Mac OS X 10.5: Unable to log in after an upgrade install

If you perform a Mac OS X 10.5 upgrade installation from a version of Mac OS X that was previously migrated from Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, you may not be able to log in to your user account if the password contains eight or more characters.  This article applies to Mac OS X version 10.5 installation discs; this issue should not occur with installation discs that contain Mac OS X version 10.5.1 or later.

Note: If, after installing Leopard, you are unable to log in to an account that has no password, see this article instead.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

If you can log in or are logged in

Download and install the Login & Keychain Update 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to avoid the issue later.


If you are unable to log in

you can use these steps instead:

  1. Restart in Single User mode (hold Command-S during startup). Note that single-user mode always uses the US English keyboard layout.
  2. At the prompt, type this followed by Return: mount -uw /
  3. Type this:
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  1. Press Return
  2. Type this, then press Return: ls /Users
  3. Look at the listing and note the short name (username) of the affected user account.
  4. Type this:

    dscl . -delete /Users/username AuthenticationAuthority

    Note: Replace "username" with the affected user account's short name you noted above.
  5. Press Return
  6. Type this, followed by Return: passwd username

    Note: Replace "username" with the affected user account's short name you noted above.
  7. At the "New password:" prompt, type the user's password, then Return. Note: It is recommended that the original user's password be used to match the keychain password.
  8. At the "Retype new password" prompt, type the same password, followed by Return.
  9. Type this, followed by Return: reboot


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