How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Daniel Your Own Question
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Daniel is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I recently put a new HD on my iMac and Im coming across error

Resolved Question:

I recently put a new HD on my iMac and I'm coming across error messages saying I don't have permission. Is there a setting I can change to allow myself to access everything?

For example: I tried updating to the newest Firefox and the error message says "The operation can't be completed because you don't have permission to access some of the items" All I was doing was dragging the Firefox update icon into the Applications folder.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
First thing I suggest is repairing permissions.

Permissions Repair

Try that and let me know.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I repaired the permissions but it's still not working.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
What version of OS X is it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Do the following, carefully, pay close attention to spaces.

Remove ACLs on Home Folders and restore them using the Leopard or Snow Leopard DVD Disk Utility's Permissions Repair will not change files within the user's home folder, so if a user has propagated incorrect permissions in this folder the first step will be to remove access control lists (ACLs), and then set them back up using the password XXXXX on the Leopard DVD. Some users have tried this without first removing ACLs, and have run into problems. To remove ACLs, open the "Terminal" application (located in the "Utilities" folder) and enter the following command:

sudo chmod -RN ~

Then users should run the following command to ensure the files in the home folder have them as the owner by running this command:

sudo chown -R `id -un` ~

NOTE: these commands should be run when users are logged into the affected account.

After supplying a password XXXXX allowing these commands to run, users should boot off the Leopard DVD, and after selecting a language, choose "Reset Password" and select the boot drive. Then select the user account that's affected and click the "Reset" button in the "Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs" section. After this has run, quit the installer and restart the system.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have the original start up discs the computer came with but a friend installed Snow Leopard and I don't have the discs for that. I'm not sure if my original start up discs would work for what you are suggesting.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
You do not need the disks, it says that the Disk Utility on those disks will not do the job. You have to use Terminal found in Applications/Utilities, same folder that Disk Utility is in.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
above you mention to boot off the Leopard DVD - so if I don't have a DVD will that be a problem? The only discs I have are the ones that came with the computer.

If I don't need the dvd then should I follow the instructions you gave? I'm confused about the DVD portion.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, the original should do the job of resetting the password XXXXX Password XXXXX I did not read it very well myself.
You may be able to do the same thing in System Preferences/Accounts. You know your password XXXXX you can change it there without needing the DVD.
Try that.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I tried to follow the instructions and this is what happened - not sure what to do now.

Lauries-iMac:~ lauriehaines$ sudo chmod -RN ~
Lauries-iMac:~ lauriehaines$ sudo chown -R `id -un` ~
chown: /Users/lauriehaines/Desktop/UELG work/Manual/DOCS/edited docs/DOCS/Spreadsheets/biweekly 2011.xls: Operation not permitted
chown: /Users/lauriehaines/Desktop/UELG work/Manual/DOCS/edited docs/DOCS/Spreadsheets/weekly 2011.xls: Operation not permitted
chown: /Users/lauriehaines/Documents/Recipe Book/Vanessa's work/Fonts/Beryl: Operation not permitted
Lauries-iMac:~ lauriehaines$
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Do not quit Terminal yet.
Try the Firefox drag and see what happens now.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
When you installed the new drive how did you restore your user data?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
still same problem

I restored off a TM backup. However I dragged my documents onto the HD instead of clicking restore on TM.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
That then is the problem.
There are two ways to attack this.
1. Since you have Snow Leopard the easiest way is to wipe the drive and do a new install. Once you get to the Migrate screen use the restore from TM backup.
This will restore everything including all required permissions.
That would be my choice.
2. Create a new admin account for temp use, delete your normal account and use Migration assistant to restore from TM backup.
The first way is sure, the second should also but could have issues later on.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is there any other way? My TM backup is no longer current. I've as well added new programs.

Also I had tried to run a newer TM backup but it failed. Could that be because my external drive is smaller than my internal HD even though there's enough room to backup?
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Your Time machine no longer recognizes your hard drive, however, it can still be restored from.
I suggest that you manually back up those files either to a USB drive or maybe a DVD.
As for the applications, those can be reinstalled.
I know this is all time-consuming and that is an unfortunate thing. If you wish this to not do this to you again or to avoid further problems I do recommend doing it this way.
You have a permissions conflict and few options to correct it.
Your Time Machine disc, should be at a minimum, as your internal hard drive. What you have will probably work but it may also require starting from zero.
The reason for this is because of hardware changes.
Another reason why your Time machine backup failed is because of the permissions conflict.
I wish there were an easy button but, unfortunately, in this case I'm fresh out.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So how do I go about wiping everything clean?
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
Start with the Snow Leopard DVD, restart and hold down the letter C as soon as the screen turns black.
When you see the Install Mac OS X window in the lower left corner will be a button for Utilities. Click that and select Disk Utility from the menu bar at the top.
Once that is open click on Erase, make sure that you format as Mac OS extended (journaled) and as GUID.
You can name your drive anything that you like at this point. once you have done this then quit Disk Utility to return to the installer.
Then just follow the prompts, it will take you through the steps after it finishes installing, that you need to restore from Time Machine. Make sure that it is connected, do not fill in your name or any other information.
In this way everything that was in your old hard drive before you replaced it will be restored to your new hard drive.
One question I have though, is do you have the old hard drive or did it crash?
If you still have it and it is functional you can create a clone of that on your new drive.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
As I mentioned before I do not have the Snow Leopard DVD only the original install discs.

I do have my old hard drive but it was failing that's why I put a new one in.
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
I suggest getting a Snow Leopard disk, only $30.00 at Apple.
Like I said, this is your best bet. I assume that SN was not on the old drive.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Actually Snow Leopard is on my TM backup.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm pretty sure of it. Is there a way to double check?
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 years ago.
There may be, I just did mine to check. I went in a Finder window, opened Applications/Utilities and double clicked System Profiler, it is version 10.6.0 of this utility and that only comes with 10.6 SN.
If it isn't 10.6 then you may not have 10.6 on TM.
If however, you had SN when the drive failed you have a good shot.
Worth a try, use the original disks that came with the iMac.
The procedure is the same although the screens will look a bit different.
That goes through the steps.

Daniel and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mac Questions