Administrator Issues - Totally confused...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sundancet, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. sundancet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #1
    Hi,
    I'm a relatively new Mac user and I've got a pretty annoying problem.
    For some reason my computer Imac OS X 10.5.6 won't let me add any users through the Accounts panel or install any software.

    I don't get any error messages, but when I get to the point in the install process where I click "install" there is no prompt for username and password. Nothing happens. No error message or anything. It's like the computer has forgotten what to do.

    The same thing happens when I try to download software through the software update. It will show all the software that needs to be downloaded, but when I click on the "install" button nothing. No errors. Just sits there.

    I can exit out of the update or software install and continue on my computing way, but I can't perform any other administrator issues.

    I don't know what else to say. Everything is backed up through time machine, and I only have the one account, which is the administrator account. I've tried to change my account through the install disk and I've tried to verify and repair the permissions, but it stays exactly the same. I can't unlock or install anything.

    Any clue how to regain the use of my administrator account? Thanks...
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Well you don't "install" new accounts. You add them by using the + button. On the Accounts screen, do you see the little gold lock in the bottom left? Is it locked or unlocked? It needs to be unlocked in order to add/delete accounts. Click it to unlock it and it'll likely ask for user name and password.

    As far as the software updates it's hard to say. Open Console (/Applications/Utilities/Console) and try again. Check if any new messages pop in at the bottom of the Console window. You can post any new messages here, but make sure it's only any new messages. The log can be very long and it'll just get in the way. Each log entry is timestamped so you should be able to tell which ones are new. Another note, if you post the log, use the code button here when you're posting. It's the button with the # on it. It'll make it easier for us to read.
     
  3. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #3
    No luck so far...

    Thanks for the help; I'm having no luck solving this on my own.
    I tried to add another account using the + button, but that's where the problem shows itself. When I click on the + button nothing happens.

    A dialogue should open asking for a username and password, but it doesn't. And it's this dialogue box that is not opening up on any of my "administrative" tasks...

    That's what I'm trying to figure out. Why isn't it prompting me for a username and password to complete the task. It's just sitting there.

    As per your suggestion I tried loading the Console and trying the software update. There are no new messages that come up in the Console, but when I click on the "install" button for the new updates I get a momentary spinning of the umbrella, and then the "install" button goes back to the colour it was before I clicked on it. Nothing happens though.

    This is where it should be prompting me for the username and password since the only account I have on the computer is an administrative account, and it's not...
     
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Have you tried rebooting your computer? It's a simple thing to try and can help some times. You can als run Software Updates through Terminal (command line), but try this after the reboot.

    To get a list of updates (that's a lowercase L at the end):
    Code:
    softwareupdate -l
    To install an item
    Code:
    softwareupdate --install name-of-item-from-list
    You can place a space between each item for multiple items.
     
  5. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #5
    I have tried rebooting the computer. It doesn't change it.
    Thanks for the tips on installing the items; I'd really like to be able to regain my administrative abilities though. There must be a reason why I don't have administrative abilities all of a sudden.

    It's not like it's telling me that I don't have the admin account, or that my password is wrong. It's just sitting there...
     
  6. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    You can try repairing permissions. Open Disk Utility, then click on your HD on the left panel. You'll then see on the right side 2 buttons, Verify Disk Permissions and Repair Disk Permissions. Do the verify first to see if it comes back with anything. Then repair if necessary. It'll likely take a number of minutes to run completely so be patient.

    Also, go ahead and try the updates from Terminal. It's possible an update may fix the issue. I'm off to bed. Good luck.
     
  7. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #7
    Hi,
    I tried repairing permissions to no avail. When I tried to run the updates through terminal I received the following error message.

    Must be run as root
     
  8. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #8
    Here's one more bizarre example of what's happening.
    I've followed angelwatt's advice and am trying to update through Terminal.
    In order to complete the full update I entered the following:

    "sudo softwareupdate -i -a"

    Terminal prompts me to enter my password after this, as this is the next step to run the update. However, when I try to enter a password it won't let me. The cursor flashes, but it won't let me type anything.

    Very strange...
     
  9. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #9
    This is the thread that keeps going on...sorry about that...

    With a little research I realize now that Terminal doesn't show the password as I'm typing it. However, when I did finally realize that and entered my password it shows the following error:

    "Bus error"

    Does anybody know what that means?
     
  10. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #10
    Hi,

    Here is the log from the Console of my latest attempt to use my software update. Any idea what this means?



    Code:
    Jun 29 22:01:55 Macintosh-2 SecurityAgent[517]: NSExceptionHandler has recorded the following exception:\nNSUncaughtSystemExceptionException -- Uncaught system exception: signal 10\nStack trace:  0x3721e  0x939472bb  0xffffffff  0x93224713  0x932246c2  0x9320cac9  0x9320c96d  0x9255c821  0x9255c641  0x9255c5be  0x9255c3e1  0x9255b96f  0x942fd8b8  0x942fc239  0x9430c6d6  0x9142a985  0x6391  0x2cba  0xf1e8  0x11057  0xd648  0x12c40  0x129f3  0xd18a  0x95627733  0x94cd1455  0x94cf58e8  0x94cf5cd8  0x932b82c0  0x932b80d9  0x932b7f4d  0x910ebd7d  0x910eb630  0x910e466b  0x10fc7  0x202a  0x1
    Jun 29 22:01:56 Macintosh-2 ReportCrash[518]: Formulating crash report for process SecurityAgent[517]
    Jun 29 22:01:57 Macintosh-2 ReportCrash[518]: Saved crashreport to /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/SecurityAgent_2009-06-29-220155_Macintosh-2.crash using uid: 0 gid: 0, euid: 0 egid: 0
     
     
  11. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Grab that crash report. It's likely to be kind of long. You can attach it to a post, which would work best as it would probably take a couple post to fit it all here. At least you're making progress. It's really hard to find a solution without error messages so at least we have some to work from now.

    The fix could be as simple as deleting a certain preference file, but not sure what one currently. Hopefully the crash may shed some light.
     
  12. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #12
    Here is the crash report. There are a whole bunch of similar crash reports in the logs from the last couple of days. Thanks again for your help...
     

    Attached Files:

  13. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Yea, there seems to be a bit going on there, but it's not clear where the source of the issue is. That doesn't leave many options. One is to do an archive and install with the OS discs. Before that you may want to try deleting some preference files that could be related to the issue.

    Preference files: ~/Library/Preferences/
    (the ones we're after will start with com.apple.)

    I'm not at my Mac to look up specific names of the files, but the you can try deleting the SystemPreferences one and windowlogin preference files. Also, do you know if you've changed anything on your machine when this issue arose? Maybe changed your user short name and renamed your home directory? That could lend another clue, but otherwise a archive and install is your best bet unless someone comes around with another idea.
     
  14. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #14
    I had to do an archive and install right after I bought the computer a couple of years ago, so I do have the remnants of a previous system on the computer.

    I'd definitely rather not have to do that again, as I found the process of bringing it back up to speed pretty onerous.

    The only thing that I've done since the previous archive and install is delete a bunch of the previous system files that were duplicated. I haven't changed my short name or renamed my home directors, although every once in awhile my kids get on the computer and who knows what they do :)

    I'll try deleting some of the preferences, starting with the SystemPreferences and Windowlogin and take it from there.
     
  15. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #15
    Success

    So I was able to fix my computer. I started by deleting the Windowlogin preference and rebooting. This didn't seem to do anything, so I double checked the log reports of crashes and noticed that there was a number of lsregister crashes to go along with the securityagent crash that I posted.

    After a bit of research I decided to delete my lsregister cache. As I was deleting them my login dialogue opened up. I've since restarted the computer and all seems to be good. I saved the lsregister cache in case I need it, but all seems to be good for now.

    Any idea what the lsregister cache is for? Should I just throw it out?
     
  16. bluespaceoddity macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #16
    I would suggest downloading a Cache Cleaner Utility compatible with your OS and letting it clean all the System Caches. The Applications or System processess requiring a Cache will rebuild a new Cache for themselves on relaunch. (Restart required)

    LeopardCacheCleaner
     
  17. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    The 'ls' part is Launch Services. It deals with some different things. Rebuilding, like you did is a fix for when apps that you no longer have are showing up in the Open With menu. The old cache shouldn't be needed since you rebuilt the launch services database. lsregister also seems to be partly responsible for reading the plist file (preference files). It makes sense it had a part in this and why so many different apps seemed effected in the crash log. Glad you got it worked out without needing to do an archive and install. I hate giving that advice.
     
  18. sundancet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #18
    Thanks for the insight. That makes sense. I think I might try a cache cleaning utility. This is a great site, glad that I went here for help.

    Cheers,

    Sundance
     

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