This admin account has no admin authority?
December 21, 2009 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I see around half of the applications in the Applications/Utilities folder on my friend's laptop?

I'm trying to get access to Disk Utility so I can repartition a new external hard drive. But while I can see that the app exists when I go into the folder in Terminal, I can't see it in Finder--or open it through spotlight, for that matter.

The computer (a powerbook G4) is running 10.4.11, and my friend's account is admin and the only account on the computer. I can't back out on the login screen to try and become root or anything--and using SU in terminal, even assuming I could know the password, probably won't get me anywhere.

How can I get access to the full folder? Any thoughts?
posted by thecaddy to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
This sounds like one of the few times where a verify / repair permissions is truly needed. Unfortunately, the easiest way to do that is via Disk Utility…

If your friend's account really is set up to admin (ie. Preferences -> Accounts ->"Allow user to administer this computer" is ticked), you shouldn't need the true root password. You can run Disk Utility from the console by typing:

/Applications/Utilities/"Disk"/Contents/MacOS/"Disk Utility"

If it asks for an admin username / password, your friend isn't set up to admin (or part of the system thinks they aren't). If you're sure they are, enter their username & password anyway.

If that fails, you can boot into single-user mode and run the /etc/[daily|weekly|monthly] scripts manually, or use something like AppleJack to do the permissions repair.

if that fails, you've likely got bigger problems like the disk being corrupted / dying…
posted by Pinback at 6:41 PM on December 21, 2009

Try to create a new admin account from your friend's. Log in as that admin and see if that fixes it for you. If he isn't an admin then find a Mac OS install disk and reset the actual admin password and log in as them.

Good luck.
posted by fenriq at 9:45 PM on December 21, 2009

you can also use "open" from the terminal to open apps, if for whatever reason that disk utility command above doesnt work
posted by CharlesV42 at 6:39 AM on December 22, 2009

And yet another way to get to the disk utility is boot from the installer DVD. It's in the menu's.
posted by DreamerFi at 6:54 AM on December 22, 2009

Thanks for all the help. Even though the actual solution was very embarrassing and involved scrolling up, learning some extra console commands is always handy.
posted by thecaddy at 8:35 PM on February 9, 2010

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