need to change or delete logon password

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by collieman, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. collieman macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    Hi everybody, My neighbor just recently passed away and his wife knows that I like to mess around with computers asked me if I could get their pictures off of his computer. She wants to get some of them printed to give to family members. I knew he was a Mac guy but I didn't think that would be a problem even though I use PC. The computer is an EMAC with OS X. Upon booting I was greeted with a logon screen requiring a password. I know how to get by that on a PC but never had any experience with a MAC. His wife knows nothing about his password and we couldn't find anything in his papers at his desk. There are no disks. I googled for some answers. I found about four methods for resetting or bypassing the logon password which none of them worked. Tried again and again to no avail. After tying in the command lines and rebooting it always comes back to the logon window. She said I could have the computer if I can get those pics for her. That would be nice as I would like to learn about Mac. Any thoughts as to what I might try? Thanks a bunch, Collieman
  2. collieman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    Got it!

    While I was waiting for replies I tried some of the answers I found on Google again and this time it worked! But, I'm not seeing the pictures that my neighbor wants me to get off the computer. Looks like it was reset as I had to complete a registration form. Also, I could not set the time and date. So, guys stay close. I still might need you.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You are almost there!
    You just added a new user account, so you just need to log in to the other account, which should still be there...
    Go to the System Preferences. You can find that under the Apple menu.
    Choose the Accounts pref pane.
    You will see a list of the accounts. The one that you just created should be in the list, as well as the account that was your neighbor's. Those may be the only two, or - there could be others. If the only other account is your neighbor's, choose that from the list, then unlock the pane by clicking on the padlock in the lower corner, then use the password that you provided to authenticate.
    Now, you can change the password for the other account (your neighbor's).
    Tell the wife what the new password is.
    After you change the password, you can log out (Apple menu again). Then, choose your neighbor's account and use the new password to log in.
    NOW, you should be able to access everything. You should now be able to get to the pictures that the wife wants to retrieve.
  4. collieman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    DeltaMac, I was just going to tell the forum that I had created another account. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to bypass or delete the neighbor's password. I wish I could do what you have instructed BUT a lot of things do not work. Sys preferences is one of them. Nothing happens when clicking on it under the Apple icon up in the right corner. Some of the folders are blank like utilities and a few others. Can't open date and time up in the left corner. The dock has only question marks. I suppose that's because there is no software installed. I was able to install an old version of Firefox and get on the net but since the date and time weren't set right I kept getting the "accept certificate" constantly. I was wondering if I could take the hard drive out and use Linux to get the pics like I have done with Windows. Then another thing. This computer doesn't have an optical drive. Do I have to use an external DVD drive or flash drive to do installations?
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You said it was an eMac... The optical drive will be on the front panel, but covered by a hinged door. It's the panel with the Apple icon on the front.
    What is behind that oval door on the front bezel? You can open the door by pressing firmly on one side of the door, then pulling out on the opposite edge, which will be easy to grab.

    Press Shift-Command-A.
    That will take you to the Applications folder.

    You should normally see installed applications inside that Applications folder.
    Likely that you will see ALL applications there, when the Dock might be almost completely empty. Maybe that's why you think that no Applications are installed?

    If you look at the root of the hard drive, is there a "Users" folder?
    What is inside that Users folder?
    Make sure you are at the root of the hard drive, which is where you find the Users folder that the system uses.

    BTW - the root of the hard drive will have a minimum of 4 folders:
    Applications (all Applications are usually stored in that folder :D )
    Library (settings and folders for system-wide files are there)
    System (all files used by system are there (and should never be disturbed unless you have a good reason, and know what you are doing)
    finally, there will be a Users folder, which will have both the new account that you created, and at at least the owner's user account folder. You might not be able to get into that folder, as you may not have access, and it may be locked, at least for you.
    If you don't see ALL 4 of those folders, at the same time, then you are not at the root of the hard drive - or, the install is REALLY messed up. I don't quite believe that, because the system was working good enough to let you make a new user account.

    If you don't find much of what I mentioned - then you will need to either reinstall OS X, using the Archive & Install option, or you will need to remove the hard drive and try to recover using another Mac.
    Do you have ANY OS X installer disk? You will need that for the reinstall.
  6. collieman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    I did find the optical drive. As you said it was behind the door with the Apple icon. I didn't know it opened until I press around on it and saw that it moved. I found the users folder with the accounts just like you said. When opening "Chaz's" (neighbor) folder I was greeted with a list of folders some of them I was locked out of. But I did find a folder labeled "Poison downloads" that had a lot of mp3's and they played. Couldn't find any pictures. They may be in the pictures folder but I'm locked out of that.

    Now when the computer boots it boots right to my account with a window telling me that the time and date aren't set. When I click on the clock in the upper right corner and then click on open time and date it does nothing. So does system preferences.

    Would it be possible for me to use a Linux CD to boot to live CD where I can run Linux off of the CD to give me access to the hard drive and hopefully find those pics. I've done that a lot of times with PC to retrieve files on computers that have gone bad.

    We couldn't find any disks for his computer for a reinstall of OS X. I worked at a print shop for 47 years before retiring where they had Macs for typesetting. I know they have installation disks of OS X. Could I use them? You know with PC's you have to buy a license from Microsoft. A reinstall will probably wipe out the drive and the pics. With PC there is software that will let you retrieve data from bad hard drives or data that had been deleted or formatted over. Is there anything like that with Mac?

    So many questions I have. There is no eject button for the optical drive but I did find a button on the keyboard in the top right hand corner that seems to want to open the drive. A white arrow comes up on the screen when I press that key but nothing happens. I opened the front panel door and used a paper clip to open the drive and inserted a Mint Linux CD but I don't see anywhere to get the drive to read it. Should an Icon appear on the desktop for the optical drive when a disk is inserted?

    Sorry for all the questions. Your help is VERY much appreciated.
  7. collieman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    I just tried to boot off the Linux CD after using a paper clip to open the CD drawer and restarting. It didn't work of course. Took the CD out to reboot and now it won't boot. All I get now is a blinking icon of the earth on a grey screen. Looks like I'll have to take out the hard drive and try it with a PC using Linux live CD.
  8. DeltaMac, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    There are two types of OS X installer disks, distinguished by color
    Grey DVDs are system hardware specific. An eMac installer will only install on an eMac (and that same eMac model, for example.)
    If you find a black DVD with a large X across the label, and you can find one that is Leopard (OS X 10.5.x), then that will work to reinstall.
    OS X does have a software license, but that does not interfere with installing OS X (and using it!) on any supported Mac. There's no code to type in, as there would be for Windows. In general, if you can boot the eMac from an installer DVD, it probably will be OK to install. NO DATA will be lost, unless you choose to erase the drive. There is an option in the installer for an Archive and Install, which is your best choice in this circumstance. It is similar to a repair install of Windows.

    You COULD boot to a linux live CD, if it is a version that is for PowerPC (PPC)
    Such as MintPPC:
    Your eMac is a G4 processor, if that helps.
  9. collieman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2015
    Well, it's over. I told my neighbor that I was having a problem getting around not having the password to gain access to those pictures she wanted me to save for her. After I told her I was going to take the hard drive out of the computer she told me "no, don't do that. I will take it to a computer repair shop". So, I put it into her car as she couldn't lift it. I'm kind of disappointed as I wanted to learn how to use a Mac. But, anyway, thanks DeltaMac for the help you gave me. It was a fun experience for the past two days. Collieman

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