5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 4:34 PM by Mike Osborn
gemmaes89 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everyone,


I'm not sure what's happening so I'll explain the best I can.

I went to log into my computer yesterday afternoon (after six days without power to our house due to floods) and instead of giving me the option to log into my account or guest, it shows only guest.


I have no access to any of my files on my account and the guest account is very limited in what i can do- I cant even print any of my work I need for tomorrow.


I've tried searching this problem online and haven't come across it anywhere so am very stuck on what to do.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (55,283 points)
  • Mike Osborn Level 4 (1,205 points)

    I would try resetting the NVRAM and PRAM and see if that helps.  Here's a link for how to accomplish this:




    You don't mention how old this iMac is.  If it's extremely old, it's possible the internal battery is dead, which could also cause this problem.


    I hope this helps.

  • gemmaes89 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks for the tip rkaufmann87, I only have guest access though.


    Mike Osborn, I bought the computer back in 2010, it's still has Apple Care warranty I just cant call them until tomorrow when business opens.. i was hoping i could fix this today.


    I've tried the PRAM reset to no avail.


    I've tried going to users and groups (under system pref) and unlocking it so I can make changes... it's not even recognising my administrator name or password.


    I've checked that all my files are still on the hard drive and they are, i just cant find a way into my account to access them.


    I've tried searching this problem but can't find anyone who has had something similar happen, it's so frustrating!

  • davidsignal Level 3 (540 points)

    can you open terminal as the guest user?


    What happens if you type:

    su youruserid


    if you can access your account in terminal like that, then you should be able to open system preferences with your admin userid by doing something like:

    open /Applications/System\ Preferences.app


    and then take a look at the login settings for your user account.

  • Mike Osborn Level 4 (1,205 points)

    I'm really out of ideas on this one. 


    If you don't want to wait until Monday (really?  AppleCare has limited hours?  Didn't know that!) then the only other thing I can think of would work....but it would take time.


    Assuming you've got a current Time Machine backup, you could always boot to the Snow Leopard DVD, erase the hard drive, and restore it from your Time Machine backup.  But....it seems kind of extreme to me, so there may be better suggestions posted by other users here.