Locked out of my mac!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jrp5454, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. jrp5454 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #1
    I am new to using a mac. I have a macbook os x that is about 3 years old. I enabled firevault recently. This computer worked great until I enabled firevault. When I try to log in it will not take my password. After multiple attempts it ques me to type in my firevault password. It then asks me to change my password. When I do this a window pops up and says " you are unable to log im to the user account at this time. I have read many threads with the same problem. All signs point to needing an update. I dont understand how I can do an update without logging in. I read something about logging in as a root, but the instructions are not simplified enough for me to understand. Does anybody know how to fix this problem and explain at about a third grade level?
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Here's a thread on this. Skip down and start at post 7 and work from there. Also, what OS and version do you have installed? Things changed a bit from 10.4 to 10.5 with FileVault.
     
  3. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #3
    Im not even sure what OS is on it. I am completely illiterate when it comes to Macs. Is there any way to check the OS without being logged in?
     
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    #4
    OK, at the login screen if the background looks like space with some purple rays coming out like the aurora borealis then you have Leopard (10.5). Also, from the login window under the text Max OS X there's some gray text that mention the Mac's name. Click on this and it may reveal other info such as the version number.
     
  5. MKSinSA macrumors regular

    MKSinSA

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    Alamo City, Lone Star State
    #5
    Check your installation disks

    The version is on one, as well as a disk utility that is referenced in that thread to help get you back in.
     
  6. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #6
    That thread you attached is the same thread that I was trying to go off of before. It is very complicated and hard for me to understand. It seems like I need step by step instructions. The instructions they give about accessing as a root user do not explain in detail how to do that. When I search for more detailed instructions on logging in as a root it talks about codes and abbreviations or explains how to do it after you are already logged in.(which logging in is my problem)

    The version is 10.4.11
     
  7. MKSinSA macrumors regular

    MKSinSA

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    #7
    Try these

    Hope this works for you. We had a separate password recovery program we used but that was because we had a lot of kids using the laptops who would change passwords on us all the time.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
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    #8
    This likely won't work due to FileVault being on. FileVault wouldn't be very secure if it was that easy to circumvent.

    It did provide step-by-step instructions
    1. From the off position, startup machine
    2. Hold down the command key plus the S key at the same time just after you hear the bong sound. This logs you in as root user.
    3. You'll be at a command line prompt.
    4. Enter the following command to run a disk check: fsck -y
    5. Next, give the following: cd /Users ; ls -a
    6. This will list the contents of the Users directory. There should be an item with a dot then your user name.
    7. If that .username item exist, use this command: mv /Users/.username /tmp (making sure to replace username with your user name).
    8. Reboot and give it a go.
    Disclaimer: I haven't done this before, I'm simply giving more detailed instructions to the ones from the other thread.
     
  9. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #9
    fsck -fy does a check saying volume mac HD appears to be ok.

    It gives me another prompt that says Localhost:/ root#

    I tried to follow your instructions by entering cd /Users ; 1s -a

    It says, -sh: 1s: command not found
     
  10. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #10
    I think this will be a little easier as two separate commands...

    Type this first: cd /Users

    Hit enter

    Then type: ls -a

    Then hit enter again

    (It's an "L", not a "1"..it has to be lowercase though.)
     
  11. MKSinSA macrumors regular

    MKSinSA

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    #11
    The way I read it, that method won't work to get to the user account password only if the master password is on. I didn't read that the master had to be engaged for FileVault to be used, as it's only active in the home directory.

    Then again, I've not had to bypass this particular program and if I ever do activate it will make sure that master's plastered all over the place! (So much for security, eh?)
     
  12. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #12
    the lower case "l" was the problem, however, after I hit enter it says

    . .. .localized Shared nicole(the only user name) tmp.txt


    I typed in, mv Users/.nicole/tmp

    it says mv: rename /Users/.nicole to /tmp/.nicole: no such file or directory
     
  13. MKSinSA macrumors regular

    MKSinSA

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    #13
    Take a second and breathe

    Now, type in mv /Users/.nicole /tmp exactly as you see it (and don't forget the / in front of Users or the space after .nicole) :eek:
     
  14. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    #14
    I think she may have mistyped here what she put in at the command line. I'm basing that off the error message it gave back, which looks like the correct command was given.

    Though, according to the error, the .nicole folder may not exist. When you did the "ls -a" part, did it list a ".nicole" item and and "nicole" item? If there was no ".nicole" item then that would explain the error.
     
  15. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #15
    I had it typed in just like mksin suggested.

    There is not a .nicole only nicole.

    on the line there is a single . then a some space

    then a double .. and then some space

    then . localized and then some space

    then shared then some space then nicole tmp.txt


    . .. .localized shared nicole tmp.txt
     
  16. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    #16
    OK. The "." represents the current directory and the ".." represents the parent directory. The directions indicated that the .username file may not exist so it's OK that it's not there.

    If you have the install discs that came with your computer, boot from it. While starting the machine hold down the C key so it starts from the CD/DVD. It'll bring you to a setup screen and there will be a menu up top. Under the Tools (or maybe it's Utilities) menu you'll find an option for Disk Utility. Open that and you should find a Repair Permissions option that you can apply to the hard drive. This may help.
     
  17. jrp5454 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 19, 2009
    #17
    ok I did all of the above with the install disc. Under utilities I changed the password for nicoles profile as well. I also followed your instructions and repaired permissions. Now at the login screen there is no user name or password. When I went back to the start up disc, under utilities and change password, it now says there are no profiles available. I went back and checked the user root. It still has . localized, shared, and nicole tmp.txt
     
  18. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    This is hard to troubleshoot over a forum. There's plenty of things I would try if the machine was in front of me, but it's very hard to convey what I would do. I'd recommend trying to see if there is a Apple Store near you that you can take the machine to and talk to one of the guys/girls at the Genius Bar. If there isn't one you may be able to find a Mac authorized retailer/repair shop. Check your phone book / Yellow pages for those.

    I don't think we're at the point of needing to do a reinstall, but I'll have to do some research before I suggest any more actions as I don't want to make things worse than they are.
     

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