Installation problem on MacBook Pro 13inch

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Rosalieb, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Rosalieb macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi everybody, I have two problems that are linked with each other, and I'm hoping somebody can help me to discover how to fix them :)

    Microsoft Word refuses to open since yesterday morning on my MacBook Pro 13''. I'll attach a printscreen of the error I'm getting everytime, but it's in Dutch. It says "Microsoft Word stopped unexpectedly".
    I hoped to fix this problem by re-installing Microsoft Office, but:

    Enter Problem No. 2:
    I've been having problems installing new programs for a while now (including Microsoft Silverlight, flip4mac). Everything goes along fine, until I get to the Install-button. I can click the button, but it won't proceed from Installation type to Installation (I don't know if I'm getting the titles right, I'm translating them literally). It's really annoying, since I really really need Word to study.

    Is there anyone around who can tell me what's the error in the Installation program? I'm don't think I'm doing anything wrong, since it's always worked before, and I recently succesfully :) installed programs on another MacBook Pro.
     

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  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #2
    To confirm I'm understanding correctly: When you click the "Install" button nothing happens, or is Installer crashing at that point? I assume you're not forgetting to select which drive to install the software on--if there's more than one, there will be a screen with the available drives.

    Word is a straightforward crash, even if I can't read the text.

    Most obvious thing to try: Confirm if it's a user prefs issue or something systemwide. To do so (I'm assuming you can figure out the Dutch equivalent names of everything):

    1) Open up the Accounts preference pane, and use it to create a brand new user with administrator rights.

    2) Log out of your normal user and log into the newly created account.

    3) Try launching Word; does it still crash? If not, the issue is a corrupt preference or something similar, and a reinstall wouldn't help.

    4) Try installing something (needn't be Word--try Flip4Mac), and see if the installer still hangs, or if it works in this account.

    Post the results and that'll help suggest next steps. Also, in case you haven't, open up Disk Utility and repair permissions--won't hurt, and you never know, it might help.
     
  3. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    First of all, thanks for responding so quickly!

    That's right, absolutely nothing happens when I push the button. I'm not forgetting to select a drive.

    Your solution sounds really good, but it has one problem:
    (which I'm beginning to think is the root of all problems:)

    I can't create a new user name. If I get to the Accounts preference pane, the "guest account" icon is grey and unclickable. I also can't unlock the padlock in the left corner. If I click it, a line very briefly appears that says "Identity control" and then it's gone again.
    This probably sounds all very newbie-ish, but I'm thinking the installation problem is caused by the fact that I have never added a password to my own account, and therefore am not allowed to administrate anything. (I might be wrong though :)!)
    (The reason I'm thinking this is because I think you have to add your password after clicking install, or at least something like that is supposed to pop up, right?)

    If I'm all wrong, please tell me. All I know is that I can't add an extra account :confused:
     

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  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #4
    Ahh, that's starting to make more sense--your guess sounds correct, that the authentication system is completely failing, so anything that would normally ask you for a password (unlocking system prefs or installing software) fails instead of displaying a password dialogue. Your screenshot looks like you do have admin privileges, which is good.

    No idea how you managed to create an account with no password, but the first thing to try is resetting yours.

    Here's the Apple Knowledge Base article on it; you want to expand the second section, where it explains how to reset the password for the original admin account:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1274

    (I notice, also, that it specifically says not to create an admin user with no password; this is a security hazard, but maybe your problem is why.)

    Short form, boot the computer from the OS install disc and run the Password Reset utility from the Utilities menu in the OS installer. This won't fix your keychain--you can take care of that later since you do actually know the password for it, or lack thereof--but it will reset the password on your account to something non-blank.

    Log in and try with the new password once you've done that. Hopefully it all starts working now.
     
  5. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    OK, I've done that. Now when I turn on my computer I get asked for my password (which has never happened before) and I can proceed after filling in the password. However, I still can't create a new user, seems like nothing's changed there. I think I need to unlock the padlock (is that even the right translation? :D) first, but it won't budge.
    Do you have any suggestions on what to do next? Since it's 2 o' clock at night I'll probably fall asleep quite soon, but I'll respond in the morning :)
     

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  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #6
    Yes, unlocking that padlock is what you would normally do--you'd click on it, which brings up an admin password prompt. Which isn't what's happening, it would seem.

    (For reference, once you get your Mac working, clicking on Login Options (the house icon) will give you the option to automatically log into your account when the computer is turned on. Won't work until you get admin authentication working again.)

    The hard part here is that it's not clear whether it's just your account that's messed up, or if the OS install is--if it's the latter case, you're going to need to do a reinstall (which isn't that painful generally--your settings will all be preserved). If it's the former, then a reinstall won't help unless you also create a new user in the process from which to diagnose the problem.

    You can enable the root user from that password reset utility, but that's not going to help since you can't get the authentication prompt to appear, and root won't show up in the list of users at login (you are seeing a list, not separate name/password boxes, right?), which you can't enable without being able to authenticate.

    Let's see if authentication via the command line works, in which case you should be able to create a temporary admin account.

    Unless somebody else posts an easier suggestion than this, anyway.

    Open up Terminal (it's in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder). Then carefully copy and paste each line below:

    Code:
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser UserShell /bin/bash
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser RealName "TempUser"
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser UniqueID 503
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser PrimaryGroupID 1000
    sudo dscl / -create /Users/tempuser NFSHomeDirectory /Local/Users/tempuser
    sudo dscl / -passwd /Users/tempuser password
    sudo dscl / -append /Groups/admin GroupMembership tempuser
    These are just the instructions copies from this page:
    http://osxdaily.com/2007/10/29/how-to-add-a-user-from-the-os-x-command-line-works-with-leopard/

    After copy and pasting the first line, terminal should ask you for a password; enter the one you just created, and hopefully it'll execute the command.

    If so, continue with each line until you're done. At that point, there should now be a second user called "tempuser" with the password "password". Log out of your account, and it should appear in the list there. Again, if so, log in as that user and try going to the System Preferences and clicking the lock.

    If the lock actually responds with a password prompt from this clean account, then we'll know there's something wrong with your account and can work on that.

    If you still get no prompt, time for a reinstall.

    And if the commands listed above do not do anything, then presumably the authentication system is hosed and it's also time for a reinstall.
     
  7. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I've opened the Terminal, copied the first line, and I get asked for a password. Unfortunately, from that point on I can't type in anything. The text cursor (or what's it called? the vertical line that indicates I can type) stands next to Password, but nothing I type or copy appears in the screen. If I click Enter, I get

    Password:
    Sorry, try again.
    Password:


    Grumbl

    So, according to your plan, it's time for a reinstall. Do you mean by that, that I have to reinstall Mac OS X onto my computer? If so: I've done that already (since that was the solution the Apple Repair Centre gave me) and it unfortunately did not change a thing :(

    I do have another question. Does there happen to be another Word-like typewriting program automatically installed on my Mac, or maybe accessible somewhere online (without having to install it) (probably not :p). I've got a paper deadline in two days and would like to be able to write :).
     

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  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #8
    Hold on! The behavior you were seeing is completely normal--it by design doesn't show what you type.

    Just type the password you set blind and hit return--it should execute the command. This is good, because it looks like at least sudo is working correctly (the system would have to be pretty hosed for it not to.)

    As for your other question, yes--TextEdit comes preinstalled on every Mac and is a quite capable word processor for most purposes not involving fancy formatting (footnotes, ect). In fact, I wrote an entire novel using it, although I used Word for final hyphenation and pagination when I went to print it. Just look in your Applications folder--it's there somewhere.

    Oh, and TextEdit can even open most Word documents.

    (I'm on my way to bed--night owl on the US West Coast--but will check in to see what happened tomorrow.)
     
  9. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    If I just type it in blindly and hit return, it says:

    sers/tempuser
    Password:
    Data source (/) is not valid.


    (I just have to type my normal account password which I created yesterday, right?)

    Okay, I'm gonna use the texteditor program from now on, so at least I won't have to worry about that :)

    Goodnight!
     
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #10
    Ok, that means that the command executed properly, it was just the wrong command--I confess to having just copy and pasted the instructions from that site, but I just checked and indeed that doesn't work.

    Hopefully someone else will chime in with the correct method of creating a new user from the command line, otherwise I'll try and figure it out in the morning.
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #11
    Follow-up: This might be an easier work-around; the following command should cause the OS to re-run the initial setup the next time it is rebooted, which, I think, will allow you to create a new user account.

    Code:
    sudo rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    Basically run that, type your password blind and hit enter; if you don't get an error that means it worked. Reboot the computer and the setup assistant should launch--go through the steps to set up a new user, and with any luck you can then log into that account and see if it works.

    This should leave your old account completely intact, but just to be careful you should make sure you have a current backup of anything important. Of course, you should ALWAYS have a current backup of anything important, so consider this a good time to take care of it if you haven't recently.
     
  12. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    IT WORKED! :):)

    I created a new user, the way you told me to in your last post. My old account still works and nothing's disappeared. (I just checked. By the way, I do back-up my important files every now and then, I just don't have enough space for all of my music on my external hard drive, so only that would be lost :)). I installed Microsoft Office on Account No. 2, and it worked! It didn't stop at Installation Type like it usually does, a screen popped up where I could type the password. Word is working again!

    Even better:
    I just downloaded the trial of iWork to check if the problem is totally solved (which I couldn't install on my old account due to the installing issue) and it worked perfectly, just like the Office-installation.

    This means (hopefully) that all of my problems are solved. Thank you very much for your time and patience!! :)
     

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  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #13
    Glad to hear that. Seems that something was screwed up in the preferences of your old account (I'm assuming you still can't authenticate in it).

    You'll probably want to completely fix the old account as well now, for which you have two options: Either identify the preference that's causing the issue and delete it, or just create a replacement account and migrate everything you know you need over to it.

    You could try using your new admin account to make your old account NON admin, and see if that was enough to fix it--might alter a preference that's causing issues, maybe. If so, it'll probably stay fixed when you switch the account back to admin.

    Or log into the old account, drag the entire Preferences folder within the user's Library folder to the desktop (or some other location), log out, log back in, and see if it works normally (your desktop and everything else will have reverted to the default). If that fixed it, you know the problem preference is somewhere in that folder; you can then put the old one back (and log out/back in) to get back to where you started, and try to locate the relevant bad file and remove it.

    Maybe someone else knows which files are read when the OS brings up the authentication dialogue?
     
  14. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Hi, sorry for the late reply! Everything still works fine, and I moved all my documents from Account A to B, so I can work on B now, like you said in your second option. The only problem is Iphoto, I would like to move the entire library over to my second account. Is there a way to just synchronize both libraries?
    :)
     
  15. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #15
    Moving an iPhoto library is relatively easy, but the procedure differs depending on which version you're running. This blog post looks like it outlines the various steps pretty clearly:

    http://basics4mac.com/article.php/move_iphoto_lib

    ...or a quick search on "move iPhoto library" will point you to other tutorials.
     
  16. Rosalieb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Okay, should be easy, thanks a lot for all your help!
     

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