5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2008 9:20 AM by BDAqua
PianomanDave Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
I seem to have lost all my stored login passwords. When I open Safari, I get an error <Keychain "login" cannot be found to store "Safari">. My choices are <Cancel> or <Reset to Defaults>. There is a file User/Library/Keychains/login.keychain, but it appears to be 0KB in size. Apparently, the system can't find it.

Keychain Access opens but it is empty except for a few areas. There are two <system> keychains listed. On has an open square as its icon and is empty. The other has a locked lock and it has three entries. There is also a keychain X509Anchors that is full of Certificates.

I have tried to repair permissions and then rebooted. It made no change.

I have a two week old clone available. Should I move its login.keychain file back to my computer?

What else does the keychain do? So Far, I'm ok relative to signing on with my normal username and password.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave Matz

MacBook Pro 17" - Model 1,2 - 2.16 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2 GB RAM
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)
    Hi Dave,

    In such cases where stuff is missing, you want to be sure to actually Repair the Disk before doing anything else like Repairing Permissions, or replacing files!

    "Try Disk Utility

    1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
    *Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.*
    3. Click the First Aid tab.
    4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.
    5. Select your Mac OS X volume.
    6. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214

    Then Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes. (YES, we need to do it again once the disk is repaired).

    The usual reason why updates fail or mess things up, is if Permissions are not fixed before & after every update, with a reboot... you may get a partial update when the installer finds it doesn't have Permissions to change one obscure little part of the OS, leaving you with a mix of OS versions.

    Some people get away without Repairing Permissions for years, some for only days.

    If Permissions are wrong before applying an update, you could get mixed OS versions, if Directory is the slightest messed up, who knows!

    If many Permission are repaired, or any Directory errors are found, you may need to re-apply some the latest/biggest updates.

    May even need to do an Archive and Install if you have room on the HD, but saves all your files and gives a new OS...

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120
  • PianomanDave Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    BDAqua,

    Thanks. Sounds like a major repair. Could it just be a corrupted file that I could bring back from a backup copy of the disk? That would be a lot simpler than the full disk repair.

    If not, I guess I will do the repair. Is it likely to bring me back to where I was with the Keychain?

    The disk that came with the computer was OSX 10.4.6. I am now using 10.4.11. Is it ok to use the older repair utility?

    From what you said, repairing permissions first was probably ok, since that is what is needed to make sure that the Disk Repair is permitted everywhere. Right?

    You assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dave
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)
    From what you said, repairing permissions first was probably ok, since that is what is needed to make sure that the Disk Repair is permitted everywhere. Right?


    Nope, opposite... Repair the HDD before Permissions.

    The disk that came with the computer was OSX 10.4.6. I am now using 10.4.11. Is it ok to use the older repair utility?


    Yes.

    Could it just be a corrupted file that I could bring back from a backup copy of the disk?


    Well, it could be, the problem is, IF the Disk Directory is messed up even slightly, then anything you do to the disk can really cause problems to be enormous.

    That would be a lot simpler than the full disk repair.


    Simpler yes, but so is crossing the street without looking both ways first!

    It may not be the problem, but if it is then...
  • PianomanDave Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    BDAqua,

    For your info...

    I went through the Disk Repair process and then Repaired Disk Permissions (Whys do you suggest repairing permissions under Safe Boot?). There was a minor Volume problem that was repaired. When I rebooted and started Safari, the problem with not being able to find "login" was still there.

    I considered resetting to the defaults, but was informed that there were other keychains that would have to somehow be brought back in, so I held off.

    I then went to a recent clone of my disk, copied the login.keychain file *216KB" and replaced the login.keychain file in my User/Library/Keychains folder. When I booted up Safari, I was asked for my keychain password.

    Now, when I go to the various internet sites where I've saved passwords, it seems to have the username and password. However, when I went to Keychain Access, the login keychain looked empty.

    I rebooted and everything seems to be back in place. Whew!!!!

    Thanks for your suggestions. By getting the disk and permissions repaired, it made me more comfortable to replace that login.keychain file.

    Thanks,
    Dave
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (119,775 points)
    Good news!

    (Why do you suggest repairing permissions under Safe Boot?).


    Safe boot does several things ... Repairs HDD, clears several Caches, turns off most 3rd party kexts... so it's more reliable.

    Now, when I go to the various internet sites where I've saved passwords, it seems to have the username and password. However, when I went to Keychain Access, the login keychain looked empty.


    Those are most likely in Cookies, not the Keychain.