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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore System
After formatting my system disk and then restoring everything from a Retrospect backup, my Keychain Access no longer functioned. It would not accept the correct password for my keychain nor could a new keychain file be created. This was also true for a new user account I created for testing this issue. As the new user, it 'pretended' to create a new keychain, but no file was created.

The Apple Keychain First Aid tool was no use. It just rejected the password continuously, just as did the Keychain Access application. Re-applying the 10.2.5 combo update did not resolve the problem. All the User folders and file permissions and user ID's were fine.

What I eventually found was that the system directory /var/tmp no longer existed. After creating this directory, as root user, Keychain access again functioned completely - even with the original keychain file.

YMMV, but this solved the problem on my system. However, I do now wonder what other gotcha's are waiting down the line with this restored system. System backup/restore is an application which requires total trust. And I notice that Dantz has a posting acknowledging this problem three weeks ago which they still haven't responded to.

BTW, the vi editor was also unhappy about this missing directory, and I found the missing directory due to a line in the system.log file complaining about not being able to place console.log in that location during the boot process.
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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore | 9 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Use Disk Copy / CCC for full backups
Authored by: Paul Burney on Apr 30, '03 11:07:03AM

After trying the full Retrospect app, the retrospect client to a
server at work, and a few other tools (hfsPax), I'm pretty much
just using Disk Copy and Carbon Copy Cloner to make my

Attach a FW drive and in disk copy select "New image from
device". Select "Read Only" as the format so it doesn't take up
unnecessary space. It takes a couple hours for me to back up
my 30 GB of data.

When I need a piece of data from backup, I can just mount the
image. If I need to reformat, I just wipe the drive and use
Carbon Copy Cloner to move the contents over.

This way preserves the resource forks, symlinks, aliases, etc.
CCC also makes sure the necessary symlinks (mach.sym, etc)
are in place so there won't be problems booting.

Note, this method is obviously for full backups only, not
incremental ones.

BTW, my problem with Retrospect Client is that sometimes it
takes over the computer, with retropds and pitond jumping up to
90% of the CPU and never stopping. It's like they are talking to
the server, even though the server isn't listening.

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CCC also does "incremental" back-up
Authored by: hamarkus on Apr 30, '03 02:07:05PM

CCC also has a sync-feature, only backing up changes. Not quite an incremental back-up, since you still end up with only one back-up, but reducing the time needed for backing up considerably. Probably doesn't work with a read-only image, but as I understand it the image only introduces additional security against accidentally deleting anything.

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: mzdial on Apr 30, '03 01:38:54PM

Great tip! Apple needs to know about this, as the Knowledge
Base is lacking this and most of the users just recommend to
just reinstall 10.2.

Thanks a lot! You just fixed four laptops in my office (maybe
more once I let IT know about this gem!)

-- Matt

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: martinx on Apr 30, '03 01:40:17PM
I recently posted a thread related to this subject in the forums.

Basically the problem I was experiencing is that the Keychain would periodically "forget" my wireless key, causing the frequent unpleasant experience of having to re-enter a 26 character value. During the process of trying to troubleshoot the problem I noticed that if I made a copy of the keychain file and copied it back when the keychain forgot my key the keychain would suddenly "pretend" that there were *no* keys. My conclusion for this is that the keychain file for some reason had to be managed in a special way. Not sure why the wireless key was singled out for deletion, though since I changed access so it has to prompt me every time it wants it I haven't seen the problem re-occur.

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: porkchop_d_clown on Apr 30, '03 07:37:40PM

Deleting the wireless key seems to have something to do with switching to a different wireless network and then back. (That's my experience, anyway....)

Maybe you've got a neighbor with an access point that your machine is occasionally picking up?

Everyone loves a clown, but no one will lend him money!

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Apr 30, '03 02:26:50PM

I basically only use tar and rsync for backup of my data. I can live without resource fork in case of an accident.

Or CCC for a full backup.

I do not trust propritary backup tools. You proved me right again.

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: mikek on Apr 30, '03 05:06:30PM

Below is an email I got from Dantz tech support this morning. Coincidence? You make the call. Either way, it looks like it will be in their FAQ asap, and they'll probably have a fix for it soon.
Re: Keychain issue

It looks like the problem has been found:

Apple let us know that they were able to explain rather quickly that the
keychain problem is a known issue that occurs if /var/tmp is removed
from the system. The workaround is to recreate this directory by hand
with the proper permissions:

sudo mkdir /private/var/tmp
sudo chmod 1777 /private/var/tmp

Note that the contents of the directory don't need to be recreated, just
the directory itself.

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: sgnewman on Apr 30, '03 06:34:10PM

I've had 100% success with Retrospect Express by using
the "Duplicate" function to make a clone of the OS X
(10.1.5 and 10.2.1) startup disk. Choose to duplicate all
files (including caches). This makes a perfect, bootable,
cloned copy. You can boot from the second, cloned copy
and then use the copy of Retrospect Express on that copy
to duplicate back to the original, if needed.

Carbon Copy Cloner also works great.

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Fixing a broken Keychain after a Retrospect restore
Authored by: James RS on May 01, '03 06:05:53AM

I want an alternative to Retrospect too, as I did not want my
data in Retrospect's own format. For the last 3 days, I have
been checking out Tri Backup, ( which is also available under the
name Data Backup X ). So far my experience has been good. So
if you want something a little more sophisticated than CCC, it
seems to be an option. Anyone else tried this?

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