Friday, November 12, 2010

Removing ‘etc’ and ‘var’ Directories in Mac OS X Causes Mac Data Loss

When attempting to start up Mac OS X, you may come across one or more of the following symptoms:

Your Mac stops responding during startup
Setup Assistant rematerializes
BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) commands which access files in var and etc fail

A message box appears with the message which contains: “/etc/master.passwd: no such file or directory.”

After any of these situations, you Mac refuses to start and you can’t access any of the data stored on your hard drive. The possible reason of this behavior is the deletion of “etc” and “var” directories. These directories appear when you start your Mac and they should not be removed for proper working of your system.

Etc- It contains all of the configuration files of your Mac system including both scripts for actually performing several tasks as well as documents specifying the configuration information. It is the most important data structure file which is used by the HFS series of file systems.

Var- This is the system directory which stores variables and library files produced by the Mac operating system to control the processes. It also stores a fair bit of the configuration information.

After deletion of these directories, Mac operating system won’t be able to retrieve the required files to start the operating system and will refuse to boot up. To work around this issue, you need to install a fresh copy of both these directories which is possible by formatting the drive and reinstalling the operating system.

Though this method solves the issue and it won’t occur in future but also wipes the data stored on the hard drive and leads to the possible data loss problems. During formatting of the hard drive, all of the data stored on it will be removed. It is the most critical situation for a Mac user which requires Mac data recovery to get all the data back.

Mac data recovery is feasible through the use of Mac data recovery software which are capable of scanning the drive and retrieving data and information from it.

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