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shawbeg
01-13-2009, 10:33 AM
Doing a bit of New Year's housekeeping and addressing some problems with my computer that I have been "living with", because they aren't debilitating. But, they are annoying, so I'm trying to get to the bottom of a few of them.

This machine was purchased in 2003. (G4 iMac 768/OS X 10.3.9). A couple years later, the hard drive crashed and burned. With professional help, I was able to have a new HD installed and 98% of the old info. was recovered. I do not recall advising anyone on an Administrator Password at that time, but it's possible. Or, perhaps, that information was retrieved from the old HD somehow and a new one was not required. But, I have no idea what the password is!! In digits, it does not match any of the passwords I traditionally use. Of course you all know that in order to reset a password, I have to know the old one.

Any way around this problem? For the record, there are no password hints available.

I don't really need Admin privileges at the moment (as far as I know), but it just seems like something I ought to know, you know ;) ?

Ideas?

olealf
01-13-2009, 10:41 AM
You can reset the password without knowing it by booting from the OS X CD/DVD. Boot the disk, select language and select reset password from the utilities menu.

shawbeg
01-13-2009, 10:47 AM
You can reset the password without knowing it by booting from the OS X CD/DVD. Boot the disk, select language and select reset password from the utilities menu.


...Talk to me like the novice that I am. :rolleyes: I have two iMac cds that came with the computer. One is labeled iMac Software Install and Restore. The other is labeled Apple Hardware Test. Which one? And, will booting from the cd change any other settings, or can I just change the password and expect everything else to remain the same?

trevor
01-13-2009, 10:51 AM
One is labeled iMac Software Install and Restore. The other is labeled Apple Hardware Test. Which one?

Use the "iMac Software Install and Restore" disc. (This is actually an assumption on my part, I've only personally done this with Retail OS X Install discs.)

And, will booting from the cd change any other settings, or can I just change the password and expect everything else to remain the same?

If the only thing you do is reset the admin password, then it will not change anything else. If you do something else while booted to the Software Install and Restore disc (like install or restore software) then it will, of course, make those changes as well. You're in control.

But, I have no idea what the password is!! In digits, it does not match any of the passwords I traditionally use.

By the way, the number of bullets shown for the password has absolutely no relationship to the number of characters in the password. If it did, that would be an important clue for someone trying to break into your computer. The number of bullets will default to 8 or 10 or some other round number, no matter how many characters are in your actual password.

Trevor

ricede
01-13-2009, 11:04 AM
a friend of mine had a new harddrive fitted to his ibook last week. he asked me to reinstall some of his applications for him. i asked him for the password and he said that apple hadnt given him one. also he didnt have the install disks so i couldnt reset a new one for him.

i emailed the guy at applecare who had installed the new Hd to ask what password he had put in the machine.
got the answer back that there was no admin password installed and that i should just press the ok tab on the window that was asking for a password. i did and lo and behold got straight in. i then set a new password in syst prefs by leaving the 'old password' blank and then putting in a new one for him.

i always thought you had to have a password in an admin a/c !!

reading your post - i wonder whether there was ever a new password put in when the Hd was replaced.

shawbeg
01-13-2009, 11:05 AM
Use the "iMac Software Install and Restore" disc. (This is actually an assumption on my part, I've only personally done this with Retail OS X Install discs.)

What's the difference -- iow, what do you mean, "Retail OS X Install discs"?



By the way, the number of bullets shown for the password has absolutely no relationship to the number of characters in the password. If it did, that would be an important clue for someone trying to break into your computer. The number of bullets will default to 8 or 10 or some other round number, no matter how many characters are in your actual password.

Trevor


Really?! Hmmmm. Well I've got an odd number of bullets here, not even. Is there any reason for me not to try all the "obvious (to me)" possibilities (since I was being totally led by the number of bullets? It won't lock me out or anything after some number of failed attempts? Sorry if that's a really stupid question. :o

trevor
01-13-2009, 11:16 AM
What's the difference -- iow, what do you mean, "Retail OS X Install discs"?

Retail discs are OS X Install discs bought in retail stores. Whenever a major upgrade comes out, like 10.4.x Tiger or 10.5.x Leopard, Apple sells that major OS X upgrade in retail stores on discs that work for all supported Macs. These retail discs are colored black (sometimes with a pattern in the black), with a stylized X on the face.

In contrast, the Software Restore discs ship with the computer, and have been colored gray in recent years (although if you go back far enough, they were a very unattractive shade of green). I've never personally used Software Restore discs to reset a password, although I assume that should work just fine.

Well I've got an odd number of bullets here, not even.
It won't lock me out or anything after some number of failed attempts?

Yes, it's safe to try your obvious possibilities. No, it will not lock you out.
I'm surprised that you have an odd number of bullets, though. How many bullets do you have? Perhaps in 10.3.x the password bullets actually matched the number of characters, and this was only changed in Tiger? Hmmm, I don't think so but perhaps my memory is faulty.

Trevor

shawbeg
01-13-2009, 11:24 AM
Retail discs are OS X Install discs bought in retail stores. Whenever a major upgrade comes out, like 10.4.x Tiger or 10.5.x Leopard, Apple sells that major OS X upgrade in retail stores on discs that work for all supported Macs. These retail discs are colored black (sometimes with a pattern in the black), with a stylized X on the face.

In contrast, the Software Restore discs ship with the computer, and have been colored gray in recent years (although if you go back far enough, they were a very unattractive shade of green). I've never personally used Software Restore discs to reset a password, although I assume that should work just fine.





I see. Well, I'm on the verge of having to buy a major upgrade - that or buy a whole new machine - so I'll soon know personally about the black stylized discs. :rolleyes:





Yes, it's safe to try your obvious possibilities. No, it will not lock you out.
I'm surprised that you have an odd number of bullets, though. How many bullets do you have? Perhaps in 10.3.x the password bullets actually matched the number of characters, and this was only changed in Tiger? Hmmm, I don't think so but perhaps my memory is faulty.

Trevor


I've got seven. And, if my memory serves ME, other places where I've got password bullets, the number DOES match the actual number of characters I'm using (ie: Mac Mail). I'll dig a bit and see if any of my ideas work.

BTW -- any more clues on that MAIL issue in my other post? I'm so puzzled.