4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 1, 2007 9:44 PM by Kappy
davidw Level 1 (5 points)
My haddrive on my iMac G-5 recently died. I took my iMac to an aurthorized Apple dealer. They had to trash my old harddrive (couldn't even run data recovery) and install a new one. They also installed the operating system (OSX Tiger). However, I have now gone to my Install Discs to install my bundled software (mainly iLife) and the admin dialog box comes up asking for the password. Nothing unexpected, however, I don't know the admin password since someone at the Mac dealer did the install. Am I missing something obvious? It has been several years since I set the iMac up I do not remember the steps I took to set up my account. Any helpful hints or suggestions?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    This article will explain how to change the user password.
  • davidw Level 1 (5 points)

    Message was edited by: davidw
  • davidw Level 1 (5 points)
    I followed the instructions in the article you posted and was able to set up a ne wpassword for the admin. HOwever, now I have a new problem. Whenever I boot up it is asking me for my password. How can I defeat this?

    I followed the steps in this article (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301364) as suggested in the artcel you forwarded to me. However, I cannot seem to get where I need to be.

    Now when I open Safari, it is asking me for a password. How des this Keychain process work?
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    It's hard to really know how to help you. I can simply offer some additional reading material in which you may find a solution:

    Assuming that you are using a recent build of OS X, go to /Applications/Utilities and launch the app called Keychain Access. Go to the Window pulldown menu and select "Keychain First Aid". Enter your password, set the radio button to "Repair", and click "Start".

    Symptom: After applying an update or some kind of instance where a shutdown occurred, upon rebooting, Mac OS X will demand a password for System.keychain. No password will ever work, not even root.


    WARNING: This assumes that you are competent with the command line AND you have a working copy of OS X somewhere else nearby, preferably on an external disk partition. I'm not going to explain the basics of using the Terminal or how to access both of your systems at the same time. If you are afraid of screwing up, simply reinstall Mac OS X and say a few prayers that it will fix itself (assuming that another Software Update won't mess it up again).

    The problem lies with a file deep in the bowels of OS X. It's /var/db/SystemKey. What it does is that it tells Mac OS X how to unlock the system keychain. It only knows the System.keychain specific to the computer, so if you import another System.keychain as a replacement, SystemKey won't know how to unlock it and you'll keep getting the annoying dialogs prompting for System.keychain's password.

    So without further ado, this is how to stop the annoying dialogs once and for all:

    1. AS THE ROOT USER, you will need to copy over /var/db/SystemKey from a known good system to your problematic system. Make sure that you preserve the permissions (0400). It is advisable that you are NOT booted from your problematic system.

    2. If you have a good System.keychain, copy that over to /Library/Keychains on the problem system. If you accidentally deleted System.keychain, you can execute the following (again AS ROOT):

    +/usr/sbin/systemkeychain -C -f+

    This creates a new, working, empty System.keychain and effectively overwrites the old keychain.

    3. Reboot to your system. You will be presented with different, more familiar (Change, Change All) dialogs. If you had any passwords saved in your list of preferred networks, just put them back in.

    How to remove and recreate an inaccessible keychain