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MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
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Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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Macbook Pro tunning Tiger with fileVault. When I try to login

Customer Question

Macbook Pro tunning Tiger with fileVault. When I try to login using my correct password XXXXX is not accepted. AFter trying X times I get @Unable to login to USER at this Time. I click OK and get the Master password XXXXX I type it successfuly and get to the point of New pswd enter screen. At this point I am stuck because it does not accept any new password. Help?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for asking your question,
I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, TD, glad to assist you.

Could you provide me with the following information, so I can better assist you with your technical question:
• What is the exact version of Mac OS X are you using on your Mac?
(i.e. "Mac OS X 10.5.6" -)
( If not sure how to check version of Mac OSX system- Click on Apple icon (Apple Menu) on upper left corner of screen- from the menu select "About this Mac" - you will see your version in the popup window)

And to make sure I am with you, you have actually previously set a Master password XXXXX your FileVault, is this correct?

• Could you also provide me what processor speed your Macbook Pro has?

Your answers to the questions I have submitted, will allow me to work with more detailed information, in order to effectively answer your question.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be looking forward to your reply. Thank you!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I cannot login to find out the OSX system version. probably the latest for Tiger because I do the updates regularly. Any other way of finding out? Yes I have a Master Password XXXXX FileVault.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Ok thanks for that update.

The issue we have here is that once you set a FileVault Master password, there is no way of resetting it, if you forget your Master password XXXXX your current password XXXXX XXXXX working.

Apple provides a potential process to try an resolve this issue because not being able to access Filevault also affects your Home folder:

Password XXXXX - FileVault for Mac OS X 10.4

However, Apple does caution on this help page:
If you are the administrator of the computer, and you can't remember the master password, the information in your home folder is lost forever.

If this link does not help, reply back as soon as you can, I may have a work around to help you with this. It is a little detailed, but I am confident it will help you if the above help page does not.

Keep me posted, I will be watching for your reply. Thanks!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I know the Master password, typed it, passed onto the new password XXXXX typed in a new pswd, tried to login and got the message "You are unable to login to the user account "ddd" at this time. Tried again and the dialog box shakes so I cannot set a new password.

Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Ok thanks for filling me in on what you have tried.

If you recall, I did mention that I have a potential workaround for this issue, however, I do need you to try one process before I recommend that.

I know this may be a shot in the dark, but I am just curious to try:

Use your Mac OS X 10.4 Installation Disc 1 for your process (if you have this handy)
• Insert the disc and allow it to initialize
• Reboot your Mac
•When your screen goes black during the reboot, press and hold the C key.
• Hold down the C key just before you hear the Apple chime
• Keep holding C key until you see a white screen, greay apple and eventually spinning gears .
•When you see the spinning gear, release the C key and allow the Mac to boot to the Installer environment
When in the Installer screen from the Installer menu bar to Utilities > Reset Password.

• From the drop down menu listing user names, select Administrator (root)
• Make a password (one that you are sure not to forget!) for this user.
• Once you have created it and confirmed it, quit Reset Password.
• Quit Installer and reboot normally.

• When the login window appears, select your user and see if you can log in as the root user using the password XXXXX was created above.
(Note: If Mac OS X automatically logs in, choose Log Out (name) from the Apple menu to get to the login window.)

• Now, go into System Preferences > Security and see if you can reset your Master password XXXXX again.

Let me know if this works.

I await your update. Thanks!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I do not have the Instsll disk with me at this time. Other way?
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Yes there is but this filters right into the work around I was going to suggest so may as well do that.


To reset your OS X password XXXXX an Mac OS X CD or DVD (for Tiger and Leopard),
you will need to enter Terminal and create a New Administrator Account:

Here is what you will need to do:
• Reboot your Mac
• Next hold Apple Command key + S key (Single User mode) down after you hear the Apple chime.
• When you see the text prompt, type in the following
terminal commands to create a brand new Admin
account (hitting "Return key" after each line):
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
shutdown -h now

**Make sure you type in these lines of script exactly as you see them, paying attention to the spacing in each line as well.

• After rebooting you should have a brand new Administrator account.

**•When you login as the to the new administrative account. You are going to be in a completely new profile. This is Step One.

Let me know when you get to this point.

Any problems with the little terminal code I gave you, just let me know. I want to get you back online to your user as soon as conveniently possible.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

typed in the code but computer did not shut down.


Shutdown NOW!

Shutdown: [pid 8]

localhost:/root May 3 Shutdown: halt by root


System shutdown time has arrived

Systemstarter[11]:lstat('/library/startupitems/nortonautoprotect.kextchache/notonautoprotect.kextcache): not a directory

stopping network information service

stoppin apache web server

systemstarter[11]: authentication service (22) did not complete successfully

/usr/sbin/apachectl stop: thhpd (no pid file) not running

ntpd is not running




Nothing happens

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My master password XXXXX I am able to create a new password, however still unable to login despite having typed in the correct new password
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for that update. I apologize, but last night I attempted to get this very post to you, but the JustAnswer website was down and would not allow me to post back to you.

So here it is. Although you can reset your master password, the issue is the FileVault password XXXXX XXXXX not granting you access.

Therefore, because of this issue, if you do cannot access logging in to your Encrypted Home Folder using your reset FileVault Master password, there will be nothing you can do to fix this other than to follow this work around to create a new Administrator account in order to access your home folder.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX script for creating a new Administrator account without a Mac OS X Install Disc, what may be the case from your previous post before your most recent post, is that the last line of script may not have been completed properly.
So this is what you will need to do.

Listed below, I am going to show you how the script should be typed step-by-step, space by space. It is crucial that each line of syntax be typed exactly right in order for it to work.
• Every line that shows <space> is an indicator for you to press the Space bar on your keyboard 1 time and then continue typing out the rest of the line.

• The (Return) is an indicator for you to press the Return key on your keyboard. You don not need to type (Return) - this is just a reminder to press return so you can
start on the next .
Remember there will be a # XXXXX for each line after you click the Return key. Just, continue typing just the lines I have provided you below.
mount<space>-uw<space>/ (Return)
rm<space>/var/db/.AppleSetupDone (Return)
shutdown<space>-h<space>now (Return)

Try this process once more, typing the script above as listed and see if it works for creating the new Administrator Account this time.

Let me know as I want to make sure I have tried these command lines and it does work only if precisely typed.

Again, after you create the new account, reply back to me.

I will be watching for your update.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Thanks but I get the same thing:</p><p> </p><p>This is what I get back:</p><p> </p><p>Shutdown NOW!</p><p>shutdown: [pid 7]</p><p>localhost:/ root# XXXXX 3 1":14:14 shutdown: halt by root:</p><p> </p><p>System shutdown time has arrived</p><p>May 3 18:18:15 SystemStarter[10]: lstat("/Library/StartUpItems/NortonAotuProtect.kextchache/NortonAutoProtect.kextcache"): Not a Directory</p><p>Stopping Network Information Service</p><p>Stopping Apache web server\May 3 18:14:15 SystemStarter[10]: authentication service (21) did not complete successfully</p><p>/usr/sbin/apachectl stop: httpd (no pid file) not running</p><p>ntpd is not running.</p><p>Usage: kill [-s signal-name] pid ...</p><p>kill -l [exit-status]</p><p>kill -signal-name pid ...</p><p>kill -signal-number pid ...</p><p>Starting...</p><p>Done.</p><p> </p><p>The nothing happens...</p><p> </p><p>made sure it was typed correctly</p>
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, not sure what happened now, but the computer rebooted and restarted as if new (out of the box) asking to set it up.
Is this correct??
Should I go ahead and enter all information as if a new computer?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Did create a new user!!</p><p>Went into System Preferences, USe, Tried to reset other user password XXXXX could not.</p><p>Cannot change anything for my first user</p>
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What now?
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Sorry for the delay but thanks for hanging in there with me.

Now tell me, in reviewing last post the process of setting up your new Administrator user was successful. That is why, it looks like you are starting all over again in your Mac OS X system. Truth of the matter, you are not. I have just helped you get access back into your Mac. Now we have to get your Home folder back.

Within your new Administrator user account, can you tell me if FileVault is displayed as On or Off?

Let me know, we have some more progressive steps to take to get you back to normal based on this step here.

Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Hello againCustomer

While I am awaiting your reply, so I can continue with the next step in this workaround,
I have come across a process from Apple's Discussion board regarding the issue with the Master password XXXXX FileVault, that I would like you to take a shot at.

FileVault Master Password XXXXX process

It is too detailed for me to provide the steps, but I do know where the files are for this issue that are being decribed in this link.

Let me know if this particular reset works. If it does not, again, just let me know and I will continue with my next step toward resolving this FileVault issue.

By the way, one quick question:
For this issue if you could open the battery bay and remove the battery from your Macbook Pro, within the battery bay itself: you could provide me the processor speed from the tag located within the bay?
This will help me, again, look up the technical specs while we are working on this issue toward resolution.

Thanks again, don't give up, I am more resourceful and driven, as long as I know you are still determined to see this issue thorough to resolution.

Waiting for your next update.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Hi. This link is for resetting a Master password. Please note that my master pswd works and I know it. It allows me to change the Admin password XXXXX my first user, but still cannot login to the old user. Please reply asap. I need to get back to my old files.</p><p>Your help is greatly appreciated</p>
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
About this Mac
Version 10.4.11
Processor 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Any other clues? I get "You are unable to Login to USER at this time"
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Hi again. This is exactly what I have been working on throughout this correspondence and I am determined to find out why this occurring. No need to convince me that you know your Master Filevault password XXXXX XXXXX and you remember it, because I have no doubt, I believe you.

The issue I am having with this, is why doesn't Mac OS X 10.5 believe you when you attempt to authenticate with your Filevault master password.? That is the million dollar question, I am driven to find out.

Few more quick questions I need to ask:

• Are you able to use the new Administrator to at least navigate within your Mac?
• Also when you go into System Preferences >Accounts, do you see the other
User that we are trying to recover?
•Lastly, do you see FileVault in On status within this new Administration User account?
** Comment- I really wish (I know it is, just wishful thinking), that I could just provide my install disc to you if I could, because if we could boot to that install disc we could set your Administrator <root> password; which has the overall access to any user account in your Mac user accounts on your Mac. Then we would have the possibility to get you back into your old user. But I know I can't obviously -hence the upcoming step 2 for the workaround:).
However, if you were able to get that Mac OS X 10.5 install disc, that may be a crucial component to at least try an gain you access into the old user.

Provide me the answers to the questions I have asked aboveCustomer as soon as you can, and I will be moving ahead with the next step in this workaround process
so I can hopefully bring this to a close.

Thanks again, for trusting me to help you through this.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<ul class="unIndentedList"><li>Are you able to use the new Administrator to at least navigate within your Mac?<br />YES<br /></li><li>Also when you go into <strong>System Preferences >Accounts</strong>, do you see the other </li></ul><p>User that we are trying to recover?</p><p>YES</p><ul class="unIndentedList"><li>Lastly, do you see FileVault in <strong>On </strong>status within this new Administration User account?</li><li>NO. It is off for the new account</li></ul>
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.

I want you to check to see if two key FileVault files on available on your main hard drive for me.

Here's what you do:
• Click anywhere on the blank window of your desktop
• If you look at the Apple menu icon on the upper left corner of your screen
to the right of this icon you should now see Finder and its menu bar.
• Now from the Finder menu bar, click Go >Go to Folder


This popup window should appear
•Type in /Library/Keychains
•Now click the Go button


This will take you to a new Finder window within the System Keychains folder.
What you will need to look for are these 2 FileVault Master files.


Let me know if you see them.

*Most important check here. So I am really waiting for your feedback on this info.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes I see both files and in addition System.keychain
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Now that is good news.

At this pointCustomer if you have to take a coffee break, get a snack, or catch the evening news, do so. I am going to take about 20 mins or so to put together a plan with this Master FileVault files that you have on your HD.

I will be back to you within 20 mins or less.
Thanks for being so diligent and vigilant in staying with me on this challenging issue.

Chat with you very soon!

Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Ok and thanks you great patience.

Now that you have located the FileVaultMaster.cer and FileVaultMaster.keychain files, if you still have that window open, remove both of those files to the Trash.
Do not delete your Trash just yet, however.
The "Master password" is associated with these 2 files in your Mac's main "/Library/Keychains" folder. If these files are removed, the system will potentially think that a "Master Password" has not been set.

After removing these 2 files, it should be possible to set a new "master password" from the "Security" pref pane in Apple Menu >System Preferences.

Now log out of your existing Administrator user and when you are at the login screen, see if you can now access the previous user account using the Master password XXXXX previously reset.
If the old user login prompt still rejects the new Master password, however, still attempt to enter the password XXXXX times and you should get a prompt to reset the Master password XXXXX Try that and then attempt to log in to your old user.

Let me know if this works. Thanks for waiting!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Did it all. Still does not login. The problem is that it does not accept the old user login, even after cxhanging it with the master password
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Note that the system does not refuse the mastewr password. I am able to reset it and when I type it it allows me to set a new password. Hpwever, the new password XXXXX XXXXX but still refused. Cannot login.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Hello <strongCustomer

I was going to process step two for this work around for you, until Apple support data brought it to my attention that what I was about to do would not work.

The reason it would not work is because your Home folder, due to being set with FileVault protections is currently encrypted and whether the Master password XXXXX XXXXX by not authenticating like it should, the home folder unfortunately will not be decrypted without the Master password XXXXX

This changes things dramatically, because as a Mac tech communicating with you via email, I am only as capable as the tools I can provide you via technical advice and links to helpful websites.

However, at this point, especially with this new information from Apple Inc. directly,
this is looking more to be a hands-on technical issue.

This means that it would be advisable for you to actually arrange to take this unit in to the Genius bar of your local Apple Store and have a Mac Specialist use their available tools to see if they can fix this for you.

I have attempted as much as I could from my side here, but if I were there working on your Mac in person ,my next logical step would be to open your Mac and from the inside, working with select removable hardware, attempt to isolate the issue to potentially erase the filevault function (if possible without risk to the intergrity of your Mac) or use a specialized software to correct the password XXXXX issue.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, in a effort to get your Home Folder back via login access, you are going to have to put this unit in the hands of a qualified Apple service center. (see links below)

Apple on a number of their articles regarding the Master password XXXXX FileVault have noted that if the password XXXXX get through, the Home folder remains locked and encrypted and unfortunately will be lost.

Although I completely understand what they have listed in the techinical articles regarding master filevault password XXXXX there are still 3rd-Party (Non Apple, but Mac friendly that is) resources that may be used in a certifed service center, to work and resolve this authentication issue.

Apple Retail Store -( Store locator for Apple store and Genius Bar in your region)
Apple Service Provider (Independent authorized Apple service centers)

I want so much to do more, but as noted above, this has now become an issue that is beyond email correspondence.

If anything , I hope this later recommendation is one you will follow, to finally get some technical hands on this problem. I do thank you very much, for allowing me the pleasure to assist you as far as I could and to let you know I will still be glad to answer any further questions you have regarding this subject, my current answer or any other info you may need.

Thanks again and best fortune on this issue. Please feel free to reply back anytime.

Sincerest Regards,

MacTechTrainer and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for the AcceptCustomer I hope the information I provided you, especially the latter has helped you work in the direction toward resolving this most challenging issue with the FileVault Master password

If you like, I leave this post available for you to update me what is done for this issue and if it gets resolved for you. I am admit, for as much time you and I invested working for nearly 2 days on this technical encryption problem, I actually would be glad to know what the outcome of this process for you (hoping the best of course).

So I leave that to your discretion. Thank you again for showing the same resolve I do as a Tech, in attacking this issue.