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Nick H.
Nick H., Mac Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8226
Experience:  Macbook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Pro G5.
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my mac is stuck on user login screen. after i type the password

Customer Question

my mac is stuck on user login screen. after i type the password XXXXX each user it looks like it's going to login but after a few seconds it just returns to the user login screen.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.

NickMacExpert :

Hello, and thanks for your question. My name is Nick and I will help you today.

NickMacExpert :

Are you chatting with me on another computer?

NickMacExpert :

Did you get any error when you log in?

NickMacExpert :

Or it will accept the password and then goes back to Log in screen after 2-3 seconds?

Customer :

i am chatting with you on the computer with the problem. it won't let me login to my main account or my kids account but i can log into the guest account

Customer :

no error. it just disappears after a few seconds and goes back to the login screen

NickMacExpert :

Thanks for your info.

NickMacExpert :

Please check to see how much space your hard drive has remaining.

Customer :

how do i do that

NickMacExpert :

Go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility

NickMacExpert :

Select the Hard drive on the left

NickMacExpert :

You will see the disk info.

Customer :

35.6gb

NickMacExpert :

That is how much remaining?

Customer :

yes. capacity says 148.7. available says 35.6

NickMacExpert :

Thanks.

NickMacExpert :

Please bookmark this page first.

NickMacExpert :

Save this page to your Bookmarks. Then you can come back in case we need to reboot.

Customer :

ok its done

NickMacExpert :

Thanks.

NickMacExpert :

When did you first have this problem?

NickMacExpert :

Today?

NickMacExpert :

Or recently?

Customer :

yes about 4 hours ago

Customer :

last night was the last time i used it without a problem

NickMacExpert :

Thanks.

NickMacExpert :

You said that you booted in Safe Mode.

Customer :

yes

NickMacExpert :

did you have the same problem in Safe Mode?

Customer :

yes

NickMacExpert :

And you said that you run disk Utility

NickMacExpert :

What did you do?

Customer :

yes. i found your site because when i searched this problem, i found someone else who had a similar problem and the representative told him to try the 3 things i listed. it solved his problem but i am still having issues

Customer :

i did /sbin/fsck -fy

NickMacExpert :

Thanks

NickMacExpert :

On your computer now, please do this

NickMacExpert :

Press and hold the Power button until your Mac turns off. Usually takes about 5-8 seconds.

NickMacExpert :

Wait for 1 minute.

NickMacExpert :

Turn your Mac back on.

NickMacExpert :

Log in normally

NickMacExpert :

Does it work?

NickMacExpert :

You might want to write down the URL so you can come back

NickMacExpert :

http://www.justanswer.com/mac-computers/7trvb-mac-stuck-user-login-screen-type-password.html

NickMacExpert :

Please come back and let me know.

NickMacExpert :

This method is called a Force Shutdown.

NickMacExpert :

Please try this first

Customer :

ok

NickMacExpert :

If not working, go back to Disk utility through Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility

NickMacExpert :

Select your Hard drive on the left.

NickMacExpert :

Select First Aid

NickMacExpert :

then select Permission Repair

NickMacExpert :

This will take 10-30 minutes.

NickMacExpert :

Reboot after repair

NickMacExpert :

Try to see if you can log back in normally

NickMacExpert :

Come back and let me know if any of these methods worked out or not.

NickMacExpert :

Thank you!

NickMacExpert :

Nick

Customer :

ok

NickMacExpert :

Thanks.

NickMacExpert :

It has been about 30 minutes.

NickMacExpert :

let me switch to Q&A so you can get emails from JustAnswer.com

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Barbara,

Were you be able to log into your Mac after those two methods?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It looks like it is still repairing. That rainbow colored circle is still spinning. After I did the force shutdown and tried to login this time, instead of going back to the login screen it just showed the wallpaper and wouldn't let me do anything else. So I had to force shutdown again and this time login to the furs account again to do the repair disc permission

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your update.

Please let me know how it went after the repair.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
"Furs" should be "guest" in the previous comment.
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it supposed to take this long?
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Barbara,

It usually take 10-30 minutes. If there are many issues with the hard drive, it sometimes takes up to 90-120 minutes.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I use safari while it is repairing?
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Yes you may. As long as you just browse the internet, you should be fine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How will I know when this is complete? Will there be a message or will the spinning circle just stop?
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Barbara,

There will be a message when the process is done. Or check the Status bar at the bottom right on top of Capacity.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the repair supposed to fix the issue or will I need to do additional steps once the repair has been completed? And if it takes too long will I be able to continue this with you tomorrow or will I get a new agent?
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Barbara,

The repair should fix this issue. You need to reboot your Mac after this repair is done. Log in normally.

We can continue to work tomorrow.

Thanks.

Nick
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It completed and I rebooted. I tried to login but its frozen on the wallpaper again. I don't have an option to try another user or restart.
Expert:  Daniel Whelan replied 1 year ago.
Hi, What version of OS X are you running? Do you have a startup disk? (it may not have a disk depending on the version of os x you have)
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Barbara,

Are you still be able to login into your Mac with Guest account?

And what OS X version is your Mac using? Lion, Mountain Lion, or other?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I had to reboot it again to access the guest account. I'm on osx 10.5. I'm not sure if I have a start up disc. I'm at work now and can check when I get home.
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Barbara.

Your computer might have problem with the OS. We might need to reinstall the OS again. However, I would like to ask you to try to repair the Disk permission one more time. Just let it run until it finishes.

Please look for the OS disk as well. We might need it.

Thanks.

Nick
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I will try that when I get home and will follow up with the outcome.
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Hope to hear back from you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok i tried it and still had same issue. i tried clicking on "verify disc". after a some time passed i received an error message saying:


 


first aid failed. disk utility stopped verifying "macintosh hd" because the following occurred: filesystem verify or repair failed.


 


The volume macintosh hd needs to be repaired.


 


i was able to find 2 discs. Mac OS X Install disc 1 and 2. is this what u need?

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much for your reply and info.

Those disc are what we need. However, before doing reinstallation, you might want to backup your files to external hard drive or Time Machine first.

After backup is completed, run the Install disc 1. Here are the steps:

  1. Start up from your Mac OS X Install Disc 1 or Install DVD. Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C.)
  2. Select your language. The Welcome to the Mac OS X Installer window appears.
  3. Click Continue. The Important Information window appears.
  4. After reading or printing the information, click Continue. The Software License Agreement window appears.
  5. After reading or printing the information, click Continue.
  6. An agreement sheet appears. If you agree with the license agreement, click Agree. The Select a Destination window appears.
  7. Click the volume that you wish to install to.
  8. Click Options. The installation options sheet appears.
  9. Select Archive and Install.
  10. Select the volume which already has Mac OS X installed.
  11. You should also select Preserve Users and Network Settings, to preserve network and Home directory settings. (See notes and Related documents below.)
  12. Click OK.
  13. Click Continue to begin the installation.

After reinstalled OS, you should be able to log in normally. Run Software Updates to reinstall all the available updates.

Please let me know if you have any problems. Thank you!

Nick
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

that's my problem. i'm not able to access my account to backup my files. i am only able to get into the guest login so i can't see any of my saved information.


 

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply.

If that is the case, you can still proceed with Archive and Install procedure. It will not erase your files. All your data should be fine.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so you're saying i can do steps 1-13 above and i won't lose any of my information?

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that type of install will save all your data files.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so i just found out my cd drive does not work either. do i have any other options at this point?

Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your update.

We can use an external DVD drive to connect to your Mac via USB port. Turn off your Mac. Connect USB DVD drive to Mac. Turn your Mac on and hold C key to start with Install Disc 1.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I don't have one so let me find out if someone I know does.
Expert:  Nick H. replied 1 year ago.
Sure. Hope to hear back from you.

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Nick H.
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Macbook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Pro G5.