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My drive was running out of space and I wanted to restart my MacBook, as some (IT) processes were eating up gigabytes of ram. I did this restart many times before without issue.

Recently I restarted and was prompted to login, and as per usual, I entered my username and password (office laptop synced with office 365 login).

Only this time, the password box was shaking, indicating some failed login (or no such account?). There is no way I entered my password incorrectly as office 365 login is working fine on another MacBook.

I am theorizing that the lack of free space is causing some lockup or corruption internally. I have observed this in iPhone iOS before many years ago and also in recent macOS upgrades where free space is not checked before processing and can cause potential data loss. Perhaps the same thing is happening here and/or some important file got corrupted?

I thought, maybe it is due to keychain somehow being corrupted and hence failed, but would that affect the login? And I think a different error will appear. Not sure how I can verify this.

Is my data gone? Is there any way I can recover back my account and login back with minimal data loss? I think it has the vault encryption enabled. I am on the latest macOS (not sure which exactly).

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Resetting it using recovery key works.

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