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Mac OS X 10.7.5 Login Loop

Posted on 2016-10-18
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Last Modified: 2016-10-24
Hello,

I have a AIO mac that was brought in having some odd issues.  I determined that the hard drive was having permission issues reading files, which I have since repaired.  However, since the customer did not remember his password, I had to resetpassword from terminal outside of the OS.  Now, here's where the problem comes in.

Since I resetpassword, the log on screen shows, his name comes up and I type in the password.  Once I hit enter, it acts like it's going into the OS, but it boots me right back to the logon screen.  If I type in the wrong password, it does the shake thing, so I know it is accepting the password correctly.  Can someone direct me on how to fix it from here?  (P.S., not too knowledgeable on Terminal, more of a PC guy.  But if you give me step by step, I'm sure I can figure it out :) )
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Question by:Scott Thompson
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 41849067
Try resetting the PRAM by cold booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41849119
I have reset the PRAM to no effect :(  I do have Other User also showing and I have changed the root password, but logging into root does the same thing.  Just a white screen, then goes back to the logon screen.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41849205
Since you've reset the PRAM, a reset of the SMC.   Then try and boot into safe mode by holding down the shift key when booting.  See if you can log in while booting into safe mode.  Finally, try a reinstall of the OS.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41850236
Serialband,  I have unplugged the AIO Mac, waited a minute, plugged it back in, held down the SHIFT key, and booted into safe mode.  I still have the computer at the logon screen, but when you log in, the screen goes white (still shows the mouse), then throws you back to the logon screen. :(
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41850493
When you unplugged the iMac(I assume that's what you mean by AIO) did you hold the power key down to reset the SMC?

Do you have another admin account that you can use?  Please try logging in with another account.

You can try fixing the disk permissions too.  Reboot into Recovery mode by holding Command r at startup.  Select disk Utility.  Select the disk.  Fix Permissions and Fix Disk.

Do you have another Mac or an external disk?  You can try installing OS X into that external disk and boot onto the external disk to try and view the internal disk.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41850521
I did not hold down the power button, but I can try that.  I was reading that I could try to load the recovery and reinstall 10.7.5 (Lion), which should keep all the customer's information and programs.  Is that correct?  Do you think that would be my best option?

I have another Mac on hand.  What are you wanting me to do with it?  The hard drive I believe I have mentioned did have errors, but they have been repaired.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41850528
If you have a Thunderbolt cable, you can boot into Target disk mode connect the iMac to the other mac and see if you can read the disk.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41850877
Well, I have everything USB under the sun, but I do not have a Thunderbolt cable.. :(  Do you want me to boot to recovery and check the disc again?  Or boot to my Mac OS Sierra installation and run First Aid?
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by:davidanders
ID: 41851031
iMac only - unplug all external devices, unplug power cable from iMac, wait 15 secs - resets SMC
(some say press power button for 10 secs when unplugged)
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/reset-macs-smc-pram/

Startup Key Commands
Command+Option+P+R keys will reset PRAM, unlikely to solve many boot problems.

Option key at boot will present Startup Manager (will show Recovery Volume, if it exists)
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204417

Shift key at boot will start in Safe Mode
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201262

Command+S keys at boot will start in Single User Mode
http://www.everythingmacintosh.com/tech-notes/repair-your-hard-disk-in-single-user-mode/

Command+R keys will boot from Recovery Volume (if it exists)
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/how-reinstall-mac-os-x-using-internet-recovery-3593641/

T key down at startup will start Target Mode (Firewire to Firewire, Firewire to Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt)
http://www.macworld.com/article/1160887/storage/targetdiskmodethunderbolt.html
https://www.google.com/search?q=target+mode+Site%3Amacworld.com

S.M.A.R.T. diagnosis on Mac
Disk Utility returns one of three possible hard drive states - less than useful, sometimes.
DriveDX will give more useful info for the 30 day trial    https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx
Smart Utility will give more info for three restarts   https://www.volitans-software.com/apps/smart-utility/
Disk Drill v3 free gives complete info (click tiny blue i inside circle)  http://www.cleverfiles.com/
Disk Drill v3 was released Oct 15th 2016
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Expert Comment

by:davidanders
ID: 41851060
Problem to login loop back in OSX 10.7  August 27, 2013
http://sugartin.info/2013/08/27/problem-to-login-loop-back-in-osx-10-7/

I have not done any of these procedures and can not recommend them, unless there is a boot drive image backup.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41852503
I tried Number 1 and 2 in the link provided by davidanders.  Neither solution worked.  You also posted several hard drive repair programs, but it looks like the OS would need to be running in order for me to run them, or I would have to remove the hard drive from the AIO.

Is there a way to create a new user account from terminal outside of the OS?  Maybe I could try that.
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by:serialband
ID: 41853162
Install a new OS onto an external disk, then boot from that and you should be able to see the internal disk.
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by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41855481
Smart Utility Pass
I have installed an OS on external and scanned the internal drive.  Everything passes.  How do I fix the issue from here?  Again, I will ask, am I able to install MAC OS X 10.7.5 over the current installation but save everything the way it is?  Or is there a way to repair the login loop without reinstalling?
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Author Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41855598
Oh, I am uploading the system.log file.  Maybe someone can make sense of it.
system.log
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Expert Comment

by:davidanders
ID: 41855668
SnowLeopard was a stability release for Leopard. Mountain Lion was a stability release for Lion.
SuperDuper will make a bootable clone onto a hard drive, partition, or sparse disk image.
Reinstalling an OSX onto a running OSX from that OSXwill leave your files untouched supposedly, everytime I have done it (3 times?).
Reinstalling a Combined update 10.7.5 will also, sometimes fixing a problem.
Reinstalling an OSX version from another hard drive onto the problem hard drive may delete your setup.
Migration Assistant will transfer a setup onto another clean OSX install.
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Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 500 total points
ID: 41855673
See:  https://discussions.apple.com/message/17051941#17051941#17051941

Try this:

Reboot and hold Command-S for singler user mode.
 
Once you get a command prompt mount the partition for write access by typing:
 
/sbin/mount -uw /
 
Then type:
 
rm /var/audit/current

to remove the /var/audit/current file.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 41857262
Ironically, I looked up the error code in the system log and found this solution about a half hour before you posted :)  However, I am giving you the credit in this situation since this was the correct answer.  The current file was an alias, which I believe was preventing it from creating an actual current file.  After deleting it, the system logged right in and I was able to update it to OS Sierra.  Thank you!
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