11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2013 6:32 AM by enaid 204
enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

After my password didn't work (I know, I probably changed it and forgot).  I tried to reset it using varous methods

and have obviously messed things up completely.  All I get now on the screen is a picture of a drum, my name

underneath and a space for 'password'. Of course, I don't know the password.  I tried the Command and "R" as

suggested in a previous post, but it doesn't work.  Is this where I have to take it to the Apple Store and hope they

can do something?  Rather embarrassing!

MacBook Air
  • applemachanic Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)


    It's not a drum you're seeing but a padlock sign right? If so then it looks like you need to enter the firmware password which you probably don't know you have


    Is your MacBook Air a later i5 model or earlier Intel core 2 Duo?


  • enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Not sure what model.  It is less than a year old.  No, it' not a padlock, definitely a drum.

    I have seen it in the past but can't recall when, mabe when I first got it.  Sorry I'm a

    little vague - not very computer literate.

  • applemachanic Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Ahh ok so then it's not a firmware issue - it just wants your password and the drum is your user icon - that through me for a bit !

    You said you couldn't Apple R on start up ? That's odd - when you try to enter a password does it not give you a hint ?

    I guess you may have to take it to Apple if none of those options worked



  • enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes it does give me a hint but I guess it wasn't a good enough hint as I can't

    understand it.

    This is all making me feel very stupid.

    Thanks, anyway, for trying to help. 

  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7 (20,495 points)

    You say that Recovery doesn't work - what about Internet Recovery (which should happen automatically if normal Recovery is unavailable, although Command Option R at startup should choose it)  or  Single User ?



    OS X Internet Recovery

    New Mac models introduced after public availability of OS X Lion include the ability to start up directly from an Internet-based version of the OS X Recovery system. OS X automatically uses this feature when the Recovery System on the hard disk isn't available (such as when your hard disk encounters an issue, or when your hard disk has been replaced or erased). OS X Internet Recovery lets you start your Mac directly from Apple's Servers. The system runs a quick test of your memory and hard drive to ensure there are no hardware issues.

  • enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much for this Andy.  After a few false starts, this worked perfectly.  I then closed

    the lid of my  macbook air and it went back to when this all started, asking for my passport, which I don't have.  I have tried again a few times but I can't get it to work again.

    I did take it to the Apple store before I got on to this site and the same thing happened.  They got it

    working but when I got it home and opened the lid, it had gone back again.

    I guess this now means another trip to the Apple Store.

  • applemachanic Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    If you managed to get into Internet recovery could you not reset the password at that stage ?


  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7 (20,495 points)

    If you can leave it started in Recovery, Internet Recovery, or Single user - then the user login password can be reset to something you know.

  • enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After leaving things alone for a few hours, I came back and eventually got everything back again using 'safe boot', except if I try to change my password it asks for my previous password which I don't have so it won't let me put in a new one.

    I am leaving the lid open as I'm afraid I might lose everything again if I close it  - Spoke too soon! My screen just disappeared and, once again, I'm back to square one.  Apple Store here I come - hopefully not for a new macbook air!

    Thanks so much for trying to help Andy.  What you suggested worked - it just kept disappearing after a few minutes. A stiff drink is now called for, and back to the old desktop for now.


  • andyBall_uk Level 7 Level 7 (20,495 points)

    I'm not clear on whether or not you have been able to start in Recovery... if you do manage to, then choose Terminal from Utilities there &  type resetpassword then press enter. Choose your username & follow the prompts.


    You should be able to start the computer & then press & hold Alt/Option as soon as you hear the chime - this should give a choice of startup disks, including the Recovery partition, if present.

  • enaid 204 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've tried a few times since my last post, using various methods and nothing has worked.  I'm not very computer literate so I'm afraid I'll just make things worse if I keep messing around.  I'm now on my way out to Apple. My Macbook is still under warranty so it's no problem.

    Thank you again for helping.  Your method did work, it's just me being a clutz.