4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 2:03 PM by rccharles
Robin bobbin Level 1 (0 points)

I finally gave my old 1996 iMac away but she needs the intial password to get on and I have NO idea what it could be! Anyway to get on it?


I searched previous questions somewhat similar to this but didn't see anything. To top it off, we made a major move in 2005 and at least

one box was lost or after I got my new one in 2010 Ieither stored or tossed the old discs . . . I would like to think it was the first one. I

thank you for your time and hope you can help, otherwise I have to donate it to a tech who wants to make a fish bowl out of it! 

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), New at this part of things
  • John Galt Level 8 (44,705 points)

    Please read everything that follows before continuing. If you have only the one computer you should print this for reference.


    • You must first remove any firmware password, if one has been set, to be able to use this procedure.


    • Power on or restart your Mac.
    • At the chime or grey screen, hold and S on your keyboard to enter single-user mode.
    • At the localhost:/ root# prompt, type


    fsck -fy and press Return.


    This is a simple check for file system integrity and is optional. It may take a few minutes to complete. Be patient. If you get concerned that it has stalled press the Return key. When the integrity check completes pressing the Return key will result in the localhost prompt again.

    • At the localhost:/ root# prompt, type each of the following lines, exactly as written, one line at a time, each line followed by the Return key. There is a single space preceding the first "slash" ( / ) character in each line:


    mount -uw /

    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone



    The Mac will restart and begin the entire setup and registration process that a new Mac presents to a new user. Any pre-existing user accounts are still available, but without their passwords they will not be useful to you.


    Do not elect to transfer your information from another Mac. When you get to the "Do You Already Own a Mac" screen, select "Do not transfer my information" and press Continue. Have your existing Apple ID and password ready - do not create a new one unless that is what you really want to do.


    When it completes, log in under that new account. Use System Preferences > Accounts (or Users & Groups) to delete the User accounts that you no longer need.


    You must always include its original discs when giving away or selling any Mac that did not ship with Lion or later OS installed when it was built. That would make resetting the user's passwords a trivial matter.

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,090 points)

    The iMac first came out in August of 1998.  It came with classic.  You could upgrade to Mac OS x. The above procedure is for X.


    Mac OS 9.x

    See this site for disabling the password in Mac OS 9.1




    "If you're 'just' talking about your Multiple Users password, there is a simpler solution: start up from your MacOS Install CD, delete the Multiple Users preferences file, and restart from the hard drive." I copied this sentence from the post below.  Mac Fixit

    http://www.macfixitforums.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=Forum8&Number=824863&page= 0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=31&fpart=1"






  • Robin bobbin Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry, you are right. I got my first Mac in 1996 and my first iMac in 2002 or 3 . . . I will forward this onto Sue. I know it is silly but I've never had a computer crash and they become 'friends'! The only reason I got this one is because the old one could not handle the newer updates so I couldn't get to what do on the internet! The thought of the old one becoming a fish bowl. . .  

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,090 points)

    antique web browsers and slow speed are the two main problems with old machines.



    iCab - The Taxi for the Internet



    for PPC -- Tiger

    tenfourfox -- It's a port of the latest FireFox to run on older hardware and software.

    "World's most advanced web browser. Finely tuned for the Power PC."


    alternative download site:




    Mac OS 9

    Classilla is a free, open source browser for Mac OS 9