And I found at least one Apple Support Discussion on it. Two utility solutions are MacPilot and TinkerTool System. Both will unlock wihthout requiring the terminal access.
I've now seen this three times on three different unrelated systems in the last couple of months which leads me to believe I will be seeing it again in the future. I'm hoping someone out there has some info on how to AVOID this, so far the remedies are very time consuming.
The short story is, after repairing disk permissions using the Apple OS Disk Utility and/or verifying "Sharing & Permissions" in the "Get Info" window of a drive, all connected hard drives on the system will suddenly have a small lock icon on the lower left corner of the drive icon. "Custom" is what appears in the "Get Info" window in the "Sharing & Permissions" for both System and Admin users and they can't be changed.
The drives won't open when clicked on saying something about "you don't have correct permissions or privileges to access this drive".
Rebooting, creating new users, repairing Disk permissions and/or repair disk in Disk Utility, Disk Warrior, booting from another drive and even booting from an Apple OS installer disk have no effect on the locked drives, I can't get to them.
I have found the Terminal commands via internet searches that will change flagns and/or unlock the drives but I don't really like to have to login as the root user and do ANYTHING in Terminal unless I really have to. This will give me access to the drives in most cases and I'm able to get the data off of it successfully but an OS on any of these drives must be wiped and reinstalled to be bootable and work properly.
Although the behavior of this problem is very much a permissions issue it also has a virus sort of behavior to it too. Since in one fell swoop all connected drives all of sudden have trashed privileges/permissions.
I have run both McAfee and Symantec Antivirus software on the system. Neither has found any viruses. Symantec says it has come across many files that it can't get to because it doesn't have permission which leads me to believe that there are still some files on the drive affected by this problem.
Problem files backed up via Time Machine and restored may still have permissions problems.
My questions are:
What is causing this?
How can I avoid this?
Is there any effective ways or utilities, etc. that can clean this up with going to Terminal command lines and/or wiping out drives and reinstalling everything.
Any help is greatly appreciated!
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