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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - Strange Login problem - HELP!


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Lakinni

 
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Hi
I've been up all night trying to fix a crazy login problem...
getting to the point of breaking things, so any help or ideas would be GREAT

This happened last night,
on a 3-month-old (yep, a few days after the 90-day-phone support/help expired :bomb: )
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac (OS X 10.4.8)
2GB 667 MHz still with over 130GB memory free
airport connected to a Linksys wireless network

Nothing was installed yesterday, nor any new configuration (that I know of)

I was jut downloading something using Firefox
then wanted to switch to the only other user profile and it DIDN'T ACCEPT THE PASSWORD,
so I tried going back to my own profile and
didn't accept my password either (!!!)
I restarted, and could not log in as either users,
Loging screen just shakes saying PASSWORDS for either users ARE WRONG!

Ever since I've tried:

1. disconnected all peripherals (even removed my graphic tablet, thought might be conflicting with the wireless keyboard)

2. tried login under Safe Mode: and it works! it ACCEPTS BOTH passwords but ONLY ON SAFE MODE (???!!!)

3. on safe mode checked out all login/startup items, (no problem there)
as well as all programs that I have (nothing had been changed the day the **** hit the fan!)

4. created new user (with admin power) and tried normal login:
nope, didn't accept that password either! (but on Safe Mode it's also ok)

5. using the (booting from) Install Disk CHANGED the passwords:
still, accepts the passwords ONLY on Safe Mode!

6. tried on Safe Modus AND starting mac from install disK:
verified Permissions AND Disk, but didn't show any problems

7. then on Safe Modus (AND again starting from install disks): despite no diagnosed problem, tried repairing:
BUT, even after "Repair Disk" AND "Permission Repairs" still can only login on Safe Mode!

8. removed all users preferences

9. erased caches

10. even resetted PRAM

it did log in twice normally, accepting my password (dumb me thought problem was solved)...
but then as I manually selected which wireless network (usually it connects with our netword automatically)
and opened firefox again, and tried switching to the other user... AGAIN:
wouldn't accept the password (either), and on reboot it only accepts the passwords on Safe Mode


Other than reinstalling the whole thing (noooo!) I don't know what else I can try!!!


+++++++ Has anyone ANY idea whythehell would the PASSWORDS from all/any users
(even ones without preferences & with empty caches) be only accepted on Safe Mode? +++++++


Could it have anything to do with the Airport? Or firewall?
(I did have GlowWorm scanning stuff, don't know if it blocked something important by mistake?)

Lack of sleep is probably making me forget any info or steps I've tried... but I gotta fix this today (really REALLY desperate here)

Thanks for any input!!!!! :radioacti
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Lakinni

 
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By the way, I even removed / uninstalled my Graphire because I thought it might have suddenly started conflicting with the wireless keyboard (I know, makes no sense),

then I thought maybe it had to do that the keyboard is a a "Swiss" keyboard, but it NEVER had any issues before,
and NONE of the passwords that don't get accepted (unless is on Safe Mode) have any keys that might be different from English to German!


I also flushed lookupd's cache, took a few seconds for my password to be checked under normal login, then shake-shaaake, password incorrect ARGH!!

Now back to only being able to log in under Safe mode... :blind:


Please, nothing??! Anyone?
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Lakinni

 
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Mmmm... was trying to decipher what's written on system.log
(to see what--if somethin--is not loading right) and I get several

.... kernel[0]: (163: ps)tfp: failed on 0:

(other numbers than 163 too) right after lookupd starting

Then also

...SystemStarter[274]: authentication service (285) did not complete successfully

more "failed on 0" stuff and

...SystemStarter[274]: The following StartupItems failed to properly start:

(but doesn't seem to list whatever StartupItems were they)
and it says also (don't know if it's relevant):

...kernel[0]: USB caused wake event (EHCI)

I feel reeeally ignorant here.... and about to trash everything

No ideas, anybody????

--------------------------------------------------------------

I REALLY didn't want to reinstall everything.... but I can't see a way out!
..after 8 hours straight working on this....
I'm about to give up...


You guys, really, NO ideas???!!!!

(or is the post too long / confused / boring?)
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MacHeadCase
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Welcome to Mac-Forums, Lakinni.

First thing, try to log into your account. See what there is in the Startup Items. I think something is interfering greatly with the boot process or you installed something that made the system go nuts. Or another possibility is the maintenance tasks never being run at all.

Second, have you tried creating a new user account from scratch? See if the startup process is this awkward in that new account also?

Third, when did this weird behaviour start? Did you install something prior that messed up the Mac this way? Not necessarily just the minute before your Mac acted up but a few days before? I have no clue what GlowWorm is so...

Things you can also try: boot from the DVD that came with your Mac and run Disk Utility on the hard drive see if it can't find any messed up code in your system. Download MainMenu and clean out all the caches. An excellent utility that could save your stuff right now is Alsoft's DiskWarrior: it's pricey but it's worth its weight in gold and it does get you out of tight jams like this one.

So far from your description, it sounds like the problem could be system-wide and a re-install might be in order but the new user account created from scratch will either confirm this theory or prove it wrong.

Another thing that would be good to know is: do you let your Mac on at night so it can run its maintenance tasks every day? If not, you should run them manually in the future (using either MainMenu or OnyX): this will ensure your system stays in top shape.
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Lakinni

 
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Thanks so much for answering MacHeadCase

I'll try all your suggestions, meanwhile I can answer some of your questions:

yeah it stays on at night, on sleep modus though (can it still perform maintenance that way?)... I'll make sure to check on maintenance through MainMenu / OnyX though, if it'd keep it from happening again!

I had installed some stuff a day or two before this happened.

At the time it happened I remember a few programs were open, but I was working mostly with firefox, and a pop-up from this GlowWorm came on asking if it should block whatever (it something that kind of works like a firewall stopping stuff from going online--I got it cause I wanted to monitor all that's been going and didn't know if there was other better ways to do in mac)
I suspect I might've been typing real fast as usual and clicked the pop-up away without seeing what it was and it might've changed / blocked something, no idea....

I did start / boot from the DVD several times, run check ups, did "permission repairs" and even "restore disk"... somehow whenever I'm not on safe modus the passwords just don't get read right (pause to cuss in frustration)

I'll take a break researching and trying, maybe take a nap, try again when I can think straight, if after a few more tries nothing new comes up (or any ideas) I'll just restore / reinstall it all

Thanks again & sorry for freakin' out like that, but it IS drivin' me nuts (and stealing all my time I could be using with more important stuff)

Cheers
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MacHeadCase
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You need to uninstall whatever made your Mac go crazy like this.

Forget the manual way, get AppZapper, this will grab all the bits from the apps that made everything go south.

And when I say the Mac needs to stay on, I didn't mean in sleep mode either. It has to be awake, sleep mode prevents all the maintenance tasks from happening.

If it isn't practical for you to prevent it from sleeping (reasons can be economical, ecological or whatever), run the tasks manually, it doesn't take long and it will make sure your Mac is in top shape.

I close my iMac G5 every night and in the daytime when I'm not around. I manually launch MainMenu to run the maintenance stuff for me daily. It's fast, efficient and I've never had problems with my system so far since I bought this iMac (over 13 months ago).

Edited to add:

Oh and it's pretty useless to run repair disk permissions on a Tiger system. This problem was fixed in Tiger while it remains a problem on Panther systems.
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MacHeadCase
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Oh and did you try this: Mac OS X: Changing or resetting an account password?
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Lakinni

 
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Thanks again (a LOT!)

It seems like some junk I installed really messed things up.... no matter how many or what kinds of scans & tests, it comes out "no problem" but when I try to log in DUH!

I'm checking out the MainMenu (never really knew much about it) and will try just a little bit, I know, when we're soooo sick of it some bad mistakes might get made (luckly I'm paranoid when it comes to backups so if I end up losing stuff it won't be really gone--just my patience / time / my mind!)

I'll post as soon as I something good happens (or if I give up or at least reinstall).
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MacHeadCase
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Just had a thought!!!

I wonder if it wouldn't be your Keychain access pref file (com.apple.keychainaccess.plist) that is corrupted... Don't trash it yet. I want to get more input in what would happen if you moved this file to trash, what would be the consequences, etc.

Anyone else know what would happen if this file was moved to trash? Would all the passwords be lost or would the file just rebuild itself?
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Lakinni

 
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OH yeah, and the first thing I did was resetting the passwords, with the CD. The passwords are not the problem (since they work on Safe Mode), I get the feeling (from reading crazy logs for hours) that once I reboot something doesn't get loaded right (or loaded messed up) and when the login window comes up no matter what I type it'll just shake and reject.

Twice it worked but as soon as I restarted (to test if it whatever-the-problem-was REALLY was solved) the darned passwords got rejected again.

Anyway, reinstall it's starting to look like a wonderful possibility now (instead of a time consuming pain), since there's no real light at the end of this insane messed-up-password tunnel.

Really, thanks again
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RNDdave

 
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This message is not a solution I'm just throwing an idea into the pot.

Does anyone know if the keyboard is treated differently in a normal boot up compared to a safe boot?

The little thought that I have is that perhaps the keyboard mapping has changed for your normal boot mode - I think this would only be an issue if you have punctuation in your password of course??

Example the @ key is in a different place on a UK keyboard map than it is on a US keyboard map...

Like I say not a solution just an idea for the pot - maybe completely off in the wrong direction!
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MacHeadCase
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So far, no response on the keychain plist file...

But if you do go the re-install route, always have two accounts running, one where you can try lots of stuff and one you keep as a vanilla install, no extra apps, no hacks, nothing.

And always read about what you install before the download! Check the systems requirements before you download anything. If you can take the time to read reviews. This way you can avoid all sorts of problems.
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MacHeadCase
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Interesting idea, dave! It might be worth a look.

Safe Mode I know is the Mac OS X equivalent of the old Shift key on startup to disable all the Extensions and Control Panels from the pre-Mac OS X days.
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Lakinni

 
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99% of the stuff I've installed have been under only 1 account.... still, messed up the passwords / login for BOTH accounts! Or rather, for THREE accounts since the account I created TODAY could also only login under safe mode!

REALLY weird if it came to being some keychain problem, since this one particular new user would have a fresh set of passwords / preferences / etc right?

And none of the 3 passwords had any weird symbol or anything.... simple letters, a couple of numbers and a cap here or there.
The NEW user (with admin power) I created to try to solve the problem even had a REAL dumb and simple password (just in case the problem was the keyboard), with no possible conflict between English / Swiss passwords (unless whatever the bug / problem is turned the keyboard / keychain into a totally new language like Japanese or Russian or something!)

I think I'm really just gonna reinstall over the old os x & that's it.

Thanks a lot for all the brainstorming
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MacHeadCase
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Ok well too bad we didn't find the answer to this one.

I hope you're still gonna stick around though. :girl:

Edited to add:

Oh and on the fresh install you will do? When you try stuff and decide not to keep them, use AppZapper to uninstall. That way you grab all the stuff related to the app you decide on getting rid of.
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