How to fix a freezing user account in Mac OS X 10.5

For reasons unknown, my Mac’s user account spiraled out of control. A few moments after login the MacBook Pro’s fan kicked in, mouse pointer became erratic then unresponsive, and the spinning beach ball stayed for good. Only way out of this deadlock was a hard reboot. I only had a few moments to launch Activity Monitor to discover the Spotlight service (mdworker, etc) was pegging the CPU. Unfortunately, nothing related to Spotlight resolved the problem. Here’s what got me working again… This

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