Bypassing administrator login when installing software/making changes; need help ASAP

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bypassbypass, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. bypassbypass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #1
    I'm currently on a trip using a borrowed Macbook and need to install a small codec (the x264 Quicktime codec for Mac) in order to properly export a video from iMovie, which I have to have done in the next few hours in order to upload for a film class. However, when I try to install the x264 codec it asks me for the administrator name and password in order to "allow Installer to make changes."

    I called the friend I borrowed it from but he doesn't know what it would be since it's technically not his Macbook either -- it's a spare from his job that he lent me. He can find out the password tomorrow when the IT guy for his office is back in but that doesn't do me much good since I need this done today. So my question is: is there any way to get around this without having to enter the admin password? Any trick I can use to bypass that login screen or any method to install the x264 codec without having to authenticate it with an admin password first? For the past half hour I've just been making random guesses at the password out of desperation so any better solution would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    EDIT: If it makes a difference, the Macbook is running Mac OS X Version 10.5.7 with iMovie '09.
     
  2. bypassbypass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #2
    So I've officially been working at this for over 3 hours now...Macs are not my native OS, but it seems ridiculous that there's no way to do this.

    The hotel I'm at has a Mac in its lobby with iMovie on it so I figured I would save the project from the macbook, move it to the other Mac, install the x264 codec on THAT mac, and then I'd be good. But this has proven just as difficult as figuring out the admin password.

    I read these three pages which explain in detail how to transfer and open an iMovie project on another mac:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iMovie/8.0/en/19548.html
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2045806?start=0&tstart=0
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2626794?start=0&tstart=0

    Basically, I hold down command and drag the project to an external drive and then put the external drive in another Mac. I have two external drives with me: an 8GB FAT32 flash drive and a 250GB NTFS external HD. I tried moving the imovie project to both of these -- no luck. I then formatted the 8GB FAT32 drive into Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format and tried again...still no luck. The drive shows up in iMovie with a little yellow triangle with an exclamation point in it and won't let me drag it on there.

    I've done just about everything I can think of at this point but it has all failed. Anyone else have any other suggestions? Any advice or help would be MUCH appreciated.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    It's actually a credit to Mac OS X that you can't do what you're attempting. You're trying install software on a Mac that isn't yours. The admin password requirement is a security feature, designed to prevent installation of certain software without the owner's authorization.
     
  4. bypassbypass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #4
    Well I have the owner's authorization, this is my friend's work laptop and both he and I are allowed to use it for whatever we need it for, but all I'm trying to do is install a video codec to use to export a class project in iMovie, so what seems ridiculous is the amount of effort it has taken to attempt this. It's not software, just a quicktime codec -- the machine already has quicktime and imovie so there's got to be some way to add this additional codec to them, but it's seemingly impossible.

    And even with that aside, it seems like there has to be some way to export the imovie project and use it on another mac -- that has nothing to do with admin rights or passwords or permissions -- but that's been equally impossible to figure out, so I'm still looking for a solution to either or both of these problems.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    As you said, your friend isn't the owner, so you don't have the owner's authorization, or you would have the password.
    A codec IS software. In fact, there have been many instances of malware infecting a system by installing an infected codec. I'm not saying the one you're trying to install is infected; only that it is, indeed, software and caution should be taken when installing any software on any computer.
     
  6. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #6
    I have to agree with GGJstudios. You mentioned that you are trying to use your friend's work Macbook. Your friend's employer decided not to give your friend the admin password. This is a clear indication that you and your friend are not as you say "allowed to do anything you like."

    If you are able to use the codec you need on the Mac at the hotel, I suggest you explore how to export your imovie project to a usb drive so you can work on it there, then save it as a quicktime video you can modify on your friend's machine without the extra codec.

    It's been a while since I used iMovie, but I seem to recall iMovie projects were kept in the Movies folder in your home directory. /users/yourname/Movies. You would also need any source videos you were trying to edit in addition to the actual iMovie project files. Put everything in the same (relative) folders on the hotel Mac and they should open in the hotel's copy of iMovie. Once you are able to edit the file on the hotel computer, "export" the whole thing, remembering to make sure your exported file doesn't depend on that same codec. Copy the modified file that doesn't require the codec back to the USB drive when finished. Remember to delete all your files after you are done so your work isn't sitting on a shared computer.
     
  7. mainstay macrumors 6502

    mainstay

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    BC
    #7
    You could reset the admin password (maybe ask the front desk of your hotel if they have a disk, or pop over to an apple store and buy a disk for cheap).


    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 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, that administrator account may be used to reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above. These steps require an optical drive; if your Mac does not have an optical drive and you have a Mac OS X v10.6 Install disc, see below.

    Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (one whose version is closest to the version of Mac OS X installed). Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C). Or, you can use Startup Manager or the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Install disc.

    Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue,
    Mac OS X v10.6 or later: Choose Password Reset from the Utilities menu.
    Mac OS X v10.5 or v10.4: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu.
    Mac OS X v10.3: Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu.

    Tip: If you don't see this menu or menu choice, you're probably not started from the disc yet.

    Note: The default keyboard layout is U.S. English while started from the installation disc. If you use a keyboard layout other than U.S English, use the Input menu (the flag icon on the right side of the menu bar) to select the desired layout before typing a new password.

    Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
    Select the user name of your original administrator account.

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

    Enter a new password.
    Click Save.
    Click the red button in the upper left corner to quit the application.
    Choose Quit Mac OS X Installer... from the Mac OS X Installer menu.
    Click Restart.

    After following these steps, you'll want to also follow the steps in this article: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1631


    I guess alternatively you could export it as something other than x264.

    If playback is a problem then you could use something like VLC portable (no install required): http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21279/portable-vlc

    And have you tried NO password? This stumps a lot of my customers, as no password was actually set (it's just blank) but the mac will still prompt for a password.
     
  8. bypassbypass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #8
    Would the Apple store sell just the install disc? I had a hard time finding them online, only finding 1 or 2 for sale used on ebay. Also, if I did get the disc and followed those directions, would that wipe the computer and erase all the data/programs etc? Or would it be safe?

    I found this simplistic set of instructions on how to get around this very problem *without* an install disc but the comments people have left on it about losing all their data and ruining the machine have me pretty apprehensive about trying it:
    http://gigaom.com/apple/reset-os-x-password-without-an-os-x-cd/

    Yeah, I tried that -- unfortunately no luck.
     
  9. bypassbypass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    #9
    I tried this -- I copied both the "iMovie Events" and "iMovie Projects" folders from the macbook onto the flash drive, then moved their contents into the other mac's "iMovie Events" and "iMovie Projects" folders but was given an error saying "some data could not be read or written." Also, the event folder has a date of Nov 30, 1934 and is 582KB in size but was 2.1GB in size when I loaded it off of the macbook, so I officially have no idea what's going on
     
  10. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #10
    Ouch. I moved my iMovie stuff off to an external firewire hard drive when I was running out of disk space. I moved one folder called iMovie Events and all it had inside at the time was a 694 Meg folder with one movie I was working on of our son singing a solo. I look in that folder and there are 2 folders and a quicktime movie:

    Code:
    [U]iMovie Events/moviename/[/U]
        iMovie Data
        [U]iMovie Cache[/U]
            Cache.mov
            Cache.plist
        [U]iMovie Thumbnails[/U]
                [U]iMovie Cache[/U]
                    Cache.mov
                    Cache.plist
        moviename.mov
    
    I verified I can still open the project and it opens fine in iMovie from the external drive. More help on this is available at apple.com.

    When you are getting weird dates and complaints that "data cannot be read or written" this is sometimes a sign that the files have become corrupted. I ran into this once when I copied a 65 MB iPhoto library to an external drive, deleted the original before I verified that the copy on the external drive was usable.

    BTW, when you are copying to the external drive, it isn't formatted FAT is it? Things go a lot smoother when the external drive is Apple format (HFS+ Journaled). You can use disk utility to format the external drive to HFS+ format. It only takes a few seconds.
     
  11. mainstay, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011

    mainstay macrumors 6502

    mainstay

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    BC
    #11
    No information is lost BUT your keychain passwords will need to be reset (no big deal in the big picture).

    If you are in a pinch you could also try downloading the torrent of Mac OS X 10.5.

    That method listed in your link should have specified that once you are logged in as a new admin you can use that new account to reset the password for the other admin account.

    But I don't think this is a good approach.

    This is better: http://www.macobserver.com/tip/2003/06/16.1.shtml

    I guess another option would be to see if you can contact the IT department after hours and see if you can get in that way... or have them remote into the system and install the codec for you...
     
  12. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #12
    Duff-Man says...for me, this is pretty much the only "legit" option. The admin acc't is not available to you or the friend that lent you the computer for a reason. Hacking, or resetting the admin account without proper permission may have some consequences for your friend....oh yeah!
     

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