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  1. #1
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?

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    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    Minimum knowledge base in the Apple world until deciding to take this a1466 EMC2925 home.
    No power, bought a charger and pushed the on button. No startup tones and no display, but could hear the fan.
    Bought a cover screw driver and opened it up. Coffee or similar brown liquid had been spilled and permeated interior, though not alot. It was extremely dry as if years ago. Cleaned it up best as could be and dang if it didn't start now and, went right to
    home page.
    I began searching for personal info and found very little of interest, security breaking, illegal, etc. except last date used early 2017. So began deleting personal files and photos. At this point password hadn't crossed my mind. Shut it off.
    The next day password was necessary. BOOM! That's the end of that. So this is what likely happened.
    Previous owner gave up on the poor thing and shelved it for 2 years, then decided to toss it while spring cleaning or something.
    Can only surmise why it went to homepage e.g. it was on when the damage occurred and shut down with the last memory of locked in place.
    Well last night went to Apple repair chat and gave them everything including a photo of screen on. The final word they gave me was NO. You can't get in.
    Tell me they lie, please. Soldering gun in hand!

  2. #2
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    IWT's Avatar
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    A warm welcome to Mac-Forums, stim. Thank you for your post.

    I have to say that I'm quite glad that Apple gave you the answer they did.

    Privacy and security are top priorities for Apple.

    From their perspective, someone could have stolen this Mac and made up stories about liquid spills and so on. This is not a reflection on you personally.

    I doubt there is a way round this. Certainly, I don't know of one.

    Sorry to be so negative, but security & privacy win out in this scenario.

    Ian
    Ian

  3. #3
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Apple will not help you unless you can prove it's yours and you can't prove it.

    If a password was in place, it should've stopped there the first time, not sure I understand why it didn't. Since after 2-3 years the battery was certainly dead and recharged so it would've been a fresh boot and nothing is remembered from previous instances.

    If you can determine the exact vintage of the Mac, maybe you can grab a copy of macOS from the App Store from another Mac and create a USB installer and then re-install macOS on it and go.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  4. #4
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?

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    IWT Since I gave them the previous owners name and internal info plus all my info, within 60 seconds they knew it wasn't reported stolen. No different than a computer bought used. So from this perspective I find a surfeit of paranoia at hand.
    Thanks Raz0rEdge- will keep in mind.

  5. #5
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    While your situation might be an exception, Apple wouldn't operate assuming that's the norm. The usual recommendation that we have for people who forget their password is to go to the local Apple store with proof of ownership in hand and have them deal with it.

    Either way, good luck on your journey with this Mac.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  6. #6
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Just some guesses:
    A) Can the hard drive be swapped for another? Would that negate the need for a password, or is that stored elsewhere?

    B) I suppose there is a PRAM battery hidden in there somewhere. If it's removed when the hard drive replaced, then reinstalled... maybe???

    C) Could an external hard drive be set up to boot this machine, then erase the existing hard drive?

    Again, I'm just guessing, but maybe one of the above would spark an idea that would actually work.

    It'll be interesting to hear how you solve the problem.

    Enjoy Today!
    Paul

  7. #7
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    @Paul,

    A) Maybe, depends on where the password is--for the account, yes, but if it's a firmware password, no.
    B) No removable battery that I have heard of in any recent MacbookPro.
    C) Again, depends on where the password was created.

    But most folks don't use a firmware password, so the most likely for A and C is yes, that may well work.
    Jake

  8. #8
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?

    Member Since
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    Hi @stim!

    I am new to the forums, and new to fixing MBs. I found a page for the A1466 here. I am still amazed you got it running after liquid damage by cleaning the parts off! You should play the lottery with that luck!

    Thankfully, the only saving grace for Apple is that they long ago adopted a linux variant (FreeBSD) to base their OS on, so all us Linux folks are all over the "MacOS"...

    There is one way that I have been able to break into and reset passwords, etc. on MBs, but untested on MB Airs. If you know the username (exactly), this link is simplest.

    The next way is if you do not know the username, or you just want to create a new administrator account on the box. I do this every time for customers, so I can always get back in when needed. It is essentially the same way as above, but instead of resetting an existing password (maybe you aren't suppose to log in as them, or you want to avoid a Gary Glitter situation, ...) you will be fooling the laptop into thinking it is brand new, and has never been set up. IOW, you are asking it to let you create the original account, which unfortunately (for repair techs, MSPs, etc.) is always an administrator... It may be useful in other situations?

    This link shows how to do it, and why it works. I found this link explains things nicely, so you can understand why it works, and what is happening on the OS, so you have an appreciation for the kind of damage you can do inadvertently.

    If you are really new to all this, I mean, like you've no idea what a "command line" is, this will still work, as it has screenshots/examples, and anyone can type things in. If you fat-finger anything, or the screen doesn't look like it does in the examples, start over-do not just keep typing things in, as you might not be in the right place in the file system. Always best to start over from a new boot.

    Disclaimer: Not knowing you, it is theoretically possible for you to wildly type all kinds of things out of confusion or rage, and as the root user cause damage to the file system by managing to delete some important files. It is a far-fetched scenario, but I don't know you. If you are in any way inclined to stray from the instructions, find someone who can do this. Any official Apple representative would be the last person on Earth I would suggest.

    Oh, and once you create this new user, log in as them, and then you can reset/change the target user's password with ease. If you are just getting into fixing other people's stuff, you will soon form your own 'code' for how you deal with the horrid things you will see. A good start is acting like you would want someone to act if they went through every single one of your files...

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Two threads I've read today now that use the word "shunt" and I have no idea what it means in either context
    Here's the other thread: Shunt resistor part numbers?
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

  10. #10
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?

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    @usagora,

    I authored that other post. A good link that explains what it is, and alternate uses is here.

    excerpt:

    What is a shunt in electronics?
    In this article is focused on shunt resistors, with the primary purpose to measure current. However, the meaning of the term shunt in electronics is broader than that. A shunt is an element that is used in a circuit to redirect current around another part. The areas of application vary widely. For some applications, electrical devices other than resistors can be used. A few examples are given to illustrate the diversity of shunts.

    Protecting a circuit against overvoltage
    A method to protect a circuit from a too high voltage is using a crowbar circuit. When the voltage gets too high, a device will short circuit. This results in the current flowing parallel to the circuit. This causes immediately a voltage drop in the circuit. The high current through the shunt should trigger a circuit breaker or a fuse.

    Bypassing a defective device
    When one element in a series circuit fails, it will break the complete circuit. A shunt can be used to overcome this problem. The higher voltage that exists due to the failure will cause the shunt to short out. The electricity will pass around the defective element. A good example of this is Christmas lighting.

    Bypass electrical noise
    Shunts with a capacitor are sometimes applied in circuits where high-frequency noise is a problem. Before the undesired signal reaches the circuit elements, the capacitor redirect the noise to the ground.
    Read more Shunt resistor >> Resistor Guide

    HTH!

    P.S. Back in the day, in Electronics school, we took a whole semester to design and build our own VOMs (Volt-Ohm-Meters), and you find out by looking at schematics that a shunt resistor is what makes the meters you use today possible!

  11. #11
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    usagora's Avatar
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    Thanks, Holes Flow. So in this thread, when the OP states "Password Shunt, Anyone?" he means, "Any way to bypass the password?"

    What are the chances of encountering that word (which I rarely hear used) in one day on this forum from two different people in two different contexts? LOL.
    Jonathan
    2019 iMac (27"/i9/64GB) | 2012 iMac (27"/i5/16GB) | 2013 MacBook Air (13"/i5/4GB) | iPhone SE (2020) | Apple Watch Series 4

  12. #12
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holes Flow View Post
    Hi @stim!

    I am new to the forums, and new to fixing MBs. I found a page for the A1466 here. I am still amazed you got it running after liquid damage by cleaning the parts off! You should play the lottery with that luck!

    Thankfully, the only saving grace for Apple is that they long ago adopted a linux variant (FreeBSD) to base their OS on, so all us Linux folks are all over the "MacOS"...

    There is one way that I have been able to break into and reset passwords, etc. on MBs, but untested on MB Airs. If you know the username (exactly), this link is simplest.

    The next way is if you do not know the username, or you just want to create a new administrator account on the box. I do this every time for customers, so I can always get back in when needed. It is essentially the same way as above, but instead of resetting an existing password (maybe you aren't suppose to log in as them, or you want to avoid a Gary Glitter situation, ...) you will be fooling the laptop into thinking it is brand new, and has never been set up. IOW, you are asking it to let you create the original account, which unfortunately (for repair techs, MSPs, etc.) is always an administrator... It may be useful in other situations?

    This link shows how to do it, and why it works. I found this link explains things nicely, so you can understand why it works, and what is happening on the OS, so you have an appreciation for the kind of damage you can do inadvertently.

    If you are really new to all this, I mean, like you've no idea what a "command line" is, this will still work, as it has screenshots/examples, and anyone can type things in. If you fat-finger anything, or the screen doesn't look like it does in the examples, start over-do not just keep typing things in, as you might not be in the right place in the file system. Always best to start over from a new boot.

    Disclaimer: Not knowing you, it is theoretically possible for you to wildly type all kinds of things out of confusion or rage, and as the root user cause damage to the file system by managing to delete some important files. It is a far-fetched scenario, but I don't know you. If you are in any way inclined to stray from the instructions, find someone who can do this. Any official Apple representative would be the last person on Earth I would suggest.

    Oh, and once you create this new user, log in as them, and then you can reset/change the target user's password with ease. If you are just getting into fixing other people's stuff, you will soon form your own 'code' for how you deal with the horrid things you will see. A good start is acting like you would want someone to act if they went through every single one of your files...

    Good luck!
    Read post #7.

    If the password is just an admin password, there are several ways to recover that or change it - actually easier than what was posted.
    But if the password is a firmware password, there is no way to reset that without proof of ownership.

    I thought Jake made that clear.
    You can also check this Apple article:
    How to set a firmware password on your Mac - Apple Support

  13. #13
    Macbook Air Found In Town Dump- Password Shunt, Anyone?

    Member Since
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    I can safely say that I have never read or heard the term 'password shunt' in 45 years in electronics/computing. I guess it is a viable phrase, but it hasn't caught on...

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