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Recovering from repetitive login failures System
I updated to 10.1.3, and when I tried to log in, the Finder continuously crashed! After diagnosing and resolving the problem, I realized that this might be a general principle with "failed" updates in OS X.

So, here's a step-by-stop process for dealing with log in failures in OS X:
  1. Hold down the power button to force a shutdown, then start in single-user mode (hold down command-S until you see the "weird" black screen with Mach/Unix boot information scrolling down it)

  2. Repair the damage to your hard drive by typing:
    /sbin/fsck -y [hit return]
  3. "Mount" your hard drive by typing
    mount / [hit return]
  4. Delete your user's preferences folder. Do this by typing:
    cd /Users/[yourname]/Library [hit return]
    mv Preferences Preferences.old [hit return]
    mkdir Preferences [hit return]
  5. Reboot by typing:
Note that this has the effect of restoring your account to the way it was the first time you logged in. Assuming this works, you can now (if you want) use Terminal to copy your old preferences files (one at a time!) into your new preferences directory. I would suggest that you reboot after each preference file, until you find the one that was giving you grief.
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Authored by: locklin on Feb 26, '02 06:36:04AM

You can type "exit" and continue the startup in multiuser mode (Mac OS X mode)

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Exit vs. reboot
Authored by: robg on Feb 26, '02 09:08:01AM
There's a good discussion of this in a previous tip. In particular, note the last comment - after an "exit", the reader noticed that there was no swapfile! I think 'reboot' is a safer option after mucking about in single user mode... -rob.

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How do I boot into single user mode with OF Password installed?
Authored by: JKT on Feb 26, '02 09:25:02AM

I have Open Firmware Password from Apple installed which means that you need to enter a password to be able to switch to another system (e.g. OS9) on another partition when holding option down at bootup. A consequence of this is that I don't seem to be able to use com-S to enter Single User mode at boot-up. Does anyone know how I can get into SU mode with OF Password installed?


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Disable the OF password.
Authored by: zs on Feb 26, '02 10:18:05AM
This is what I had to do according to Apple KBase article 106482:
If you cannot access the Open Firmware Password application and need to troubleshoot your computer by: * resetting the PRAM * starting up in Single-user mode * starting up in Verbose mode * starting from CD-ROM 1. Start up into Open Firmware by pressing and holding the Command-Option-O-F key combination during startup. 2. At the Open Firmware prompt, type: reset-nvram 3. Press Return. 4. When prompted for your password, enter it and press the Return key. It responds OK. 5. At the Open Firmware prompt, type: reset-all 6. Press Return. The computer restarts and you are now be able to reset the PRAM and startup in Single-user mode, Verbose mode, or from CD-ROM.
or if you can boot and use the Open Firmware Password Protection utility, I would recommend that. I had managed to munge my system but was unable to start up with a CD. I didn't have access to the internet in 9 because the PPPoE client my DSL provider provided would not install on my system. Sucked having to find this info on a friends computer. Would be nice if it just prompted for a pass when trying to boot off a CD or in single user mode. I think I might just head over to Apple's feedback page. z

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How do I boot into single user mode with OF Password installed?
Authored by: Severian on Feb 26, '02 11:50:06AM
Open a Terminal window. Type
sudo /sbin/shutdown now
Enter your password when prompted. OS X will shutdown and you'll be left in single-user mode. Carry on from there.

[ Reply to This | # ]
How do I boot into single user mode with OF Password installed?
Authored by: JKT on Feb 27, '02 06:48:25AM

Thanks Severian/zs!

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The Truth
Authored by: muller on Feb 26, '02 06:21:08PM

This is actually a Finder preference corruption. what you need to do is log in as >console at the login screen and the delete your /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ file. type logout and then log in as usual. you will need to set up your preferences again for the Finder.
If you delete your entire preferences folder you will be setting yourself up for some letdowns.

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fsck -y
Authored by: pecosbill on Feb 27, '02 12:20:37PM

For step #2, you REALLY should run that command, fsck -y , repeatedly until it stops reporting that the filesystem was modified. Whenever I have to reset my machine (rare, thankfully), I ALWAYS end up with fixes on subsequent passes. Sometimes three or more passes are needed.

I usually type multiple commands (3, generally) into the terminal at once followed by returns. That queues them up for execution so it's not waiting for me to type the next command.

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