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switters
08-08-2008, 08:53 AM
Six months ago when I got a new Mac Pro I followed your recommendations in the "Drive Setup Guide" and set my system up as follows:

IA - Root (boot drive with OS X)
IB - Local backup

IIA - Local (Users & 3rd-party Apps)
IIB - Root backup

IIIA - PS Scratch
IIIB - Images

IVA - Images backup
IVB - Time Machine

Ext. FW A - Fresh copy of OS X
Ext. FW B - Images backup #2

Everything has been running great up until a few weeks ago. I started having trouble with a couple of applications - crashes, freezes, etc. I did all of the normal system maintenance and that didn't help. I rebuilt directories with DiskWarrior and that didn't help either. Things deteriorated and it seemed a reinstall was necessary.

My strategy was to simply clone the fresh copy of OS X from my external FW drive to "Root", and then follow the steps in the Drive Setup Guide to re-link my home folder to the directory on Users.

Here's what I did:

1. Rebooted from to the "Ext. FW A" (fresh copy of OS X)
2. Went to Accounts, "right-clicked" on the default account, and changed the path of the home directory to Volumes/Local/Users/my_user_directory
3. Restarted

However, when I restarted the first thing I noticed was that the desktop wasn't what it should be for my user account. When I tried opening Mail and iCal I got error messages saying I didn't have permissions for those folders, and when I tried to download something using Safari I got a "disk is full" error (which I believe is a result of a permissions problem - not allowing me to save something to disk).

So I right-clicked on my home directory and did a "Get Info". My user account wasn't even listed in the permissions area, so I clicked the "+" button and added my user account from the list. I then selected "Read & Write" for my user and checked "apply to enclosed items" and hit okay.

That seemed to resolve some of the issues, but I was still having problems. I decided to abandon the reinstall project and see if I could get some help. So I rebooted into my normal start-up volume (Root), only to find that because of the steps I had taken above to change permissions on my User volume, my user account on the Root volume had permissions problems.

At that point I just gave up and decided to restore to a back-up from a few hours before I started all of this. I'm now back to where I was - still having trouble with certain applications, system isn't fully stable, but at least the permissions are fine.

I'm wondering where I went wrong in the system reinstall? I've tried asking for help on the Apple Discussions forum, but they all think I'm crazy for having Applications and Users on a separate drive - so they aren't much help in telling me how to reinstall according to that way of setting things up. I'm hoping you might be able to help?

Thanks a lot,
Chris

eric
08-08-2008, 10:38 AM
So I right-clicked on my home directory and did a "Get Info". My user account wasn't even listed in the permissions area, so I clicked the "+" button and added my user account from the list. I then selected "Read & Write" for my user and checked "apply to enclosed items" and hit okay.
I'm pretty sure it's still the case that "apply to enclosed items" doesn't work the way you think it does. For awhile it wouldn't actually do a full recursive change on all items (files + directories) but only one or the other.

I think you're onto the right sort of fix if you're having permission problems on your home directory, you want to have the fix be recursive all the way down (with exception Public and Sites directories inside which typically have slightly different permissions).

For a GUI way to do this, download BatChmod -- a GUI wrapper for some unix commands that will make the changes to ownership and permissions (really) recursively.

switters
08-08-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks for your reply, Eric.

I'll look into the software you mention, but from your perspective, was I going about the reinstall in the proper way considering how my drives are setup?

ricks
08-08-2008, 10:57 AM
Sounds like some fun..... like getting in a car wreck huh?

Moving users around would not directly affect applications. I would not have assumed that something in my working install is the cause of application problems but would most likely look at the apps themselves. At times everyone will experience issues the hard part is knowing how and what to look at for a fix.

Part of my testing might be booting from a different clean OS install. Have to make sure that you create the user and that the Users identity matches the old OS install. Double check UID number if your computer has more than one user on it.

The good part of this entire thing is that 'YOU' (your user) is not attached to what could be a questionable OSX install. Because you have Users Directory on a separate drive and backed up it is safe. You can play all you want with OS installs and not risk your Users.

You might post what types of applications are giving you trouble. And how that trouble is manifesting. Usually you can see a pattern like every time it accesses this data file it crashes, or when I go to save a file it crashes.

One thing on your setup that doesn't to me to be quite right is your main photo data drive is on a partition of the scratch drive. Having scratch and Images on partitions of one drive is going to slow things considerably. I would reverse the usage, operate from the outer fast partition of drive IV, the one you have as Images Backup and backup to the slower partition on drive III. That way your computer isn't always waiting for the heads to move.

Fill in some application crash details and we'll knock heads over getting it fixed.

Rick

eric
08-08-2008, 11:01 AM
was I going about the reinstall in the proper way considering how my drives are setup?On the face of it I don't see things entirely out of whack. The only thing which I'm not sure about is this:


My strategy was to simply clone the fresh copy of OS X from my external FW drive to "Root"It could be that the fresh install didn't have the same users as your old "root" os x.

Alternatively the users were setup in different orders. At least through 10.4 (not sure about Leopard), OS X actually bases users not on names but numbers; 501 is the first user, all others sequentially. Suppose "switters" is the 2d user, while "eric" is third on OS X install1; "switters" is identified as 502, "eric" is identified as 503. But if on OS X install2 I added "eric" second & "switters" third, switters is identified as 503 and eric as 502. This gets ugly when you have a disc that you mount on both OS X install1 and OS X install2 -- ownership would end up getting flipped in my example on the items on the shared disc depending which OS install you've booted from.

I got bit by the user creation order myself between my laptop and my main MDD, as well as well I did a fresh install of 10.4 on my MDD. Ownership got totally mucked up photo archive as well as a moved Users.

If things are done exactly the same, then this may explain why things went a bit haywire.

switters
08-08-2008, 11:17 AM
Sounds like some fun..... like getting in a car wreck huh?

Moving users around would not directly affect applications. I would not have assumed that something in my working install is the cause of application problems but would most likely look at the apps themselves. At times everyone will experience issues the hard part is knowing how and what to look at for a fix.

Part of my testing might be booting from a different clean OS install. Have to make sure that you create the user and that the Users identity matches the old OS install. Double check UID number if your computer has more than one user on it.

The good part of this entire thing is that 'YOU' (your user) is not attached to what could be a questionable OSX install. Because you have Users Directory on a separate drive and backed up it is safe. You can play all you want with OS installs and not risk your Users.

You might post what types of applications are giving you trouble. And how that trouble is manifesting. Usually you can see a pattern like every time it accesses this data file it crashes, or when I go to save a file it crashes.

One thing on your setup that doesn't to me to be quite right is your main photo data drive is on a partition of the scratch drive. Having scratch and Images on partitions of one drive is going to slow things considerably. I would reverse the usage, operate from the outer fast partition of drive IV, the one you have as Images Backup and backup to the slower partition on drive III. That way your computer isn't always waiting for the heads to move.

Fill in some application crash details and we'll knock heads over getting it fixed.

Rick


Thanks Rick for your offer to help.

To be more specific, the application I'm having the most trouble with is Sigma Pro Photo. (It's a piece of garbage, I should add, but others have it working just fine on their Macs and I need it because it's the only application that will read the X3F RAW files from my Sigma DP1).

SPP crashes consistently (i.e. every time) when I 1) double-click on a photo to review it, and 2) attempt to "save as" a TIFF or JPEG. I've been in touch with Sigma and they haven't been able to resolve it.

I did boot up from the fresh copy of OS X I have on my external FW drive and install SPP, and it works fine.

However, it does not work even when I create a new user account on my normal boot drive (Root). This is what made me think it was an issue with my OS X install rather than a user problem.

However, to make things even more confusing, after linking my user directory from Users to my fresh OS X install, SPP started crashing again like before. Which suggests that it is, in fact, a user problem.

:confused:

I'm not sure what you meant by this, but I think it may be the key to how I screwed up before:


Have to make sure that you create the user and that the Users identity matches the old OS install. Double check UID number if your computer has more than one user on it.

This is, indeed, what I'd like to do: boot from the OS X install on my FW drive and try running it with my user as the home user. My computer does have more than one user on it, so perhaps that's where I went wrong. If you could possibly give me a step-by-step of how to re-link to my home directory on Users after booting into the FW OS X drive, I'd be very grateful.

And just to clarify - doing this won't screw up permissions or anything if I decide to boot back into my normal Root drive?

I'm attaching the first part of the crash report from Console after SPP crashes.

Thanks for the tip about reorganizing my drives. Perhaps that's why Photoshop and Lightroom aren't doing as well as they should be considering my Quad-Core system with 10 GB of RAM!

------------------------------------
Process: SIGMA Photo Pro [1229]
Path: /Volumes/Local/Applications/SIGMA Photo Pro.app/Contents/MacOS/SIGMA Photo Pro
Identifier: com.sigmaphoto.photopro
Version: 3.2e1 (3.2e1 (1009))
Code Type: X86 (Native)
Parent Process: launchd [160]

Date/Time: 2008-08-08 10:14:59.027 -0700
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.5.4 (9E17)
Report Version: 6

Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000000
Crashed Thread: 0

Thread 0 Crashed:
0 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0001e539 -[EditPanelController readSettings] + 855
1 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0001a199 -[EditPanelController awakeFromNib] + 975
2 com.apple.AppKit 0x96381c36 -[NSIBObjectData nibInstantiateWithOwner:topLevelObjects:] + 1613
3 com.apple.AppKit 0x96377e12 loadNib + 264
4 com.apple.AppKit 0x96377774 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) _loadNibFile:nameTable:withZone:ownerBundle:] + 946
5 com.apple.AppKit 0x963773b7 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) loadNibFile:externalNameTable:withZone:] + 171
6 com.apple.AppKit 0x963b76b5 -[NSWindowController loadWindow] + 235
7 com.apple.AppKit 0x963b744e -[NSWindowController window] + 86
8 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x00028cb5 -[MainWindowController openFileInNewWindow:] + 689
9 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0001f87b -[MainWindowController openFile:] + 205
10 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x00050672 -[ThumbnailView selectThumbnail:Event:IsDrag:] + 1814
11 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0004f12c -[ThumbnailView mouseDown:] + 274
12 com.apple.AppKit 0x9647f88b -[NSWindow sendEvent:] + 5381
13 com.apple.AppKit 0x9644c431 -[NSApplication sendEvent:] + 2941
14 com.apple.AppKit 0x963a9e27 -[NSApplication run] + 847
15 com.apple.AppKit 0x96377030 NSApplicationMain + 574
16 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x00002322 _start + 216
17 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x00002249 start + 41

Thread 1:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c284ee semaphore_wait_signal_trap + 10
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c5a866 _pthread_cond_wait + 1267
2 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95ca0371 pthread_cond_wait + 48
3 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000c50b5 FEvent::Wait(int) + 403 (FSyncObjectPosix.cpp:314)
4 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000e3058 FIPEngine2::priThreadFunc(void*) + 42 (FIPEngine2.cpp:665)
5 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000f1131 FPosixThread::PThreadEntry(void*) + 19 (FThreadPosix.cpp:227)
6 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c596f5 _pthread_start + 321
7 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c595b2 thread_start + 34

Thread 2:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c284ee semaphore_wait_signal_trap + 10
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c5a866 _pthread_cond_wait + 1267
2 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95ca0371 pthread_cond_wait + 48
3 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000c50b5 FEvent::Wait(int) + 403 (FSyncObjectPosix.cpp:314)
4 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0013394c FOVbLoader::priThreadFunc(void*) + 42 (FOVbLoader.cpp:199)
5 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000f1131 FPosixThread::PThreadEntry(void*) + 19 (FThreadPosix.cpp:227)
6 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c596f5 _pthread_start + 321
7 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c595b2 thread_start + 34

Thread 3:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c284a6 mach_msg_trap + 10
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c2fc9c mach_msg + 72
2 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x925ed0ce CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 1790
3 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x925edd54 CFRunLoopRun + 84
4 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0017aff8 FDeviceNotifyImpl::main(void*) + 136 (DeviceNotifyMacOSX.cpp:320)
5 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000f1131 FPosixThread::PThreadEntry(void*) + 19 (FThreadPosix.cpp:227)
6 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c596f5 _pthread_start + 321
7 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c595b2 thread_start + 34

Thread 4:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c284a6 mach_msg_trap + 10
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c2fc9c mach_msg + 72
2 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x925ed0ce CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 1790
3 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x925edd54 CFRunLoopRun + 84
4 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x0017aff8 FDeviceNotifyImpl::main(void*) + 136 (DeviceNotifyMacOSX.cpp:320)
5 com.sigmaphoto.photopro 0x000f1131 FPosixThread::PThreadEntry(void*) + 19 (FThreadPosix.cpp:227)
6 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c596f5 _pthread_start + 321
7 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c595b2 thread_start + 34

Thread 5:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c2f68e __semwait_signal + 10
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c5a36d pthread_cond_wait$UNIX2003 + 73
2 com.apple.QuartzCore 0x937b3e51 fe_fragment_thread + 54
3 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c596f5 _pthread_start + 321
4 libSystem.B.dylib 0x95c595b2 thread_start + 34

switters
08-08-2008, 11:20 AM
Alternatively the users were setup in different orders. At least through 10.4 (not sure about Leopard), OS X actually bases users not on names but numbers; 501 is the first user, all others sequentially. Suppose "switters" is the 2d user, while "eric" is third on OS X install1; "switters" is identified as 502, "eric" is identified as 503. But if on OS X install2 I added "eric" second & "switters" third, switters is identified as 503 and eric as 502. This gets ugly when you have a disc that you mount on both OS X install1 and OS X install2 -- ownership would end up getting flipped in my example on the items on the shared disc depending which OS install you've booted from.


I think this may be what happened. But I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to do it.

For example, the fresh install of OS X obviously already has one user on it. I have two user accounts on my main install. So, should I create two new users on the fresh install with the exact same short names as the ones on my main install, and then "re-link" their home folders to the directories on the Users volume? If so, then how do I do it in such a way that the users have the correct number?

eric
08-08-2008, 11:27 AM
So, should I create two new users on the fresh install with the exact same short names as the ones on my main install, and then "re-link" their home folders to the directories on the Users volume? If so, then how do I do it in such a way that the users have the correct number?Yeah recreate them, but do it in the same order.

To check the order, 10.4 or 10.5?
In 10.5
System Preferences -> Accounts
Authenticate (if the lock is not unlocked)
Right-click on a user in the list on the left -> Select "Advanced Options"
Look at: "User ID" -- note the number

That's a quick way to check for the User ID (or what Rick called the UID).

Boot from the old install, and check the UIDs for each user. Again it's sequential starting for 501. So when you need to create the other users in order 502, 503, etc.

ricks
08-08-2008, 11:41 AM
Eric said it exactly right. I don't want to muddy the waters more unless it looks like I could be useful doing so.

Just as an aside, Brian and I have our jeeps all packed and are leaving in a couple hours for a trip over the Bitteroot Range into Montana this afternoon/weekend. If I disappear on you it is preplanned, and not intended as a slight!

Rick

switters
08-08-2008, 12:05 PM
Yeah recreate them, but do it in the same order.

To check the order, 10.4 or 10.5?
In 10.5
System Preferences -> Accounts
Authenticate (if the lock is not unlocked)
Right-click on a user in the list on the left -> Select "Advanced Options"
Look at: "User ID" -- note the number

That's a quick way to check for the User ID (or what Rick called the UID).

Boot from the old install, and check the UIDs for each user. Again it's sequential starting for 501. So when you need to create the other users in order 502, 503, etc.

Thanks again, Eric.

My user is 502 and my wife's is 504. Obviously there must have been another user (503) at one point, but not any longer.

So let me make sure I have this straight:

1. Boot into the fresh OS X install
2. Create two new users, each with the same short name as the user accounts on my Users volume
3. Manually change the UIDs of the new users to match the values listed above
4. Re-link the home folders of each user to the directories on the Users volume
5. Restart

Then I still have to create the Symlinks and put the home folders for the new users I created on the fresh OS X volume in the trash, right? Would I log in as "root" to do this, or start up from another volume?

switters
08-08-2008, 12:10 PM
One more question:

If I do these steps correctly and make sure the User IDs are the same, is it safe to have the same User directories linked to two different OS X installs (in my case, the normal "Root" volume and the "fresh OS X install" on my external disk?

I guess I'll have to reinstall all of my applications if I go this route. Ughh. Just to get one lousy application working correctly (Sigma Pro Photo). What a drag.

Rick - have a great trip! Sounds fantastic. If we still haven't resolved it by next week I'll post again.

Thanks,
Chris

eric
08-08-2008, 12:31 PM
If I do these steps correctly and make sure the User IDs are the same, is it safe to have the same User directories linked to two different OS X installs (in my case, the normal "Root" volume and the "fresh OS X install" on my external disk?
Yeah, this should work without a hitch. Getting the UIDs are key, since the home directories are linked to users (aka UIDs).

ricks
08-08-2008, 12:37 PM
I have found the setup even works with different OS revisions! You can run the same USer Directory with a Tiger OS install and a Leopard install. The one place where THAT doesn't work is for data bases like the one made by iPhoto. Once a iPhoto database is upgraded to a newer OS version, or newer iPhoto version, the database is no longer accessible to the older version. The linking and User structure is the same though.

Thanks for the good wishes. You should see our jeeps, they look like we are going on safari somewhere :D

R