Login Loop

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Austin.Carter, May 30, 2016.

  1. Austin.Carter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2016
    So I'm at a dead end right now. My mac randomly shut down and upon rebooting it now is stuck in a Login Loop whenever the password is entered. (I.e the password is entered, I get the spinning beachball, screen goes back, and then it loops me right back to the password login screen). This is the second time that the Mac has randomly shut down and rebooted in the past month. Last time I had to reinstall the OSX from recovery mode, where I got to the apple screen and black text scrolled down the screen and then it would continuously reboot doing the same thing (I think the kernel tasks had crashed?) regardless this is beyond my point and current problem.

    I'm now stuck on this startup loop and it will not get past the login. I know other users have experienced this, but with their instances they actually got to the desktop screen momentarily before reboot. Mine won't even make it past the login.

    And if booting in Safe Mode isn't always a miracle option, whenever I boot into Safe Mode, it does the SAME exact thing. I can't get past login on safe mode either. It loops back to login everytime.

    I've booted into Recovery Mode, and I've used Disk Utility to verify and repair permissions on both drives. Repair completes with no found errors.

    I've also used Terminal to resetpassword to try to bypass a faulty login keychain. Even a blank login password seems to no avail.

    I've also reinstalled El Capitan twice from recovery mode and it still won't let me get past login.

    I have no other usernames or user accounts on the Mac so I cannot try to login to an alternative user account.

    I have a Genius Bar appointment reserved, but I wish I could figure out how to fix this myself, as waiting for the appointment interferes with getting school work done.

    I'm working with a 2012? MacBook Pro running El Capitan. This is frustrating and MAY not be related to the update itself, but I've only encountered the problems since upgrading to El Capitan. I'd post more details but I cannot even access "About My Mac".

    I've read some forums about deleting corrupt .kext files and all the such but those posts went way over my head and I have limited Terminal knowledge.
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Try activating the root user, and see if you can then log in to the root account:

    Boot to your Recovery system. Do the password change, but instead of using your normal user, choose the System Admin from the list, then make a password for that. Making a password for the System Admin will activate your root user account.
    Save that password, then restart.
    At the login window, you will now see a new user there, called "Other"
    Choose that, then enter the user name, which is Root
    Enter the new password that you just made in the password block, and login to that account.

    And, now you will be able to see "About This Mac", and do quite a bit to fix your issues.
    Keep in mind that the Root user is NOT your regular account. It is powerful, because you don't need to type ANY password to do dangerous changes to your system. It will simply let you... But, you will be able to back up files, if you need to do that.
  3. Austin.Carter, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

    Austin.Carter thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2016
    Okay I was able to set up a System Admin account and login through as Root.

    Here's the details of the MacBook.
    OSX El Capitan version 10.11.5
    MacBook Pro 13inch Mid 2012
    2.9 GHz Intel Core i7
    8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB

    Is there anything I can access through the System Administrator account to see where the problem is coming from, or maybe see if there is any corrupt login files to modify/fix/delete?

    Where do I go from here?
    --- Post Merged, May 30, 2016 ---

    Whenever I access Console and go under "Diagnostics and Usage Messages" I see that there are a bunch of these "ReportCrash" messages and the signature is for the "login window". I assume this has to do with what I'm experiencing?
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You might just delete the loginwindow plist, then restart. That might fix everything.
    Go in to the hard drive, then Users. Open YOUR user folder, then the Library folder. You will need to make that normally-hidden Library folder visible. Find the Preferences folder, and drag the file com.apple.loginwindow.plist to the trash.
    And, finally, restart your Mac. You will probably reboot to your normal user, unless you changed that in your preferences.
  5. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    A better alternative would have been to create a new user account using Setup Assistant.

    Firstly, please don't post screen captures of log messages because it makes helping you far more difficult. You can select log messages in Console by dragging the mouse pointer, and copy them to the clipboard by pressing command-C.

    Secondly, please do the following:

    1. In Finder, press shift-command-G, enter "/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports", and then press return.
    2. Upload the newest file with a name that begins with "WindowServer" to Ge.tt.
    3. Include the address of the uploaded copy of the file in a reply to this post.
  6. Austin.Carter, May 31, 2016
    Last edited: May 31, 2016

    Austin.Carter thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2016
    Okay. I deleted the loginwindow.plist to no avail. It still loops the login window.

    I also apologize about the screenshot. I wasn't posting it for others to use to help me, more of just a reference for what the problem I'm experiencing says.

    I also entered single-user mode and was able to setup a new user account. Also, whenever I entered the " .AppleSetupDone " in the single user mode, it said "There is no file in the directory" associated with that command, regardless it let me enter Setup Assistant upon reboot.

    Richard2, here is the link for the lastest WindowServer file.


    The same library is filled with LoginWindow crash reports as well. Also, there are "mdworker" crash files in the same Library, as well as "powerstat" files that have a big yellow exclamation on them. Not sure if these correlate together.

    Im figuring there must be something faulty with the login process on my main User Account I'm having this problem with, seeing that Im able to access any other User Account, or Root account.
  7. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    It's alright. :)

    Hmm… I was expecting a crash report, not a spindump report. (A spindump report is generated when a process such as WindowServer freezes.) Unfortunately, the report doesn't seem to contain much useful information.

    It would be helpful if you could provide a list of all the diagnostic reports on your Mac:

    1. Open Terminal.
    2. Enter the following:

      sudo su -
    3. Enter your OS X user account password if you're prompted to.
    4. Enter the following:

      shopt -s extglob
      ls -1 /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports /Users/!(Shared)/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
    5. Include the contents of the Terminal window in a reply to this post.

    Yes — the cause of the issue is probably a corrupted file located somewhere in your home folder.
  8. Austin.Carter thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2016
    Last login: Tue May 31 19:12:47 on console

    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ G-Rayy$ sudo su -

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss

    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your

    typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.


    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ root# shopt -s extglob

    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ root# ls -1 /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports























































    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ root# /Users/!

    -sh: /Users/!: No such file or directory

    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ root# (Shared)/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports

    -sh: syntax error near unexpected token `/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports'

    Christophers-MacBook-Pro:~ root#

    Theres the Terminal List after entering your prompt requests
  9. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    You mentioned that you logged into recovery mode and ran verify and repair permissions, but you didn't mention if you ran First Aid to Repair Disk. If you haven't, try doing that. Make sure you do it with Macintosh HD highlighted in the left window.
  10. Austin.Carter thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2016
    JohnDS, I ran first aid and repaired every disk possible. I verified permissions and then repaired them. Everything came back OK
  11. Juniper shuye macrumors newbie

    Juniper shuye

    Jul 5, 2017
    Did you ever solve this. Did it have to do with a Parallels or VM Ware windows taking up to much room? I am having the same problem after login screen I am stuck in a looping startup
  12. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    Did you try creating a new user account, as I suggested in my first post? If the new account is unaffected by the problem, then you can move the files from your old home folder to your new one.
  13. Juniper shuye macrumors newbie

    Juniper shuye

    Jul 5, 2017
    I followed the instructions to delete .AppleSetupDone file but when i rebooted it just went straight to the normal user log in screen, not new Apple set up
  14. richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    When you entered the command that begins with "rm", was an error message similar to the following displayed?:

    rm: /var/db/.AppleSetupDone: No such file or directory
    If so, then you probably made a typing error, and you should therefore reattempt the procedure. Otherwise, I recommend that you do the following:

    1. Copy all of your files to another device.
    2. Erase and reinstall macOS.
  15. Juniper shuye macrumors newbie

    Juniper shuye

    Jul 5, 2017
    so it looks like when i mounted the drive with mount -uw i forgot to add the / so it didn't have a place to mount to. so mounted with mount -uw / and that then correctly mounted it. I deleted the file and it took me to the log in screen. Logged in and it started up the apple new user set but will not accept me selecting the Use English for the main language. I select it and it returns to the same dialog box and wants me to do it again.
  16. richard2, Jul 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017

    richard2 macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2010
    England, United Kingdom
    I suspect that your macOS installation has somehow become corrupted. Unfortunately, it would be impractical to attempt to diagnose the cause of the problem without physical access to the computer. I therefore recommend that you do what I suggested in my previous post.

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