I have one of the last 17" iMacs running 10.5.8. Just recently it began freezing on logout. Everything seems to go normally except the login window never comes up and I have to do a forced reboot.
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I'd launch the Console utility and look for any messages around the time of the logout that might explain the problem.
I have the same problem with a couple of MacPro users on Mac OS X 10.5.8. Just started in the past few weeks.
When the user logs out, the login screen does not reappear. I can still connect with ARD or SSH to shutdown or reboot.
Happens with a Standard Local User account as well as with the Local User Account with Admin Privs.
Already tried Zap PRAM, Safe Boot and run FSCK to no avail.
If I delete the com.apple.loginitems.plist and com.apple.loginwindow.plist from /Library, the problem seems to go away temporarily.
I'm glad to see this thread, but disappointed to see there is no solution. I have exactly the same problem, and it started a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes when I log out, the system will hang and cannot be awakened unless I force a restart by holding down the start button. I have tried using disk utility to repair my disk, repair permissions, clean out all my old log files, zap the PRAM, and the problem persists. I initially thought it might be caused by trying to log out while Time Machine was trying to do a backup, but I've been judicious now about making sure that Time Machine was not running a backup when I log out, and I still have the same problem.
The log out seems to start, but after everything on the screen except the desktop image goes away, is when the system hangs up. I have yet to have this happen on my work computer, only on my home one, on which I have four different user accounts. Not sure why that would make a difference, but who knows?
We definitely need some help on this one.
I thought I'd pass along a test that I am doing. I noticed a couple of times before my machine hung on logout, that Time Machine was running - appearing to be doing a backup. I thought that perhaps my logging out in the middle of a backup was maybe causing this freezing problem. When I looked more closely at Time Machine right before logging out, I noticed that it was "Preparing Backup." It was not actually doing a backup. No matter how long I waited, it only said "Preparing Backup." It never actually seemed to be doing the backup.
So, I have since totally turned off Time Machine to test and see whether my freezing problem has gone away. So far, 36 hours in, I've not had a freeze on logout. Not sure what it means, and I'm not crazy that I may not be able to use Time Machine, but, at least this may be telling me something.
You might want to give it a shot and post back here if you get similar results. I'll post again if I get another freeze while Time Machine is off.
there are several similar discussion threads about that topic and nobody is bringing them together.
So here I will repeat my earlier reply to an other thread (http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=12571591#12571591):
My PBG4 shows similar behaviour at about half of my logg-offs / shut down / restart.
I have tried nearly every kind of diagnosis and repair tools (RAM, HD, file system, rights, extensions, different accounts ...) with no result. I doubt if log files would provide useful information after a forced power down because cached information may not have been flushed to disk and log files not been closed properly.
I have been following similar discussions from time to time but never found a durable solution.
The only hint I picked up was the following workaround:
Have the dock showing up while logging off.
(set permanently visible in dock preferences or unhide dock by mouse just before confirming log-off via return key)
I know it sounds strange - but it works for me!
Since I follow this advice (and don't fail to invoke the dock) there are NO more hangings during log-off / shut down / restart.
The root cause must be something about a hanging process but I have no knowledge about BSD and other things behind the Mac OS X Aqua interface.
Sorry, it's no real solution, only a workaround but could you try if this also helps on your computer?
Thanks for the suggested workaround. Unfortunately my Time Machine experiment did not work - I still ended up with system freezes when trying to log off, even with Time Machine off.
As for your dock showing idea, am I to assume that you don't use the Genie effect on your dock? I do, so the dock is never showing when I logoff. I can set it to not be in the Genie effect, but thought I'd ask before I started doing that.
I still suspect Time Machine, or at least my external drive. I ended up reinstalling my system and disconnecting the external drive and turning off Time Machine. Things were fine until I reattached the external drive and tried to run Time Machine. When I did that, the backup froze after a couple of minutes, and I could not kill it without turning off the machine.
I am now trying to solve my Time Machine issues to see if that solves my login freeze problem.
I recently upgraded my PowerMac G5 from 10.4.x to 10.5.8 (yes, already ) and have immediately started seeing the same symptoms.
I haven't determined how to prevent it, but I was able to clear the hang condition by logging in from another computer via ssh and using "killall -9 loginwindow" to terminate this process. It looks like loginwindow is supposed to automatically terminate and be respawned upon each logout, but some bug apparently blocks its termination when the hang occurs.
FYI, a previous time this symptom occurred there were a few user processes stuck in the U and E states (and unresponsive to kill -9), and I thought those were preventing the login window from returning. Perhaps not, however, as I did not try killing loginwindow that time.
I have had problems with my Macbook Pro over the last year both on start up and shut down. What I found is that if I have anything connected (especially my external soundcard) it will not shut down. If you have anything connected by USB (I know I have issues with that with mine, firewire has not worked for a couple of years so not sure if that would be the same?) be sure to eject & disconnect before shutting down or restarting, hopefully that will resolve the issue?
I have the symptoms of some computers "hanging" after logout, with a black screen and a small white rectangle at the top left corner. The login window never appears. And this happens with both my admin account and a normal, non-admin user account.
I've seen this crop up recently on several user's Mac Pro's in my group. We are all running 10.6.8, and this just started happening after I installed some application updates (Microsoft Office 14.3.2, Acrobat Pro 9.5.3, 9.5.3), and some updates for the pesky little plugins such as Silverlight and Adobe Flash. I'm suspicious that this is a result of one of these updates, but a systematic approach to testing each in turn failed to yield the symptoms.
Luckily for me, in my network environment, I am set up to be able to ssh into any of these machines. When I do so on an afflicted machine, I noticed that about 8-10 processes belonging to the user account who just logged out are still active on the computer. This indicates to me that the log out process is not completing properly.
Fortunately for me, and perhaps for some/all of you here, I stumbled across a solution that "repairs" this symptom - every time so far. I just completed it again, on my 4th computer afflicted with this.
Remember that often maligned feature available in Disk Utility, that many have said does nothing useful, called "Repair Disk Permissions"? I myself have not seen this to be a very useful feature! Well, guess what - in this instance it appears to be the silver bullet that has fixed my problems simply, on each of the afflicted computers I've had.
- shutdown/reboot the afflicted computer, by ssh & "sudo shutdown -r now", or a hard power off using the button
- when the login window appears, log in to an administrative account
- launch the Disk Utility (/Applications/Utility/ directory)
- select the boot volume in the left side of window
- click on the "First Aid" tab
- click the "Repair Disk Permissions" button at bottom left (ish)
- when the process finishes, quit the DIsk Utility
- the logout process then should work normally, if your issue is the same as mine
note: the details in the solution posted here are intended for those who may not yet know where these items are - there is no intention to suggest that anyone in this thread would not understand the instruction to run the Repair Disk Permissions.....
cheers, and hope this helps,