fixed : MacBook Pro hangs during final stage of macOS startup

Question :

I have macOS 10.14 Mojave installed on my MacBook Pro ‘Mid 2012’, but every time I try to start up my Mac, it hangs when the progress bar (on the white startup screen with the Apple logo) is at 99%…

On the TechRadar-website I found some startup key-combos to try : https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/apple/how-to-use-os-x-boot-options-to-troubleshoot-your-mac-1305645

I have tried the following, but it didn’t help :

  • restarting my MacBook
  • zapping the PRAM / NVRAM
  • running Disk First Aid in Recovery Mode
  • running Disk First Aid from another Mac while in Target Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from Recovery Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from a USB installer

So far, no problems where found, but the exact same problem keeps occuring :

When I startup my MacBook Pro, the progress bar goes quickly to 50%, then slows down but still keeps progressing up to 99% or even 100% and then hangs…

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

You have already tried most of the options that usually give success when you encounter these types of problems, so you have little options left to choose from.

The first thing to try would be ‘Verbose Mode’ so you will be able to figure out what problems are encountered during startup :

  • shut down you Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Verbose Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[V] keycombo on your keyboard during startup
  • now, your Mac starts up without a GUI (Graphic User Interface) but just displays lines of code (like in the Terminal.app and Console.app)
  • note that you might see a screen of code flashing by and than face your regular inlog screen… if so, just login and you will get to the Console-like black screen with white lines of code…
  • wait for the lines of code to halt and see what error messages are displayed in the final lines of code
  • if the error is “too many corpses being created”, use the solution outlined below (additional error terms are “Process”, “crashed:” and “opendirectoryd.”)
  • if you get any different error message : lookup the error message and the solution on the internet

The solution to the “too many corpses being created” startup-error :

  • shut down your Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Recovery Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[R] key combo on your keyboard during startup
  • if FireVault is on, mount the HardDisk by clicking Disk Utility.app and then typing your password
  • then, go to Utilities in the top menu bar and click Terminal in the pulldown menu
  • in Terminal.app type this line of code (in which “Macintosh\ HD” is replaced by the name your have given your HardDisk ; the default name is “Macintosh HD”, and note that all spaces in the name of your HardDisk should be replaced by “\ ” (a backslash + a space) when typing these lines of code) :

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/caches/opendirectory

  • then press the [Enter]-key to run the code
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good, if you get an extra line in between, you’ve run into an error (e.g. “command not found” usually means you mistyped something, so you should just try again ; if you forgot to replace the space in your HardDisk’s name by “\ “ you’ll also get an error and you should just try again)
  • on the next line, type this :

mv ./mbr_cache ./mbr_cache-old

  • then press the [Enter]-key
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good
  • again, if you get an extra line in response, you’ve made an error and trying again with greater accuracy will probably solve it…
  • then, exit Terminal.app by pressing the [cmd]+[Q] key-combo
  • then restart your Mac by clicking on the Apple-icon top left in the top menu bar and clicking “Restart” from the pull down menu
  • now your Mac should startup without problems
  • note that the first startup will take a little longer, as all system settings need to be rebuilt

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : This file sever will not allow any additional users to log on

Question :

I got this error “This file server will not allow any additional users to log on, please try again later” when I tried to access files that were on my network, but not on my Mac itself.

How can I fix this ?

Answer :

You can get this error when trying to connect to either another Mac or a Time Capsule in your network. The solution depends on the type of ‘server’ you are trying to connect to.

-A-

On a Mac running a normal (non-server) version of MacOSX, only 10 clients can be connected at the same time. If you get this error, despite the fact that you have less than 10 clients connected, try this :

– on the Mac you want to connect to, open the Terminal.app and type this command :

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleFileServer idleDisconnectOnOff -bool YES

– then press RETURN and you will be asked for your password

– type your password, press RETURN, quit the Terminal.app and you’re done (please note that the cursor will not move while typing your password in Terminal.app)

– whenever you want to undo (or reverse) this action, follow the same routine, but use this command :

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleFileServer idleDisconnectOnOff -bool NO

-B-

If you get this error message when connecting to a Mac and you need to have more than 10 clients connected, try this :

– upgrade the version of MacOSX you’re running (on the Mac you want to connect to) to the server-version of MacOSX, as OSX Server can handle an unlimited number of clients ; you can get the latest version of OSX Server in the Mac App Store

-C-

If you are trying to connect to a Time Capsule and you get this error message, the problem is something completely different. The Time Capsule can handle up to 50 clients at the same time, so chances of running into that limit in a regular household are low. But, the average internet provider has a limit of only 10 concurrent internet connections on it’s modem at the same time, so if you get this error when trying to connect to a Time Capsule, the 10 internet connections limit will probably be the cause. So try this :

– startup the AirPort Utility on your Mac

– click on the Time Capsule icon so the ‘info balloon’-window will open

– click on the “Edit”-button

– in the window that opens, click the “Network”-tab/button

– at “Router Mode:” select “DCHP and NAT”, so not “Off (Bridge Mode)”

– then click on the “Network Options…”-button

– in the window that opens, at “IPv4 DHCP Range:” select a range of IP-addresses that is different from your internet modem’s IP-range. So, if your internet modem’s IP-range is 192.168.1.xxx select an IP-range like “192.168.2.2 to 200” and click the “Save”-button

– in the next window, click the “Update”-button

– then, back in the ‘info balloon’-window of your Time Capsule, at “status” you will get “Double NAT” with an error mark (yellow dot) next to it… so, click on the “Double NAT”-text and in the pulldown-menu that opens, select “Ignore”

…that’s it !

Enjoy !

😉

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fixed : use the Terminal to repair corrupt .sparsebundle-file

Question :

I have a corrupt .sparsebundle-file (a TimeMachine-backup file), that I would really like to fix, because there’s some files in there that I need.

I have tried using the Disk Utility app, but that didn’t work.

I also read that it should be possible to use the Terminal app to do this, but I’ve never used the Terminal app before, and I can’t find clear directions on how to do it…

What exactly should I do ?

Answer :

The Terminal app is not a regular OSX-application, it is a command-line tool (a.k.a. console) to program and reprogram in the underlings of OSX (more or less like the DOS-prompt in Windows). So, as you are going out of the ‘OSX comfort zone’ when you start using the Terminal app, you should beware since messing things up there can really mess up OSX, and lead to having to re-install OSX.

Having that said, here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing your .sparsebundle-file using the Terminal app :

– first, connect your backup-drive (the one with the broken .sparsebundle-file on it) to your Mac, using a USB- or FireWire-cable

note : if the backup-drive is inside a Time Capsule, you’ll probably be best of getting the harddrive out of the Time Capsule (as outlined in this iFixit How-To) and then temporarily hooking it up to your Mac using something like this SATA-to-USB connector (or an old USB-harddrive-enclosure). Even though this breaks the warranty on your Time Capsule, it’s probably the best solution since the direct USB-connection is much faster than the usual network-over-ethernet-connection… (and bringing the Time Capsule in to an Apple-dealer for repair, will definitely mean losing all your data, since that is part of the regular repair-policy… and bringing it to a specialized data-recovery company will cost more than buying a new Time Capsule)

– then, open the Terminal app (which can be found in the Utilities folder that is in the Applications folder)

– in the window that opens, you will see the name of your Mac followed by a colon (:) and a tilde (~), so if the name of your Mac is MacBook Pro, you will see :

macbook-pro:~

that is the “prompt”, when you see that, you can start typing the commands

note : some basic knowledge about working in the Terminal :

  1. each line of commands (a.k.a. “command line”) you type should be activated by pressing the ENTER-key
  2. as long as you do not see the prompt, the Terminal app is still busy executing your last command line
  3. the Terminal can not handle names with spaces in them, as spaces play an important roll in a command line ; they separate the subsequent commands given in one command line, e.g. if your backup-file’s name is MacBook Pro.sparsebundle, the Terminal app requires you to type is as MacBook\ Pro.sparsebundle or you can type the entire path to the file in quotation marks, like : “…/…/MacBook Pro.sparsebundle” (another option is to temporarily change the filename to one that has only letters and numbers in it)
  4. you don’t need to type the entire path to a file’s location in a command line manually, you can just drag-and-drop the file itself onto the command line and the entire path to the file will be automatically generated (a handy trick to prevent mis-typing)
  5. when typing your password in the Terminal, the cursor will not progress, so there will be no visual feedback whatsoever about what you’ve typed… so, type your passwords only with total focus on what you’re typing !
  6. ! BEWARE : be sure to double-check your typing when using the command line, as one mis-typed letter can generate an entirely different, unwanted outcome, screwing up your entire OSX installation !
  7. when working in Terminal app on a MacBook (Pro/Air), the advice is not to use an external keyboard, but the on-board keyboard

Now, when you see the prompt appearing, type this (followed by pressing the ENTER-key) :

admin$ sudo su –

Then, when you see the prompt appearing again, type this (followed by pressing ENTER) :

root# chflags -R nouchg [drag .sparsebundle-file here]

Then, at the next prompt, type this (and press ENTER) :

root# hdiutil attach -nomount -noverify -noautofsck [drag .sparsebundle-file here]

And at the next prompt, type this (and ENTER) :

root# tail -f /var/log/fsck_hfs.log

Look closely in this next file when you need to type what, and what the feedback should look like (kind of) :

  • bold green text = this is the command line prompt
  • bold black text = you should manually type exactly this text
  • bold purple text = drag-and-drop your .sparsebundle-file here, and your sparse bundle’s path will be displayed
  • black text = this text is generated by the Terminal, indicating what is busy and/or finished, and will be the same when your replicate this proces
  • blue text = what is displayed here depends on your specific situation
  • if problems are found, they will be listed in-between these lines, and it will also be indicated how it was fixed

console log sparsebundle repair

note : as you can see from the time-stamps in the picture, the entire process will take quite a long time to complete (it took nearly 6 hours to repair this harddisk – a 500GB harddrive that was temporarily taken out of a Time Capsule and connected via USB2.0)

so, from there on it’s wait, wait, wait, do something entirely different, wait (again), get a good night’s sleep… and wake up in the morning with a repaired hard drive…

that should be it 😉

fixed : which fonts are used in this PDF I’ve received ?

Question :

I want to know what the exact fonts are that are used in a PDF-file someone has send me, but I can’t find a way to do that in OSX’s Preview and I do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Is there any other way to get this info ?

Answer :

Yes !

Even though Preview currently has no solution for this and the Acrobat Pro is probably the easiest way of knowing which fonts are used in a PDF, there are a few alternatives :

Option 1

In Adobe Reader (the free, light version of Acrobat Pro), do exactly as you would in Acrobat Pro :

– open the PDF in Adobe Reader

– go to File –> Properties –> Fonts

that’s it

Option 2

Use the Terminal command-line :

– open the Terminal app

– type ” strings /path/to/document.pdf | grep FontName “, that is :

— type “strings” followed by a [SPACE]

— than drag & drop the PDF onto the cursor in the Terminal

— then typ another [SPACE], followed by a [VERTICAL DASH], another [SPACE] and “grep FrontName”

— then finish with a [RETURN]

that’s it !

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fixed : repair corrupt RAR-files on your Mac

Question :

I have some RAR-archive-files on my Mac that I would like to decompress/unarchive. I have tried several unarchiver-applications, but they all end up telling me that the RAR-file is corrupted.

Is there any way to fix this ?

 

Answer :

RAR (which stands for Roshal ARchive) is a very popular file-compression that is developed and maintained by the Roshal brothers Eugene & Alexander. Their RAR & unRAR utility is called WinRAR (for Windows) or simply RAR (for all other platforms including MacOSX).

One interesting thing about WinRAR/RAR is that it is also capable of repairing corrupted RAR-archive-files. Slight down-side is that the utility doesn’t have a graphic interface (GUI) like most MacOSX-apps… it is a ‘command line only’ tool…

To repair damaged RAR-archive-files on MacOSX, do this :

– download WinRAR/RAR for MacOSX from the Roshal brothers’ website :

http://www.win-rar.com/fileadmin/winrar-versions/rarosx-4.2.0.tar.gz

NOTE : if you want to be sure you get the latest version of RAR for MacOSX, go to this website to find it :

http://www.win-rar.com/download.html

– After downloading, open the Terminal app that is in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder and drop the “rar” program file from the “rarosx” folder onto the terminal window.

– Then make sure there’s a space (by typing on the SPACE-bar of your keyboard)

– Then type “r” (without the quotes).

– Then make sure there’s another space (by typing on the SPACE-bar of your keyboard again).

– Then drop the file you want repaired onto the terminal window (it’ll give the path and name of the file).

– Then make sure there’s another space (typ the SPACE-bar)

– and type “Users/yourname/Desktop” or wherever you want the fixed file to be delivered.

(if you want to deliver to a specific destination folder, it may be easier to just drop the folder where you want it placed onto the terminal window again so there’s no chance at typos)

– Then hit “return” and the repair scan will start. if the file has a recovery record, it will say that it was found almost immediately. Then the repairing the file will start. (this might take a couple of minutes, depending on the size of the file)

– After that, double click the repaired RAR-archive-file to have it unRARed

…that should do the trick!

NOTE : the file will have the prefix “rebuilt” appended to the beginning of the filename. You’ll need to delete that once the repair process has completed before you attempt to join the files again.

fixed : HideSwitch can’t hide invisible files

Question :

I used to use the HideSwitch app to view the invisible files on my Mac from time to time.

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/36771/hideswitch

It used to work great, but now I’ve run into a problem that the “Hide Invisibles” does no longer hide the invisible files in the Finder (the ones that I had just made visible using HideSwitch’s “Show Invisibles” button…)

FYI : I’m running OSX 10.8.2 “Mountain Lion”

How can I fix this ?

Answer :

The fix is rather simple – if you don’t mind using the Terminal :

– inside your Applications folder, go to the Utilities folder, there you’ll find the Terminal app ; open it by double clicking on the icon

– in OSX’s Terminal window that opens, type (or copy-paste) :

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool NO

– and activate by pressing the RETURN-key on your keyboard

– then type (or copy-paste) :

killall Finder

– and activate by pressing the RETURN-key on your keyboard

…now your Finder will rebuild, and the invisible files will be invisible again

 

NOTE :

Offcourse, you can also use the Terminal to make invisible files visible. (the reverse process of what’s lined out above) To do so, type or copy-paste the following line into the Terminal :

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool YES

…activate using the RETURN-key, then type (or copy-paste) :

killall Finder

…and activate again using the RETURN-key ; that’s it !

 

[ thanks to Matt Swain and others for the tip ]