Lost password, no OSX CDs - help

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Bebbs, May 4, 2007.

  1. Bebbs macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
    My friend has forgotten his iBook password (reason: terminal brain tumour) - and we need to get his Will off his iBook - early model (first of white plastic variety after the clamshells) runing OSX 1.1 or similar. His brother, who will soon get enduring power of attorney, can't find the OSX boot CDs to reset the password. Also, he's not tech minded, so even if he could find them, he may not crack the iBook. I've got OSX 10.4 CDs - can I use them to open the iBook to print off the Will (dunno if my discs will talk to his old iBook). Or can I frig the boot up so I can go in at the basic Unix level rather than the OSX level and type promts to copy files to remote device (memory stick) or burn files to CD or print (as you have to do if you've had a CD stuck in the drive, as I have). Or, my friend had his iBook fixed a few years ago and I reckon he'd have given his password to the Apple Store so they could verify the work done. What paper work would they need to reveal the original password? Not necessarily interested in resetting the password, just need a file printed or in electronic form. Advice on what to do next, please. Bebbs
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    If you took it to an Apple Store, they may have disks to help you out
  3. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    You may be able to hook up the iBook to another Mac via Firewire, and restart the iBook in target disk mode (hold T while the iBook starts up). The iBook will then show up as a firewire drive on the other Macs desktop. You should be able to access the file that way.

    Sorry to hear about your friend.
  4. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
  5. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    If you have access to another Mac, ghall's suggestion is the easiest. If you don't, taylorwilsdon's link will probably do it with your Tiger discs. If all of that fails, here's how to do it the old fashioned way:

    1. Boot into single-user mode. After turning on the computer, hold down Command-S until you get a text prompt (the # character on a line) on the screen.
    2. Check the filsystem: fsck -y
    3. Remount the boot drive as read-write: mount -uw /
    4. Start up most of the system (but not the graphics).
      • In Tiger, type: sh /etc/rc
      • In Panther, use these commands:
        • /usr/libexec/register_mach_bootstrap_servers /etc/mach_init.d
        • (cd /var/db/netinfo ; netinfod -s local)
        • SystemStarter
      • In earlier versions, just the SystemStarter command should suffice.
    5. Change the password of the account you want to access: passwd username where username is the short name of the account you want.

    Hopefully that does it. I used a very helpful cheat sheet I found here: http://www.westwind.com/reference/OS-X/commandline/single-user.html

    If you know your way around unix enough to directly access the file you want, I believe the above will have started enough of the system that you can plug in a USB drive and have it mount. In that case, the USB drive will show up in /Volumes/drivename and you can copy the file there.
  6. Bebbs thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
    So long, and thanks for all the tips

    Thanks to you guys - I'd discussed most of what you said down the pub with a mate last night, he suggested checking out our Guinness-fuelled ramblings on Macrumors and hey presto, he was right - first reply was posted before I'd even shut down my Mac. fantastic.

    Ghall - I'll try the firewire option as I have a Powerbook and the firewire - I didn't know which keys to press t=for the target disc, so thanks.

    Taylor, Psycho, I'd thought about acquiring new discs, didn't know if a change of serial number would affect access - from what you say, it won't lock up old files if new OS serial number is installed. But I'll try booting up with my OSX 10.4 discs before buying from Apple or eBay. My friend in the pub had wondered about installing onto two machines from the one install disc, but your advice shows the disc wouldn't actually be installing software, so unlicensed installation wouldn't be a problem.

    Bankshot, thanks for the Unix boot up cheat sheet - I had guessed it would be possible (I'm old enough to remember when PCs were 286s and you typed things in MSDos to install software, but that's a hazy memory now). I've downloaded the cheat sheet but I'll give it a miss unless the firewire and/or 10.4 discs fail to work.

    Ghall, thanks for the sympathy. Taylor - sorry for the time-consuming backstory, but I knew it would sound like a robber's request, and I'm an honest lad...!

    I'll assume this thread is closed now. Again, many thanks one and all.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The OS software is NOT locked or validated against any hardware serial number.

    That said, an OS X install disk that came with one model of machine very often fails on other models of machine, because the RESORCES included on the CD/DVD may be specific to one model line of Mac. If you persist in trying to install a wrong bundled OS install, you can b0rk the hard drive logic at a pretty fundamental level, and end up having to reformat the drive.

    A RETAIL OSX install disk should have all the resources for the machines that take that version number. But you can't use a retail OS disk that is a version lower than the minimum version accepted by the machine in question.

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