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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8994
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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Lost access to Macintosh HD. -- I had gone into permissions

Customer Question

Lost access to Macintosh HD. -- I had gone into permissions and set user EVERYONE to no access -- at first this was blocked out...

BUT i being resourceful went and accessed the Macintosh HD by selecting "get Info" under permissions from THIS window I was able to click and the user EVERYONE and clicked on "no Access" -- at that point the FINDER for this operation locked up... I was forced quit. and REBOOTED.

NOW>>>> my system sits with the Apple icon and an ETERNAL bootup process going no where. I have looked for threads on what to do..including what seemed to be the answer or close to it here.

After following the instructions for rebooting in Single User mode..

I ran /sbin/fsck -fy After running this twice...I get a readout that says " The Volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK"

As ADDITIONAL issue: I cant eject my boot from Emergency CD/DVD. My system is an IMAC (purchased in 2010) OS is Snow Leopard.

Please help me to either

1. Repair permissions from single USER bootup mode....for Macintosh HD


2. REboot from System Startup Disk.. (need to eject existing CD first!) --and then repair permissions that way

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Reboot and hold the spacebar until the CD ejects. Let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tried all of the following to no avail:

1. holding spacebar until CD ejects

2. holding left mouse button until CD ejects


4. Eject button on keyboard

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Are you sure it restarted first? Hold the power button for about 10 seconds then start it up and try again.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you know how to fix this from UNIX commands from Single User Bootup?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes Im sure it restarted


Do you know how to fix this from UNIX commands from Single User Bootup?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
That depends do you know the system version that is installed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This was in my initial post Snow Leopard 10.6x--Sorry I didnt say the exact version....

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Oh sorry. You can just restart and hold the Shift key until you see the Apple Logo that will Repair Permissions among other things. It takes a little time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The grey progress bar appeared... upon holding the SHIFT on REBOOT


How long can I expect this to take...beore I concluded its not working?

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
It IS working that is what it is supposed to do... if you messed up the permissions it can take time because that is not all it is doing. An hour at least you should wait. Let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

over 2 hrs and no sign of life...


honestly...I dont think this is working...


Did you read the forum thread that I posted?


Can we fix this in Single User Bootup mode?


unable to eject disc..unable to effect a fix to far



Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.

Sorry I am in CT USA it was late. Yes I read your post this usually won't work in Single User mode which is why I am trying to get your disk out:

/sbin/fsck -yf
/sbin/mount -uw /
/sbin/autodiskmount -va
/usr/sbin/diskutil repairPermissions /

Before you try that... try this, below, then reboot and try those methods to get your disk out, trying the repair from your boot disk is more likely to work:

Resetting the SMC & PRAM for Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
3. Wait fifteen seconds.
4. Attach the computer's power cord.
5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.
6. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
7. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
8. Release the keys.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was able to get the disk out. Used the method of

The efforts in single user did not do anything.

Reboot from startup disk. Ran permissions fixes ---- quite a few fixes. Verified and repaired from Disk Utility program. Message says that the drive appears to be ok

Rebooted Macintosh HD.... Tried safe mode... Still spinning. Suspect file structure issues. How would I fix this?

What do you suggest as a next step? Steps? Thanks, Ari
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
You need to Verify Disk using the boot dvd
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I did that already... from the Bootup Disk.


I did the following from Disk Utilty

1. Fixed permissions

2. Verified HArd Drive..

3. Repaired harddrive


Message: "Macintosh HD appears to be fine"

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok reboot holding Option key do you see your boot up drive listed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes.. I was able to switch between them by holidng the option key

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
And then what happens when you try to boot from it?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
What happens when you boot holding Option key, choose Macintosh HD and try to boot?

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