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When you select the "Get Info" option, the mac will bring up a pop-up with the various attributes of the object selected. In the "Sharing & Permissions" section, you can set the access level.

I switched my hard-disk (MacIntosh HD) to no access, thinking that no one else except me has access. But I am getting locked out too. Right now, all I have is a black screen with the pointer. How do I get back access to the hard-drive? Please note that the image above is taken from a network computer as reference. It is my personal computer that I cannot get to.

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    When is your last backup? Does your Mac support internet recovery or have a recovery HD? Please edit that detail into the post. The recovery steps differ if you have a CD to do installation or can use Apple's recovery tools to reinstall your OS. Lastly, did you propagate those permissions to all files or just change one item?
    – bmike
    Jan 13, 2016 at 18:06
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    Assuming you're not running OS X 10.11, Have you tried booting to Recovery Mode and Repair Disk Permissions with Disk Utility? Jan 13, 2016 at 18:06
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    Did you assign it to all three names? And to all subsequent items (using the gear)?
    – klanomath
    Jan 13, 2016 at 18:08
  • This is a macbook model A1342, which I later updated to run El Capitan. Let me check if my school library has any rebooting tool. Meanwhile, please kindly advise if you have any alternative. Also, I changed the setting for "everyone". Thanks ....
    – Andy Tam
    Jan 13, 2016 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


Upon further review it may be best to use a recovery to fix this issue.

  • Let me know if this works or not. If not there are a couple other things you can try before reverting to your latest backup as that can be time consuming Jan 13, 2016 at 20:39
  • 777 is not the correct permissions for / nor would I set it to it either! Also you must always escape spaces with a backslash or quote the name that contains spaces. sudo chmod 777 MacIntosh HD is plain wrong! Jan 13, 2016 at 20:46
  • I would not suggest keeping it set to this but just to gain control until I can reset to something else. What permission would you suggest? Jan 13, 2016 at 20:51
  • The default permissions on / i.e. are 0755 and owned by root:admin, e.g., on my system that hasn't been mucked with: drwxr-xr-x 36 root admin 1292 Dec 12 12:25 . Jan 13, 2016 at 20:57
  • For whatever reason, MacBook could not sign into iTunes for an online recovery. So, I took it down to an Apple store. I was lucky this time, the tech gal got access to the hard-disk and switched back the permission. But if it did not work, she would need to wipe out my computer ....
    – Andy Tam
    Jan 14, 2016 at 20:23

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