Clarence problem ... help needed.

Hi any of you Mac system gurus, can you help.

I must have done something, but I can’t for the life of me think what, which I want to be able to reverse. This is on Clarence 10.7.2 on the new MacBook Pro (I haven’t yet upgraded it to 10.7.3).

The result of whatever I did is that now, when I right-click an item and choose “Move to Trash”, I get an alert “Finder wants to make changes. Type your password to allow this.” On clicking OK, the item doesn’t just get moved to Trash, Trash gets emptied immediately. This means that if I’ve clicked OK, I can’t then change my mind and get whatever it is back out of Trash.

The only things that I know to have changed are: installing PrivacyScan from SecureMac to try, but I’ve looked all through that and can’t see doing automatic Trash-emptying as part of it; and I’ve bitten an awful bullet to install a standard version of CrossOver from CodeWeavers (already set up version of Wine) with IE6 <ugh!> to be able to enter student marks on the university system without having to chase around to find a non-public Windows-box with IE (You have to use IE on a machine on the university network!) … but I don’t know if that can have caused this when CrossOver is not actually running. I’ve also looked through everything in System Preferences, Finder Preferences, and View Preferences, but can’t find anything that would cause this.

I have never installed the awful MacKeeper on this machine, and I don’t have the problem on the MBA, on which I did have it installed.

Have any of you got any idea how I might have set this up?

Thanks for any advice.


Sounds like your disk is mounted improperly. Did you do a “transfer” of your user account (or a restore) or is this a virgin account?

Nope, nope and nope. This is the only user account on the computer and the one I have been using since its purchase at the beginning of December 2011. NB, if it helps to know, since you think it is a mounting problem (and I know you’ve been in discussions on SSDs in the Windows forums), the disk is a 500GB SSHD.

I’ve got it backing up at the moment. When it’s done, I’ll try repairing permissions, perhaps login to the restore partition and run “Verify/Repair Disk” from there.

Thanks for your help, Jaysen.


If it is new a new account then my suspicions would be unfounded. I don’t think there is any issue relative to SSD (a drive is a drive from the view of the finder).

Boot to restore then run the permission check. That is the best plan.

Good luck.

Hi, I’ve rebooted into the restore folder, done permissions, repaired disk, then rebooted into my normal account and did a bootable backup, followed by rebooting with system extensions turned off and updating to 7.3 … still the same situation. I fear it’s going to mean doing an HD-wipe and clean re-install of the whole system and apps, and then restoring my data from a back-up. I’ll wait till I’m in the UK and on a fast network before I do that, though …

Thanks for your help … though if anyone else has any idea what I might have done, please let me know.

Or is it simply that Clarence has more of a mind of it’s own even than a supermarket trolley!


Ok, since you are going to blow it all soon anyway, and since I really want to know, let’s try somethings.

  1. Create yet another new account. Try the create/delete there and see if you get a different behavior.
  2. If it works properly AND you can run the risk, login to the non-orking account, open terminal and type and try the following sudo chown -R ${USER} ~
  3. if you still have a problem, in the terminal window to the followingwhoami id ls -l /Users

Planning on a few month in the UK again? Why leave the warm near tropics for … near Portland weather?

What does the trash folder look like in Terminal?

ls -la ~

And look at the .Trash line. It should start with “drwx------ yourname staff …”

If the permissions are different, or it is owned by root, that could explain why you can’t move anything to it without authentication.

Dang. That’s the simplest check yet. Sometimes I really don’t like you. Sometimes.

Thanks for advice, Jaysen and Amber. Having been busy trying to get my head round leaving — pre-retirement exercise, Jaysen — I have not had time to try any of your suggestions, but …

The day before yesterday, I think it was … certainly a day or so after I upgraded to Clarence .3, not immediately, Clarence seems to have cured itself of deletion-diarrhoea, and is now working as normal. Who knows? I really do think Clarence gives a supermarket trolley a run for its money*.


  • For those on the other side of the puddle or elsewhere on our planet, a standard, non-politically correct perhaps mother of all “Essex-jokes” from the late '80s:
    Question: What’s the difference between an Essex girl and a supermarket trolley?
    Answer: The supermarket trolley has a mind of its own!