Permission to take Permission?

I’m not sure exactly when it all started, but over the last several months I’ve been having permission issues while using OSX. Every so often I’ll go to save a file in a folder I should have access to – and I’m told that I don’t have permission to do so. Normally it’s a local drive, but it happens with network drives as well. I thought maybe it was something specific to Tiger, but recently we updated to OSX Leopard and the problem actually got worse. And when I say “upgrade”, what I mean to say is we rebuilt each system from scratch, formatting a drive and reinstalling all apps from scratch. Our last few upgrades have been OS upgrades using the “Archive and Install” option, but we wanted to really start clean this time.

To make matters worse, I got tot he point last week where I had locked myself out of making any further changes somehow. We have a common folder on a local network server that we use for web approvals. It’s been there for years without having any problems at all. Then all the sudden, I couldn’t copy over my QT movie so that it could be processed with the rest of the files. I did the usual “get info” command, unlocked the pane with an administrator account, but when I tried to change the permissions it would not allow me to. I could click on any of the users or groups and set “Read & Write”, but as soon as I clicked off it it went back to either “Read Only”, or even worse “No Access”.

You might be thinking that I should just run Apple’s “Disk Utility” and choose to “Repair Permissions”. That would be great except that it’s not a boot drive. Disk Utility needs to have an installed version of OSX on whatever drive it’s to repair permissions on. Without a OS it has nothing to use to determine what the correct permissions are.

So an hour has passed now and I’m getting very frustrated, because nothing about this should be hard. So I did what every good editor does when backed into a corner. I did a google search on the problem.

What I turned up was a nifty little free utility (Donations requested via PayPal) called BatChmod. It allows you to change the file permissions any any file, any folder, or an entire drive with the click of a button. Sounds great, but you have to be careful too. Changing permissions on an entire drive, if done wrong, can cause serious access issues. Especially if it’s a boot drive.

It’s very simple to use. Open the program and follow these 3 simple steps.

Select the file, folder, or drive that you want to change permissions on.

Choose the user and groups that you want to apply to the selection, as well as what permissions “Everyone” will have.

Click Apply.

Your done! I did this with a pretty large folder and it happened so fast I thought that nothing happened. But in an instant, all of my permission problems were solved and I was able to (finally) finish my web approval.

Check it out for yourself and take control over your permission issues. You have my permission (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

2 thoughts on “Permission to take Permission?

  1. For those who don’t know, this app is actually just a graphical wrapper for some commands that are bundled with Mac OS, chmod and chown.

    If you’re feeling plucky and aren’t afraid of Terminal, pop one open and type man chmod or man chown to get details on how to use them.

    Also be careful 🙂

  2. You are correct – that was one thing I forgot to add to the article.

    I myself am not always comfortable using the terminal so this app is very helpful for me personally. Also, I have to admit I’m not crazy about telling my staff or freelance editors to use the terminal since, as far as I know, none of them know it well enough to use it safely. As your comment implied, you can also do some serious damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Thanks for your input.

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