"/etc/master.passwd: No such file of directory" - Please help me!

HelpMyMac

Registered
I have the original style iMac (Graphite Firewire version) and whenever I go to boot it up, it gives me this message. What can I do to fix this? My younger brother managed to screw this mac up and I can't even boot it up anymore.

Where do I go from here? Thanks!
 

ksv

web developer
Seems like you're missing at least one crucial system file. Try to boot in single user mode by holding down command and s until you reach a command prompt. Type
Code:
cd /etc
- does that work?
 

HelpMyMac

Registered
Nope, start it up in single user mode, type "cd /etc" and all it does is bring down a line of text that says "sh-2.05a#"

...if I type "cd/etc" (no space between the "cd" and "/etc") it says: "sh: cd/etc: No such file or directory".
 

HelpMyMac

Registered
bobw - I just got done doing this. I'm at the final step:

"Look for these two items in the output:

lrwxrwxr-t  1 root  admin  {date} etc -> private/etc
lrwxrwxr-t  1 root  admin  {date} var -> private/var"

When I did the previous step, it listed "/etc/master.passwd: No such file of directory" a whole bunch of times and then below it, I can see a file that says "private/var"

The "private/etc" is no where to be found.

Apple says to repeat the steps until these files are there...but I have no idea what they mean by this.
 

HelpMyMac

Registered
Come on guys... I'm missing the "private/etc" ...how do I restore this? Apple does not tell me how to.
 

davidbrit2

Licensed Computer Geek
You're probably just going to have to reinstall if the entire /etc directory got blown away. There's quite a lot of system configuration and whatnot that's stored in that directory.
 

Darkshadow

wandering shadow
Yep, a reinstall is what you'll have to do. The stuff that starts the boot process is located there, as well as system configuration stuff.
 

g/re/p

I can haz cigar?
Archive and Install would have been the first option before
doing a complete re-install...
 

tinkrbell16

Registered
I had the same exact problem, and have done the archive and install. Would anyone know how I can retrieve files, such as photos from iphoto? When I try to open most files in the previous system folder I get an error saying "could not be opened because you do not have sufficient access privileges." Please someone help!
 

davidbrit2

Licensed Computer Geek
Find the Previous System Folder, Get Info from the Finder (Command-i), change the owner of the folder to your own account in the Ownership & Permissions section, and then click the "Apply to enclosed items" button. You might have to enter your administrator password to do this, and it could take a while to go through it all. Normally it would be a fantastically bad idea to do this to a live system installation, but since this is an archive of all the old stuff that you're just going to harvest important files out of, it'll be fine. If any other files give you trouble after that, check the permissions on the file in that same part of the Get Info window.
 
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