Is this normal?

spicyapple

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Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
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I made the mistake of messing around with my User Account by changing my name, and also tried changing my shortname. Suffice to say, I think I did something wrong, because after making the changes, and logging back in, I seem to have lost admin rights. Basically, there is no administrator on my Mac!

Here is what the Accounts window looks like. Does this look normal?

I read Apple help and it says to enable root, but I can't seem to log into root without OSX telling me I'm using the wrong administrator name or password.

This is really troubling. Can anyone help?
 

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coastertux

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Jul 17, 2006
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You must have unchecked that box that gives your account admin access. I am not sure what can be done besides a reinstall...sorry.
 

pianoman

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May 31, 2006
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maybe you could create another administrator account and use that account to enable administrator privileges on your account and then delete the temporary account. i don't know if this will work but it's worth a shot before taking coastertux's advice.
 

spicyapple

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Jul 20, 2006
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pianoman said:
maybe you could create another administrator account and use that account to enable administrator privileges on your account
Catch-22. I need to be an admin to make new accounts... :(
 

atszyman

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Sep 16, 2003
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The Dallas 'burbs
Do you have the root account enabled?

You might want to try that and see if you can log in as root to fix give one of the users admin access.

help file said:
To enable the root user:
1.Open NetInfo Manager, located in Applications > Utilities.
2.Choose Security > Enable Root User and type a password for the root account. You may need to type an administrator password to make these changes.
3.Choose Apple menu > Log Out.
4.Choose Other in the Login window, type root in the Name field, and the root password in the Password field.
do as little as possible if you log in as root though.

Edit: hopefully you already had it enabled. Otherwise you might not be able to enable root...
Edit 2: You might be able to re-enable admin access through single user mode as well. Maybe some of the more Unix savvy members might know how to do this?
 

spicyapple

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Jul 20, 2006
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atszyman said:
Do you have the root account enabled?
Nope. Can't enable it in Netinfo.

To enable the root user:
1.Open NetInfo Manager, located in Applications > Utilities.
2.Choose Security > Enable Root User and type a password for the root account. You may need to type an administrator password to make these changes.
3.Choose Apple menu > Log Out.
4.Choose Other in the Login window, type root in the Name field, and the root password in the Password field.
I can enter my admin password and change the netinfo settings (group admin settings), but when it comes to saving the changes to disk, netinfo tells me I don't have enough privileges to write the changes. :eek: So I'm stuck back where I left off. Very odd behaviour.

madjew said:
It's a bit of a pain but I'd maybe look into doing an Archive & Install. This should keep all your data plus give you a fresh system to work with.
Yes! I want to avoid that as much as possible! :) Ah well, I'll just sleep on this and hopefully the solution will come to me.
 

atszyman

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Sep 16, 2003
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The Dallas 'burbs
I have no idea if this will work but you can give it a shot.

Boot into single user mode by holding command and S during boot.

while there change the root password
>sudo passwd root

reboot. At the login window try to login as root with the new password. If this works you should be able to give one of your accounts admin access. If not... it was worth a shot.

I know you can also boot off the CD to reset any passwords, including root, which might also enable root access so it might also be worth a shot.
 

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
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Nowheresville
If that doesn't work, change root password from the install CD/DVD. Once you change the root password, you should be able to change your settings in System Preferences to allow typing in the user name and password. Once you've changed that, log out, log in as root, and create a new Admin.
 

atszyman

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Sep 16, 2003
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The Dallas 'burbs
Another thought, (the single user trick doesn't work, I just tried).

try logging in with a username of Admin. Password should be whatever your admin account password was.

However there is a high probability that this will log you in to your Admin account with no admin privileges.

I know I'm just making this stuff up as I go along but I'm a bit reluctant to remove my admin account to try this.

If you have a recent backup you can backup your user directory to save any data you might have changed since your last backup and restore your machine from the previous backup. If you backup the whole machine it should re-instate your old account with admin privileges. Then all you have to do is copy over the updated files.
 

spicyapple

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Original poster
Jul 20, 2006
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atszyman said:
Boot into single user mode by holding command and S during boot.
It indeed required a reboot into single user mode. :)

I finally was able to fix the problem following this link. So glad I fixed it... the thought of a re-install was too frightening to bear.

Remember kids, don't muck around trying to change your shortname and changing settings in Netinfo Manager without having a clue. :D