11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2013 1:39 PM by BDAqua
starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

I recently bought a used Mac from an acquaintance.   I am not able to install my programs because it keeps asking for an administrator and a password.   It's very unlikely I can find out this information.  Is there any way around this?   The fellow I bought it from says the administrator is a former client of his from years ago, and he has no idea what her password is.   I'm thinking I ought to be able to install simple programs without knowing this person's password.   Thanks...


PowerBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,770 points)

    This sounds highly suspicious to me. How has he been able to use it?

  • starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't know if it's "suspicious" -- he probably had it lying around the house for a while, not using it - maybe he never installed any programs of his own on it -- what I'm saying is, I have no idea.  One can still send/receive email, surf the web, etc.  It's not as though the computer is useless -- I just need to be able to install some programs on it.

     

    I found something similar on another forum that involves a reboot and holding down Apple-S for a while after I "hear the chime" and then typing in the following:

     

    mount-uw/

     

    rm/var/db/.AppleSetupDone

     

    shutdown=h now

     

    I'm trying this now.  So far I haven't "heard a chime" and it's a bit intimidating, as I've always run Windows machines and have never worked on a Mac before.  If anyone can help with this, I'd appreciate it...

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,770 points)

    Look to the right on this page under 'more like this'.

  • starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

    I did that already.  That's where I found the information I quoted in the previous post.  Here it is again:

     

    Reboot.

     

    After I "hear the chime" type in the folliowing:

     

    mount-uw/

     

    rm/var/db/.AppleSetupDone

     

    shutdown=h now

     

    This should enable me to create a new administrator and a password.    I'm still trying to do this, but whenever I type in "mount-uw/  I get a message that says "no such directory" or "directory unknown."

     

    I think the problem might be that I'm typing in "mount-uw" in the wrong spot somehow.   Again, any help with this will be appreciated.   Thanks...

  • starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

    Let me try to simplify this.  Here is the link to the information I've been trying to describe:

     

    http://gigaom.com/2008/06/22/reset-os-x-password-without-an-os-x-cd/

     

    I think it's explained pretty clearly there.   It's just that, I don't know where I'm supposed to type mount/rw and all that.  I get this black background with white lettering like I used to see on DOS windows and that kind of thing.  But I don't know how to navigate in that darkness -- I'm supposed to write "mount-uw" *somewhere* but I don't know where.  It says I'll get "prompts" but I don't get them.  

  • ~Bee Level 7 (31,425 points)

    I would take it to an Apple Store.  If it's an old PowerBook, and it's been "laying around" the batteries are most likely shot.  Did your friend have it plugged in?  Does the charger still work?  You can find all these answers and further help at the Apple Store.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Try hitting enter then jist type it being careful of spaces.

  • starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

    OK I'll try that & get back to you.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    mount-uw/

     

    Space after mount important.


  • starsworth Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, this is helpful.  I see what I did wrong now.

     

    Here's what we got:

     

    • mount -uw /
    • rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    • shutdown -h now

     

    I assume there's a space after "shutdown" as well.  This should work; if there's a problem, I'll get back to you.

     

    Thanks.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Looks good from here.