11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2009 2:12 AM by R C-R
AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
After re-booting I found I was in the guest account. So after going into the accounts manager I clicked on my user account only to find it wants my password....but after entering it I get the shaker routine. After clicking on the padlock it won't recognize my password any more, so what to do now? I used my old Leopard disk to re enter the password, but it won't allow that either. I now have a Snow Leopard upgraded? machine which won't let me access it. What good is this thing now?

Soooo...what are my options? Is there a way to get back into my account? Do I just need to do a clean install? Can I get my saved data off Time Machine backups, even if I can't get to my original user account? HELP!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    try resetting your account password while booted from the snow leopard (not leopard) install DVD. boot from the DVD and use the password reset utility in the Utilities menu. also, while you are there enable root by setting a password for System Administrator (root) account. if resetting your main account password doesn't work, you can log in as root. we can deal with the issue from there.
    so reset you user password and set a root password. then reboot from the main drive and see if you can log into your main account. and don't panic. you've got a TM backup. in the worst case you can erase your current system and restore the whole system from a TM backup.
  • AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, VK. I did try that also, but only had the option to re-install SL. So I went through that routine and did get into the utilities to try to re-set the PW. But no luck there, either. Did I miss something by not trying re-setting a PW in the Admin. Account? Anything else to try? I'm wondering if Bill Gates was consulting on this new Opsys? YaThink?
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    AlanteMan wrote:
    Thanks, VK. I did try that also, but only had the option to re-install SL.

    hah? you totally lost me. please explain clearly what's going on.

    So I went through that routine and did get into the utilities to try to re-set the PW. But no luck there, either.


    did you activate root as I told you?
  • AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oops! Sorry about that. I did this several days ago and can't remember exactly what happened. But as I remember, it simply led me down the road of re-installing SL. I don't remember it giving me any other options, but I can try it again, using the info you've given me which I thank you for.

    I'm traveling this weekend, so may not have time to get back into this for a couple days. Thanks again.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,225 points)
    The Snow Leopard installer application ("Install Mac OS X") should have a "Utilities..." button in the lower left of its first screen, in line with the "Continue" button on the right. Click the "Utilities..." button & follow the onscreen instructions. This will include a restart.
  • AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I tried the password reset under Utilities, but it won't accept, saying I need a new keychain PW reset. Where is this keychain reset option located ? Thanks.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,225 points)
    Please try the procedure again. This time write down the exact message you get & post it here.
  • AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK, so here it is:

    "Password Saved
    The password you entered has been saved for the user(My Name). Resetting a user's password does not change the password for the user's login keychain so it will not be unlocked automatically.

    Use keychain access to reset the password for the user's login keychain."

    So where is this keychain access? Thanks.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,225 points)
    1. Your account password was reset & the new one saved (It tells you "Password Saved"). That's a lot different from "it won't accept." If you want quick & effective help, please try to provide reasonably accurate info.

    2. I'm sure that if you look carefully, you will see that "keychain access" in the message is capitalized ("Keychain Access"). That is because it is the name of an application. You will find it in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder.

    Tip #1: when you are looking for something like this on your Mac, just click on the Spotlight icon in the upper right corner of the screen & type it (or the first part of it) into the search box. If it is an application name, you will see it listed as such in the Spotlight results. Just scroll down to it & click to launch it.

    Tip #2: If you need more info about an application procedure, you can use the Help menu in a similar way to Spotlight to get it. Here, try typing "change password" into the Keychain Access help search box.
  • AlanteMan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, if I can't get into the right (admin) user account, I cannot access that keychain either. So that makes this SL app a piece of s...!
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,225 points)
    You can log into the admin account with the new login password you saved for it. You can then launch Keychain Access & change the password for that account's keychain to the same thing. Otherwise, every time you do something that requires a password saved in that keychain, you will be asked for the keychain's password.

    There is nothing wrong with the utility app, just with your understanding of passwords & what they protect. The account's login password & those for any keychains it owns are different things & do not have to be the same -- they sometimes are not for increased security. For convenience, the default keychain is initially created with the account's password, but it isn't automatically reset to that value by the utility, again for security reasons.

    You don't have to know this to follow the instructions Apple provides but if you want to learn more about it the built-in Help System provides that, or you can purchase a book like "Snow Leopard for Dummies" or one of the "Missing Manual" series for more in depth or simplified treatments of the subject.