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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 19, 2007
    Posts
    3
    intel imac lost admin password
    iMac Intel core 2 duo 20 OS10.5.5

    I picked up this computer on an eBay auction. On receipt it works fine but it has no administrator password. I had not expected this to be a problem, as I was going to do an erase and install using system disks. However there is a problem. I cannot boot the computer up from disk using the c key, nor can I boot it in single user mode using cmd-s. Does this mean that the mac has had open firmware password protection activated, and if so is there any way I can install a new system without the admin password?

  2. #2

    Oneironaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Posts
    1,339
    Specs:
    21" iMac * 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i7 * 16GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 * 1TB HD *AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB
    From what I understand, the firmware password exists precisely to prevent anyone from booting up the system from even an installation disk. Contact the seller and ask for the password or send the computer back if he doesn't have it.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Sep 13, 2009
    Posts
    65
    Specs:
    2 GHz MacBook '07, 1.83 GHz Mac Mini '06, 700MHz Emac 2003, 400MHz Imac 2001
    Instead of holding c, press option. It's a second (and usually failsafe) way of booting for an installation disk.

  4. #4

    Collin Bl's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2009
    Location
    Napier NZ
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    3,297
    Specs:
    27 iMac i5, MBP 13 & iMac 20, 2TB dual TC, AppleTV, iPh4S
    Or connect to another Mac with iMac in Target mode - start and hold down T -then use disk utility to erase the HD

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    48,524
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    If a firmware password has been set, you can not use ordinary means to access the machine to make changes, and that includes target mode. Oneironaut's advice is spot on. If the previous owner can't give you the password, send the machine back.

    Please read the following Apple KB article regarding firmware password usage.

    Regards.

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,018
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB Flash Storage, 3.3Ghz, 16GB memory, OS X.11.5.
    As has been pointed out by chscag and Oneironaut, to get into the Firmware Password Application to disable, guess what? You have to be able to get in and with no password no getting in. Have a look at this link:-

    How To: Disable Mac OSX firmware password - FileCluster Reviews

  7. #7

    Oneironaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Posts
    1,339
    Specs:
    21" iMac * 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i7 * 16GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 * 1TB HD *AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB
    I wonder if it could be stolen?

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Mar 19, 2007
    Posts
    3
    iMac Intel core 2 duo 20” OS10.5.5

    I picked up the computer on an eBay auction. On receipt it works fine but I don’t know the administrator password. I had not expected this to be a problem, as I was going to do an erase and install using system disks. However there is a problem. I cannot boot the computer up from disk using the c key, nor can I boot it in single user mode using cmd-s. Does this mean that the mac has had open firmware password protection activated, and if so is there any way I can install a new system without the admin password?

    Yes to oneironaut I agree my concern is that this could be a stolen machine - I will be returning as the seller has misrepresented it on the auction site.
    Just out of interest how far would one have to go to disable the protection. for example were I too replace the hard disk with a new one?

  9. #9

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,018
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB Flash Storage, 3.3Ghz, 16GB memory, OS X.11.5.
    The fact you cannot boot from an install disc very much indicates what has been stated above. Send it back period.

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