unlocking the magic box
January 26, 2008 9:21 PM   Subscribe

my work threw out an old g4 imac (the dome with the flat-panel type) and i took it home (with their permission). unfortunately, when i boot it up, the only option it gives me is to sign in under the admin, and i don't know that password. our IT guy wasn't too much help.

how can i reset this imac? the IT guy seems reluctant to give me the pw, which i can understand. he's also pretty busy, so i can't really bring it in and ask him to do anything to it. i mean, i got it for free. :)

i have an os X install disk from my old g3 ibook (it's just 10.1). i'm also using a windows keyboard with it. i don't want to spend a lot of money trying to get this to work -- we're only using it until april, when we get our tax returns back and we can go buy a new imac. i tried holding down the "c" key while restarting with the os X install disk in the drive, but it didn't boot from the install disk like it's supposed to. what other options do i have? i can't even get past the login screen!
posted by kerning to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
An OS X install disc should allow you to reset the admin password. However, an iBook disc may not work. Try to get your hands on a generic OS X install disc.

Another thing to try: if you have access to another Mac, you can boot in target disk mode (hold down the "T" key while booting up the iMac; connect the machine via FireWire to the other Mac) and then, once the iMac boots as a hard drive on the other machine, use the OS X install disc there.

Finally, a third option that requires target disk mode and another computer but no OS X CD: use a backup app like SuperDuper! to erase the iMac's hard drive and mirror the hard drive of your other computer.

Good luck!
posted by thejoshu at 9:33 PM on January 26, 2008

Here's a link to instructions for booting from an install CD as mentioned above.
posted by The Deej at 9:34 PM on January 26, 2008

Best answer: Try this procedure. I've used it and it worked fine.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:35 PM on January 26, 2008

You can always have some "random act of kindness type dude" lend you an OS X disc that will work correctly. It would be the easiest approach.
Email me your address if you need it: DrRick007@Gmail.com
Put RAOKTD in the RE so I look at it.
posted by DrRick007 at 12:01 PM on February 1, 2008

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