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 Dustin Your Own Question
Dustin
Dustin, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 13239
Experience:  Over a decade putting the missing byte back into Apple. Also worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
19897260
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Dustin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I forgot my administrator password and need to install a new

Customer Question

I forgot my administrator password ***** need to install a new printer and am unable without password. I have the MacOSX disc installed, however, following the instructions to reset password ***** not do the trick. I keep getting a drop down asking for my administrator password.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Ashik. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with your reply ASAP

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

If you are using 10.7 later version of OS X then you can reset the password ***** booting into Mac OS X Utilities screen. If you are using Mac OS X 10.6 or lower, please let me know.

First go to System Preferences select iCloud. Click Sign Out button there and sign out. If asked to delete or keep stuffs, select Keep. If you only see Delete, then click Delete or OK. It is OK, you can reconnect to iCloud later.

Then follow the steps below to reset the password.

Turn off your Mac.

Turn it back on and immediately hold down Command and R keys at same time for 10 seconds.

This will boot your Mac to "Mac OS X Utilities” menu.

Click on the“Utilities” menu in top bar and select “Terminal".

Type (without space)--> resetpassword

Press return. This will bring Reset Password ***** Select the hard disk at top column,select the user account from the drop down under it, confirm the user accountand then change password ***** Save. Then click on the Apple icon and select Shutdown.

Turn it back on. After restarting, if you get any message about Keychain then click Create NewKeychain or cancel.

If you are getting keychain error, then reset the keychain access database. Follow the steps below to reset Keychain;

Go to System Preferences > iCloud and click Sign Out. If asked to keep or delete stuffs,click Keep. Then in Finder, hold down Option key on your keyboard, click on Go menu at the top bar and select Library. This will open Library folder. Trash Keychain folder in there and restart your Mac.

Then you can install the printer using new password.

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it did not work - and of course i lost connection with you. When I click on utilities, it asks for my password

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

It shouldn't ask for password ***** OS X Utilities screen. Can you see this video and try again ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euUDEPb1fCw

Watch from 1 min onwards

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

my computer is a leopard not a lion

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Do you have the OS X discs with you ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes, it is in the computer now

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Eject the disc. We can boot your Mac to a special mode called Single User Mode. Then type some commands/texts there which will force your Mac to bring the new account setup screen. So you can setup a brand new admin account and then use that account to reset the password ***** your original account. This might seem a little difficult, but it is actually easy.

Follow the steps below to create anew User Account in Single User Mode.

• Turn off/shut down your Mac.

• Turn it on and immediately hold down the Command(Apple) and S keys together for 10 seconds to boot into Single User Mode

• When you see the text prompt, type in the following terminal commands to create a brand new Administrator account (hitting return after each line). Also, note down the spaces between the commands, like a space between mount and -, space between -uw and / etc

mount -uw /

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

shutdown -h now

(If it returns any errors, then you are entering the commands incorrectly. Make sure you enter it correctly)

When you enter last command and press return, the Mac will shut down. So turn it back on, you should be able to create a brand new Administrator account (when creating the account, if you're asked to transfer information, select Don't transfer)

Login to new account. Then in new account (which will be blank and you won't see your files - so don't worry), go to System Preferences> Accounts or Users & Groups, select your old account and change/reset the password.

Then logout from Apple menu and login to the old account with new password.

Let me know how it goes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i will try this, give me a few minutes

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Take your time

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I held down the keys you said to hold down but nothing happened - command s, right?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Yes. You have to hold down immediateyl after turning your Mac on and hold down for 20 seconds. Please try again

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Is it booting into Single User Mode ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the screen was black with just writing on it - I typed in what you said and it shut down. It is now back on, I am in Accounts, but I don't see where to create a new account

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

You probably entered the commands wrong. When you enter the commands and restart your Mac, it will bring the introduction screen. Then when you click Next..Next..Next etc, it will show a screen where you can create a brand new administrator account. After creating the administrator account, it will login to that new account. Then you need to go to System Preferences > Accounts.

You will see both new and old accounts there. Unlock the lock in there by clicking on it. Then click on old account and you will see Reset Password *****

repeat the steps again and make sure you enter the commands correctly. Here are the commands in detail

mount<press space>-uw<press space>/<press enter/return>

rm<press space>/var/db/.AppleSetupDone<press enter/return>

shutdown<press space>-h<press space>now<press enter/return>

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The screen was all black with just writing on it - I typed in what you said - it shut down, but now I am in accounts and my account is the only one there

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

You probably entered the commands wrong. It may take a few tries though, but this definitely work on all OS X versions. When you enter the commands and restart your Mac, it will bring the introduction screen. Then when you click Next..Next..Next etc, it will show a screen where you can create a brand new administrator account. After creating the administrator account, it will login to that new account. Then you need to go to System Preferences > Accounts.

You will see both new and old accounts there. Unlock the lock in there by clicking on it. Then click on old account and you will see Reset Password *****

repeat the steps again and make sure you enter the commands correctly. Here are the commands in detail

mount<press space>-uw<press space>/<press enter/return>

rm<press space>/var/db/.AppleSetupDone<press enter/return>

shutdown<press space>-h<press space>now<press enter/return>

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the problem is - this instruction sheet disappears when everything shuts down

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Can you open this page on your phone or tablet or another computer ?

You can access this page on www.justanswer.com and under My Questions tab. Or check your email to get a direct link to this page.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it is NOT working - I wrote the information down. When the screen comes up it is all writing going by very quickly, I don't know if I started typing too soon or not, I tried it again and it did not work what now?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Didn't that screen stay on there to allow you to type ?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Can you turn off your Mac for 2 minutes. Turn it back on and immediately hold down Command and S keys for 20 seconds. Does it boot into black screen with white letters and allow you to type ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

am I supposed to hold down the Command S keys until the writing stops whizzing by?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

You can release the keys if you see the black screen with white letters. Then once it is finished loading, you can enter the commands,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

am I supposed to hold down the Command S keys until the writing stops whizzing by?

I am an expert typist, so I am very careful how I enter keys - just wanted you to know

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will try again, but it starts racing immediately

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

It is supposed to stay on that screen and let you type. Once you typed the commands, and press return after last command, it will turn off. Then when you turn it on, it is supposed to bring the Welcome or introduction screen.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, while I was typing AppleSetUpDone - I noticed it said no such file or directory

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

To make sure you typed this, there a dot . before AppleSetupDone

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

mount<press space>-uw<press space>/<press enter/return>

rm<press space>/var/db/.AppleSetupDone<press enter/return> -- there is a dot after db/

shutdown<press space>-h<press space>now<press enter/return>

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone right?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Again . . . warning No such file or directory

following rm /var/dbl/.AppleSetupDone

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

That is very strange. That message means your Mac is not giving permission to write to HDD.

What about the first command, can you make sure you wrote it correctly (the spaces) ?

If it still not working, try the following commands (a change in first command)

/sbin/mount -uw /

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

shutdown -h now

If that didn't work, then can you try resetting the password ***** the disc again. I know you already tried, but please try again

Insert the Mac OS X installation disc 1 to your Mac.

• Turn off your Mac

• Turn it back on and immediately hold down the C key on your Keyboard.

• This should boot your Mac directly into Mac OS X installation screen. If not, restart and immediately hold down Option key for 20 seconds and this will bring Startup Manager. Select OS X disc and press return

• Choose your Language and click Next button. Don't click Next again.

• Choose Reset Password ***** the Utilities menu (from the top bar)

• Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume. Select the user name of your administrator account to reset the password.

• Enter a new password ***** Click Save.

• Restart your Mac.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

are the lines double spaced?????

I will give this a shot

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Single space between words

In first line, there is a space after mount and also a space after uw

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Forgot to ask, do you have File vault running ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

don't know how to tell that

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

It is in System Preferences > Security > File Vault. That is the main thing that prevent running this kind of commands, prevent resetting system password *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok - that last new command you gave me got the same result - no such file

Do you want the fire vault turned off?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it has to be turned off. Is it turned on ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

fire vault is on - do you want me to change that?

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

That is the reason. It is an advanced level encryption and it encrypts everything on the hard drive. That is why the commands are not working. You will not be able to reset the password ***** having it off.

To turn it off, you need a master password, not admin password. Do you know it ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry - fire vault was off

Expert:  Ashik replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry, I'm out of ideas on this. The instructions are correct and you are also doing them correctly. I just don't understand why you are unable to reset the password ***** from the OS X disc or Single User Mode. It is not supposed to be this difficult. There is one more way you can try. This method has low success rate but try it.

  1. Turn off your Mac and turn it back on to Single User Mode (Command and S at startup)
  2. Type mount -uw / and press return.
  3. Type launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.DirectoryServices.plist and press Enter.
  4. Type ls /Users and press Enter. This lists all of the usernames on the computer - note down your user name
  5. Type dscl . -passwd /Users/username password and replace “username” with your user name. Replace “password” with a new password ***** your choice. Press Enter.
  6. Type reboot and press Enter.

I will also opt out and open this question to other experts in here. If they have any idea, they will get back to you. You don't have to stay online. You will be notified when other expert replied to you.

Expert:  Tim replied 1 year ago.

The above are correct instructions......

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will try the above - and let you know - I tried the OS X disc again and it again asked me for my password.

Expert:  Tim replied 1 year ago.

Read the instructions very carefully, they should work. You just need to take your time and make sure you do not miss a step or have a typo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok - so I tried this twice - no luck - it said no such file -

Expert:  Tim replied 1 year ago.

Very odd, i too will bow out and let others try.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so discouraging -

Expert:  Justin Williams replied 1 year ago.

I can definitely help you with this, but I will need to call you on the phone. it is just too hard to relay the proper information on here due to the complex nature of this problem.

Please review my offer for a phone call and accept it if you'd like to proceed.

Expert:  Justin Williams replied 1 year ago.

It is always possible to reset your password ***** a Mac, but you need to do the procedure exactly to the tee, or it won't work properly. I can help you do this over the phone and will spend as much time with you as it takes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

NONE of your suggestions have worked and I keep getting negative nor did the computer allow them

Expert:  Justin Williams replied 1 year ago.

The suggestions provided by other experts do work in ALL cases to reset OSX password ***** done properly, but can be difficult for the average user to do without real-time guidance. I am going to opt out of this question because I fear that I can't help you without being able to guide you through the process over the phone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am not a casual user to the computer - my typing skills are exceptional - I went through EVERYTHING you suggested with 0 results. My computer did NOT recognize ANYTHING you suggested. I did not make mistakes with my typing. I made numerous attempts - I am not pleased with your service and to spend further dollars on your bogus suggestions makes no sense. I feel it is simply your way to get more money out of me. I will deal directly with APPLE where my money won't be wasted.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer.com, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you.

Im going to assume that you have been attempting to press the correct keys and type the correct commands and yet nothing is working for you.

Ive seen issues like this before, what you are having is a keyboard failure.. Either your command key or other keys simply arent working. Y ou are welcome to call Apple, and I assure you they will attempt to walk you through the same steps our experts above have attempted to walk you through, and surely that will end with the same result. At some point a tech either here or at apple is going to come to the conclusion I have..

That you need to try a new, USB mac keyboard.. Once you have that USb keyboard connected and working.. You will then be able to get into single user mode at which point, simply typing the commands will allow you to reset your password. Please understand that this isnt a suggestion or an assumption, Weve all worked on macs for many years and reset passwords exactly as we are suggesting many times.

So lets assume again that you have been pressing the correct keys.. You need to get a working USB mac keyboard.. Here is a low cost example

http://amzn.to/291S9Qw

( Note, there is a vast difference in a windows keyboard and a mac keyboard, and the most important difference is the Apple / command key and the option key layout. You need those two keys and it must be a mac keyboard or else you cant enter single user mode, etc )

Now, once you have the new usb keyboard.. This is your first step

Shut down your Mac.
Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R.
Turn on your Mac.
Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys immediately after you hear the startup sound.
Hold these keys until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for a second time.
Release the keys.

Once complete, shut down the mac and then start with Command S .. This will enter the single user mode, which is basically a blank screen where you can type commands.

Then, you will be able to type in the commands needed to reset the password. The key is, getting your keyboard to pass the correct boot key sequence to the mac. And after reading everything above, its clear that isnt happening. ( hence why you dont h ave a working password *****)

A new keyboard will solve this issue.

Dustin S.

Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.

Expert:  Dustin replied 1 year ago.

Hello again.. I never heard back from you.. Did you still need help with this issue?

I strive to provide great service, and greatly appreciate a 5 star rating clicked and submitted when you are satisfied.. I always answer follow up questions.

Dustin S.

Senior Technician and Network Switching Systems Operator / Maintainer.

Related Mac Questions