HELP! Runaway log file killed my MacBook!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mal, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #1
    A couple of hours ago, I noticed that my hard drive, which previously had about 12-13 GB's of free space, was nearing it's capacity, although I hadn't downloaded or installed anything new recently, and certainly not of that capacity. I took a look around online, during which time my drive filled up the rest of the way and was reading Zero KB available, and traced the problem to a rampant log file that was expanding rapidly and had reached 12GB's, approximately (it essentially just used every byte of free space). I deleted that file through the Terminal, and when the computer didn't recognize that the drive now had free space, I restarted. More accurately, I tried to restart. The computer hung up during startup, at the point where it simply says "Starting Mac OS X". I plugged it into another computer using Target Disk Mode and checked the drive, a few errors, but nothing major, and did the same with the install disks so I could check permissions (it refused to allow me to do so in TDM, anyone know why?). Still no luck, it hangs at the same point. The only exception is if I start it in Safe Mode, in which case it presents me with the logon screen but rejects my password, or in Single User Mode, but I can't start up the graphical interface or it freezes again. Any ideas on what could have caused this and how I can rescue it without losing my data? It's mostly backed up, but there are a few recent things I'd love to save, and I'd hate to have to reset my settings.

    EDIT: While typing this, I decided to try to change the password or even just set up a root password to try and get in via Safe Mode, but it shows that there are no available users. Is this because some system file has been damaged, or is there something else going on?

    Thanks!

    jW
     
  2. ultimateceej macrumors regular

    ultimateceej

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Wow, I've never heard of anything like that. Do you live anywhere near a Mac genius bar? Hopefully someone else here can help out, though.
     
  3. Mal thread starter macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #3
    Well, I got it working again, not quite the way I wanted but better than I feared. I had to reinstall the OS, and then recreate my user account, because whatever database or file the users are stored in was corrupted or deleted somewhere along the line, and it didn't show that any users existed in the system. All my files and stuff were still there though, so when I made a new user with the same name, it asked me if I just wanted to use the existing folder as the home folder for the new account. I hit yes, logged out and back into the new account, and viola. Almost everything works perfectly. I've had a few errors pop up, likely stuff that installed system-wide drivers that don't exist now, but I'll deal with anything important as it comes up.

    jW
     

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