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Thread: root user has disappeared.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    35

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    hi,

    a weird thing happened today on my friends brand new imac, running panther.
    he has his admin account, and two general user accounts.
    root account is activated.
    on boot, he used to see his three accounts plus "other".
    and suddenly, today, "other" was gone at boot.
    that means he can't boot as root anymore.
    i told him to go back to netinfo and see if the root account is still activated.
    and it is.
    so, what do you think of this ?
    any of you has any clue on what to do ?
    thanks.

    b?©hel
    holott.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Menomonie, Wiscompton, USA
    Posts
    85

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    quote:
    Originally posted by bl:

    and suddenly, today, "other" was gone at boot.
    that means he can't boot as root anymore.
    i told him to go back to netinfo and see if the root account is still activated.
    and it is.


    There's a login window option that allows you to keep the "other" option hidden. Try setting it so it doesn't display the list of options, only the username and password box. Check the Login Options in the Users preference pane...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    35

    Default

    thanks JayPee
    i've already told him to boot with log/pass only, and it works ok.
    but, well, it's a bit annoying not to be able to use the "normal" functions of the OS.
    any idea why the root account has disappeared from the list ?

    b?©hel
    holott.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,142

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    ¬?I've had that happen a couple of times as well. Not sure why a root password would disappear but as long as you have a Admin User account you can use the Terminal to reset the root password.

    ¬?In Terminal as a Admin user type:

    sudo passwd root
    It will ask for your Admin password, enter that and it will twice ask for your new root password. Done. New root password.

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    bl,

    Something odd with Panther I think. After an 'Erase & Install' -- I started very clean -- I recreated my an accounts, and I activated the root account. However at the login window I don't see 'Other...' anymore in Panther. (I saw 'Other' from 10.1 to 10.2.8.)

    One workaround if you still like to see the list of users, rather than 'name' & 'password' fields is this. When you get to the login window, press the down arrow, which will highlight the first user. Then press opt-return; that will switch to the 'name' & 'password' fields. From there you can login in as 'root' or even console.

    Not as easy as clicking the 'Other' button, but it seems to work.

    I saw a purported 'fix' to this here. But I urge caution on this. I tried it, and while I did get 'Other' back at the Login Window I paid a price I think. When logged in as root, I couldn't authenticate NetInfo Manager for instance. Not good, and the getting back to way things were required trashing the NI database since I didn't have a backup of the NI database alas. I should have known better before I tried, but didn't make a backup. Duh!

    If it isn't this weirdness with Panther that I'm seeing, then sometimes a mysterious loss of the root account could indicate a corrupt NI database. I stress here that this is a genuine loss of the account, not merely a missing 'Other' in the Login Window. Sometimes you'll get further hints to the corrupt database while trying to login as other users or things going haywire in Terminal, e.g. the formatting of the shell has mysteriously changed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Mobius Strip
    Posts
    13,045

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    What if some of this could be related to using MacJanitor or Cocktail or Xsupport? All of this update and backup the netinfo database don't they?

    "What did you do before this happened?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,818

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    quote:
    What if some of this could be related to using MacJanitor or Cocktail or Xsupport? All of this update and backup the netinfo database don't they?
    Backup of the NI database is part of the Daily cron task/script. So if you have any of those run the daily task (or let it run normally in the wee hours of the morning), then the backup of the NI database will be made.

    I usually shutdown at night, and it was it was only one day after installing Panther that I played with the alleged fix. So I was without a backup.

    I see that in Panther, you can no longer use NI Manager to backup the NI database. That said, it used to corrupt the NI database when logged in with an admin account; it only seemed to function properly when logged in as root.

    Another app you can add to above list is TinkerTool System, which I've been looking at. More a competitor to Cocktail or Jaguar Cache Cleaner (than say MacJanitor). One very nice touch about TinkerTool System is that with some things, e.g. Cache & .DS_Store deletion, it tells what it's going to do *before* it does it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    35

    Default

    sorry for the long delay.
    thanks to all for your replies.
    well, the root user is still there.
    my friend can log as root with the "names and pwd" start up window.
    his mac works absolutely ok since this happened.
    still, i can't understand why the "other" item has disappeared.
    some people even told me it's a new and normal implementation in panther (???)
    but, if this was the case, why do i still have my "other" login item ?
    guess my friend has to wait for a panther update...

    b?©hel
    holott.org

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