Can't use or change my system password. Lion 10.7.5

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Kurt Abrams, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Kurt Abrams macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2016
    I've been having password problems for the past month or so. I first noticed that I couldn't update Flash because the installer rejected my system password. Today I tried to solve the problem, looking online for fixes, but nothing has worked so far.
    1) Tried to reset my password on the "Users & Groups" System Preferences pane.
    2) Restarted holding the "Option" key at the boot chimes > "Recovery HD" > "Mac OS X Utilities" > "Utilities" > "Terminal". Entered 'reset password' on the command line. Kept terminal open. Completed the "Reset Password" pane. "Password not saved. You may not have permission to edit this disk or a general failure has occurred."
    3) Restarted in "Single-User Mode": "Command" + S at boot chimes. In the command line entered:
    a) mount -uw /
    b) launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
    c) dscl . passwd /Users/myusername mypassword
    d) reboot
    After this third attempt, I attempted to install some software and received the following message: "An error prevented the installation of .... Authorization failed. 100022".
    I also used Disk Utility on my "Macintosh HD" to verify and repair permissions, which was successful; however, when I tried to verify and repair the disk itself, I got "Incorrect number of thread records (4, 24418)".
    I purchased a new SSD and battery earlier this summer, knowing that I would have to clone my existing HDD to the new drive, but now I can't do much of anything without my password. If I could get a working password, I could try to repair my HDD with DiskWarrior.
    Here's another question: how can I create a "Repair Disk Partition" on my new SSD, using existing 10.7 software? Here's an article which seems to say the Disk Utility can do it: "OS X: About Recovery Disk Assistant" [].
    If I only had a password! Thank you all in advance for your wisdom.
    ~ Kurt
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Sounds like an awkward issue. Might be best to go for the simpler option: fit the SSD and install a fresh copy of OS X.

    If you're looking to clone or keep your data, but not have the hassle of the user profile/password, then you can use Migration Assistant to copy the stuff from the old drive.
  3. Kurt Abrams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2016
    Hi Keys,

    Thanks for your suggestion. This should take care of my password problem, and I'll try to repair my current HD with DiskWarrior and use it as an external drive. I'll need to make a copy of OS X on a thumb drive. I assume that I can jump straight to a newer OS, 10.8 to 10.11. Is this correct, or should I install 10.7 on my new SSD and then upgrade the OS later?

    How should I partition my new 1TB SSD (my current HD is 500GB)? Should it be one partition, or a 1GB recovery partition and another for everything else? I plan on using SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner for updates in the future.

    Thanks again!
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hi Kurt,

    That's right; you can install from a thumb drive if you want. You can hold CMD+Alt+R on startup if you want to boot into Internet recovery & install the original OS that came with the system. However if you're doing a fresh install then it's always better to go straight to 10.11, rather than installing a different OS & updating there.

    You needn't worry about setting a recovery partition as OS X will automatically make one when installing the OS. So just do one partition for the whole drive and install to there. :)
  5. hobowankenobi, Aug 30, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    Good advice so far.

    Other tips:

    It is never bad to have a second user account with administrator rights to easily sort out such issues. You can always use the second backup/dormant account credentials to install/fix stuff, even from your primary account.

    When you do your fresh OS install, you can make a new user with a different name than your current user account with issues on your current OS. The migration assistant will not move a user account with a duplicate name to any existing account. Keep all user account names unique, and no issues.

    It sounds like the main issue could be user permissions are whacked....and the Repair Permissions script does nothing to solve user permissions.....only system permissions. No need to sort them out if you are going to do a fresh OS install on a new drive.

    One way around this:

    1. Install a fresh OS on the new drive.
    2. Create a new admin user account (with a different name)
    3. While logged into the new admin user, copy the existing user folder over to the /Mac HD/Users folder on the new OS.
    4. From System Preferences/Users, make a new admin user (select the admin box!) with the exact same name as the folder you moved. Be the sure the Account Name isn an exact match; lower case only. The Full Name can be the same or different.
    5. When done setting name and password for the new admin account, when you save, you will be prompted that there is already a user directory with this you want to use it? Yes. (If you are NOT prompted, the account name of the new user and the old folder did not match.)


    • Your existing user home folder, that will get moved to the new OS is named: billsmith
    • On the new OS, after moving your home folder, you make a new user: Account name: billsmith, Full Name: Bill Smith

    That's it. The new account will use your existing user folder, and all your stuff, preferences, etc. will be there. And permissions should be automatically fixed too during the initial setup.

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