3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2008 11:54 PM by Kappy
SoCalFrank1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Okay, after finding out my Yahoo Messenger -- which I accidentally deleted six months ago -- would not upgrade to the current old operating system (10.3.9) on my computer, I finally went out and just purchased the new 10.5.4 disc after the sales associate at the Apple Store showed me how easily the Yahoo IM upgrade was at one of the store's computers tonight. She speculated that is was my current old operating system that was preventing me from upgrading to the new Yahoo Messenger, thus the purchase of this new system upgrade.

Here are my issues: I would like a new "Master Password" (Why does one need one again?), which I've forgotten long ago, even with the hint box. The saleswoman at the Apple store told me I must reboot my current 10.3.9 system in order to enter a new Master Password. The problem is that I can't find this original Start-Up disk to reboot my system, enter a new Master Password, and then upgrade to this new 10.5.4 system.

Was she right? Do I need the original Start-Up disk to re-enter a new Master Password or will the new disk allow me to?

What are Master Passwords for?

Also, can I leapfrog this much (from 10.3.9 to 10.5.4) without any major problems or issues?

Thank you.

Message was edited by: SoCalFrank1

G-5 Imac, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (262,905 points)
    There are two Master Passwords you can set. One is for FileVault which did not exist with Panther. The other is the Open Firmware Password. This password is required to startup your Mac. Without it you cannot boot the computer. If you don't know your Master Password then you would not be able to startup your Mac, boot from an installer disc, etc. I'm guessing you really mean the admin password used for your user account. You can change your password using the Leopard installer disc. You don't need your old discs.

    However, I would suggest you backup your personal files and data, then erase your drive and install Leopard from scratch. This will get you off to a new, fresh start with Leopard. Many your old third-party apps will need to be upgraded, anyway. This also assures your hard disk is clear of any possible data corruption that could mar the upgrade to Leopard.

    If you aren't willing to take the above suggestion, then install Leopard as follows:

    How to Perform an Archive and Install

    An Archive and Install will NOT erase your hard drive, but you must have sufficient free space for a second OS X installation which could be from 3-9 GBs depending upon the version of OS X and selected installation options. The free space requirement is over and above normal free space requirements which should be at least 6-10 GBs. Read all the linked references carefully before proceeding.

    1. Be sure to use Disk Utility first to repair the disk before performing the Archive and Install.

    Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions

    Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger.) After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported, then quit DU and return to the installer.

    2. Do not proceed with an Archive and Install if DU reports errors it cannot fix. In that case use Disk Warrior and/or TechTool Pro to repair the hard drive. If neither can repair the drive, then you will have to erase the drive and reinstall from scratch.

    3. Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When you reach the screen to select a destination drive click once on the destination drive then click on the Option button. Select the Archive and Install option. You have an option to preserve users and network preferences. Only select this option if you are sure you have no corrupted files in your user accounts. Otherwise leave this option unchecked. Click on the OK button and continue with the OS X Installation.

    4. Upon completion of the Archive and Install you will have a Previous System Folder in the root directory. You should retain the PSF until you are sure you do not need to manually transfer any items from the PSF to your newly installed system.

    5. After moving any items you want to keep from the PSF you should delete it. You can back it up if you prefer, but you must delete it from the hard drive.

    6. You can now download a Combo Updater directly from Apple's download site to update your new system to the desired version as well as install any security or other updates. You can also do this using Software Update.
  • SoCalFrank1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After spending three hours going through corridors of my mind I had not ventured into since I bought this computer nearly four years ago, I finally stumbled onto the Master Password. ...I can't believe I picked a certain woman's name, who stood me up many times back then as a password.

    That being said and resolved, how does one go about backing up data? All I've ever used this iMac for was for email, uploading pictures, and the internet, so you're speaking Chinese to me at the moment with talk of FileVaults, reboots, installer discs, zip files, and on. I know nothing about backing up data as I am the consumate techno-phobe, thus extremely wary and ignorant about computers, including these user friendly advanced Macs (Which is the main reason I went with Macs to begin with years ago). How would I go about backing up, say, my bookmarks, or my hundreds of pictures? What do I need to buy to make that happen?

    I'm getting the sense that I should maybe go with a "clean install" and nix the idea of upgrading using the archive route. How much would/should a local Apple shop charge for such an install given I already have bought the 10.5.4 disk already?

    Go layman with me. Speak to me as if I were 12.


    (Where can I see how much memory I have also?)

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (262,905 points)
    For just your data such as your pictures you can just copy them to an external hard drive if you have one.

    To do a clean install is easy. Boot from the Leopard installer DVD and just follow instructions until you get to the place where you are supposed to select a destination or target drive. Select the target then click on the Option button. Select the Erase and Install option and click on the OK button. Then proceed with the installation. It should all be automatic. After the installation is completed the computer will restart. You will then see the Setup Assistant which will take you the rest of the way. You will be able to choose the name to use for your Home folder and the password to use for your admin account.

    Booting From An OS X Installer Disc

    1. Insert OS X Installer Disc into the optical drive.
    2. Restart the computer.
    3. Immediately after the chime press and hold down the "C" key.
    4. Release the key when the spinning gear below the dark gray Apple logo appears.
    5. Wait for installer to finish loading.