The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

Strange Systems Problem, Strange Fix

Today I had a computer with a major problem. The machine would boot and then hang just before the login window normally appears, sitting with a near-full progress bar indefinitely. Fortunately, I was able to ssh in to the machine and check its system log, which told me that was crashing.

From /var/log/system.log:
Dec 14 16:05:45 ComputerOne crashdump[450]: loginwindow crashed
Dec 14 16:05:45 ComputerOne crashdump[450]: crash report written to: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/loginwindow.crash.log
Dec 14 16:05:46 ComputerOne launchd: /System/Library/CoreServices/ port /dev/console exited abnormally: Trace/BPT trap
Dec 14 16:05:46 ComputerOne launchd: getty repeating too quickly on port /dev/console, sleeping

Reading this led me to check the crash log of, which showed the below.

From /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/loginwindow.crash.log:
Library not loaded: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DisplayServices.framework/Versions/A/DisplayServices
Referenced from: /System/Library/CoreServices/
Reason: no suitable image found. Did find:
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DisplayServices.framework/Versions/A/DisplayServices: unknown file type, first eight bytes: 0x64 0x73 0x74 0x37 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x01

"Hmmm..." methoughts, "Sounds like there's a corrupt file in the DisplayServices.framework."


So, using the magic of scp, I copied the DisplayServices.framework from another, working machine, and voilà! The machine was able to proceed to the login window without delay. It's working fine now.


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6:33 PM

Your page SAVED my life. Please keep doing this. I know nearly NOTHING about UNIX or the console or the command line, but your paged led me to teaching myself how to

a. Use the console utility
b. check system logs
c. check log
d. track down misbehaving framework #1 (MachineSettings.framework in my case)
e. trackdown misbehaving framework#2 (OpenGL.framework)
f. delete both.
g. cp them over from a working machine
h. retest loginwindow locally (it works!)

and now.

Oh crap. Now a new error, and loginwindow is no longer happy. False alarm.    

7:12 PM

You know, I'd post more articles like this, but this sort of thing almost never happens. And, as you can see, it rarely resolves itself so happily. Maybe I'll do a general troubleshooting post some time soon, though.

Sorry you're still having problems. Keep trying, but don't forget: Sometimes it's easier to just cut your losses and rebuild the system.


8:58 PM

Yeah, I'm stubborn. The new error is icky. "launchd: Server 0 in bootstrap 1103 uid 0: "/System/libraryetc.../metadata.framework/versions/A/support/mds" (increasing numbers) exited abnormally

(many of those) and then a couple loginwindow application started errors, then getty repeating too quickly, sleeping. Very frustrating.

But, I still know a lot more than I did , so for that I thank you.    

12:34 PM

Just to make sure: You have run fsck -fy in single user mode, yes? If not, you should try that before any of this replacing of system components business.

Sounds like your system is pretty hosed though. Let me know if you figure out the problem.

BTW, "mds" is a Spotlight-related process (metadata server, or some such). FWIW. Oddly, I can't seem to find the framework you mention here on any of my systems.

Good luck.


8:31 AM


1:52 PM



10:05 PM

Yes, as said, thanks -- helped me get started fixing up the aftermath of horrendous disk corruption.    

8:27 AM

Yay! That's awesome! Not that you had disk corruption, but that you were able to fix it.

Glad I could help.


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