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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    mac boots to a black screen
    I'm using Mac OSX4.11. I get a black screen with this stated:

    /etc/master.passwd: Too many levels of symbolic links
    -sh: /etc/profile: /too many levels of symbolic links
    -sh-2.05b#

    I think it all started after I installed TurboTax and tried to change the name of a system folder that was grayed-out. I also changed the privileges. I have a backup of this drive and can boot into Panther or OS9 from the machines hard drive.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
    Location
    Down Under :D
    Posts
    5,484
    Specs:
    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    I think it all started after I installed TurboTax and tried to change the name of a system folder that was grayed-out. I also changed the privileges.
    Sounds like a good time to reinstall your OS.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    any possible way to extract a few files from the drive? I just want to be able to view the drive's files. I have another mac I could hook up this machine. The problem machine is a '97 G4 dual processor 1.25 ghz and the good machine is a 2007 imac 20".

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
    Location
    Down Under :D
    Posts
    5,484
    Specs:
    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    For future reference:
    Don't mess with system files and permissions. They are locked for a reason!
    Anyway, Firewire Target Disk Mode.....
    How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    I am able to boot from Panther on this machine and I can access the other partition's files. I have a backup available, but not sure about how to get this over to the problem partition. Do I use Disk Utility's Restore function for this?
    Anything you can help me with trying to proceed will help greatly. The last resort I want to do is a re-install. A friend also suggested repairing disk permissions.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
    Location
    Down Under :D
    Posts
    5,484
    Specs:
    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    If you can boot and access files, then I would save it all to an external, and then reinstall.
    Repairing permissions is unlikely to fix the problem, but can't hurt.
    If you are able to boot from the Panther disc, I see no reason why you can't boot from the Tiger disc unless it's for a different machine or damaged.
    Either way, the amount of time you can spend troubleshooting is up to you.
    I feel that it is so much faster and stress free in situations like yours to just simply backup your documents, movies, music, and photos to an external HD, and then just erase and reinstall the OS and the 3rd party applications.
    All that's left to do then is sit back and enjoy the machine up and running properly again, and to leave those system folders and files well alone.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Using DiskWarrior 4.0, I was able to repair permissions and check files. Bunch of stuff came up. The problem was the permissions couldn't be repaired for a missing file, sure enough, the 'private' folder which used to be hidden and is either corrupt or just missing. I think I changed the name of it to TurboTax 2009, but how do I try to find this hidden file and then change it's name back?
    That's the first thing I want to try. I need to be able to see all hidden file names to do this. Any ideas?

    Here's the DiskWarrior Report:

    DiskWarrior scanned the disk named "Mac G4" checking all files and folders for damage and potential compatibility
    problems.
    Permissions:
    Started verify/repair permissions on disk disk0s9 Mac G4
    Determining correct file permissions.
    We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Displays. New permissions are
    16893
    We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./Library/ColorSync/Profiles. New permissions are 16893
    We are using special permissions for the file or directory ./System/Library/Filesystems/cd9660.fs/cd9660.util. New
    permissions are 33261
    We are using a special uid for the file or directory ./private/var/at/jobs. New uid is 1
    We are using a special uid for the file or directory ./private/var/at/spool. New uid is 1
    Directory is missing ./private/var/tmp
    Owner and group not corrected on ./private/var/tmp, reason No such file or directory
    Permissions not corrected on ./private/var/tmp, reason No such file or directory
    The privileges have been verified or repaired on the selected volume
    Verify/repair finished permissions on disk disk0s9 Mac G4
    Disk: "Mac G4"
    The Property List data was checked in 2,354 files.
    The Resource Data was checked in 17,102 files.
    The maximum Folder Depth on this disk is 18. This does not exceed the maximum recommended depth.
    The System Symbolic Link Files were found to be damaged and could not be repaired. The damaged system symbolic
    link files are listed below.
    Location: "Desktop"
    Folder: "etc"
    This folder pointed to by a System Symbolic Link File is missing.
    Location: "Mac G4/private/"
    Folder: "tmp"
    This folder pointed to by a System Symbolic Link File is missing.
    Location: "Mac G4/private/"
    Folder: "var"
    This folder pointed to by a System Symbolic Link File is missing.
    Location: "Mac G4/private/"
    File: "PrintOption.rsrc"
    Detected that the resource header is damaged and cannot be repaired
    Location: "Mac G4/Library/Printers/EPSON/C86Series.plugin/Contents/PDEs/PrintOption.plugin/Contents/
    Resources/French.lproj/"
    Explanations:
    Folder Depth: This number indicates how many folders are nested inside each other. If a disk contains only three
    folders and Folder A is inside Folder B and Folder B is inside Folder C, then this disk has a maximum folder depth of
    three. Folders nested too deeply can cause software compatibility problems.
    Property List: This is a standard file format for storing data and is often used to store preferences. The names of
    these files normally end with a .plist file extension. Corrupt property list files can cause system instability.
    Resource Data: This is an older file format for storing data and was often used to store preferences. The names of
    these files normally end with a .rsrc file extension. Corrupt resource data files can cause system instability.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Wow! I got it to work! Albeit, some changes occurred when it started, but I think I'm going to be fine. I used a program called Houdini to see the hidden files in my backup and just dragged the private folder over and it worked! It booted! I'll keep you informed of any other problems I should incur now as I try to use my programs.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
    Location
    Down Under :D
    Posts
    5,484
    Specs:
    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    Hehe ... was just about to post you a link to houdini, and show you the terminal commands to use.
    If you're all good, that's good.

    NOW STAY AWAY FROM THINGS THAT YOU SHOULDN'T MESS WITH!

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Yeah, stay away from installing TurboTax? Oh well, LESSON LEARNED, although I'm still a curious cat I guess, so I hope I got 9 lives! I still might have a problem later. Glad we didn't throw in the towel. Thanx!

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    47,166
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    I'll go you one better than that... stay away from anything Intuit! (and Symantec)

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    Well, they've got me locked in, and have for years. I used Symantec, but left them alone years and years ago. As for Intuit. Nothing really new being used except for TurboTax.
    I sure would like to try out Linux sometime.

    Progress report: Started a backup of a 36Gb partition with SuperDuper about 1:30am and it's still working on it. Doing a compression cycle now. Destination drive is Mac Extended USB drive. I'm going to move this image file over to another internal drive after it's done.

  13. #13

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    21,230
    Specs:
    27" 5K iMac, 3.3GHz, 256GB Flash Storge, 16GB memory and OS X.11.3.
    SD should not be taking that long, even with USB. Be aware if you want the external to be bootable and using USB it must be an Intel Mac you are using as PPC (PowerPC such as G4 or G5) do not boot from USB drives.

    If you have problems with the external, make sure it has been set to GUID under Options in Partition, or Apple Partition Map for a PPC machine.

  14. #14

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    9,249
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    It's experiments like this that got me in the habit of keeping a bootable clone around. Saved my but about two years ago when my Mac Pro's boot drive died on short notice. I was able to boot from the clone until I had time to troubleshoot. Ran off of the external drive for a few days while I contacted Apple and secured a new drive.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2010
    Posts
    9
    [QUOTE=harryb2448;1124107]SD should not be taking that long, even with USB. Be aware if you want the external to be bootable and using USB it must be an Intel Mac you are using as PPC (PowerPC such as G4 or G5) do not boot from USB drives.

    When I do a 'get info' of the external drive, it states Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Like I mentioned below, I plan on moving the image file to another internal drive in the G4 DP 1.25 GHz machine. I don't understand what you meant here:

    'If you have problems with the external, make sure it has been set to GUID under Options in Partition, or Apple Partition Map for a PPC machine.'

    Yeah, geez it's taking forever! Now, for several hours last night, I was in energy-saver mode, so I changed that to hard drive always on, no sleep.
    Now, if I want to use an external drive for the clone, how do I set up the backup for that? now it's a compressed image file that'll have to be configured through SuperDuper, or some program that'll decompress and mount it. With my original backup, via SK, I couldn't boot from that, kept getting errors, because I didn't backup properly after reading notes, but luckily had the files I needed for a rescue.

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