Grey lock screen when trying to do clean install

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Original poster
Mar 15, 2008
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So I created a bootable USB of mountain lion so I could do a clean install. I did the same thing for lion and had no problems.

When I boot while holding down the option key, I get a grey lock screen that just has a space for a password. My admin password isn't working. I've tried others but no go.

I thought there might be something wrong with the USB so I tried booting in recovery mode with command+R. Same thing.

Does anyone know what this is? Sorry if its a stupid question. :(
 
Last edited:

dandypro

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2012
1
0
Hi friend, I have the answear

So I created a bootable USB of mountain lion so I could do a clean install. I did the same thing for lion and had no problems.

When I boot while holding down the option key, I get a grey lock screen that just has a space for a password. My admin password isn't working. I've tried others but no go.

I thought there might be something wrong with the USB so I tried booting in recovery mode with command+R. Same thing.

Does anyone know what this is? Sorry if its a stupid question. :(
You are not stupid.

I found it.

You'll need to reset the password XXXXX startup from any disc.

To reset it, you'll need to remove one of your RAM chips from the computer, and reset the PRAM (hold down the p+r+option+command keys for 3 full restarts, then release). After that, you should be able to startup from the disc by holding down the C key, and put the RAM chip back in.

Read more: my macbook pro has a admin lock on it, i dont remember the - JustAnswer http://www.justanswer.com/mac-compu...min-lock-it-don-t-remember.html#ixzz21xCHEkPe
 

ptcrjosh

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2013
1
0
Los Angeles
dandypro you are a frickin' genius

I've been beatin' my self over the head over this for the last two days trying to get past this Lock with password thing. Your suggestion worked like a charm. I couldn't boot from a CD or the hard drive and I've been getting that stupid question mark in the folder. I tried every boot option there is. Including the PRAM reset(holding down option, command and "P" and "R". Removing the RAM card was the key. Now this laptop recognizes the installed hard drive as well the optical drive. Dude, this was the answer I've been looking for. Like I said you're a frickin' genius. Thanks for your post!:cool:;)
 

NowMacLover

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2014
1
0
Worked for me!!!

Thank you so very much for this much needed info. Worked like a charm for my iMac 20" A1224. A very , very happy camper. Thanks a million:apple::D
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,485
2,796
Delaware
This technique to change the RAM configuration then reset, no longer works to reset a firmware password on Macs newer than late 2010.
The method to retrieve the firmware password, and unlock a Mac with a firmware (EFI) password on newer Macs requires taking your Mac in for service.
 

Sacredsoul

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2019
5
1
So I created a bootable USB of mountain lion so I could do a clean install. I did the same thing for lion and had no problems.

When I boot while holding down the option key, I get a grey lock screen that just has a space for a password. My admin password isn't working. I've tried others but no go.

I thought there might be something wrong with the USB so I tried booting in recovery mode with command+R. Same thing.

Does anyone know what this is? Sorry if its a stupid question. :(
[doublepost=1556417261][/doublepost]I found out the password for the firmware lock screen grey lock screen when you try to restore. It’s your Apple ID password but if you have any special characters in your passwordit won’t work. Use your Apple ID with just letters and numbers and it will work no special characters.
[doublepost=1556417339][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1556417261][/doublepost]
I found out the password for the firmware lock screen grey lock screen when you try to restore. It’s your Apple ID password but if you have any special characters in your passwordit won’t work. Use your Apple ID with just letters and numbers and it will work no special characters.
That’s Apple ID password without special characters
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,485
2,796
Delaware
[doublepost=1556417261][/doublepost]
I found out the password for the firmware lock screen grey lock screen when you try to restore. It’s your Apple ID password but if you have any special characters in your passwordit won’t work. Use your Apple ID with just letters and numbers and it will work no special characters.
[doublepost=1556417339][/doublepost]
That’s Apple ID password without special characters
You are mistaken. The AppleID password is NOT automatically the firmware password (with or without special characters), unless the user who made the firmware password chose to do that. The firmware password could be anything, but is not related to your AppleID password, unless the user chose to use the AppleID password.
Maybe you are confusing that with the FileVault password emergency reset (which would normally use the AppleID account password). That is not related to a firmware (EFI) password in any way.
 

Sacredsoul

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2019
5
1
You are mistaken. The AppleID password is NOT automatically the firmware password (with or without special characters), unless the user who made the firmware password chose to do that. The firmware password could be anything, but is not related to your AppleID password, unless the user chose to use the AppleID password.
Maybe you are confusing that with the FileVault password emergency reset (which would normally use the AppleID account password). That is not related to a firmware (EFI) password in any way.
[doublepost=1556459020][/doublepost]I did not chose the password for the firmware. I bought the MacBook Pro set it up, did not ask me to set password for firmware. I tried every possible password that I use including my Apple ID password but didn’t work then after a week I tried that password without the special character in it and it worked. See I have a brand new MacBook Pro and apple has set there new macs with the firmware password automatically for privacy and Security reasons so people can’t make changes I have talked with apple and that is what they told me. So you are mistaken about this. It’s different with older macs because it’s not automatic. But new macs it’s automatic for firmiware password.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,485
2,796
Delaware
You likely misunderstood someone at Apple. No Macs come with the firmware password automatically set up. That makes no sense whatsoever.
Apple may have meant FileVault encryption, which is an entirely different protection.
Firmware security does not affect your boot drive in any way, just prevents booting to OTHER bootable drives.
It's not a default setting on a new Mac, and requires you to boot to the recovery system to either turn that on, or off.

I expect that Apple was talking about FileVault, which can be related to your AppleID account, protected as a last chance by your AppleID password. I can understand why certain special characters might not work for that...
But, FileVault protects only your boot drive, because your drive is encrypted. That's its function.
FileVault encryption is NOT related to the firmware password, which allows you to boot to your normal (internal) drive, but not to other drives.
The firmware password ALSO controls booting to your own recovery partition.

I understand that FileVault encryption may be an installed default on a new Mac.
On the other hand, a FileVault encrypted drive (with a forgotten password) does not make your Mac unusable, as you only need to replace the boot drive.

The firmware security prevents booting to ANY other drive. If you forget the firmware password, Apple will reset that for you. You just have to prove ownership, and Apple provides a reset code for the hardware. You can't get control of your Mac without resetting that firmware lock.
FileVault is purely a software function. You can erase a FileVault protected drive, and use the drive again after reinstalling/restoring a system.
 

Sacredsoul

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2019
5
1
You are mistaken. The AppleID password is NOT automatically the firmware password (with or without special characters), unless the user who made the firmware password chose to do that. The firmware password could be anything, but is not related to your AppleID password, unless the user chose to use the AppleID password.
Maybe you are confusing that with the FileVault password emergency reset (which would normally use the AppleID account password). That is not related to a firmware (EFI) password in any way.
[doublepost=1556503874][/doublepost]No I’m not mistaken because once getting in had to turn off the firmware password. It was the firmware password. That was keeping me from booting into recovery mode. It was in there and did not set it up with a password, again you are mistaken for something else. It does prevent you from booting into safe mode and recovery mode it was not FileVault I had it turned off.
 

Jolie Simpkins

macrumors newbie
May 13, 2020
1
0
I’m having this issue now! Apple support is no help, they wnat me to come in and have them reset my firmware password but we are in the middle of a pandemic and I’m in quarantine. I’m trying to do this at home. I Have a MBP 2015 13 inch but I can’t seem to find the RAM chip! Can Somebody help me locate it?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,485
2,796
Delaware
I’m having this issue now! Apple support is no help, they wnat me to come in and have them reset my firmware password but we are in the middle of a pandemic and I’m in quarantine. I’m trying to do this at home. I Have a MBP 2015 13 inch but I can’t seem to find the RAM chip! Can Somebody help me locate it?
When you talked to Apple support, did they, in fact, verify that you have a firmware password?

Your 2015 MBPro does not have removable RAM sticks, unfortunately. That would explain why you can't find the sticks, as the RAM is permanently soldered to the logic board.
So, that method (removing or changing the amount of RAM installed) to reset the firmware password cannot work.
The choice is to bring it in to a genius, and have them reset it at the store.
And, you will have to wait until you can get out to an Apple store. Don't forget that you have to bring proof that you own your MBPro. Apple has to accept that proof, or Apple can't help you.

There is no other method, if you have forgot the firmware password.
 
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