11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 11, 2008 10:22 AM by aga
pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
Hello Friends,

If I have forgotten the firmware password, along with the user login password, what can I do? I would like to reinstall the OS (via DVD), yet like the true professional that I am - I have locked myself out.

Please advise.

Ryan

2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (244,495 points)
    There is no easy solution to this problem. You will need to call AppleCare to find out how to recover from a lost Firmware password. This is one password you don't want to forget.
  • pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    I sat down, meditated briefly, visualized myself knowing the password - then shazzam, I got it!

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (244,495 points)
    Or remember the password. That works, too.
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    actually, you can reset it provided you know your admin password. if you forgot both you are indeed in trouble. if you know the admin password, insert the leopard install DVD and designate it as the startup drive in system preferences. you'll need the admin password for that. restart. this will boot you into the install DVD. use the firmware password utility to reset the firmware password, reset the startup disk to the internal one and reboot.
  • Jon F. Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Without the Firmware password you will not be able to boot from the install DVD. You will need to make a change to the system RAM configuration to reset the password. Your local Apple Store or authorized repair center can help you.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    Jon F.'s reply points out something that users relying on the Firmware Password for security should remember: it can be defeated if someone has unobserved physical access to the computer, an appropriate DVD, & a enough time & knowledge.

    As Setting up firmware password protection in Mac OS X makes clear, "Open Firmware Password Protection can only effectively protect a computer that enjoys some degree of physical security."
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    Jon F. wrote:
    Without the Firmware password you will not be able to boot from the install DVD.

    yes, you will provided you know the admin password. you can then change the startup disk to the DVd in system preferences or simply start the Firmware password utility from the DVD which doesn't even require rebooting. what you can't do is reboot normally and then select the DVD as boot disk by holding either C or option.

    You will need to make a change to the system RAM configuration to reset the password. Your local Apple Store or authorized repair center can help you.
  • pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    oops

    Message was edited by: pianoman1976
  • pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    A CIA mentor of mine once said that no computer is safe, regardless of your security implementation, even if your box is unplugged and buried 10 feet into the earth.

    I have found that security concerns can best be remedied by letting go of said security concerns.

    I think it was the Buddha that said that it is your resistance to what-is that is causing your suffering.

    I have since removed my firmware password.

    Message was edited by: pianoman1976
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    There is no such thing as absolute security. However, your goal should be to make your system secure enough that the effort required to breach it is not justified by what is gained by doing so. (This is true for all forms of security, including home security, personal security, etc.)

    IOW, if you store valuable trade secrets on your computer, you need to implement greater security measures than if you just store personal info. But unless you store no personal info at all, you need some security measures in place, because there are nasty people in the world looking for easy targets & you don't want to be one of them.

    Consider that even casual information in email can be used for criminal purposes: a thief would find it useful to know that someone is not going to be home some night, that they just bought an expensive home entertainment system, etc.

    There is no reason to become paranoid about it, but it is prudent to remember that almost any information is valuable to someone, so you should not make it overly easy for them to get it.
  • aga Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I was able to pull one out one RAM card so that I could do a command-option-P-R (PRAM reset) while starting up the computer. When you hear the startup tone twice, you can stop holding down the command-option-P-R keys upon startup. Now you should be able to startup off an OS X install DVD no problem. They key is resetting the PRAM, where all the Firmware parameters are stored. Turn off the laptop and replace the RAM card. This fixes the problem.