El Capitan Not Working After Login

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by JohnCrawley, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. JohnCrawley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    #1
    My Mac boots up just fine but as soon as I login, the Dock is gone, Finder doesn't respond, nor does it show files or applications other than some default ones and I can't open them or use Spotlight via command-space.

    I don't have a backup of my Mac. I have tried booting it in safe mode, using OS X Internet Recovery and OS X Recovery to try reinstall the OS but since the OS isn't there and replaced with a new OS it can't download, I've tried resetting PRAM. I've tried booting into single-user mode to enter commands to try installing the new OS but didn't succeed.

    While in OS X Recovery, I ran First Aid in Disk Utility and it came back that it was fine and all.

    I have no idea what to do to fix this. I'd rather fix the computer in my home than try and bring it to someone who can fix it in a shop.

    If it helps for information, my Mac is an iMac 27" (about Mid-2012). Here's what it's like in a YouTube video:
     
  2. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Just this user account or do multiple user accounts have this problem?
     
  3. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #3
    I only have the one account
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    He was hinting you should test it in a new user account to see if it's possible that there is some sort of corruption in your current one.
     
  5. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #5
    I don't understand what this means: "try reinstall the OS but since the OS isn't there and replaced with a new OS it can't download".

    Have you tried booting while holding down command-R and choosing the option to re-install the operating system?
     
  6. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #6
    I can't try create another account since I can't load up the system preference or anything else
    --- Post Merged, Nov 29, 2016 ---
    I was in a rush to write this sorry. What I mean was to reinstall El Capitan from recovery mode and yeah
     
  7. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    what is the short name of your user account?

    If you don't know then boot to single user mode and type the following:

    ls /Users/

    Then reply with whatever it comes up with on the next line.

    Thanks
     
  8. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #8
    [​IMG]
    --- Post Merged, Nov 29, 2016 ---
    I typed what you mentioned in and that's what I got in return
     
  9. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Ok.

    Boot to single user mode and type the following:

    mount -uw /
    mv /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/ /Users/JohnMCrawley/LibraryOLD/
    mkdir /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/
    cp -R /System/Library/User\ Template/English.lproj/Library/ /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/
    chown -R JohnMCrawley /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/
    chmod -R 700 /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/
    shutdown -r now


    Each individual line here should execute without any errors and give you a new prompt to type the next line (except shutdown -r now, that will restart your mac).

    Quick disclaimer: You will lose settings to do with this user account. But it should get you back in. Also worth noting that playing around in single-user mode is dangerous. If you mess any of those lines up then the sh*t can really hit the fan. Every space, slash and capital letter must be correct as I typed it above. That said, you have a user account issue - the only way to get the machine working again is going to require an erase so hey-ho!
     
  10. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #10
    WAIT!!!. If I do these commands into single user mode, will all my important documents, photos etc be completely wiped off the machine? or will it just reset to the default settings?
     
  11. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #11
    You haven't been deleting any apps or system files from your Mac, have you? That would cause problems that only a re-install would fix.

    Instead of doing what mysteryGenius has suggested, I would instead have the Mac re-run the Setup Assistant. What this will do is let you set up a new administrator account while leaving your present account untouched. This article has a nice explanation:

    http://www.theinstructional.com/guides/how-to-re-run-the-os-x-setup-assistant

    If this works then you have a pretty good idea that your original user account has some serious issues.

    When you set up the new admin account, don't use your name for it and also don't enter any iCloud info.
     
  12. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #12
    I haven't deleted any files. I probably should've mentioned this but if I remember correctly, out of nowwhere my Mac just stopped working one day and when I came to reboot the machine, it was fine until I went to login and then my Dock was gone, finder was completely not responding and I can't access any of my files and I don't know which one to pick, you or mysteryGenius. I honestly don't want my files to be erased.
     
  13. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    As long as you do it right, your data will still be there. It will just reset your account to default settings.

    As it stands right now you can't get to your data anyway so not much to lose!
     
  14. JohnCrawley, Nov 30, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016

    JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #14
    I''ll give it a go then and I will report back on my results.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    Alright. I've typed in what you told me to and it restarted fine. I logged in and the dock is there, finder is responding but a message box has popped up stating, "OS X needs to repair your Library to run applications. Type your password to allow this" with two options, 'Cancel' and, 'Repair' but when I type in the passwand press, 'Repair' the message box comes up again.
    I can view through finder now but still can't open anything.

    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    Also, I went to re-write the commands in single user mode to make sure I did everything correctly and realised that one of the commands isn't working for me. When I type in chown -R JohnMCrawley /Users/JohnMCrawley/Library/ in. I get this on the next line:
    chown: JohnMCrawley: illegal user name
     
  15. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #15
    I noticed something probably worth mentioning and that's in the Devices part of a finder window, it doesn't say, "Machintosh HD". It just says, "Remote Disc"
    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    I went to recovery mode to first aid it and now it doesn't have that popup but I still can't open anything. :/
     
  16. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    When you log in can you go to
    Applications - Utilities
    Open Terminal

    If terminal opens type:

    sudo chown -R JohnMCrawley ~/Library

    It will ask you to type your password. As you type the password the cursor will not move but it is working.

    Should get a new line. No errors.

    Restart your mac and try logging in again.
     
  17. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
  18. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
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    UK
    #18
  19. JohnCrawley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2016
    #19
    I'll work on it now
    --- Post Merged, Dec 1, 2016 ---
    Just looking at the steps and one of them requires me to use Terminal and I can't open Terminal on my Mac
     
  20. mysteryGenius macrumors member

    mysteryGenius

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    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Do all the steps you can without opening terminal.

    Am I to assume that you also couldn't do the steps I posted before either?
     

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