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Recovering from blue screen login problems System
I know a lot of people suffered from the login screen just never changing into the desktop after some crash, and uptil now it never happened to me. However, after a Medal of Honor - Allied Assault crash earlier today, all my apps, including the WindowServer, quit, and there was nothing I could do to log back on. fsck, reparing permissions from the install cd, nothing did the trick.

I searched a lot on the web, a lot of solutions were offered, but none did the trick. Finally found someone mention that it could be a pref file issue, or a corrupt font. It turns out the solution is simple:
  1. Boot in single user mode and issue a mount -uw / command to mount the root filesystem as writable.

  2. Change the name of /Users -> your_username -> Library to /Users -> your_username -> Library.bak or something else.

  3. Type exit
OS X will boot and will create a new ~/Library folder along the way. Now you just have to isolate the culprit, dragging prefs one by one in the new pref folder and logging in again. If that doesn't do it, then drag your fonts. When you drag the corrupted .plist, the WindowServer will crash again, and you just have to repeat the procedure listed above.

Hope this helps.

NB: it's better to not have automatic logging in activated at all ;o)
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Recovering from blue screen login problems | 11 comments | Create New Account
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didn't help me
Authored by: Embro on Jan 27, '03 10:50:11AM

I'm glad this worked for you but when it happened to me I did not have autologin set. would stop and ask me to login, but none of my 5 accounts, including root would allow me to login. It would just cycle back to the login screen.

I ended up having to reinstall 10.2 overtop of my existing install using the archive setting to retain my users.

This fixed it but i then, of course, had to resetup all my extra things such as sendmail etc.

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Authored by: nobody on Jan 27, '03 06:21:58PM

Why not delete the /Library/Preferences/ first? In most situations when I could not login anymore, the windowserver crashed at startup (only blue screen, no login-window), which was resolved after deleting its preferences file.
Also before removing the complete ~/Library Directory, you could first try to rename only the ~/Library/Preferences Directory.

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Authored by: Pip on Mar 03, '03 07:22:02PM

i spent two days troubleshooting this on my iBook (progress bar would spin endlessly while trying to log in with nothing else happening)...i just renamed /Library/Caches, rebooted, and all was well again.

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/Library/Caches: more details
Authored by: Pip on Apr 03, '03 11:45:19PM

I've gotten several emails about this, so I figured i'd clarify a bit (all commands are without the quotes):

Boot in single user mode and issue a 'mount -uw /' command to mount the root filesystem as writable.

To rename the /Library/Caches directory, enter 'mv /Library/Caches /Library/Caches.bad'

At that point, reboot (with the 'reboot' command) and see if it works.

I hope this works for you: if it doesn't, feel free to send me an email

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Authored by: dschreffler on May 01, '03 10:53:52PM

This solved the problem I had. Thanks!

My symptoms were;
OSX started up fine. Any user who would log in would freeze after entering their password, and attempting to log in. The "logging in" bar would spin forever.

This was somehow caused by system freeze up during install of new version of iTunes. Forced me to power off as the force quit would not respond.

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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: gordk on Apr 20, '03 02:05:18PM

sorry for the beginner's question but how are you able to enter any commands when you get the blue screen? i've tried to reboot in various ways but always end up getting the initial gray apple / moving circle screen followed by the blue screen...and then it stops.

I can't even insert the original system disk i got with my pbook as i've got a game cd already in place...any suggestions?


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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: GaelicWizard on Apr 21, '03 02:49:24AM

hold down apple-s to boot 'single user' but if you don't know how to do this already, then you almost certainly DON'T want to try it without some serious research and/or help.


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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: st3v3n on Apr 21, '03 07:27:22AM

to eject the cd hold down either the mouse button or trackpad
button when power-on and keep it pressed until cd ejects.

You can then put in whatever cd you want. I've not had the
blue-screen prob yet and hopefully wont but an alternative
solution maybe to boot from a firewire hard drive. i use carbon-
copy cloner wekly to copy me entire tibook hd to a bootable
firewire drive which i then startup from when i need to change
something in os x on the pb.

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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: frederw on Apr 27, '03 01:28:04AM

I'm in exactly this situation, with a few frustrating complications.

Holding down the mouse button during powerup is not ejecting the CD. Ironically, it's a CD I was burning as a backup. Are there any other ways to eject a CD from a sick machine?

Holding down command-S is not putting me into single-user mode. Screen goes blue, stays blue, no Unix prompt.

Holding down command-V isn't giving me any of the verbose mode messages.

My next move, unless someone can suggest something better, will be trying to come up in target disk mode and mounting the disk on another Mac.

OS X 10.1, powermac G4. Things were running normally until I woke it up from overnight sleep. I put in my backup CDRW, it didn't show on the desktop, I tried to eject it, nothing happened, I tried rebooting and ever since I've been looking at blue screens. Waiting them out doesn't work, I've left the machine for hours and it hasn't booted.

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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: frederw on Apr 27, '03 03:14:04AM

Well, never mind. I was hitting the wrong button to do a reset. Machine is up and running now.

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Recovering from blue screen login problems
Authored by: mr.happymac on May 01, '03 02:46:04PM

thanks for this great tip:
it certainly saved the day! we figured out another work-around if you
have classic installed:

boot in classic, rename the library of the disfunctional user to
something like Library.backup and rebbot in OS X! Has the same
effect without the singal user mode - for those who prefer a GUI when
"messing around".

PB G4 667, MocOs 10.2.5, 1GB

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