How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Mike Your Own Question
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8997
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Mike is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My imac will not allow me to logon. I use the same password

Customer Question

My imac will not allow me to logon. I use the same password ***** have always used and it won't work now. I installed the disks 1 & 2 again, and I still have the same problem. It gives me a password ***** and I know what the password ***** but it won't take it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
So you can’t login?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is correct. I cannot get past the sign-on page. It indicates my user name and asks for the password, but it won't accept any of the passwords I have previously used. Before I re-installed the OSX disks, I tried to change the password. The hint comes up and I try that password ***** it still won't work.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK you probably installed an older version since you probably have installed upgrade since then. Try this Restart the computer and immediately hold the Shift key until you see the Apple Logo. This is called Safe Boot and it will attempt repairs. If you get to the login screen put in your user/pass then when it boots up, restart the normal way. Let me know what happens after.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, thanks for the suggestion. I will not be able to try it until I get home after work at around 4:30 p.m. I will contact you from there if it works, and from work in the morning if it doesn't. Incidentally, I have not upgraded anything on my imac since I purchased it in 2007.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
So you have not even ran system updates as they came along? OK not a good idea but let me know when you are home.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, I misunderstood what you meant about updates. I have updated system updates as they came along. I just didn't upgrade my system. I tried what you suggested yesterday. It still did not work. It would not take any of my passwords and simply said "you are unable to log in to the user account "barbara bole" at this time. Even the hint did not help. I knew what I had changed the password ***** but it didn't work either.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK, that's what I meant you installed a slightly older system. Put the system install disk in again and restart holding down the letter C key until you see the Apple logo. Choose your language then you get to the install screen DO NOT INSTALL, you will see at the top of the screen a Utilities menu drop down. Go the Disk Utility, Highlight your hard drive (usually Macintosh HD) and click on Verify Disk on the right. If that is OK and only if that is OK click on Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair. If Repair is successful then Repair Permissions if it is not successful let me know. If all is ok choose Reset Password ***** that same menu. Choose your Hard Drive from the top and then choose the Account from the drop down menu. Be careful not to select System Administrator, as this is actually the root user, not the administrator account on your Mac. Now enter the new password, click Save, quit the Installer and restart the computer. Note that there are a few issues with this method. Firstly, it does not reset your keychain password. You will have to do this separately. Secondly, do not attempt this if you have FileVault enabled. To reset an FileVault protected account, you need the master password.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, I put in the install disk like you suggested and pressed the "c" key, but it took me directly to the login page. US was already selected and there were no other fields that I could enter information into except for the password ***** I actually have 3 disks and I tried all three. I have disks 1 & 2 marked "For Mac Computers" "Mac OSX Install Disk #1 and "Mac OSX Install Disk #2. I also have 1 disk that I ordered online marked "MAC OSX Tiger, Includes Xcode 2, install DVD". The copyright on this one is 2005 Apple Computer, Inc. None of the disks took me anywhere past the login screen. I could only go back one page to "sleep", "restart" or "shut down" and clicking on any of these returned me to the login screen.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
You want to use the Tiger DVD if you get to a login screen then it is not booting from the DVD make sure you hold the C key right after you hear the startup chime
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, I tried the Tiger disk like you suggested and pressed the C key until the apple logo came on, but it still did not work. All I get is the log-in page.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Shut down the computer.Unplug the computer's power cord.Wait fifteen seconds.Attach the computer's power cord.Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.Release the keys then try booting fro the disk again while holding the C key, keep holding the key
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, I haven't been able to try the steps you suggested yesterday, as I don't know the keystroke equivilents on my keyboard. I dug out my old Apple keyboard, but still couldn't tell which keys to press. I printed some information this morning at work about the function of the keys and will try it when I get home for the weekend. I'm sorry. I can't do this quickly, as the mac is at home and I can only use the pc at work. I work for the government and they try all kinds of ways to prevent us from accessing non-work related subjects. I was told there were diagnostic problems, but they couldn't identify anything specific. I found a way to go through my favorites file and located your stream, thank goodness, but I won't be able to try this until I get home.

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
If you are outside the USA the Option key is the ALT key. Let me kow