Firmware password ?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by fricotin, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. fricotin, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016

    fricotin macrumors regular

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    #1
    How do you setup a firmware password with Sierra ? when I press Control-R when booting I don't see the option in the disk utility.
     
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #2
    It is not in Disk Utility, but in a separate utility in the Utilities menu.
     
  3. fricotin thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #4
    here's my cautionary tale:

    i have used a firmware password on my macbooks/powerbooks for well over a decade. but when the sierra GM hit, firmware password (on my macbook pro), stopped working; the cursor would freeze, i could not enter the passcode. tried many things (OS reinstall, etc). finally had to take it to apple and have them remove the firmware protect passcode (had to prove the mac was mine, etc).

    at this point, you can remotely wipe the mac if stolen. so am abandoning firmware protect after this incident.

    but if you MUST try it, it's in the menubar (under 'utilitles' i think)...
     
  5. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Did Apple give you any feedback as to the cause of the failure?
     
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #6
    I've personally seen way too many Windows and Mac systems bricked because of forgotten firmware passwords. Working at a Uni years ago it was a real pain to deal with (same with those HDD encryption systems - but at least you could just replace the HDD). Students could never understand why we had the send the systems off for service to get the firmware password removed.

    I would never use one unless you really needed to secure the system.
     
  7. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #7
    i've never had a problem with using a firmware password. not even in the sierra betas. but the day i installed the GM, the problem occured.

    apple is pretty 'mysterious' about this; i had to show my receipt, and, when i picked it up fixed, the 'genius' only told me the password had been removed. no other information was given (i asked).
     
  8. fricotin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Where can I find it in Sierra ? That was my original question. When I press control-R there is no such option.
     
  9. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #9
    As I said, it is under the ‘Utilities’ menu in Recovery, at the top. It is called Firmware Password Utility.
     
  10. fricotin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thanks Kallt I found it, I can be quite thick at times...
     
  11. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    #11
    I'm sure you're aware, I'm more making a note for other people.

    If you don't password protect your firmware a miscreant can boot off an external disk so make sure your disk is encrypted with FileVault. If you don't password your firmware and your Mac is stolen but your disk is encrypted then your Mac can be used normally by replacing the disk.
     
  12. fricotin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Which is the reason why I am doing it, this login password is a Mickey Mouse password.
     
  13. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #13
    i'm not worried about the computer, my concern is (always) my data. being able to wipe that remotely is a great thing. for me, personally, am not risking firmware protect again... not after this recent experience.

    still, would like to know how others are doing; anyone running the official sierra release with a firmware password?
     
  14. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Yes, on two machines. I always set a firmware password/enable FileVault to maximize the chances that a thief will get nothing but a useless lump of metal and plastic.

    A.
     
  15. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #15
    wish i knew what happened. firmware password has been on my macbook pro since november 2015; worked thru all the versions of el capitan, and the betas of sierra... up until the GM. probably an issue specific to my mac. so it goes...
     
  16. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    This has taught me that best practice going forward should be to remove it prior to upgrading and setting a new one after. Thanks for posting what you went through.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    Yep... 2014 13" rMBP with FW password on since I bought it and also FV2 turned on. No problems through El Capitan and Sierra upgrades at all.

    I just booted to recovery as a test and I can access the reset tool no problem.
     
  18. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #18
    something to do with my specific macbook pro, but odd that it's worked for nearly a year, thru every public beta. otherwise, my mbp seems fine. still, not enabling it on my new macbook, am suitably scared off... :eek:
     
  19. fricotin, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016

    fricotin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Just set mine, tried to boot, no problem, booting with Command-R takes you to the utility with option to erase password. Works as it should, brings me peace of mind in case comp is stolen.
     
  20. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #20
    i might go back to apple with this, ie see what's happening, so i can in fact return to a firmware password; but am certainly not trying it again in advance of torturing apple for help...
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    I am fairly active on the forums and yours is the first post I have seen with this issue, so maybe it is something wonky with your specific machine.
     
  22. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #22
    odd that it's worked since i got the macbook pro (november 2015); and thru every beta, UNTIL the GM. but def seems to be my mac.
     
  23. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #23
    I’m not sure if I understood you correctly (‘login password’), but a firmware password does not protect your data. It only hinders other people from booting to something else than the startup disk.
     
  24. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    #24
    somewhere back in time... powerbook days? booting up my mac would always bring up the firmware protect window; logging in there brought me to the desktop (as i had the basic password setting off).

    now, it ONLY comes up when you try to boot into recovery, or into another mode. so, for me, it really was more useful then, and i am good without it now.
     
  25. KALLT macrumors 601

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    #25
    It still would not have protected the data though. You only need to take out the drive and connect it to another computer. I am not aware of any firmware constraints that affect your drive. The password can be removed easily on 2010/2011 Macs. I never saw a reason to use a firmware password either though. I don’t believe that it deters thieves and it has no consequences for my insurance. I have no reason to constrain myself.

    Firmware passwords are meant for control, for situations in which the computer is used by multiple people or owned by someone else than the user. Firms use them to restrict their employees’ usage of it.
     

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