I have an early 2010 27" iMac that is the family computer. It has 5 user accounts on it. (Not sure if this is relevant or not).
Often times I'll come home and the login screen won't appear. Usually I can ssh in from my MBP and kill that process and everything works.
This time, however, I see that there's a few hundred
loginwindow processes running, and I can't kill them. Doing a
ps ax | grep loginwindow | wc -l told me there was 829 of them!
It started with a frozen screensaver. I killed the
ScreenSaverEngine process and it brought me to a stuck login screen.
I'm guessing there is a severe software conflict on the machine, but I am not sure how to diagnose this. It is certainly frustrating to have to power off the machine.
Any ideas on what I should do to fix this issue? How would I begin to figure out the root cause?