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May 27, 2003


Launch Services Cache Corruption

In the first what is sure to be an ongoing series of entries on how Mac OS X sucks, I’ll describe an issue I came across recently and how I solved it.
Yesterday I restarted my PowerBook (which is running Mac OS X 10.2.6) and found that I could not log in. The login dialog would appear, it would go through the motions, then disappear, then finally reappear.
I suspected that something early in the login process was crashing so hard it was taking down the login process itself. After a couple hours of snooping, and some luck (I was able to ssh in from another machine and watch the system log report the crashes), I discovered that Launch Services’ cache was corrupted, and was causing lsregister to seg fault. Removing that file (/Library/Caches/ allowed login to proceed normally.
Update (2009-03-10): Thanks to this post, I now know that the filenames have changed in more recent OS releases. Launch Services caches information per-user, in files of the form<uid>.csstore, where <uid> should be replaced with the user ID of the user with which you’re having trouble (my default user ID was 501).

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  1. Jose Luis
    Sep 28 2003

    I just want also thank you for your post. I have spent two days trying to get my os x to log in, but only got the same bad result. I have been reading about people having the same problem and resolving it by a similar way (deleting preferences files, the .plist ones under home directories), etc. But thanks to you now I am not going to wipe my disk šŸ˜‰
    But I still keep thinking how did you found that that f***ing file was corrupt? Maybe by doing a ‘find / -inum xxxxx’ after running fsck?
    Thank you very much.
    Jose Luis Garcia

  2. Luke Rodies
    Feb 28 2009

    Thanks for this posting. My wife was having this problem. (login loop). Luckily, I had a second admin account on her machine. From the command line in the second account, I su(d) into her account and renamed the associated ‘csstore’ file. The problem is resolved.

  3. Nini Facchini
    May 10 2011

    Man thanks for this very usefull post; I had the same problem and solved with this solution.

    Regards and thanks again,

  4. May 16 2011

    Dear Rick,

    I love you. you solve everyones problems, from computer errors, to finding of osama.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but with your beautiful face, and name, it should work.

    If not, your actually satan, and ridge wins.

    Thanks for your time,

    Forever in debt to your overlordness (if it works)


  5. Dean Wilkinson
    Dec 8 2011

    Thank you. FIxed my brothers imac with your advice!

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