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Password, keychain access to deceased brother's Mac tower

624 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2013 3:38 PM by Jet Taylor RSS
Jet Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 16, 2013 11:04 AM

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.




Jet Taylor

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)

    See 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,
    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.

    27" i7 iMac SL, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • 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.

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 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.

    27" i7 iMac SL, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • 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.

  • 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.


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