Friday, May 30, 2008

Upgrading to OS X 10.5.1: LaunchDaemons

I try. Really, I try.

I knew 10.5.0 had severe quality problems. I waited until 10.5.3 was out, though the install DVD was still 10.5.1. I even cleaned up prior to installation [1].

Then I did an 'archive and install' ... Oops. I thought the installer would ask me what type of install I was doing. It didn't. Guess I should have read the manual. I ended up unwittingly doing a regular update install. (Yech.)

The install sucked down another 5GB by the way.

So I had an ominous premonition when I was done. Justified.

After installation I tried to log in to my Administrator account, with user name 'Admin'.

My password didn't work.

An empty password didn't work.

I was locked out! My other accounts worked, just not the admin account.

Google sent me directly to the fix ...
Mac OS X 10.5: Unable to log in after an upgrade install

... You may not be able to log in with a user account that has a password of 8 or more characters and was originally created in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, after performing an upgrade installation of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (the default installation type)...

... launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
So at least this was a well known bug.

I caught it because when I bought my MacBook, I used the firewire migration service to migrate the settings from my iBook to the MacBook. I never had 10.2.8 on the MacBook (it wouldn't have installed anyway), but the iBook started with 10.1. So the glitch was transferred to the MacBook.

A little booby trap, just waiting to detonate when I installed 10.5.1.

Fixing the bug required entering some reasonably convoluted unix commands. The last step in the series resets the admin password. [2]

Yes, as has been known for some time, anyone with access to your machine can reset your admin password, though they won't have access to the admin keychain. (Since I reset the password to the old password, I still have access to the admin keychain).

Now I've installed 10.5.3.

More on that later.

If you haven't updated to 10.5, I'd suggest waiting until Apple starts shipping DVDs with 10.5.3. "Leopard" was a really buggy OS update, a kind of mini-Vista.

[1] Cleanup
  1. Uninstall Parallels 2.5.
  2. Check for Input Managers and remove them (l found smart crash reporter.)
  3. Remove contextual menu items
  4. Remove Preference Panes
  5. Repeat for both admin and my primary account.
  6. Do a safe boot (hold shift on start) to run maintenance checks.
  7. Delete all apps I suspect won't work with 10.5.1 or that I don't often use.
  8. Reboot into admin
[2] I suspect that if one has encrypted one's home directory, then one would be, technically speaking, screwed.

Update 6/17/11: Years later my iMac started handing at startup. It passed hardware tests, I couldn't find an easy fix, so I archived and installed. Right. That's why I'm back.

The horrid Apple fix worked again. This time though I created a fresh administrator account before I upgraded to 10.5.8. I'll delete the old, contaminated account. Should have done that years ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

why not do:
sudo passwd Admin