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Mac OS X recover lost password

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Old 22-01-2009
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,026
Mac OS X recover lost password

To reset your OS X password without an OS X CD you need to enter terminal and create a new admin account:

1. Reboot
2. Hold apple + s down after you hear the chime.
3. When you get text prompt enter in these terminal commands to create a brand new admin account (hitting return after each line):
  • mount -uw /
  • rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
  • shutdown -h now
4. After rebooting you should have a brand new admin account. When you login as the new admin you can simply delete the old one and you’re good to go again!

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Old 22-01-2009
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,026
Re: Mac OS X recover lost password

Step 1: Start up from a Mac OS X Install CD.

MacOSX-DVD.pngThis hardest part of this technique may be laying your hands on a Mac OS X Install CD when you need one. Use a version that is close the the version of Mac OS X you have installed.

Hold the C key as the computer starts to boot from the CD.

When the installer starts, choose your language, and you'll proceed to the welcome dialog.

Step 2: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu.

Tip: In previous versions of Mac OS X (10.2 and 10.3), you can find the Resent Password option under the Installer menu instead.

Step 3: Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.

Select the user name of your original administrator account.

Important: Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually a reference to the root user. Do not confuse it with a normal administrator account.

Enter your new password. Click Save.

Step 4: Quit the Reset Password tool, and Restart your Mac.

Once you restart your Mac, you should be able to log in with the newly changed password.

Source: This question comes up all the time. The most recent inspiration to get this tip written up comes from the in-house creative department at Organic to Go. Apple also provides a nice Technote on this topic.
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