This post will show you a Mac 10.6 permissions fix. If your Mac is displaying weird things on the screen, running slowly, or exhibiting other weird symptoms then you should run a permissions repair.

This guide was tested on OS X 10.6. Permissions determine who has access to files and what they can do with them. Permissions can be changed over time by power interruption or by simply installing applications or emptying the trash.

You can fix this with the Disk Utility tool which reviews a Bill of Materials file (.bom) that comes with the installed package (.pkg) and compares it to what is installed on the computer. OS X will report and correct any differences.

To run a permissions repair:

  1. Open Disk Utility
  2. Choose Macintosh HD from the left hand menu
  3. Choose the First Aid pane
  4. Choose Repair Disk Permissions
  5. Wait until it finishes and then restart the computer

Note: It is best to run Disk Utility after OS X is booted up, however, you can run this utility off of the OS X disc if the Mac is not able to boot.

Note 2: this little blurb comes from the Apple support page on Repair disk permissions with Disk Utility (old, broken support link – “Disk Utility checks a file's permissions only if the file has a corresponding receipt in /var/db/receipts. The receipt tells Disk Utility what the permissions should be. Not all installers include a receipt with the files they install.” This gives better insight on why a permissions issue can cause seemingly unrelated issues. Newer Apple support link at Change Permissions for files, folders, and disks.

Note 3: for further startup issue troubleshooting, check out the Apple support page on resolving startup issues and performing disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck. There's quite a few things to try there if you need it.

If you ever need to do a Mac 10.6 permissions fix, you'll better understand how Mac file systems and permissions work. This is indispensable for helpdesk people.

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