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I'm running Snow Leopard (10.6) and OnyX told me I need to boot from my install CD and use Disk Utility to repair my drive. (It wasn't any more specific as to what the actual problem was.) I can't find my Snow Leopard disc anywhere, but I've got a 10.5.8 disc here. Will it work too?

(Just to be clear, I'm talking about a filesystem repair, not a permission repair. Repairing permissions with a Disk Utility from an older version of the OS won't work.)

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Assuming you can boot from the Leopard disc, it should work.

You can boot from the install disc by holding C during boot.

  • Depend what you mean by work - the disk level stuff maybe but permissions no – Mark Feb 11 '11 at 0:59
  • All I needed to do was run the filesystem checks, not repair permissions, and it worked fine. (I didn't try verifying/repairing permissions at all, so I have no idea if that would have worked.) – Brant Bobby Feb 11 '11 at 1:06
  • @Mark: true, but the permissions repair portion is best run from the live system anyway; I doubt Onyx would've recommended booting from DVD for a permissions repair. BTW, I'm leery of using 10.5's filesystem repair on 10.6, because Apple added at least one feature filesystem-level compression) to 10.6 that 10.5 and its repair tool won't understand. – Gordon Davisson Feb 11 '11 at 1:10
  • The filesystem compression (if I believe) uses a file system fork (like the data/resource forks), so 10.5 should support it as just another file fork. – CajunLuke Feb 11 '11 at 3:18
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    @CajunLuke @Brant: This falls into the general category of things that should work, but... And when it comes to things like filesystem repair, I prefer to err on the side of paranoia. Anyway, I'm glad it worked. – Gordon Davisson Feb 11 '11 at 16:00
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Can you boot into Snow Leopard at all? If you can, try this command from terminal:

sudo diskutil repairPermissions /

Broken down this does the following:

  • sudo - run this command as superuser/admin
  • diskutil - run the diskutil program
  • repairPermissions - obviously this means to repair the permissions
  • / - act on the whole file system

If you can't get into Snow Leopard, you might be able to get into single-user mode by holding +S on boot

You can run Disk Utility from within Snow Leopard but whether it can repair it will depend on what's wrong.

You can do a Repair Permissions on any disk, or a Repair Disk on any disk which is not your startup disk. If you need to do a Repair Disk, you will need to do that from your CD and I think the 10.5 disk would be OK to use for a Repair Disk when booted from, it may not do a Repair Permissions though.

It's worth trying the Repair Permissions first from Snow Leopard. That solves a lot of issues

  • He's in the OS, otherwise he couldn't have run Onyx. – Jason Salaz Feb 11 '11 at 0:14
  • The reason I asked was because I'd have expected him to be able to run Disk Utility from within Snow Leopard rather than from the install CD. – conorgriffin Feb 11 '11 at 0:16
  • I didn't even think to run Disk Utility from within Snow Leopard, honestly. I assumed I wouldn't be able to operate on a mounted filesystem. – Brant Bobby Feb 11 '11 at 1:05
  • Ah, yeah you can run it from within Snow Leopard but whether it can repair it will depend on what's wrong. You can do a Repair Permissions on any disk, or a Repair Disk on any disk which is not your startup disk. If you need to do a Repair Disk, you will need to do it from your CD and I think the 10.5 disk will be fine for the lower level stuff. It's worth trying the Repair Permissions first from Snow Leopard though. That solves a lot of issues. – conorgriffin Feb 11 '11 at 1:24

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