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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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I have tried and tried to reset my password on my laptop. I

Resolved Question:

I have tried and tried to reset my password XXXXX my laptop. I have installed and re-installed Mac OS X by remote from my other computer abd I am getting so frustrated. I can't download anything until I get the password XXXXX HELP!

Cathy Alterman
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Hello my name is Dan.
I may be able to help you.

Change Password

Mac OS X:

Changing or resetting an account password XXXXX GUI:
Resetting a user's password
Resetting the original administrator account password

You do not have a CD/DVD
Changing password XXXXX single user mode:
You can also change the administrator's password XXXXX single user mode or create a new administrator account.

You need to get into single use mode for steps one and two that are listed below.
This page will tell you how to get into single user mode.

Basically, you hold down the command-s key then powering on your machine. The command key has a little apple symbol on the lower left. It is between the alt/option key and the space bar. On a PC keyboard, it will be the windows key, I think.

1) You can change the password XXXXX an account. ( Do you know Unix. You are in a Unix single user console. ) The setup commands you need should be listed on the screen. For Mac OS 10.4.11, the commands are:

# XXXXX the follow two instructions to access the startup disk in read/write:
/sbin/fsck -fy
/sbin/mount -uw /

# XXXXX up some utility processes that are needed.
sh /etc/rc

# XXXXX will probably need to press the return key once the system stops typing.

# XXXXX find out the users on the system type, use the list command. The l is a lower case L:
ls /Users

# XXXXX of these accounts will be the administrator.

# XXXXX one of the users which I'll call a-user-name and type it in this command:
passwd a-user-name
# XXXXX enter the new user password. You need six characters.
# XXXXX will need to enter your password XXXXX Your typing will not show up on the screen just
# XXXXX enter when you complete the typing.
# XXXXX cryptic information on these commands try:
man ls
man passwd

The root account isn't enabled by default. I am not sure if changing the password XXXXX root will enable it.

2) Get the Mac to set up an additional administrative account. You can then change the password XXXXX your old account.

Start with your computer power off. Hold down command-s. Power on your computer.

Type in the following:

The first two commands will depend on your release of Mac OS X. Look at what is typed out in the console to determine the exact format.
# XXXXX the follow two instructions to access the startup disk in read/write. Press return after each command.
/sbin/fsck -fy
/sbin/mount -uw /

cd /var/db
#List all files. The l is a lower case L.
ls -a
#The move command acts as a rename command in this format.
mv -i .applesetupdone .applesetupdone.old


Once you've done that the computer reboots and it's like the first time you used the machine. Your old accounts are all safe. From there you just change all other account passwords in the account preferences!!
Limnos adds detailed explainations:

The above the idea came from a post by JoseAranda at September 9, 2006 3:48 AM
You will need to scroll down to see this post. Search for applesetupdone

Or see:

Once you have a new administrative account, you can change the password XXXXX your old administrative account
blue apple > System Preferences > Accounts

iMac G3 600 Mac OS X (10.4.11)

To do this, follow these steps EXACTLY:

New admin acct from Boot:


Hold COMMAND and S kys down as soon as you hear the chime.

When you get text prompt enter in these terminal commands to create a brand new admin account (hitting return after each line):

mount -uw / Note the spaces after mount and the w. very important

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone note the space after the rm

shutdown -h now note the space after the n in shutdown and after the h

When it restarts, you will have a new admin account to boot into.

Now go to the Apple Menu and choose System Preferences. Click on Accounts.

Click on his account and try to change the password. If you cannot, then deleting and saving is the only option to get access to those files.

Delete the User and it will ask you what to do with it. Choose save as archive/image.

The OS will remove that user and save it on your Desktop or in the Macintosh HD.

Double-click to open it. The files will be saved in various locations in that mounted image.

Read very carefully and follow exactly or you could make it worse.

Let me know.


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