While trying to set up a server, I appear to have disabled user logins and now when I start my MacBook I only get the "Name" input field (followed by a red dot), the error message “Network accounts are unavailable” and a password field. All external access has been shut off to this server.

I have run Disk Utility and fixed permissions and I have re-installed Lion (not a clean install).

The only access I have is via afp to shared Public Folders.

Running commands in Terminal does not seem to be an option as I seem to be locked out of the main directory.

Is there some way I can re-establish the normal login window?

2 Answers 2


You can enter the username and password of the local administrator account at the login window you are seeing. The local administrator would be the user account that was created when first setting up OS X on the MacBook and is not associated with any network account server.

Once logged in to the local admin, open System Preferences, click on Users and Groups, unlock the preference pane, click on login options, and change "Display login window as" to "List of Users". You can also edit Network Account Server binding from the preference pane.

  • I did try that but that does not get me access, I get a spinning grey circle which eventually stops. I do believe that I have blocked all access to the MacBook. In Recovery Mode I can open terminal but running any command results in a command not found (or similar error). I can also login from another MAc but only get a Welcome to Lion with options for setting up Wiki. I'm kicking myself!
    – John
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 19:43

"Network Accounts unavailable" is an indication that the device is unable to communicate with Directory Services (Open Directory).

You need to make sure that you are on the same subnet as the server (the subnet that was used when the Open Directory was created as this seems to be a MacBook and mobile).

You also need to make sure DNS is setup correctly (forward and reverse resolution of the IP address and full-qualified hostname of the server).

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