9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 3, 2013 10:14 AM by BDAqua
blew42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Erased hard drive completely, trashed and deleted everything, then resinstalled OS10.2. When machine boots up, it asks for user and password. None of my user account info will work, including the original one I had when computer was new.  any ideas on how I can 1) retireve user/pw data or 2) Activate a new user/pw account??

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), actually it's a emac
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,415 points)

    Hello, not positive about 10.2, but I think this'll work...


    Reset OS X Password Without an OS X CD...




    Admin Hack...




    Starts up like the first time you buy a new Mac, but after filling in all that info again, you should have access to the computer and the other Users & files will still be there... give the new User a different name than an existing one.

  • blew42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    worked fantastically, new user added, old user accounts successfully deleted!  I have been trying to erase/delete/wipe all my data off computer so I can donate it, not as easy as I thought, in process got into trouble. Your method of retrieving user accounts was effective, and I appreciate it! ;-)


    Message was edited by: blew42

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,415 points)

    Great news, thanks!


    Now see if Disk Utility in 10.2 has a Secure Erase Free Space option so that stuff cannot be recovered.

  • blew42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, I'm in OS10.2 disc utility, and it does not have  Secure Erase Free Space option.


    The sidebar shows 1 disc - a hardisc icon labelled 55.9GB, and 1 volume, hard disc icon with Macintosh HD label. Opening the erase tab displays a box in which all the options are greyed out and it is not possible to  select or add anything.  The disc utility box padlock  is unlocked, so if should be able to use the erase tab, 10.2 permits it?


    the erase tab box shows "volume format" as "Mac OS standard" and is greyed out, but there are arrows to select other options if it was not greyed out. There is a box for "name" below it, it is blank, but I can't  write in it. There are "options" and "erase' buttons at bottom, but they too are greyed out.


    Info in the box states that to erase a disc or volume, select the appropriate format and name and click the erase button. I have tried that, but all the options remain greyed out.  Other info states that erasing a disc results is all volumes of that disc being erased and one large volume being created on that disc.  Erasing a volume results in a clean volume being created.


    This is where I got messed up before,  OS10.2  does not seem to have a  Secure Erase feature, at least I could not find it and I searched all over the system, even trying Help.  So I made a DMG and filled it to the brim with everything  on the computer until it nearly equaled the amount of available disc space, and then erased that -- evidently including user accounts.


    So the question is, if Secure Erase is not part of OS10.2 and if the entire hard drive, including applications and system data were deleted, would that indicate that data is not recoverable, in light of fact that I have deleted my user accounts?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,415 points)

    I think it may not be there before 10.4, but good move to make a big DMG, maybe of Zeros, then copy it until Disk is nearly full, then trash them & empty trash.

  • blew42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks for the tips, that is essentially what I've done -- made a huge DMG, then dragged it to trash and emptied trash. I tried to make sure I trashed and deleted everything which would go into DMG and trash, then dumped it. Somewhere along the line I managed to trash user info, which is why I had to ask about retrieving that info. I'm hoping that is sufficient, I have been told that there is some  relatively cheap software available that can retrieve non secure info deleted from a computer, so hopefully this will do it.  But just to check once more, is there any way to tell if personal items have been securely deleted?   In the future I will be sure to use proper procedure first, rather than backtracking!  Thanks again, supply me with any more suggestions you feel I could use ;-)

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,415 points)

    I don't know ofany still available for 10.2, but if you had another Mac & Target mode....




    (Has a Free Demo to see if it could or not.

  • blew42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK thanks once again! The Data Rescue device is available from Apple store, tech specs state that it is compatible with OS10.5 and above. I have had older equipment and software which will not work with later versions of Mac, so it looks like "obsolecence engineering" may have beneficial effect here. Reviews of the device are generally positive, but that the time involved can be considerable, in addition that file names will not be the same. Also, most reviews talk about accidental deletion of data, rather than intentional.  So it looks like  that 1)  if someone could get the device to work with 10.2OS,  2) was willing to invest the time necessary to extract data and 3) knew exactly what to look for amongst the newly named files -- I believe that something like 209,000 were in the DMG I trashed and deleted, that it is at least posssible to recover at least some of the files.  In fact in some respects the process seems to be what I did in reverse, i.e. start where I ended and work backwards from there. I don't have the secret formula for Coca Cola or instructions for how to hack into the Pentagon's computers, etc, etc on my computer, so I think it would likley be a giant  waste of time considering what kind data could be retireved.  At this point I'm fairly well satisfied that whatever was/may be still on the machine is safe from prying eyes.  Thanks again your information has been really helpful!

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,415 points)

    thanks, I do think you're reasonably safe!