All Utilities and Files Greyed out on Snow Leopard

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Greetings everyone. Hopefully someone can shed some light on where I can begin to troubleshoot a problem I have. I will upfront say that I know absotually nothing about macs. I'm a windows server administrator and not that I have anything against macs, I willingly admit I'm just stupid to them. That being said a friend of mine had one that he wanted some help with. Device in question is a MacBook that has OS X Snow Leopard. We were wanting to update it to OS X Lion. This is a Core 2 Duo with 2 gigs of ram, so saw that it does meet the requirements. We noticed upon sticking the install DVD in that the installer file was grayed out. Upon further looking, all documents as well as all utilities under the applications section are also grayed out. I have done some searching and am at a complete loss. Basically we just want to be able to run the OS X lion installer, but every disc or installer we try the setup file is grayed out. Any thoughts? Thanks for all your help
 

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We were wanting to update it to OS X Lion. This is a Core 2 Duo with 2 gigs of ram, so saw that it does meet the requirements. We noticed upon sticking the install DVD in that the installer file was grayed out.

Lion never was never distributed on DVD. So it's very possible the Lion installer DVD you have is no good.

The simple answer is…purchase & download Lion for $19.99:

OS X Lion (10.7) - Apple Store (U.S.)

- Nick
 
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Being nine years old and with such small memory, it will still be slow on Lion. Advise your friend older PowrPC applications will not run of Lion OS X.7, includingOffice 2004 etc. before making the leap.
 
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It would sure help to know what particular "... Core 2 Duo with 2 gigs of ram" that MB model is and I didn't catch where it was stated it was nine years old, I guess I missed that, and the last C2D MB can run 10.9 so they say, and I wonder what OS X 10.7.x Install disk they have to use???

And why upgrade as well…??? Lots of questions with some answers needed I'd say. ;)
 
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Thanks for the help. This is the first mac I have ever touched in my life. As to the reason's why he is wanting to upgrade, I'm really not sure. I didn't know that Lion had a cost to it since i saw the lastest version was a free upgrade. I went and purchased it and am waiting for the activation key. When I try to open the app store, I get a message that says " Unable to find and connect to agent". I am connected to my wifi and if I click ok about five times it will eventually load for me. The model for this unit is MacBook 2.1 . I guess what's throwing me off the most is that all of the utilities and documents are grayed out. Once I get the activation code I will see where I need to go and try to download Lion. Sorry if this seems out there, just never realized how different a mac is than a PC. Not knocking it, just wow very different lol
 
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I'm sorry, but I'm lost and not understanding a lot here, like where did you go to "purchase" what and what activation key are you talking about and even waiting for?

Neither do I understand your statement "...that all of the utilities and documents are grayed out" or where or how you are seeing that.

What we do know is being a Macbook2,1 model, it has to be one of these:
Lookup Mac Specs By Serial Number, Order, Model & EMC Number, Model ID @ EveryMac.com
 
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Sorry for not explaining better. The activation key is for OS X Lion. I purchased it from Apple ( I didn't know till after i bought it that I could buy it inside of Itunes). I am waiting on the email that has that key so that I can try to download it and see if it will install. In regards to items that are grayed out, all utilities as well as all documents on this mac are grayed out and not able to be opened. If I go to applications, everything inside of there ( Dashboard, Utilities, Addressbook etc) are all grayed out and not able to be accessed. From what i read is this a possible permissions problem? Thanks for your help
 

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No activation code is needed. Once the software has been purchased and the purchase has cleared the download can begin. Be aware that the purchase is not made inside iTunes. Inside the Applications folder on the Mac there should be an application called "App Store" (without quotes). The purchase is made from that program.

Here's an overview of how the App Store works
 
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Gotcha. Thanks for the info didn't know that. Not sure why it says I will be getting a activation key within 24 hours then. So with that being said, when I try to open the AppStore, I get the message that says that it can't connect to the agent. I can click ok four or five times and then it will open but when i go to the purchases tab and try to sign in, when i click on sign in, nothing happens. It simply will not prompt for any credentials. :(
 
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I don't know how they "ship" the Lion Install, and a link via iTunes seems strange as I've never had to deal with such an install since Snow Leopard, when they just shipped a physical disk.

I guess things changed with Lion and their "Redemption codes" and "An email with a content code for the Mac App Store" comments etc.

What is the name of the existing admin user on that Mac as seen in the System Prefs "Users & Groups" and are they logged in as such?

In the "Users" folder at the root drive level, the logged in username should have a house icon.

If possible, try opening Disk Utility and Repair permissions on the selected boot drive in the left column.

Sure some strange things going on … ;)

Is the install disk that came with that MB available so it could be used to possibly fix things on the current install?

How has the normal current user even been able to use that Mac??

As I said, rather strange… :Oops:
 
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I don't know how they "ship" the Lion Install, and a link via iTunes seems strange as I've never had to deal with such an install since Snow Leopard, when they just shipped a physical disk.

I guess things changed with Lion and their "Redemption codes" and "An email with a content code for the Mac App Store" comments etc.

What is the name of the existing admin user on that Mac as seen in the System Prefs "Users & Groups" and are they logged in as such?

In the "Users" folder at the root drive level, the logged in username should have a house icon.

If possible, try opening Disk Utility and Repair permissions on the selected boot drive in the left column.

Sure some strange things going on … ;)

Is the install disk that came with that MB available so it could be used to possibly fix things on the current install?

How has the normal current user even been able to use that Mac??

As I said, rather strange… :Oops:

Thanks for the reply. So info that I got is that this mac was given to them for free because " it didn't work". They figured that since I worked on PC's for a living I could fix their "free mac" lol. When I go to the user's section I do see the account is an admin account. It does have a password that i was given and works with sign in. Unfortunately they don't have an original copy of their OS with it. When I try to go to disk utility, it is grayed out and i'm not able to select it. :(
 
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Hope this helps to give a visual ( I apologize for the crappy quality) but attached are two images of what I'm looking at. All of the applications are grayed out and the message i get anytime I try to do anything inside of the AppStore
1YRcQN3.jpg
8nfbqaH.jpg
 
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WARNING!!

I just noticed the recent InstallMac folder in that shot, and for God's Sake DO NOT open it or install it!! I may be wrong, bit I don't think so, and I believe it's a MALWARE installer!
 
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First of all, hats off to you for trying to help someone! I'm new to Macs myself so I find stuff weird.

That said, what you might try, if it's possible, is the stuff in the link I'll give you. Since you have the password for the machine at least. Perhaps it's possible to wipe the thing clean, reinstall, or install the newer OS you bought (you said specs were okay, right?):

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5836421

That's an Apple thread on how to clear snow leopard. It might help. I think your only real choice is to wipe the thing as clean as you can. Does your friend have an Apple ID? Once you've wiped and the like, perhaps that can be used to clear up "ownership," and will help on the way to installing the newer OS.

And like others have said, for the love of God and money, don't click that InstallMac folder.
 
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Update: Well wanted to think everyone for all the helpful tips and info.I think I got lucky. Out of desperation I wondered if like windows, if the problem could have been profile specific. I created a new administrator level account, and low and behold, I could access all the files and applications. I was then able to launch the OS X Lion installer I made and was able to perform the update. Something was corrupt on that specific profile. After the update and logging back in with the origional account, all of those problems were fixed with the update. There were a few junk programs that I uninstalled. The InstallMac folder I ended up opening before I saw the first people comment on. Only thing inside of it was something that said "Reset Search". Think my friend owes me a steak dinner. Thanks for all the helpfull tips everyone. I may end up installing OS X on a virtualbox and learning my way thorugh it. Never realized how handicapped I was in using another OS. If anyone ever needs and help with Windows server OS from 2K3 and up, I will be glad to help :) Thanks
 
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Congrats on your sleuthing and success.

But with that lurking InstallMac folder that should be Trashed, I'd also suggest you download and run AdwareMedic on that Mac in case some of it's bits and pieces are lurking.
AdwareMedic

Then you can always spend some time over a beer reading his Mac stuff at:
The Safe Mac

Enjoy the steak dinner. ;)
 

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Good sleuthing jamesbbryant. I should have thought to suggest that. I keep a second account on most Macs for just such occasions.
 
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I guess I misread the original post and it sounded like everything was greyed out so it wasn't even suggested. A pretty basic fix for most veteran mac users I'd suggest. :|
 

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