5 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2012 9:27 AM by rccharles
iCloudRider Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

i have the old imac g4, actually about 4 of them. My teacher left them to me for my club, but they are locked no one knows the password, nor do they have the cd's that came with it. I am unable to purchase anything online because i do not have a credit card, and underage. These computers run nice and smooth but its locked on student profile, and i dont have the admin password. I have tried several methods, but non seem to work. I am with computers on a daily basis but not on mac os computers. I tried downloading the mac os 9 on apple, but since its obsolete, theres non. i was planning to get mac os 1.4 (tiger) to run on it but is it supposed to be .dmg or .toast in order for t to recognize it? Please help, i would really like for these computes to come back to life and serve our student body. Our club has some people who do not have a computer, so i plan on fixing the iMacs so that i could give it to them. Thank you in advance.



-Locked only goes to student profile, no access to internet etc everything locked, needs admin password

-one of them runs mac os 9.2 (obsolete) the others i believe in the mac os 10 category.

-these were passed down and are old, yet runs pretty quick

iMac g4 (the one with round base), Mac OS 9.2.x, its
  • 1. Re: iMac g4 lost password( handed down), no cd, how to reset?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)

    Since it is locked down, your best bet is to get a 10.4 retail or 10.5 retail as described below.

    If you can verify it is 1 Ghz or faster, you can get the 10.5 retail installer.   You have a much better chance at making this usable machine with one or the other, than 9, since 9 discs are hard to come by, and very little software is written for 9 anymore.  Just make sure you have at least 256 MB of chip RAM for 10.4, preferably 512MB, and/or 1 GB of RAM for 10.5. Use these tips to


    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-2541- decide if 10.4 is sufficient.


    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-2275- decide if 10.5 is sufficient.

  • 2. Re: iMac g4 lost password( handed down), no cd, how to reset?
    jsweeney Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Try rebooting the computer, and holding down the C key.  Then, if it works, click on recovery HD.  Then, go to tools, (I think, If it isn't in tools, try the other drop down menus at the top) and click on reset password.  I hope this fixed your problem!

  • 3. Re: iMac g4 lost password( handed down), no cd, how to reset?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)

    There is no recovery hard drive in pre-Lion machines.

  • 4. Re: iMac g4 lost password( handed down), no cd, how to reset?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)

    Not to mention the recovery drive in Lion is only available through either Option key or command-R.

  • 5. Re: iMac g4 lost password( handed down), no cd, how to reset?
    rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,360 points)

    Get the Mac to set up  an additional administrative account.  You can then change the password on 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.

    # Type 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



    Once you have a new administrative account, you can change the password of your old administrative account

    blue apple > System Preferences > Accounts





    -- You can see that it is easy to change your administrator password. You can set a firmware password that you enter before your machine will boot.



    -- For the best data security, you should use FileVault. Create a good logon password. Define and use a good backup plan. I do not recommend using FileVault unless you really need the security because it is much harder to recover your data should you have a harddrive problem and you do not have your data backed up. data should you have a harddrive