Some further things to note:
- I flashed my PRAM
- I started in Safe Mode
- I disabled login items holding down shift when logging in.
I am still unable to login (graphically) to this account. That I can ssh in suggests that there is some part of the graphical login process that is causing a crash and return to the login screen.
As a further update, there appear to be these messages in Console around the time of every failed login attempt:
7/21/11 5:11:00.239 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: ([0x0-0x3f03f].com.apple.iTunesHelper) Exited: Killed: 9
7/21/11 5:11:00.243 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: ([0x0-0x53053].com.apple.AppleSpell) Exited: Killed: 9
7/21/11 5:11:00.254 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: (com.apple.mdworker.pool.0) Exited: Terminated: 15
7/21/11 5:11:00.259 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: (com.apple.talagent) Exited: Killed: 9
7/21/11 5:14:05.191 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: (com.apple.quicklook.32bit) Unknown key for boolean: DisallowDataExecute
7/21/11 5:14:05.191 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.502: (com.apple.ReportCrash) Falling back to default Mach exception handler. Could not find: com.apple.ReportCrash.Self
As an update, an Apple Senior Advisor called me yesterday. While he was very patient and helpful, we were unable to make meaningful progress.
As a further update, I tried to restore my machine using TimeMachine to a backup of 10.6.8 just before the install, and now that restored system will not boot (hangs on the Apple-logo-grey-background-spinning-gear forever). See Unable to restore to 10.6.8 after upgrade to Lion .
Now I'm very concerned. If I cannot restore my system to a backup, then I've done everything that Apple has asked before doing an upgrade and have a brick and a backup that isn't really a backup.
From MacRumors Forums. Sounds like a similar-enough issue to give this a try (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1191239):
I got the answer here
Ok step 1
Boot your mac with Option + R holding it will boot into recovery mode
Step 2 go into disk util and take terminal
Choose root and put a password to log on root
Reboot the mac and log in as root and root password that you've done
Go in System Preference then users and group
Create a new account with the SAME NAME and SAME PASSWORD as your old account and put it as an administrator
When you accept it will say that in MacHD you already have an account with the same name do you want to use THAT folder
You say YES it will take 3 mnutes about.
Then log off and your account will be there, select it and put the password
It will log and all your files will be there.
That is what i done and it worked, my desktop docs and itunes is all there
And for the time i took
They refunded my Lion purchase and will send me a 50$ itunes store card
Gotta love it hehe
Message was edited by: michaelfromeagle
Another link. This one is about the Developer Previews and the only systems it affected were ones with an nVidia GPU. I'm not sure which kind I have.
This was exactly my problem too, after upgrading to Lion. I originally solved it by booting in recovery mode, renaming my library folder (not deleting so as to keep backup of all prefences and app data) and logging back in. Followed by 4-5 hours reconstructing my account, from the Library backup. Even then, only about 80% of original account config, but at least I was up and running. For about 1 month...
This morning I restarted (not for the first time, since restoring my account) and guess what... yes AGAIN! To say I'm angry is an understatement.
Same symptoms as noted by jrosenblum. I can ssh, but otherwise always grey for a couple of secs, before switching back to login screen. The suggested solution I'd already tried. That is for when lion has "lost" your account. In our case, the account is there, as proved by ssh. Hence you can't even do the above mentioned, osx won't let you because the "account name already exists". It's IMPOSSIBLE to enter SAME NAME / PASSWORD.
In contrast to jrosenblum what I see in the console is a loginwindow crash. Every time. And always KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x000000000000001c
Googling that confirms my suspicion it's a driver problem but hasn't helped much beyond that. Most perplexing is that I can't even log in in safe mode.
Nailed it!!! (for me at least)
A couple of work colleagues have had the same problem; it turned out to be a wonky keychain! Man, man, man!!!
Solution was to rename the old Keychains folder, then I could login in. That was all! Then from KC Assitant open the old keychain, set it as default, and delete the new empty one created at log in. All my passwords and certs and keys restored.
Maybe because I often run a developmennt script for building apps, which adds and removes a keychain. Something must have got screwed up. Would explain why 3 of us here at work have had the problem, which otherwise doesn't seem to be too common.
Nevertheless... SL never had this difficulty. I don't like Lion.