4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 30, 2010 1:08 PM by mwood00
mwood00 Level 1 Level 1
Hello, I have an iMac Flat Panel 1Ghz I got off ebay. I don't know the admin username and password and performed the apple recommended startup in Single User using Control-s on startup. This worked fine as I now have reset this iMac to startup on the original Apple registration video. I fill in the new user registration info but it gets stuck or freezes up after I select this computer does not connect to the internet. Is there anything I can do before I buy a new hard drive? Any help is appreciated. I don't have the original system install disks and it has system Tiger 10.4 and it won't boot up from an install disk, it goes directly into the new registration video and gets stuck. Help!!

iMac Flat Panel 1Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9
    Welcome to Apple Discussions.
    mwood00 wrote:
    I don't have the original system install disks and it has system Tiger 10.4 and it won't boot up from an install disk

    It should always be included with a purchase. Call Apple, give them your serial number and they should send you the disks for a nominal charge.

  • rccharles Level 6 Level 6
    Classic Mac OS
    You can recreate the missing file.

    cd /var/db

    mac $ ls -la .AppleSetupDone 
    -rw-------   1 root  wheel  1060 Nov 24  2007 .AppleSetupDone

    pico .AppleSetupDone

    copy & paste this into pico:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
                    <string>1 St</string>

    *now type:*


    This information does not apply to accounts that have filevault. I do not believe that you can change the password to a filevault account with in these methods.

    Overview on how to fix password problems

    Try running repair permissions and check for file integrity in disk utility. You do this from your startup disk. Try resetting the password by using the passswd or try deleting the .applesetupdone file. If this doesn't work, you are going to have to trash the netinfo database. Once you get logged on, you will need to re-access your data.

    Disk Utility

    This article deals with disk recovery, it will tell you how to get to disk utility.

    Change Password

    Mac OS X:

    Changing or resetting an account password via GUI:
    Resetting a user's password
    Resetting the original administrator account password

    You do not have a CD/DVD
    Changing password from single user mode:
    You can also change the administrator's password from single user mode or create a new administrator account.

    You need to get into single use mode for steps one and two that are listed below.
    This page will tell you how to get into single user mode.

    Basically, you hold down the command-s key then powering on your machine. The command key has a little apple symbol on the lower left. It is between the alt/option key and the space bar. On a PC keyboard, it will be the windows key, I think.

    1) You can change the password on an account. ( Do you know Unix. You are in a Unix single user console. ) The setup commands you need should be listed on the screen. For Mac OS 10.4.11, the commands are:

    # Type the follow two instructions to access the startup disk in read/write:
    /sbin/fsck -fy
    /sbin/mount -uw /

    # Start up some utility processes that are needed.
    sh /etc/rc

    # You will probably need to press the return key once the system stops typing.

    # To find out the users on the system type, use the list command. The l is a lower case L:
    ls /Users

    # One of these accounts will be the administrator.

    # Pick one of the users which I'll call a-user-name and type it in this command:
    passwd a-user-name
    # and enter the new user password. You need six characters.
    # You will need to enter your password twice. Your typing will not show up on the screen just
    # press enter when you complete the typing.
    # For cryptic information on these commands try:
    man ls
    man passwd

    The root account isn't enabled by default. I am not sure if changing the password on root will enable it.

    2) Get the Mac to set up an additional administrative account. You can then change the password on your old account.

    Start with your computer power off. Hold down command-s. Power on your computer.

    Type in the following:

    The first two commands will depend on your release of Mac OS X. Look at what is typed out in the console to determine the exact format.
    # Type the follow two instructions to access the startup disk in read/write. Press return after each command.
    /sbin/fsck -fy
    /sbin/mount -uw /

    cd /var/db
    #List all files. The l is a lower case L.
    ls -a
    #The move command acts as a rename command in this format.
    mv -i .applesetupdone .applesetupdone.old


    Once you've done that the computer reboots and it's like the first time you used the machine. Your old accounts are all safe. From there you just change all other account passwords in the account preferences!!
    Limnos adds detailed explainations:

    The above the idea came from a post by JoseAranda at September 9, 2006 3:48 AM
    You will need to scroll down to see this post. Search for applesetupdone

    Or see:

    Once you have a new administrative account, you can change the password of your old administrative account
    blue apple > System Preferences > Accounts


    • You can see that it is easy to change your administrator password. You can set a firmware password that you enter before your machine will boot.

    • For the best data security, you should use FileVault. Create a good logon password. Define and use a good backup plan. I do not recommend using FileVault unless you really need the security because it is much harder to recover your data should you have a hard drive problem and you do not have your data backed up.
  • mwood00 Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks for the reply to get the original install disks from Apple, but this used mac has been updated to Tiger 10.4 before I bought it. Even if I did have the original disks, this mac is stuck on the new user registration video like on a new mac. This mac will not boot from an install Cd holding down the C key, it goes straight into the new register video automatically.
  • mwood00 Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks rccharles, I'll try your suggestions.