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Running OSX Mavericks on Macbook Air SDD disk.

The system has corrupted the password file so none of my six identities can log in - password invalid.

Following discussions and tests with apple support,

1: Boot into safe mode does not work 2: Boot into single user does not work 3: I cannot try target mode as I do not have a second mac, but will investigate this possibility further

4: Boot into recovery mode does work

Q1: If I take the OSX reinstall does it leave my data alone, and ONLY reinstalls the OSX? I have a backup but it is not as uptodate as I would like.

Q2: Is there anyother way of doing a reinstall or alternatively saving data before reinstalling the OSX?

Q3: If I take the terminal option, I get the -bash-3.2# prompt. At this point, Applesupport asked me to enter resetpassword. BUT on typing r , bash immediately changes the prompt to (reverse-i-search)`':

Is there anyway to get bash to accept normal characters and turn
the intelligent search off 

Q4: Does anyone know the filename and path that is corrupted as I might be able to restore and old one?

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