5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2013 5:33 AM by WZZZ
Sunnydayallday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all


I have a rather annoying issue that only happened a few hours ago and I have come here to ask for help if I may because I do not have the experience to resolve it on my own.


Here goes.. Using my 2009 mbp, running snow leopard 10.6, computer hangs with spinning ball, try to shutdown and it just hangs. So I shutdown with the power button and when I power up I find I cannot access my standard user account with everything in it - I get a message saying " cannot access account at this time due to an error" .


The mbp I'm using has two drives : one intel ssd for osx and program's and a hitachi hdd for storage. The hitachi drive is in a caddy in the place of the SuperDrive and the SuperDrive is now in an external enclosure and the intel ssd in the hard drive bay.


Things I have tried :


I have booted in safe mode - same error message.


Cleared PRAM - same error message.


Booted from system disc and tried to reset password - same error message.


Ran disc utility from cd and I see that the hitachi hdd is not mounted - it will not let me mount the volume, first aid sees that it's still alive but that's all it will do.

The intel ssd checks out just fine in disc utility first aid - I repaired permissions.


I suspect the hitachi hdd is at fault but would really like someone's educated opinion if that's ok? As all my data is on it and stupidly I have not backed all of it up.


I am having to send this from my iPhone !

Many thanks



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Locked out of my user account - can anyone help please!?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,205 points)

    It sounds like the Hitachi with your home folder may have died or become problematic, in one way or another. This won't solve that problem, but it may help to get you to be able to at least log in. These instructions are for resetting a password with a CD, not your issue, but it will allow you to create a new admin account, so at least you will be able to login. Not sure what will solve the problem with the Hitachi, if it won't mount because, for all intents and purposes, it's dead. If that's the case--and can't be certain it is--you might need some kind of recovery software. (Google that for Mac. There are many available programs.) That booting in Safe Mode doesn't fix the issue is not a good sign.


    Make certain you give this new account admin privileges.


    Reset Mac Password – without a CD or Boot Drive


    reset mac password Using a pretty nifty trick you can reset a forgotten Mac password without a Mac OS X installer CD/DVD or any kind of boot drive or recovery partiton, and without having an Apple ID. This is basically the be-all-end-all approach if nothing else works, because it’s guaranteed to get you back into a Mac when the other options are available, and it works in literally all versions of OS X. The steps may seem a little intimidating at first but I assure you it’s easy if you follow them exactly, here is exactly how to do this in three stages:


    Stage 1) Boot into Single User Mode and remove a setup file


        Restart the Mac holding down the Command+S keys, this will take you into Single User Mode and it’s Terminal interface

        You’ll need to check the filesystem first:


        fsck -fy

        Next, you must mount the root drive as writeable so that changes will save:


        mount -uw /

        Now, type the following command exactly, followed by the enter key:


        rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

        reset forgot mac password

        After removing the applesetupdone file, you need to reboot, type ‘reboot’ and hit enter


    Stage 2) Create a New User Account upon System Boot

    You aren’t finished, but the hard part is now over – no more command lines, you’ll now be in the familiar Mac OS X GUI to finish the password reset process. In this step we just create a new user account as if you just got a new Mac:


        Upon reboot, you will be presented with the traditional “Welcome Wizard” startup screen just like when you first get a Mac

        Follow the welcome wizard and create a new user account – making the account name different from the account whose password you want to recover

        Continue on and boot into Mac OS X with this newly created user account, this new user account is an Administrator and has administrative access


  • 2. Re: Locked out of my user account - can anyone help please!?
    Sunnydayallday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi thanks for your quick response. Just a question if I may, at the "rm /var/db/.applesetupdone" command is there a space after rm?  And do I enter "reset forgot mac password" as well?


    Thanks David

  • 3. Re: Locked out of my user account - can anyone help please!?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,205 points)

    Yes, there is a space after rm. Your problem isn't a forgotten password; this is only so that you can create a new account and be able to log into it, so you don't go any further with resetting the lost password. The new account will of course be empty, but from that new account, you may have more options for recovering the apparently lost home folder on the Hitachi. Honestly, at this point I don't know what those options might be.

  • 4. Re: Locked out of my user account - can anyone help please!?
    Sunnydayallday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks for your time and your help.

  • 5. Re: Locked out of my user account - can anyone help please!?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,205 points)

    Let me know how you make out.