Safe Mode And Slow Log In


It seems that I have been tinkering too much with my new toy (PB G4, 1.5 GHz, 12-inch that came with Tiger installed). This question is the last resort before I go ahead and re-install the system to fix the mess.


1. at log in or whenever the system asks for password (i.e, changing system preferences, moving things in and out of my system Library/Widgets folder), I get a spinning beach ball for about 5 - 10 seconds. The delay is not that long or disruptive per se, but it is annoying since the fact that it never happened when I first used this machine. As a result, it must have happened while I was tinkering and I would like to fix it.

2. I have tried to boot in safe mode, but to NO avail. I get stuck at the gray screen with the Apple and the spinning notches (not the beach ball).

I know i had problems with widget manager and messed around with User permissions. I talked to a tech from this forum and she helped me out tremendously and resolved my widgets issue. This may be related though since I did mess with the system permissions prior to working with her.

Any ideas before I go ahead and reinstall. I am a Windows user so I dont know where to start looking to fix this boot up issue, though I suspect it has to be something in the library or preferences dealing with some type of service that I installed.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

If you boot into Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key at startup, then you're probably not getting "stuck" at the spinning gray notches. The Safe Boot in Tiger forces a disk integrity check to be run, which is run during this time. Depending on the fullness and capacity of your hard drive, this can take several minutes or more, especially if it's finding and fixing errors (which can take an hour or more). If this process is interrupted, it can cause even more errors (the same as on Windows -- you definitely don't want to cut the power when you're repairing a hard drive).

If there's nothing worth saving on your system (photos, music, email, etc.), then I would opt for a fresh format of the hard drive and clean install of the OS over trying to repair a broken system. With a fresh install, you're assured that the install is in a good, 100% working state -- with a repair of a malfuntioning OS, well, you never know what else is just about to pop.
Thanks for the help. I think your advice is the best course of action. I will go ahead and re-install. Now its just a matter of finding the time. Hopefully it wont take too long.