to worry about it.


    Step 1

    If you have more than one user account, and the one in question is not an administrator account, then temporarily promote it to administrator status in the Users & Groups preference pane. To do that, unlock the preference pane using the credentials of an administrator, check the box marked Allow user to administer this computer, then reboot. You can demote the problem account back to standard status when this step has been completed.

    Triple-click the following line to select it. Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C):

    { sudo chflags -R nouchg,nouappnd ~ $TMPDIR.. ; sudo chown -Rh $UID:staff ~ $_ ; sudo chmod -R u+rwX ~ $_ ; chmod -R -N ~ $_ ; } 2> /dev/null

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V). You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up. If you don’t have a login password, you’ll need to set one before you can run the command. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.


    The command will take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear, then quit Terminal.

    Step 2


    Boot into Recovery 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 OS X Utilities screen appears, select

    Utilities Terminal

    from the menu bar. A Terminal window will open.

    In the Terminal window, type this:


    That's one word, all lower case, with no spaces. Then press return. A Reset Password window will open. You’renot going to reset a password.

    Select your boot volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name) 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.



    from the menu bar.

  • Neil2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Linc.  Resetting my user permissions and ACL's fixed my problems.  I can sync to iTunes and launch iPhoto.  I'll see if my kernal panics go away too. 


    It took me awhile before I attempted this because I wanted to research it more.  Apple went through a lot of trouble to hid this tool from users.  That usually means something.