Which boot drive to repair permissions


I have a 176 GB external hard drive connected to my 800 MHz G4 iMac. OS X 10.3.9 is installed on both drives. I use the external drive primarily for backup, in which case I boot from the internal HD, but also as a boot drive to run utilities like DiskWarrior.

To repair permissions on the external HD, does it matter which drive I boot from? When booted from the internal drive, there are three accounts on the machine, mine (admin), my wife's, and one for guests. No one but me boots from the external drive, so mine is the only account. Does that make any difference? The whole permissions thing still has me confused, though I've learned to live with it.


It's easiest if you repair permissions on the drive that you're currently booted from. Some will say you can repair permissions on another drive that you're not booted from, and some will say you cannot.

One thing is clear: a full permissions repair can be guaranteed by performing the repair permissions operation on the drive you're currently booted from.