9 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2013 6:41 AM by WZZZ
davek30 Level 1 (0 points)

Good afternoon,


My father has a MBP with Snow Leopard 10.6.8 installed and in the past week it became slow to the point where it was hardly usable.  The only 3rd party apps were VMFusion and Microsoft Office.  He told me that he did the software update recently after months of putting it off.  I figured that it might have been an issue with doing the software update through the apple dropdown, because I had the same issue with my MBP months back, and it went away after installing the combo update.  I ended up downloading the combo update and in the middle of the update, the comp crashed.  From that point, I could never get back to the desktop, it always got stuck on the grey screen upon bootup.


Next, from there, I went step by step down the fix you mac found here...https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-3353


None of the items worked until I did #8, Reinstall OSX.  After doing so, that got me back to the desktop, however, with every click, I would get the spinning wheel of death and nothing would open.


Now I just restarted again and it takes me to the login screen (name and password) and my dads account has vanished?  The computer was setup as a single user.  I went into the "reset password" when booting from install CD and it shows nothing about his account either.  The only account that is listed is the System Administrator.


The only time I can get into the desktop is if I sign in as the System Administrator, however when I do so, it does not show any of his documents.


The most important thing is that I retrieve the items that were in "My Documents" as they were pretty important to his business (which is why he should have been backing up in the first place).


I dont get how his account has vanished along with his documents after reinstalling, from what I understood, everything should have been left untouched.  Any help anyone can provide, I am greatly appreciative.



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • CMCSK Level 6 (10,640 points)

    The only time I can get into the desktop is if I sign in as the System Administrator, however when I do so, it does not show any of his documents.


    If you are signing in under your father's user name and password, you should still be able to see his files.


    How large is your father's hard drive and how much hard drive space does he have left?


    Disconnect all peripherals from your computer.


    Boot from your install disc & run Repair Disk from the utility menu. To use the Install Mac OS X disc, insert the disc, and restart your computer while holding down the C key as it starts up.

    Select your language.

    Once on the desktop, select Utility in the menu bar.

    Select Disk Utility.


    Select the disk or volume in the list of disks and volumes, and then click First Aid.

    Click Repair Disk.

    Restart your computer when done.


    Repair permissions after you reach the desktop-http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2963 and restart your computer.













  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,810 points)

    Open Terminal in Utilities and copy/paste in the following, then hit return.


    dscl . -list /Users UniqueID


    Does the account name show up there? Ignore all the strange ones like root and nobody. Just look at any accounts that begin with 5 and two more digits. Should be 501 down at the bottom, if there was only one account.

  • davek30 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for the reply CMCSK, I have actually repaired the disk as well as repaired permissions on two occasions.  One was before the re-install of OSX and the other was after.  I am still experiencing the same issues...

  • davek30 Level 1 (0 points)

    WZZZ, I got two results, one was "daemon" with the number 1 and the second was my dads name with the number 501, then nobody, then root...

  • davek30 Level 1 (0 points)

    As mentioned before, there arent really any 3rd party apps installed besides VMFusion and Microsoft Office.  The HD capacity is 499.75GB and only 76.1GB is used...


    I did end up finding a small solution for getting the documents onto an external drive...Since I could not login from the start screen to show my dads account, I ended up logging in under the System Administrator.  I then added a new user but with the same credentials as what my dad used before the crash since I could not login from the start screen.  I then rebooted, logged in under the SA again, and clicked on  Macintosh HD > Users > "my dads name" which magically appeared again.  I copied all of the documents over to my external drive, however many of the docs (photos especially) said they could not be found so unfortunately it seems as if those are lost...but at least I got the more important biz docs that he needs...


    Now the problem is that the computer is still really slow just as it was before I had the login issues.  Everytime I try to click on a new folder or file, I get the spinning wheel of death for anywhere from 15sec to a minute plus.  I am debating just doing a clean install to wipe everything out?

  • CMCSK Level 6 (10,640 points)

    I get the spinning wheel of death

    Troubleshoot the spinning beach ball




    the computer is still really slow

    Sluggish Finder - Bunch of icons on your desktop?  An overcrowded desktop slows down your Mac.<P>

    Get rid of needless Finder calculations - Open a window in Finder/View/Show View Options:  ensure "Calculate All Sizes" option is unchecked.<P><P>


    Internet related - It's likely that your broadband connection is the bottleneck.  You can check your speed on http://www.speedtest.net

    to see how fast your connection is.  If your web browser specifically performs slowly, quit and relaunch it.<P> 

    If browser remains sluggish, empty its cache.<P>

    Safari/Empty Cache<P>

    Firefox/Preferences - select the Network tab of the Advanced preferences and click the "Clear Now" button in the "Offline Storage" area.<P><P>


    Application related - Launch "Activity Monitor" - Applications/Utilities - click the CPU heading and see what float to the top.  If an application takes up a large chunk of CPU and won't let it go, it could be dragging down your Mac's performance.  Quit it by clicking the Quit Process button at the top of the Activity Monitor window.<P><P>


    Too little ram - max out your ram.












  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,810 points)

    The slowness and other issues may be symptoms of a failing hard drive. Open Disk Utility, select the drive and see if it says SMART Verified or not.


    Even if it does say verified, get the free demo of Smart Utiity to check the drive health.




    You said you only have one account and the Terminal command you ran confirmed that. What then do you mean by logging in under System Administrator?


    If you are going to try to do a reinstall, you might prolong the life of the drive first by doing a zero erase. From DU>Erase>Security Options>Zero Out Data. Only one pass.Then reformat the drive, HFS Journaled/GUID. Of course, make sure you have a full backup before doing this and you should also be warned that if the drive is failing, this is not a drive to be trusted.

  • davek30 Level 1 (0 points)

    CMCSK, I didnt find too much as to the internet/apps.  The computer is pretty much just a stock MBP with VMFusion and Microsoft Office on it.  Plus he does not do a ton of internet browsing (way less than your standard person).


    Unfortunately WZZZ's suggestion for doing the Smart Utility showed some bad news, the Overall SMART Status is Failing.  There are 169 pending bad sectors and a 2541 total errors, so it looks like this is the source of the problem.


    Are there any courses of action from here? Seeing as how its bad hardware, buy a new HD?  It looks like a brand new Macbook Pro on the outside so I definitely want to get it back running.  Or does an Apple Store/online give you credits to a new purchase when you trade in older equipment?

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,810 points)

    It doesn't appear to be all that difficult to replace the drive. I don't know what your model is, but this is one such replacement.


    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+17-Inch+Unibody+Hard+Drive+Replacement/3 401/1


    Look around on the ifixit site for your model, if this isn't it.


    As I said, you could try reformating/zeroing the drive. But it can't be trusted.