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Old Jan 10, 2009, 08:22 AM   #1
kenn
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Forgot password. Recover without reinstall.

Forgetting passwords is such a common occurence. Is there a way in OS X Leopard to avoid a complete re-install of the operating system in order to recover. Maybe a small-size tool for that kind of situation?
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Old Jan 10, 2009, 08:24 AM   #2
r.j.s
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Resetting the original administrator account password

Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account (of several) needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, the original administrator user may reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above.

1. Start up from a Mac OS X Install CD (one whose version is closest the the version of Mac OS X installed). You should first disable Open Firmware password protection, if it is enabled. Hold the C key as the computer starts.
2. Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu (or Utilities menu in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger). Tip: If you don't see this menu or menu choice, you're probably not started from the CD yet.
3. Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
4. Set the user name of your original administrator account.

Important: Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually a reference to the root user. Do not confuse it with a normal administrator account.

5. Enter a new password.
6. Click Save.
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Old Jan 10, 2009, 01:42 PM   #3
gtimark
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Wow! I had a similar problem this morning. Many thanks for your post! It worked.

One more quick question: what's the difference between the "System Administrator (root)" and the original administrator, me?? What would happen if the System Administrator pw was changed instead?

Just curious!
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Old Jan 10, 2009, 01:50 PM   #4
r.j.s
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The root user has absolute unlimited access to UNIX systems.

Do NOT mess with the root.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 08:45 AM   #5
kenn
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Recover without install OS CD/DVD

Thanks for useful answers! If I can take it one step further. Say, I don't have a Mac OS X Install CD/DVD at hand. Am I lost then or are there clever methods to handle such a situation? (In my circles it has happened more than once on business trips with employes.)
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 12:12 PM   #6
r.j.s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenn View Post
Thanks for useful answers! If I can take it one step further. Say, I don't have a Mac OS X Install CD/DVD at hand. Am I lost then or are there clever methods to handle such a situation? (In my circles it has happened more than once on business trips with employes.)
For security reasons, I don't think it is possible without the disc.

However, you could set up a separate admin account, and use that to login and change one of the user passwords.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 12:29 AM   #7
JediMeister
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Not sure if I'm breaking forum policy by posting a link to another site, but here goes: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...80414140636495

Has instructions for resetting a user password in single user mode, without requiring install discs. As with resetting a user password however, it does NOT touch the "login" Keychain password.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 12:41 AM   #8
Koodauw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMeister View Post
Not sure if I'm breaking forum policy by posting a link to another site, but here goes: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...80414140636495

Has instructions for resetting a user password in single user mode, without requiring install discs. As with resetting a user password however, it does NOT touch the "login" Keychain password.
I remember there was something like this in panther as well, and according to the link, all the way back to 10.0. Interesting.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 11:50 AM   #9
kenn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMeister View Post
Not sure if I'm breaking forum policy by posting a link to another site, but here goes: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...80414140636495

Has instructions for resetting a user password in single user mode, without requiring install discs. As with resetting a user password however, it does NOT touch the "login" Keychain password.
Tried it yesterday on Mac OS X leopard 10.5.5. Didn't work!
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