11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2013 3:38 PM by Jet Taylor
Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My brother passed away and I purchased his tower and other equipment from his estate.  The system is running OS X (10.6.8) and I can not update or install anything due to the password access issue.  I have found a 10.4.7 OS X install disk and have read the information about starting up with holding down the C key.  Also read about keychain access but when using spotlight to search for the "login.keychain" file, spotlight indicates nothing is found.  Obviously I am a little nervous about this as the system has about 9 terabytes of storage with all his digital music and other information on it.  He used everything from Digital Performer to Adobe products to Final Cut, etc.  I REALLY do not want to lose access to his work.  My questions right now are:

 

1.  Do you think it will be ok to use the 10.4.7 disk to restart and reset the password?   My guess is any updates were handled online.

2.  If no "login.keychain" file is found, does this indicate he never password protected his program access?

3.  If he had an Apple account, is it possible to have it assigned to me due to his death so I can access any records/services that may exist?

 

This makes me a new Apple user so any help, no matter how simple it might sound would be appreciated.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jet Taylor


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    See http://aruljohn.com/info/macpasswordreset/#macosdisk for resetting the password. As for the login.keychain, it should reside in /Users/username/Library/Keychains/. However, it normally uses the same password as the computer, but that's not reset when you reset the user's password. Additionally, it contains passwords for Internet sites and you should just ignore it and set up a new one.

     

    Since you're a new admin user, see these:

    Switching from Windows to Mac OS X,
    Basic Tutorials on using a Mac,
    Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts,
    Anatomy of a Mac,
    MacTips,
    Switching to Mac Superguide, and
    Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Mountain Lion Edition.

     

    Additionally, *Texas Mac Man* recommends:

     

    Quick Assist,
    Welcome to the Switch To A Mac Guides,
    Take Control E-books, and
    A guide for switching to a Mac.

  • 2. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for all the links.  Will read them before attempting anything with the 10.4.7 disks and will try to locate the login.keychain too.

     

    Jet

  • 3. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Would be better to use the Snow Leopard upgrade disc if you can find it (it has only ever been available on disc, not download);

     

    SL Retail Disc small.png

     

    But the Tiger disc should work. You won't lose any data just doing a password reset, but be careful not to start the installer.

  • 4. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I will look for that and did find another box with some original disks in it.  One set in there was OS X Panther.  Have not found anything with Snow Leopard on it yet.  My "fear" right now is that resetting the admin password is going to cause a mismatch in the login.keychain stuff.  I called that up and the system has a bunch of entries ranging from Apple ID to Time Capsule, various compters on the network he had set up, etc.  If I reset the Admin password and that makes it different from the login.keychain password(s), it would be my guess I would be locked out of modifying those.  I could not go back to the original password because I don't know what that is.

  • 5. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    Jet Taylor wrote:

    My "fear" right now is that resetting the admin password is going to cause a mismatch in the login.keychain stuff.  I called that up and the system has a bunch of entries ranging from Apple ID to Time Capsule, various compters on the network he had set up, etc.  If I reset the Admin password and that makes it different from the login.keychain password(s), it would be my guess I would be locked out of modifying those.  I could not go back to the original password because I don't know what that is.

    Your fear is reasonable, but only affects the keychain stuff, which, as I noted earlier, only dea with website items and some application items. Since you can't access those now, needing the password to reveal each individual keychain password, you're basically up a creek whether or not you change the admin password. AppleID is unique to accessing stuff on Apple's sites. As for the other computers and Time Capsule, you'll need to see if you can change the passwords to something usable by you. Once that's done, you need to consider getting an ext HD, installing the OS onto it, and using a viable username/password combo. As of now, you can't do much on the machine w/o knowing the current password.

  • 6. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    External drives....I had actually considered installing my new stuff on one too just so I could carry it with me but when Adobe required it to be on the OS device, I just set that idea aside.  However, he had already installed 6 external drives on the tower itself (two Mercury Elite-AL pro Dual-Bays, another Mercury Elite-AL pro, two Green drive eSATAs and a gForce Megadisk eSATA) plus the Apple minis and two other towers he had networked to it along with a laptop.  Pretty impressive system for a guy living all by himself.  I haven't even attempted to plug the external drives in yet (wonder if he had already done your suggestion to put the OS on an external?).  My guess is they were for backup but don't really know yet.  Saturday I am just going to try to reset the admin password as you suggested and go from there.

     

    HEY.....baltwo....I just noticed your San Diego location.  That's where my brother was stationed with the Navy years ago.  He lived in Escondido after getting out.....small world.

  • 7. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for being such a pain.  I found the Snow Leopard Install DVD and boot to it holding down the C key until the gear sign comes up. After answering the language and license agreement questions, I am asked which drive on which to install the OS (there are multiple hard drives in the tower....the OS appears to be on IntRaidHD2B).  At this point, I have NOT seen any Utilities option.  Do I have to select the existing drive which is already working and tell it to install the OS in order to get to the Utilities functions?  I am also using a wired keyboard, NOT a wireless one.  I did not proceed per noondaywitch's point about not starting the installer.

  • 8. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    You've gone too far - quit the installer (if necessary, shut down with the button on the back by holding it in for 5-10 secs).

     

    Start again.

    OK the language page. DO NOT CLICK ON CONTINUE!

    After a second or two the standard menu bar will appear at the top of the screen - the Utilities menu is there.

     

    When done, quit the installer and restart back to the normal OS. Use the new password in your brother's logon.

  • 9. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I did shut it down with the power switch and just let it reboot without the disk.  In fact, I did that just to see if I could get back here on the same system without having to go to my laptop to access this forum.  Will give it another try and follow your point on waiting at the language page to see if the menu comes up.

  • 10. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Jet Taylor wrote:

     

    Will give it another try and follow your point on waiting at the language page to see if the menu comes up.

     

    AFTER the language page.

  • 11. Re: Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower
    Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep...that did it.  I waited a bit to see if it came up and it didn't so clicked past the language part and it came up.  It showed 4 drives so I picked the one that seemed to be the boot drive (IntRaidHD2b) and there were two users and and the System Administrator there.  I rebooted and was able to install Lightroom after downloading it.  My install disks for it and for CS6 aren't working so I had to go through Adobe support for that.  Thanks to everyone for the assistance.  Now if I can have similar success with Adobe on the CS6 install, hopefully Monday's photoshoot editing will go a lot better.  Thanks again for all the help.