Reader Ayrton Camargo has hit an impasse when attempting to repair permissions on his laptop. He writes:
On my PowerBook Titanium G4 500MHz I can not repair permissions. When I try I see an error that reads “No valid packages.” What is going on?
In all likelihood you (or someone just like you) has moved the BaseSystem.pkg file from the Receipts folder within your Library folder at the root level of your hard drive (/Library/Receipts/BaseSystem.pkg). When this file is missing, you encounter this error. Unfortunately, there’s a notion floating around the Web that it’s perfectly okay to toss the contents of this Receipts folder to free up space on your hard drive. It’s not, so don’t.
The solution to the problem is to put the BaseSystem.pkg file back in the Receipts folder. If you’ve intentionally removed and deleted it, your job just got harder. In such a situation you should find a Mac buddy who’s running your PowerBook’s version of the Mac OS, grab a copy of this file from his or her computer, and plunk it into the Receipts folder on your Mac.
If you’re buddy-less, you can put things right by performing an archive and install installation of the Mac OS.