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97 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 95030 24-Dec-2011 09:35
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Hi all,

Trying to fix a Mac laptop here. Basically, no one knows the password, so I am trying to reset it. I opened up the reset password utility from the bootdisk (can't log in at the moment) but it doesn't recognise that there is a user on the computer!

I thought maybe I could make a backup image and then reinstall everything, but the backup image software isn't working either - it just flashes up an error about not being able to put something in that file, or similar.

Anyone had anything similar happen to them? Trawling the internet but not getting any ideas. 

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  Reply # 561140 24-Dec-2011 10:13
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Perhaps your reset password disk is incorrect version?

You can probably just create a new admin account, then reset the password of the existing account from there.

Boot into single user mode (cmd+s) when you power on.
Mount drive as read/write (mount /)
Delete the setup assistant file, the setup assistant will run next time you boot, allowing you to create new user account (rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone) use TAB key to autocomplete the file name, is easy
Then reboot (reboot)

cheers,
Joseph



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Master Geek


  Reply # 561179 24-Dec-2011 12:49
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Hey Joseph, thanks for the reply.

I did the applesetupdone thing, and am now resetting the computer. Except after I entered the details and such (about what the mac is going to be used for, etc), a white screen with a black line came up and nothing appears to be happening! The 'Continue' button is greyed out. It appears to be hanging during the set up.

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  Reply # 561184 24-Dec-2011 12:59
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No worries.
You can always hit CMD+Q during that last part of the setup and skip the registration part.
But a white screen with black line sounds pretty unusual. Perhaps files are corrupted or there's a problem with the hard drive?

Have you tried to verify/repair the disk?

Boot to single user mode, mount / again.
Then use the command (fsck -fy) to verify and repair if possible.
This will either a) detect no problems or b) repair issues successfully or c) be unable to repair problems.
If it's (c) then you'll need to try either a disk repair utility, or perhaps do a hardware test.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 561190 24-Dec-2011 13:19
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Cmd + Q doesn't seem to be working, unfortunately. It lets me click skip but doesn't actually skip anything.

Checked the drive, the computer thinks its okay. Hmm.

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  Reply # 561195 24-Dec-2011 13:27
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I would either
a) boot computer from external hard drive with bootable OS (I have these as this was my job for years) and copy off user data. Erase hard drive and reinstall
b) reinstall from install disks, you should be able to do install preserving user accounts and settings, this just replaces the OS components. However if it fails it might make the situation worse :)

Otherwise have you another computer to which you can connect this in FireWire target disk mode?
Saving data can be first priority, then go from there.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 561246 24-Dec-2011 18:35
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Tried reinstalling from the discs, but it won't let me do anything but attempt to set up the mac and mac account the normal way (which doesn't work, at all). So when I try to load up the discs from start up it refuses, and takes me instead to the standard 'set up your mac' window.

gzt

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  Reply # 561251 24-Dec-2011 19:00
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Did you delete all partitions before starting the install? also, which version of the o/s do you have on the install media?

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  Reply # 561254 24-Dec-2011 19:16
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are you using a retail disc, or the grey discs that are paired with specific hardware?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 561257 24-Dec-2011 19:37
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Did not delete partitions. Using the grey discs that came with the laptop, pretty sure its 10.4, going by what it says when it tries to get me to set up an account. The disc says 'Disc Version 1.0 2Z691-5975-A'

gzt

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  Reply # 561260 24-Dec-2011 19:49
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how about a safe mode boot (hold down shift key while booting) ?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 561270 24-Dec-2011 20:20
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Booted in safe mode, but still won't go through with the registration process.

gzt

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  Reply # 561284 24-Dec-2011 21:44
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How about a pram reset? http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

gzt

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  Reply # 561288 24-Dec-2011 21:53
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Just re-reading one of your earlier posts, it looks like you were not able to boot the install disks at all. If you hold down the option key during boot it should display a list of bootable devices.

By the way, do you need to preserve any data on the machine? If not then instructions to delete all partitions then clean install might be the simplest option for you.

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  Reply # 565696 7-Jan-2012 11:10
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I had to reinstall my os the other day on my iMac. I had data that I did not want to loose so I installed a new install of osx onto a 16gb USB. I then booted into that got the stuff I wanted the. Did a fresh install on my Hdd

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