jonnysods

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 20, 2006
7,192
4,363
There & Back Again
Hey guys, super strange issue.

Went to update a 12" MacBook to Big Sur from High Sierra. The Mac just ended up in a 20 hour freeze on the boot up/update screen, so I tried to restart it, wouldn't boot normally. Tried booting in safe mode, however Big Sur treated the device like a brand new device. I had no option, so I created a simple admin/admin account, and the OS loaded up.

I needed to access files in the gregp main account to get them onto a new machine, but I couldn't. I checked under Users, and there was only the admin account, and it was a standard user!

I'm totally stuck - has anyone seen this before? I took it to Apple, they told me I was SOL.

Target disk mode won't work, as the OS won't boot normally, single user mode can't be used to create an admin account. Don't know what to do!

IMG_1234.jpeg
 
Last edited:

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 20, 2006
7,192
4,363
There & Back Again
Something is very awry - I can't get it going in single user. Wish there was a way to clone the Mac and just use admin creds to unlock from another device. No way I can peel that drive off that mobo!
 
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hugohs

macrumors newbie
May 28, 2011
2
0
Something is very awry - I can't get it going in single user. Wish there was a way to clone the Mac and just use admin creds to unlock from another device. No way I can peel that drive off that mobo!
I've got an almost identical situation. Booting into Single User mode doesn't work either - but I need to look into how to delete the .AppleSetupDone file in Big Sur.
 
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jonnysods

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 20, 2006
7,192
4,363
There & Back Again
I've got an almost identical situation. Booting into Single User mode doesn't work either - but I need to look into how to delete the .AppleSetupDone file in Big Sur.
I feel very stuck. I wish I could just yank the drive out and read it as an external! I miss the old days!
 
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TheLonewandererofvault101

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2021
1
0
Can you install macOS on an external drive, then boot to the external drive macOS. Then you should be able to access the data on the internal drive so you can copy it to an external and then restore the internal macOS install.
 
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