Snow Leopard install - can't reach desktop

Discussion in 'macOS' started by croft-uk, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. croft-uk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #1
    This is my first post but I've followed all the existing advice kind folk have provided in the FAQ and previous posts from people who've had similar problems with the SL upgrade on a MBP. Sadly, I still need help!

    Since running the upgrade, if I boot from the internal drive, my machine brings up the login window but then takes me to a 'Milky Way' desktop that never displays the command bar at the top, tool bar at the bottom, or Internal Drive incon. In fact, the only things that work are the cursor and pad.

    Everything seemed to be fine up to the point where I got the Welcome dialogue after the install. I figured all my settings were still OK, so I ignored the individual icons for mail settings etc and hit the Continue button. Maybe that was a mistake.

    Since then, I've rebooted several times from the DVD and repeated the upgrade process. I've also removed the battery and held down the power button, zapped the PRAM etc etc.

    Any suggestions what I try next?

    BTW, this is a MBP1,1 with 2.16MHz Intel Core Duo and 2GB memory. It's a lovely machine and I just wish I'd left the OS alone!
     
  2. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    In my Corner
    #2
    By upgrade do you mean starting the installation while using leopard of some previous version of osx? if so, try erasing everything on the HD and do a clean install (assuming you don't have an "up to date" SL disk)
     
  3. croft-uk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #3
    Leopard 'upgrade'

    Well, I bought the SL disc on the basis it was a Leopard to Snow Leopard upgrade - but my understanding from other threads is that the DVD holds the full OS.
    Although that leaves the clean install option open, I'm really hoping not to do that. Like an idiot, I didn't archive everything before I started and some of the application installers are back where I used to live, so I'm looking at a day+ wasted just driving and reinstalling if I can't rescue the situation.
    Doh! I can't believe I've ended up in the same mess I've warned other people about so many times.
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    When you say it is bringing you to the login window, do you mean that it appears and you log in? Or that it appears but auto logs in?

    If you are logging in manually, try Safe Login:
    1. Enter your credentials
    2. Hold the shift key
    3. Click the login button

    By doing this, loginwindow will ignore login items and launchd will ignore any LaunchItems.

    If this solves the problem, you need to find the offending login item or LaunchAgent.

    If you are being auto logged in, you need to try Safe Boot:
    1. Shutdown the Mac
    2. Hold the shift key
    3. Power on the Mac
    4. Hold shift until the Apple logo appears

    This will perform a Safe Boot and will continue on to Safe Mode and Safe Login. There are a number of things being ignored during, you can read those here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564

    If this solves your problem it could be a number of things, but I would first take a look at /Library/LaunchAgents (StartupItems).
     
  5. croft-uk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #5
    You nailed it!

    A large brandy and a cigar for Calderone!

    Interestingly, the manual login while holding Shift didn't work for me but rebooting while holding Shift got me into Safe mode and onto the desktop.

    I haven't got as far as working out what the problem is but you've given me the way forward. Until now, I've just been going round and round the same loop, so sincere thanks for this.
     
  6. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    Since the manual login while holding Shift did not work, but Safe Boot did, that suggests that the problem is in the Local Domain (/Library).

    I would focus on items in /Library/LaunchAgents (and /Library/StartupItems) given your findings.

    A note on LaunchAgents: The proper format for them is reverse domain, like plists. So from that information you can find the creator and look for any known problems. Simply updating the software may solve your problem.
     
  7. croft-uk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #7
    Problem resolved

    Although I was somewhat out of my depth, I followed your suggestions and looked in Local/Library/LaunchAgents and found an Apple-generated file that seemed to have been created when I installed SL. So I took it out of the LaunchAgents folder and rebooted. That didn't work.

    So I thought again about what you were telling me - the problem is local - and created a new user account called Test. That works perfectly, so I'll probably just delete the old account and start a new one with the same name.

    I know it's a non-technical approach but as long as it works, I'm happy. Thank you again for your excellent input.
     
  8. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Strange, I suppose it is something in your profile. Odd that Safe Login doesn't catch it but Safe Mode does.

    The new information you presented makes it seem as if the problem is not local but user specific, very odd behavior though.

    If you want, I would revisit your home directory and take a look at the old user's login items and LaunchAgents.

    Sorry for steering you the wrong way, since Safe Login didn't work but Safe Boot/Mode did I assumed the problem would be in the Local Library.

    Good luck to you! Feel free to pop back in if you have any questions.
     

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