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gblax
Sep 4, 2013, 09:45 AM
Hi all,

I have a somewhat interesting problem that I would appreciate any and all advice on:

I'm running a MacBook Air (mid-2012) with the latest OS X. I have my hard drive partitioned to run Windows 7 in BootCamp, which I access on occasion by holding the Option key when booting up, allowing me to choose the startup volume. Recently, I used Find My Mac to Password Lock my computer (this was to test the functionality, not out of necessity). The computer froze and became unresponsive, so I performed a hard reset, after which it continued to run without a problem.

Now whenever I Option-Boot, I am greeted with a Password Lock screen, which the four digit PIN that I set from Find My Mac opens. There are no other options, it is just a plain grey screen with a password lock.

I have no idea how to remove this, and it only happens when booting using the Option key.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Thanks!



Mr Rabbit
Sep 4, 2013, 03:44 PM
Have you entered the 4 digit PIN number successfully?

From my testing I've found that once you authenticate with the PIN the Mac goes back to normal.

Maybe try remote locking it again through iCloud, and then re-authenticating?

gblax
Sep 4, 2013, 04:48 PM
Have you entered the 4 digit PIN number successfully?

From my testing I've found that once you authenticate with the PIN the Mac goes back to normal.

Maybe try remote locking it again through iCloud, and then re-authenticating?

Yep I have successfully entered the PIN many times (every time I Option-Boot), yet it keeps coming back. I also tried remote locking again through iCloud and re-authenticating, yet the issue persists.

This passcode lock is different than the standard iCloud lock, as there are no other options on screen and it only occurs when Option-Booting.

gblax
Sep 4, 2013, 04:53 PM
FYI - this is the screen that I get

satcomer
Sep 5, 2013, 07:10 AM
That looks like a firmware lock. Remove/Replace your RAM to see if that old trick works to clear the lock.

Mr Rabbit
Sep 5, 2013, 09:13 AM
That looks like a firmware lock. Remove/Replace your RAM to see if that old trick works to clear the lock.

Thats a MacBook Air though, the "change the amount of installed RAM and zap the PRAM/NVRAM" trick doesn't apply to them. They would need to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, who would then contact Apple to have the lock cleared.

With that said, that's definitely the EFI password screen. You can enable/disable it from the recovery partition, using the Firmware Password Utility found under the Utilities menu.

The problem though is that if you don't know the EFI password you can't hold "R" or use "option" when booting to get to the recovery partition. If you're comfortable using the Terminal you can use a few simple commands to tell your MacBook Air to boot to the recovery partition on only the next boot....

First you'll need to open Terminal and use diskutil to find the disk/volume for your recovery partition.
diskutil list
This should return a few lines similar to this example: (ignore the dots, they are only there to create filler space)
3: ....... Apple_Boot ....... Recovery HD ....... 650MB ....... disk0s3

In this example the Recovery partition is named "Recovery HD" and is located on disk identifier "disk0s3". Make a note of the name and disk identifier and move on.

Next you'll want to actually mount the Recovery partition, using the disk identifier you found above, in this example it is disk0s3.
diskutil mount disk0s3

You should now see your Recovery HD partition mounted on your Desktop or in Finder.

Now we'll tell the Mac to boot to the Recovery partition, which should allow you to go in and remove the EFI password. Again, in the example the partition name is Recovery HD but yours may be different.
sudo bless -mount /Volumes/Recovery\ HD -setboot -nextonly

The bless command is enabling the Recovery HD volume to be used as a boot drive, the setboot flag tells your Mac to use it as the startup volume and the nextonly flag tells your Mac to only apply this command for the next boot, subsequent boots will revert to the original startup disk. You'll be asked to enter your password, once you do so and hit enter the change will be made.

You can now shutdown your Mac, power it back on and it should boot directly to the Recovery partition, where you can find the Firmware Password utility under the Utilities menu in the menu bar.

gblax
Sep 5, 2013, 12:25 PM
Mr. Rabbit - thank you!!!! This solved my problem with ease!

Never knew that this was an option, and I have no idea why a remote lock of my Mac would trigger a firmware password to be enabled, but your advice solved the problem.

Many thanks!

Rockford18
Sep 9, 2013, 06:20 PM
You remove the SSD and mounted in another computer?

Thats a MacBook Air though, the "change the amount of installed RAM and zap the PRAM/NVRAM" trick doesn't apply to them. They would need to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, who would then contact Apple to have the lock cleared.

With that said, that's definitely the EFI password screen. You can enable/disable it from the recovery partition, using the Firmware Password Utility found under the Utilities menu.

The problem though is that if you don't know the EFI password you can't hold "R" or use "option" when booting to get to the recovery partition. If you're comfortable using the Terminal you can use a few simple commands to tell your MacBook Air to boot to the recovery partition on only the next boot....

First you'll need to open Terminal and use diskutil to find the disk/volume for your recovery partition.
diskutil list
This should return a few lines similar to this example: (ignore the dots, they are only there to create filler space)
3: ....... Apple_Boot ....... Recovery HD ....... 650MB ....... disk0s3

In this example the Recovery partition is named "Recovery HD" and is located on disk identifier "disk0s3". Make a note of the name and disk identifier and move on.

Next you'll want to actually mount the Recovery partition, using the disk identifier you found above, in this example it is disk0s3.
diskutil mount disk0s3

You should now see your Recovery HD partition mounted on your Desktop or in Finder.

Now we'll tell the Mac to boot to the Recovery partition, which should allow you to go in and remove the EFI password. Again, in the example the partition name is Recovery HD but yours may be different.
sudo bless -mount /Volumes/Recovery\ HD -setboot -nextonly

The bless command is enabling the Recovery HD volume to be used as a boot drive, the setboot flag tells your Mac to use it as the startup volume and the nextonly flag tells your Mac to only apply this command for the next boot, subsequent boots will revert to the original startup disk. You'll be asked to enter your password, once you do so and hit enter the change will be made.

You can now shutdown your Mac, power it back on and it should boot directly to the Recovery partition, where you can find the Firmware Password utility under the Utilities menu in the menu bar.