10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 6:33 PM by Kappy
Tinypiecesmosaics Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

After my husband restarted our iMac he informed me that he broke the computer because the screen was all white. When I went to check it out I saw the login window...which is good, I think. All I needed to do was to enter my name and password... except that I can't remember either. How do I retrieve them?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)

    Your username is the filename under your Home folder. For your password see the following:

     

    Mac OS X 10.6- If you forget your administrator password

  • 2. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Tinypiecesmosaics Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sounds easy enough but... there is no Home Folder. The only thing up on my screen is the aurora borealis space screen and the Mac OS X Version 10.5.8 window with the option to login as Other or either put the computer to Sleep, Restart or Shut Down. When I click Other I get the option to enter a Name and Password (which I cannot remember and have tried half a dozen different combinations) or go back... that's it.

     

    Ugh! I think something's messed up here!

  • 3. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)

    In that case locate your Snow Leopard DVD and reinstall OS X. Once you can startup you should be able to handle the rest.

     

    Reinstall OS X without erasing the drive

     

    Do the following:

     

    1. Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions

     

    Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list.  In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive.  If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer.

     

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

     

    2. Reinstall Snow Leopard

     

    If the drive is OK then quit DU and return to the installer.  Proceed with reinstalling OS X.  Note that the Snow Leopard installer will not erase your drive or disturb your files.  After installing a fresh copy of OS X the installer will move your Home folder, third-party applications, support items, and network preferences into the newly installed system.

     

    Download and install the Combo Updater for the version you prefer from support.apple.com/downloads/.

  • 5. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Tinypiecesmosaics Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Kappy-

     

    Update... I did everything in #1 and DU reported the following errors the first time through-

     

    "Macintosh HD" (BOLD was in RED)

    Checking HFS Plus Volume

    Checking Extents Overflow file

    Checking Catalog file

    Invalid sibling link.

    Volume check failes.

    Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit that could not be repaired

     

    and

     

    1 HFS volume checked

    1 volume could not be repaired because of an error

     

    I did it again and got a First Aid 'failure' window

     

    First Aid Failed

    Disk utility stopped repairing "Macintosh HD" because the following error was encountered:

    The underlying task reported failed on exit.


    I hit OK

     

    This time in the First Aid Window it said...

    Checking HFS Plus Volume

    Checking Extents Overflow file

    Checking Catalog file

    (in RED)

    Invalid node structure

    (in GREEN)

    Rebuilding Catalog B-tree

    (in RED)

    The volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired

    Error: The underlying task reported failed on exit.

     

    then...

     

    1 HFS volume checked

    1 volume could not be repaired because of an error (in RED)

     

    and

     

    Repair attempted on 1 volume

    1 volume could not be repaired (in RED)

     

    and finally I did it a third time and got the same return as the first.

     

    I guess my next step is to reformat the drive but I don't know exactly how to do that. And another question is when I reinstall OS X do I want to install the additional applications that came with the computer or choose Quit from the installer menu and click Startup Disk?

    I think the latter but am not sure. Any advice is welcomed. Thanks again for all your help so far!

  • 6. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)

    Yes, I'm afraid so unless you wish to spend $100 for a copy of Disk Warrior which can fix those errors. When you install Snow Leopard all the standard applications will be reinstalled. Any third-party applications you had will have to be reinstalled by you after you reinstall Snow Leopard.

  • 7. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Tinypiecesmosaics Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There is an option when installing OS X to either install with the additional apps or... I guess without but you're saying I should reinstall with the apps eh?

     

    Okay... reformatting the disk... is that hard to do? Could I do that myself? How do I do that? Sheesh!

     

    When you say... Any third-party applications you had will have to be reinstalled by you after you reinstall Snow Leopard. Are you talking about all the other software I use like Quickbooks, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom etc?

     

    Yikes!

  • 8. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)

    No, there is no such option when installing OS X. You are thinking of restoring from Time Machine or using Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant.

     

    Erase and Install Snow Leopard

     

    1. Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button.  When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.

     

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area.  If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing.  SMART info will not be reported  on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

     

    3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.

     

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

     

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Security button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

     

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.

     

    7. Upon completion quit DU and return to the installer. Complete the installation of Snow Leopard.

     

    After you start Snow Leopard for the first time you will be in the Setup Assistant. You can restore your Home folder, third-party applications and support files, and system preferences.

  • 9. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Tinypiecesmosaics Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I would not have asked that OS X installation question if it wasn't a decision I needed to make when prompted to while starting up from the install disk. I am not referring to Time Machine or anything else. I am starting up with the OS X install disc.

     

    Regardless....Are these the instructions for reformatting the disk? This sounds complicated and worry about screwing things up even more.

     

    When I'm done I wonder what I'll find... You said in a previous reply that...

     

    "...After installing a fresh copy of OS X the installer will move your Home folder, third-party applications, support items, and network preferences into the newly installed system."

     

    This kinda contradicts what you say in the above reply.

     

    "...You can restore your Home folder, third-party applications and support files, and system preferences."

     

    Then again... I am an not an expert, I'm just an end user who's freaking out!

  • 10. Re: Help, I forgot my login name and password
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)

    No, I did not say that. I've always said the same thing: After installing OS X and restarting the computer you will be in the Setup Assistant from which you can restore files from a Time Machine or other backup.