2006 iMac Firmware password

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sean101v, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. sean101v macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a 2006 white plastic 17” iMac that I got from someone for free. There’s only one problem, it has a firmware password and it won’t boot (flashing folder with question mark). I’m not sure what to do, I’ve tried doing a PRAM reset but it doesn’t work (it doesn’t let me reset the PRAM, even after holding CMD + OPTION + P + R nothing happens) I’ve swapped the RAM stick too. Is there anything I can do to remove the firmware password?

    Thanks
     
  2. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #2
    You can reset the firmware password on older Macs by:
    • Power off the system
    • Remove one of the memory modules
    • Power it back on while holding Command+Option+P+R
    • Continue holding the above key combo until you've heard the startup chime three times
    • Shutdown the system
    • Re-install the memory
    The flashing folder with a question mark means there's no operating system found. Either the hard disk has been wiped clean or it was removed altogether.
     
  3. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #3
    Hi,

    As my post said, doing command option P and R does not work as even when I hold them down the computer still boots with the folder and question mark. I also said I tried removing the memory but that didn’t work either.

    Yes, the HDD is wiped and I plan on reinstalling 10.6 but right now I’m focusing on trying to remove the firmware lock.
     
  4. niteflyr, Sep 27, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018

    niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #4

    It is not an either/or procedure. 1. Remove one of the memory modules. 2. Hold Command+Option+P+R on the very next boot. You only get one shot at this to get around firmware lock.
     
  5. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #5
    I’ve removed a memory module, then I held CMD + Option + P + R. while I held it, the computer would sound the chime, the screen would turn grey and then the folder with a check mark would appear.
     
  6. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #6
    You said you swapped, not removed, the RAM stick. How many RAM modules are installed? Are you using a genuine Apple keyboard?
     
  7. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #7
    There’s only 1GB Stick so I just change the RAM. I’m using a windows keyboard and holding the windows key and alt as well as P and R
     
  8. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #8
    You need to remove the memory, not change its position. However I'm unsure if this process will work if there's no memory installed so you may need to obtain a second module, install both, power on the system, power it off, remove a module, then hold Command+Option+P+R until you hear the chime three times. I believe it's the change in the amount of RAM instaleld which makes this process successful. It may work by removing memory, I'm unsure. I do know this process works as I used it on a 2006 Mac Pro.

    Also, find a genuine Mac keyboard as I'm not sure a Windows keyboard will work for the COPR key combination. The fact it displays the folder with a blinking question mark suggests the COPR is not being recognized.

    My recommendation: First find a genuine Apple keyboard and try the procedure (after removing the memory module). If that doesn't work try obtaining a second module and, along with the genuine keyboard, try the procedure.
     
  9. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #9
    Sadly, the second stick of RAM I was using got stuck in the slot so I used pliers to get it out and I scratched the other stick of RAM up a lot, so I’m not sure that one will work. Tonight I’ll see if I can find another second RAM Stick and try it. Also I’ll look into buying a Mac keyboard.

    (Edit: by the way, the computer has 1 stick of RAM but what I’ve been doing is removing that one stick and inserting another stick I had laying around)
     
  10. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #10
    I believe it's the change (either an increase or decrease) along with the COPR key combination which makes this procedure successful. Merely moving the memory modules to different slots is not sufficient.

    Have you successfully used the Windows keyboard for resetting the PRAM on other Macs? I can't recall if the firmware password prohibits COPR from being recognized. I think it may so perhaps you'll just need another memory module.
     
  11. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #11
    Alright, I just purchased an Apple keyboard and 2GB of RAM for the computer. I also got an old Apple mouse just for the nostalgic factor. Hopefully this works, thanks for the help. I’ll report back if it does

    DA897B39-8BD7-42FA-BC5D-E6DCEAEF4CB6.jpeg
     
  12. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #12
    Please report back, I have no firsthand experience with this procedure on an iMac but it worked great on my 1,1 Mac Pro.
     
  13. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #13
    If no joy, ask the 'someone else' for the File Vault password. Great tool ~ if you were a former KGB assassin!
     
  14. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #14
    Sadly, the ‘someone else’ was a university giving it away, they don’t know the password :(
     
  15. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #15
    Hm, so very odd thing happening. So, the mouse and RAM came today but not the keyboard. I put both sticks of RAM into the computer and plugged in a new keyboard (still a Windows keyboard though) and turned it on while holding down what would be "option" (windows key equivalent, of course). I didn't even do a PRAM reset yet, and oddly enough the firmware password seems to be gone...? Instead of showing the firmware password screen, I get nothing but a mouse.

    Image-1.jpg

    I think this is good? The HDD is empty, anyway, so I'm assuming the password is gone? I don't know, but I'm going to make an attempt to install Snow Leopard and get back to you guys with a result.
     
  16. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #16
    Update: I was able to install Snow Leopard 10.6 without even doing a PRAM reset! The firmware password went away on its own, which is kinda odd. Thanks everyone!

    BADD9DE2-DA01-4B18-8DCA-13784BFF25DA.jpeg
     
  17. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #17
    This screenshot makes me nostalgic that macOS is not sill space themed.
     
  18. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #18
    That's good to hear however I doubt it went away on its own. I believe the change in memory is what cleared the password. I've read that one needs to do the COPR reset along with it but perhaps that's not the case.
     
  19. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #19
    You followed instructions regarding memory.

    Simples as the meerkat says!
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    OP:

    Good to see that you got the problem solved and the computer is up and running.

    A word of advice:
    LEAVE IT RUNNING SNOW LEOPARD.

    The only thing left to do is to download and run the 10.6.8 combo updater, which you can find here:
    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    This will update the iMac to the last version of Snow Leopard.
     
  21. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #21
    Yep, it’s running 10.6.8 now. It’s the highest version an iMac with a Core Duo will support.
     
  22. MisterBiro macrumors member

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    Jun 27, 2015
    Location:
    Orange, CA
    #22
    The flashing question mark on a folder icon means there is no bootable device found. I.e. OSX isn't installed.

    This does not mean there is a firmware password... That's why it 'went away' when you installed OSX...
     
  23. sean101v thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2018
    #23
    Nope, there was a firmware password along with no operating system. Like I said in my post, when you held down “option” (which brings you to the boot menu) it would come up with the screen with a lock asking for a password, one I did not know.
     

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22 September 27, 2018