OS X has forgotten my password
May 15, 2007 6:35 AM   Subscribe

I put my g4 ibook to sleep yesterday, and when I tried to use it later that evening, it didn't recognize my password. Googling brought up this which seems like it might be on the right track, but i have no real idea. I don't know where my install CDs are, so I can't use the password recovery utility.

Right now, i'm thinking I could take the laptop over to my local mac-specialist and have them reset the password, or I could try and replace my netinfo db. If I go with the latter course, can I just boot up into single-user mode, or do I need to use firewire and remote disc mode or something and access my harddrive from another machine?

Am I entirely wrong and this is just something else? I'm currently writing this from a guest account on the same computer, so it seems everything else is working fine.
posted by cmyr to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This just happened to me with my PC. It turned out that one of my keys was sticking, and even though I typed my password in over and over, it didn't recognize the one key so kept reporting that my password was incorrect. I eventually watched each dot appear as I typed the password, and noticed the last keystroke wasn't registering.

I would check something simple like this if you haven't already.
posted by genefinder at 6:42 AM on May 15, 2007

If you can't get hold of the install discs, definitely go the dealer route. They shouldn't charge you much and it's a snap to reset the password with the installer cd.
posted by dickyvibe at 7:16 AM on May 15, 2007

Best answer: Yeah, if you have the CD, this should take about five minutes to fix and most of that is the time it takes to boot into the disc.

Something I do (and recommend) is to have a second admin account on the computer with a different password. This works for me because I have six levels of password security: the highest level is for the extra account and it's a password used in just three places (and, therefore, one I change very, very rarely and am very likely to remember).
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:47 AM on May 15, 2007

PS: Whatever you do, don't try to replace the Netinfo DB. Danger!
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:48 AM on May 15, 2007

Response by poster: sounds settled then, thanks for the input.
posted by cmyr at 7:56 AM on May 15, 2007

This actually just happened to me today, too, on an intel MacBook Pro.

To recover, I booted into single-user mode (hold Cmd-S on powerup), followed the fsck / mount / /etc/rc instructions in the startup messages. A quick "passwd {username}" at the prompt later and I was back in business.

Still not sure what happened.
posted by deusx at 4:52 PM on May 15, 2007

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