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Thread: Questions re passwords after getting back a stolen computer

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 26, 2011
    Questions re passwords after getting back a stolen computer

    I was wondering how easy is it for somebody to bypass the login password on an iMac using Mac OS X 10.5.8.

    Before my computer was stolen I'd set it up so you needed to enter a password before you even reached the desktop. They seemed to have no trouble getting around this.

    By looking at dates of files created and files last modified there seems to have been a six day gap between when when I'd last used it and when it was next used. Whoever received the stolen computer had set up an account of their own. Most of my stuff had been erased (everything in iTunes, iPhoto etc). The hard drive was almost scrubbed clean except for just a handful of my files.

    Originally I thought they had just erased the entire hard drive but there are still a few of my files on there which I take it must mean they erased most of the stuff through the trash can.

    Though before they pawned it, they failed to erase anything that they'd put on there.

    I'm also wondering if you can find out somehow on which dates the trash was emptied.

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    All it takes is an OS X disc to reset the password.

    I would suggest you immediately change all passwords to all accounts.

    As to knowing 'when' the trash was emptied - don't know, there may be in the logs somewhere, I've never gone looking for it - although, I don't see how that knowledge is going to serve any useful purpose.

    If you do not have a backup of the system prior to it's being stolen and you're wanting to see if you can retrieve any of your deleted data, you'll need to grab a data recovery application such as Data Rescue 3.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jun 04, 2011
    United Kingdom
    If you have a backup of your computer on something like Time Machine then format the drive and recover your data from that.

    Else as bobromay says, get some data recovery software to recover any deleted files on your Mac.

    If you're going down the data recovery route it's very important you stop using your Mac right now else you risk overwriting files that may be recoverable on your hard drive and once you do that it can be difficult to recover such files.
    My Personal WebSite: - Follow me on Twitter: @helpdeskrules

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jun 26, 2011
    Thank you. I need to re-set the administrator password and don't have the start-up disk. Is there a way I can do this without deleting any of the files on the computer?

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Yes. Try this hint from "Life Hacker". LINK

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Dec 16, 2011
    Unhappy iMac reset
    I am in a similar situation but the username and password have been changed. How can I get in if I don't have the current username or password??

  7. #7
    Jaypeanut: you don't, unless you have the original OS X DVD that came with the machine (or a retail copy of OS X). Then you can boot from the disc and reset the password.

    Aussieguy: get a retail copy of Snow Leopard for $30, you can reset the admin password from that DVD. I would suggest that once you recover whatever files you need, you should NUKE AND PAVE the hard drive and install a complete new system on it, then restore your apps and stuff from your backups.

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