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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Accidentally moved /usr

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Member Since: Jul 14, 2011
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So I accidentally moved /usr which I guess it turns out is a pretty bad thing to do (on my Intel-based Macbook running Leopard). The computer lost most of its functionality after I did that and now every time I turn the computer on it just says something along the lines of "you need to turn your computer off" (kernel panic). I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to reinstall the operating system, but I was hoping to save the files from my hard drive first. Any suggestions of how I could do that?
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Depending on the model of your Mac, some models are able to boot into Target Disk Mode, basically turning them into a dumb hard drive. You could then connect it to another Mac via FireWire, move the /usr directory back in place, cross your fingers, and attempt a reboot. If your Mac doesn't have a FireWire port, you don't have a cable or access to another Mac, then you might be able to do the same thing booting to the Restore DVD, running Terminal and moving the directory back through command line.
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