advice for new imac owner + weird login problem

Discussion in 'iMac' started by chris77, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. chris77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Had my 24" aluminum imac (2.8 Ghz, 1TB HDD, 4G RAM) for a couple of days now, still playing around and getting used to OS X as I am a brand new mac convert. Having read the forums I next plan to test my third-party RAM and check the monitor for the much discussed gradient problem...

    Firstly, any other tests/checks I should be performing on my new system before I bring in all my files from old pc?

    Secondly, and I appreciate everyone's patience with someone new to OS X, as this may be a dumb question with an obvious solution, but this comes from one still getting used to clicking the top right of the window to close it....anyways:

    When I first booted up and performed the initial account user/password set up I was then unable to log in with the info I had just supplied. Some posts in the forums suggested reinstalling Leopard from the discs, which solved nothing. I then went into single user mode and found the root user account, set the password for that and logged in immediately. I have been using the root account ever since.

    Two questions:
    1. Did my second install of Leopard simply copy over the pre-existing install, or are there now two?

    2. Should I not be using the root account? Can I just change the user name, or should I set up a new account?


    EDIT: btw may i just add, i love my new machine. the screen is just huge and beautiful, there is almost no noise--very different from old pc--and it's so fast. i love my iMac
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Before you move your files, let's address your problem below...

    Looks to me like Leopard copied over the initial install but preserved all your previous settings. I would recommend backing any files you want to keep to a CD/DVD/external drive of some kind, and then do the installation again. Only this time, be sure you choose the "Erase and install" option. This should wipe the drive clean and get you to where you have a fresh installation.

    DEFINITELY NOT! Using root as your main account is never a good idea. Doing so pretty much makes your Mac highly insecure, because any programs you run will have full unrestricted access to any part of the file system. This is the same security model that made Windows so vulnerable.

    It also means that with a few mistyped keystrokes, you could do a lot of damage to the OS.

    This article explains what a root user is and what it can do. Basically, you shouldn't really ever log in as root unless a. You REALLY need to, and b. you REALLY know what you're doing. By default, the root account is disabled on Macs, and for a good reason: 99% of Mac users, even power users, just don't need to use it, and put their data at risk if/when they do.

    Now that I've scared you sufficiently, go do that reinstall! :)

    Congrats on your purchase. I'm sure you'll love it for a long time to come. :)
  3. Italchef macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2003
    Maple, Ontario
    I keep one account on my iMac as an admin and do not/have not touched it. For the same reasons listed above, it helps if anything goes wrong to switch over to it.

  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Actually, using an Admin account isn't so bad, so long as you're not just entering your password at every little dialog box that pops up. Admin and root are two different things on a Mac and other UNIX-like systems.
  5. chris77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks for the speedy reply. I did a fresh install right away using the "Erase and Install" option, took an hour or two, and is now working perfectly. Sounds like you were right regarding the saved settings. I am now using a regular account.

    So, what's next? No pixel problems, no apparent gradient issue....anything else I should check out?


    ps yes I will love it for a long time to come :) Makes me feel silly waiting those 2-3 months until the "big announcements" at Macworld. This is a fine machine and I would not be upset if they brought out a new model tomorrow.

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