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OS Upgrade Haunted by Ghost-account?

October 23, 2009
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I just got done wiping my drive, loading Snow Leopard, and restoring my files from a cloned backup. Almost everything worked as expected. The Lasso-user refused to be restored — it never finished calculating the directory size, and I had to deselect it to continue the restoration process. Once I was back up and running, I reinstalled iTools9, Tenon’s PHP and MySQL add-ons, and Lasso 8.5.6. I had to copy and paste from the old virtual host config file to the new one, but that brought everything up except MySQL.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get the MySQL Server to launch. I messed around with it for hours. I read log files, re-re-installed applications. I re-restarted the machine. I manually launched and re-launched executables. Nothing seemed to work. The only other symptom remotely associated was that in the iTools9 Admin site, the System Status pane took an enormous amount of time to load, sometimes never loading.

Finally I thought to just wipe everything associated with webserving, and re-install again. I thought I’d start by removing the extra users on the system. So, I swapped over to my admin-account, brought up System Preferences, selected the MySQL-user, and clicked the delete key. Something strange happened, the MySQL-user didn’t dissapear, but it did change names from “MySQL” to “MySQL Server”.

I thought that perhaps there were two MySQL-user accounts, and one had been masking the other. So before I did anything else, I jumped back to my client-account, brought up the iTools Admin site, and opened the System Status pane. It opened up immediately — no long delay like before. Then I clicked the “restart” button for MySQL Server, and MySQL started right up.

I don’t know if my assumption, of there being two MySQL-user accounts, is exactly correct. But, everything’s working now, and I’m just hoping this helps someone else. When I upgrade the operating system in the future, I’ll not restore the MySQL-user in the first place, instead just let the iTools instal create a new user, and manually import the data-files from the cloned backup.

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