i can no longer log in to my ibook

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
been having massive problems this week w/ my ibook (g3/800, 10.3.5), including kernel panics and hung OSX logins.

i've revived it to a point: i can log into the two other accounts, Guest and root, but when i try to log into my own account, it hangs and sits at Logging In forever (i've let it run for two hours).

what i've tried/done:
- permissions are repaired
- NVRAM has been reset
- DiskWarrior has been run
- Extended hardware test was run, nothing bad was found

i reckon there's something amiss in my account config and am prepared to use the root account to delete files and folders which may be responsible. so my questions are:

1. where should i start?
2. what should i try next?
3. anything i've not thought of?

my last resort will be to reformat the drive and start from scratch, but i'm holding out hope i won't have to.

help?
 

Logik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2004
616
0
if you're having THAT many problem.. do yourself a favor, use the other accounts to back up your data.. then reformat and install... you'll probably save yourself a lot of trouble in the end.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
everything's backed up. i've deauthorized iTunes and Final Draft, and unregistered the ibook from iSync. it's ready for a reformat. i just want to avoid having to do it (it's a lot of reinstalls).
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
This is where I'd start..

Log in as root, remove the following from your user's preferences..

/Users/your_broken_user/Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist
/Users/your_broken_user/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

Then try and log in as your broken user..
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
aw, crap.

things have become more screwy. yellow, i was going to try your suggestion, but when i booted my ibook, the Other... account wasn't available. somehow, root user access was disabled (and i didn't turn it off).

no problem, right? i'll log in as Guest, re-enable root, become superuser in Terminal and delete the files manually. but it's not working. though i can Authenticate in Netinfo Manager using my broken login, it's not letting me Enable Root User.

argh.
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Well, you could always boot into Single User Mode and remove the files thru there.. but sounds like these are some pretty serious (and odd) issues that removing a couple .plists isn't going to help.. but it's worth a shot.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
yellow -- effing brilliant. i'm in.

and now everything's hung. argh. i may have to reformat this puppy after all. but your suggestion worked. thank you!
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
okay, **** this. still massive problems, i'm going to reformat.

any reason i should use the ibook's Software Restore CDs (which i believe is jaguar) instead of the ots Panther i've got?
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
zimv20 said:
any reason i should use the ibook's Software Restore CDs (which i believe is jaguar) instead of the ots Panther i've got?
If you've got full Panther installer CDs, no.. skip Jagwire and go directly for Panter.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
here's how screwed-up my ibook is...

i can't boot from CD. this happened a couple days ago, but i was able to fix it by resetting the NVRAM. didn't work this time.

grrrrrrrr..........
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
virividox said:
have u tried firewire disktarget mode, then erase and formate the volume there, then try booting from cd or even intalling using another computer
i've not. the other day, when it wouldn't even get as far as the login screen (which is the problem at the moment, aside from the cd booting), i was able to use firewire target mode to do the backup.

then diskwarrior got me back to the login screen.

i'm thinking that if i can't boot from CD, it's something that's not on the hard drive.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
yellow said:
Got any 3rd party RAM in there? You might want to pull it and go with what the iBook came with....
it's apple-installed RAM.

i'm on w/ an applecare guy, he's wondering if i need _another_ logic board replacement.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
update:

for $300, i can send it to apple and have them fix it, though they're not sure what the problem is. suggestions are:
- bad RAM
- logic board (though it passed the h/w test i ran)
- bad cable between board and hard drive

imo, no one of those explains away all the symptoms.

the dropkick option is once again appealing.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
unfortunately, that would require a machine i can log into. as of now, it never makes it past the grey/silver startup screen.

i think i'll look into removing the top 512 meg RAM chip, assuming it's not too hard to get to.
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
zimv20 said:
as of now, it never makes it past the grey/silver startup screen.
With the spinning "spoked" wheel? If that's the case, then the problem is might be the hard drive. The OS is doing an fsck at boot when you see the spinning "spoked" wheel.. if it thrashes on that, then the file structure (or hard drive) are screwy. But that wouldn't explain away all the other problems you're having. It might be RAM, but it's probably logic board.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
yellow said:
With the spinning "spoked" wheel? If that's the case, then the problem is might be the hard drive. The OS is doing an fsck at boot when you see the spinning "spoked" wheel.. if it thrashes on that, then the file structure (or hard drive) are screwy. But that wouldn't explain away all the other problems you're having. It might be RAM, but it's probably logic board.
yes, the spoked wheel. twice this past week, i've "solved" that problem by running DiskWarrior (though i can't boot from CD anymore). but that fix lasts only a day or two.

so, yes, there might be a hard drive problem _and_ another h/w problem. or maybe it's that hard drive cable.

and wouldn't you know it, my tiny phillips screwdriver is not tiny enough to remove the screws for the cover shielding the RAM.
 
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zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
8
toronto
update: it seems to all work now

frustrated, i stuck the ibook in a drawer for about 10 days. when i tried it again, everything worked fine (though a bit slow) for a few days. then the problems started again: Mail.app hung the machine, it couldn't boot from CD.

i finally got it to boot to the panther install CD and i wiped the hard drive. i installed 10.3 and then the combined upgrade to 10.3.5, and i don't have os9 on it anymore, and....

it seems to be working great, for a couple days now. and it's fast again.

given all those symptoms it'd exhibited, i guess i'm a little surprised that it seems to all have been install/config problems.

for the moment, all seems well.
 
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