reset macOS firmware password

rich1812

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2015
117
5
earth
Hi, my friend gave me a Mac pro A1502 EMC 2835. She has forgotten the firmware password and asked me to reset it. Once I reboot the Mac, it shows a big paddock and stops there. She doesn't know whocj mac OS is on it . I tried various methods but does seem be able to get to the place where I can reset the password. I tried common -R, pressed the C key, boot from a external drive... all the same no result. What else can I do? As you know, this is a closed system, I try to avoid to open it and take out the RAM. etc. Any suggestion? Thanks.
 

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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,613
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On the new ones there's no way to reset it other than via Apple. You'll need to take the invoice/proof of purchase to an Apple Store. They can request an unlock code.

Not quite sure I follow - she was savvy enough to set a firmware password, but not savvy enough to know what version of MacOS is on there?
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
Not quite sure I follow - she was savvy enough to set a firmware password, but not savvy enough to know what version of MacOS is on there?
Maybe not savvy enough to set a firmware password? There's a variety of ways a machine may end up with a firmware password that have nothing to do with the end-user, from a corporate/government/education IT department through a "helpful" friend.

The firmware password is only invoked when trying to boot from anything but the designated startup partition. So, say the firmware password was set when the device was new. That password may not be encountered for years afterwards. Then, someone erases the HDD/deletes the startup partition and then restarts the system before recreating the startup partition... Bang!
 
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rich1812

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2015
117
5
earth
On the new ones there's no way to reset it other than via Apple. You'll need to take the invoice/proof of purchase to an Apple Store. They can request an unlock code.

Not quite sure I follow - she was savvy enough to set a firmware password, but not savvy enough to know what version of MacOS is on there?
[doublepost=1490992092][/doublepost]afaik it was her ex b/f set it. now after a not so amiable broke up he tries to blackmail her with her MacBook Pro! relationship is complicated. sign!:(
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,086
6,534
OP:

If you can't reset it via the Apple Store, there might be one option left (even though it's a shady one).

Go to ebay, and enter "mac firmware password" into the search box.

Something there might help you.

I'm not endorsing this, just informing you that such options exist...
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,681
1,451
OP:

If you can't reset it via the Apple Store, there might be one option left (even though it's a shady one).

Go to ebay, and enter "mac firmware password" into the search box.

Something there might help you.

I'm not endorsing this, just informing you that such options exist...
I have looked into these before because I was curious to see if my own firmware password is safe. The systems employed only work on really old models or if your password is extremely simple (typically four numeric digits). So I was relieved to know I was safe... Unless they have developed something new.
 

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,965
924
Destin, FL
Hi, my friend gave me a Mac pro A1502 EMC 2835. She has forgotten the firmware password and asked me to reset it. Once I reboot the Mac, it shows a big paddock and stops there. She doesn't know whocj mac OS is on it . I tried various methods but does seem be able to get to the place where I can reset the password. I tried common -R, pressed the C key, boot from a external drive... all the same no result. What else can I do? As you know, this is a closed system, I try to avoid to open it and take out the RAM. etc. Any suggestion? Thanks.
Good on the owner of the original MBPr. Contact Apple with receipt. It can be located at apple.com > account> orders.
Otherwise return to original owner.
[doublepost=1491484671][/doublepost]
I have looked into these before because I was curious to see if my own firmware password is safe. The systems employed only work on really old models or if your password is extremely simple (typically four numeric digits). So I was relieved to know I was safe... Unless they have developed something new.
Nope... apple locks it with their private key. No way to access 2011+ firmware passwords without Apple's assistance. Anything you see online is on par with wealthy Jamaican prince's that have recently deceased.
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,681
1,451
Nope... apple locks it with their private key. No way to access 2011+ firmware passwords without Apple's assistance. Anything you see online is on par with wealthy Jamaican prince's that have recently deceased.
If someone got hold of Apple's key (say a rogue employee) all existing firmware would be compromised?

If Apple's key is used to legitimately unlock a firmware does it expose the existing key?
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,681
1,451
If someone got hold of Apple's key (say a rogue employee) all existing firmware would be compromised?

If Apple's key is used to legitimately unlock a firmware does it expose the existing key?
Does anybody know the answer to this? I'm interested to know.
 

Erdbeertorte

Suspended
May 20, 2015
1,180
500
Sorry, I did not read the whole thread. But there is an "easy" way to change the firmware password from a running OS. Maybe it works without the old password but I think not. I can't test it at the moment because mine is deactivated.

Most of these steps can also be done in the Finder after the first two terminal commands:


Last login: Sat Apr 22 05:43:05 on ttys001

JulieBook:~ julie$ defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true;killall Finder


JulieBook:~ julie$ diskutil mount "Recovery HD"

Volume Recovery HD on Recovery HD mounted


JulieBook:~ julie$ cd "/Volumes/Recovery HD/com.apple.recovery.boot"

JulieBook:com.apple.recovery.boot julie$ hdiutil attach BaseSystem.dmg
Checksumming Protective Master Boot Record (MBR : 0)…
Protective Master Boot Record (MBR :: verified CRC32 $B0A6E802
Checksumming GPT Header (Primary GPT Header : 1)…
GPT Header (Primary GPT Header : 1): verified CRC32 $FBEBFF15
Checksumming GPT Partition Data (Primary GPT Table : 2)…
GPT Partition Data (Primary GPT Tabl: verified CRC32 $C0D4266B
Checksumming (Apple_Free : 3)…
(Apple_Free : 3): verified CRC32 $00000000
Checksumming disk image (Apple_HFS : 4)…
..................................................................................................................................
disk image (Apple_HFS : 4): verified CRC32 $768DB39D
Checksumming (Apple_Free : 5)…
..........................................................................................................................................
(Apple_Free : 5): verified CRC32 $00000000
Checksumming GPT Partition Data (Backup GPT Table : 6)…
GPT Partition Data (Backup GPT Table: verified CRC32 $C0D4266B
Checksumming GPT Header (Backup GPT Header : 7)…
GPT Header (Backup GPT Header : 7): verified CRC32 $3BC3B3E0
verified CRC32 $DA553832
/dev/disk1 GUID_partition_scheme
/dev/disk1s1 Apple_HFS /Volumes/OS X Base System



JulieBook:com.apple.recovery.boot julie$ cd "/Volumes/OS X Base System/Applications/Utilities"


JulieBook:Utilities julie$ open -a "Firmware Password Utility"


JulieBook:Utilities julie$ exit


Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 06.05.39.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 06.13.18.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 06.12.32.png
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,062
3,082
But there is an "easy" way to change the firmware password from a running OS.
Much too complicated. There is a tool for this:

Code:
sudo firmwarepasswd -setpasswd                     # Set a new password
sudo firmwarepasswd -check                         # Check whether a password is set
sudo firmwarepasswd -verify                        # Verify your password
sudo firmwarepasswd -delete                        # Disable the password
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,174
9,853
California

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,174
9,853
California
If someone got hold of Apple's key (say a rogue employee) all existing firmware would be compromised?

If Apple's key is used to legitimately unlock a firmware does it expose the existing key?
I don't believe it works like that where there is any one, master key to be had.

There is a good article here that explains it and gives the steps below.

To reset the firmware password on newer Macs, you must now follow these steps:

1. Boot with Option key held to display the boot menu's firmware password prompt.

2. Press Control-Option-Command-Shift-S to reveal a 33-digit hash (mixed letters and numbers) that contains an identifier for your specific motherboard and the Atmel chip used for your system. In this hash, the first 17 digits are an identifier for the system's motherboard, and the last 16 digits are a hash for the password.

3. Submit the hash to Apple, where someone will put it through a special utility to create a keyfile that is specific for your machine.

4. Place the file on a special USB boot drive and hold Option to load the boot menu and select this drive.

5. The system will read the file and properly reset the firmware password stored in the Atmel chip.
It just removes the password completely and does recover the old password.
 

not_aj

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2018
1
0
int main(void)
Much too complicated. There is a tool for this:

Code:
sudo firmwarepasswd -setpasswd                     # Set a new password
sudo firmwarepasswd -check                         # Check whether a password is set
sudo firmwarepasswd -verify                        # Verify your password
sudo firmwarepasswd -delete                        # Disable the password

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I spent two hours with apple support and they ended up telling me to bring my mac back to an Apple store even though I knew my password (it was just using a different keyboard layout)

Dude. I wish I saw this comment earlier. Thank you again.
 

jochems

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2013
1
0
Much too complicated. There is a tool for this:

Code:
sudo firmwarepasswd -setpasswd                     # Set a new password
sudo firmwarepasswd -check                         # Check whether a password is set
sudo firmwarepasswd -verify                        # Verify your password
sudo firmwarepasswd -delete                        # Disable the password

Hi, its asking me for my old passw. Is there a way to bypass this?
 

NateDoggy1996

macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2018
1
0
Much too complicated. There is a tool for this:

Code:
sudo firmwarepasswd -setpasswd                     # Set a new password
sudo firmwarepasswd -check                         # Check whether a password is set
sudo firmwarepasswd -verify                        # Verify your password
sudo firmwarepasswd -delete                        # Disable the password
I have the Late-2018 MBP. I’m trying to delete my firmware password. Can I go about it following these steps?

I tried it and it’s asking me to ‘Enter Password’ after I entered the ‘Password’ request the first time.
 

kbearh

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2014
27
23
The firmware password is only invoked when trying to boot from anything but the designated startup partition. So, say the firmware password was set when the device was new. That password may not be encountered for years afterwards.
Nope. That’s EXTREMELY unlikely. You actually need to enter the firmware password to run any of the diagnostics (CMD+R, etc.) Apple tells you to do first when encountering an issue. Also, whenever you bring it to the Genius Bar for service you need to tell them the firmware password (or confirm ownership so they can wipe it).

Short of someone with a tech-savvy family member who’s suddenly died, it’s astonishingly unlikely to ever encounter someone who’s been unaware of a firmware password on their Mac for so many years they don’t have access to an emailed receipt or online purchase history.

The easiest answer is simply that it’s stolen/lost, duh.

Source: Have set a firmware password for years.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,073
1,282
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Just because a Macbook has a firmware password that a person is not aware of does not automatically mean the Macbook is stolen/lost.

I know people who set a password, use the Macbook sporadically over a period of years without ever needing to boot from an external drive, run diagnostics, etc. One day, they encounter a problem, and forget they have a firmware password.
 
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