login window appears after login in an infinite loop

in macOS edited January 2014
My friend installed the 10.5.2 update today and during installation she closed her macbook pro. After she opened it, it restarted and loaded up to the system login dialog. after she logs in, it seems like the desktop is about to appear but it just goes back to the login dialog. this continues in an infinite loop. I tried to boot from setup DVD and repair disk and permissions, but this didn't solve anything. I am not really sure what I can do.

Unless someone has any ideas, I think I will just reinstall leopard. How do you set a mac into target disk mode from the Setup DVD, it doesn't seem to be an option, but I need to access her data to back up before reinstallation.

She has a 2.4ghz 17" MBP


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