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Moving my digital life from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard some file permissions have been mixed up in the process.

Sometimes I can't move certain folders (I can only copy them) as I seem to lack appropriate permissions. I tried migrating my user permissions down the folder structure, used "BatChmod" - but ultimately this has been nagging me enough to go for a fresh Snow Leopard Install.

I would now want to move over my relevant data - without the emotional-permission-issue-baggage.

I was thinking of moving my files to a FAT 32 HD, would that help? Or do you know of another way to strip my files of their heritage without taking away all their dignity (and content)

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Can't you just bring up a terminal and

sudo chown -R username:groupname directory-with-bad-perms

That is "as super user, change the ownership of directory-with-bad-perms (and all subdirectories, that's the -R) so that it belongs to the user username and the group groupname".

If you dont know which group to use, just

ls -la some-directory-with-correct-perms

like so

per@MacPro ~ $ ls -la Downloads
lrwxr-xr-x  1 per  staff    24B Oct 18 11:31 Downloads

that would be user "per" in group "staff".

And please do try this on ONE folder first if you don't feel comfortable with the terminal yet.

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Moving the files to a fat32 drive, won't do a thing, since the OS will automatically create a ._*filename* file to preserve that data, or create a hidden resource fork to store the data....

Just create a new user, and copy over the user data from the old user. Don't copy the library directory... Instead just copy over the specific folder from the library file you need (eg. Mail, Safari).

Then do a get info on the new users folder, and choose "assign to enclosed items". That should hopefully resolve your issue, without a full re-install.

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Thanks a lot for the explanation, I tried that but there's still two types of folders left, the ones that behave normally and the one where my username appear two times in the list of owners (next to both it says read and write) - but the caption above says that I have "adapted user rights" (I have a german, localized version here so this might not be the exact wording). Would you know how to go about this? – stephendedalus Oct 17 '09 at 18:04
Can you give me some examples of folders that have your user listed twice? If they are non-critical folders, I would just recreate them, or apply/force the user permissions to match. – Benjamin Schollnick Oct 18 '09 at 4:44

Have you tried using the Repair Permissions utility in Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility)?

Failing that, if you're going for a fresh reinstall, try using the Mac Migration assistant to copy all the relevant files.

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-1 Repair Permissions doesn't touch user's files. – Steve Folly Oct 16 '09 at 17:48

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