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Quick Tech help from MAC people please

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Hey everyone,

    I'm helping that someone here can give me a bit of quick Mac help.

    Here's the deal. I've got a Mac from about Y2K...it's running OSX, and about 2 years ago it had a bad crash. I reloaded OSX and while loosing the info from the main drive I still had my 40 gig external with most of my files.

    The external is set up in 4 partitions (for each of my roomates at the time) with one being a 'private' partition for me to backup important stuff and work/school stuff. It was accessable only to the 'ROOT' user.

    Now, since I had to re-format the startup disk, and I haven't used this computer for much more than video/audio stuff in the past few years, I can't for the life of me, remember how to set up the ROOT user function. I would assume that I could just re-set up the user info and the same password and get back in?

    I've gotten into the partition by booting into 9, but it's a real pain...

    Who can qive me a quick rundown of how to do this?
  2. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    do you mean enabling Root user?

    go to Utilities>Net Info Manager then at the top in the Security Tools you can enable it there.
  3. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    Yes, that is one way. Just be careful!!
    Also, if your current user account is not set up as an administrator, simply create a new account and pick 'admin' during setup. Then, go to the partition in question and 'Get Info' either with Control+Click or Apple+I. Then open the 'Ownership & Permissions' tab. You can change the partition's permissions and priveleges from there.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Thanks to you both.

    In the end, the quickest and least invasive thing to do was to boot from the startup disk and there's a function in the reset password utility to set up the 'root' user function I did that, and everything's cool again..

    VBTBL, I tried the Ownership & Permissions trick, and it only half works...it allows one to get into the partition but for each additional folder or file you have to adjust its permission too, and then it won't let you do whatever you want (like I burned some stuff off to disk, but it wouldn't let me delete the files).

    Anyway, thank you both for helping...I also used this as the opportunity to re-set up my network so I can transfer files from my mac to my laptop remotely. :)
  5. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    the real question is why do you want to enable root?

    are you sure you don't just need a regular administrative password?

    enabling root is rarely done, even by power users. everything you need root access for can be accomplished from a regular administrative account by using the terminal and the sudo command. if you're using root so much that this is inconvenient, it begs the question what on earth you're doing all day long. and if this sudo business doesn't make sense, then you really should leave root alone.

    some good articles on the topic:


  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Paul, I enabled the root user function way back, when I was using my Mac a lot more, and had some need of use. I haven't been using this computer on a regular basis for several years, although I have a roomate who still uses the mac on a regular basis. As a quirk of OSX 10.2 and before, sometimes the Admin accounts don't do what they're supposed to and you can't gain access to some of the features that Admin accounts were supposed to control. At the time I was using it, I had set up one of my partitions (as I stated above) for access only for the root user. As its no longer necessary, I wanted to remove files from that partition and also make that partition useable for all acounts.

    The real issue was that after 2 years of using the mac about 20 time a year, I couldn't remember how to enable the function as I spend 12 hours a day using PCs.

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