1 Reply Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 3:17 PM by Kappy
pc930 Level 1 (0 points)

I have an imac 2009 the disk drive is damaged and I have lost the passwords I need to reset passwords I tried booting with a macosx disk from an external hard drive but did not read the drive how else can I reset password ?

I have a 2012 mac book pro can I use that to connect with firewire and load osx that way? and how woudl I do that?

Thanks so much!

iMac, iOS 6.1, reset password with damaged disk di
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)

    To what password are you referring? Do you mean your user account's admin password? Or do you mean the master password for File Vault or do you mean a Firmware Password?


    For an admin password:


    Forgot Your Account Password


    For Snow Leopard and earlier


         Mac OS X 10.6- If you forget your administrator password


    For Lion/Mountain Lion


        Boot to the Recovery HD:


    Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.


         When the menubar appears select Terminal from the Utilities menu.

         Enter resetpassword at the prompt and press RETURN. Follow

         instructions in the dialog window that will appear.


         Or see Reset a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Password and

         OS X Lion- Apple ID can be used to reset your user account password.


    If you cannot do the above then try this:


      1. Boot to Safe Mode by restarting and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND-S keys until a black screen with white type appears.


      2. At the prompt, type the following commands pressing return after each command line:


         /sbin/fsck -yf


         If you do not receive a "Filesystem OK" message then repeat this command until

         you do.  If after seven tries you still do not receive a "Filesystem OK" message,

         then the system is corrupted and needs to be reinstalled.


         mount -uw /

         cd /private/var/db/netinfo

         mv local.nidb local.old

         rm ../.AppleSetupDone

         shutdown -r now


    The second-to-last command above will cause OS X to think that the operating system is newly installed, and when the new owner starts up the computer it will send him/her to the startup wizard where he/she can start a new user without reinstalling.


    This last method does not actually change a password. It simply removes the user accounts and lets you create an initial admin account as if the computer were new out of the box.


    How to reset the OS X password without a startup CD:

    Reboot into Single-user Mode. Enter the following and press RETURN after each command line


       1. Type fsck -fy

       2. Type mount -uw /

       3. Type passwd <username>


    I have never tried this method myself.