iBook G4 Password Change

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I have an iBook G4 with OS X that has previous users which I would like to remove, and an Administrator whose password I do not know. I've been a PC user and am not familiar with Macs, but would like to use this great little machine.

I have no OS disk.

I've read some of the previous responses to this question, and tried to follow directions, but I can't get to the list of users, or make any password changes. When I boot to prompts, the prompt I get is Localhost:/ root#
In the list of messages, one says: "Root device is mounted read-only."

Is there a way I can change passwords?
Thanks!
Marc

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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What process have you been fo

What process have you been following to get to a command prompt? It doesn't sound like you've booted into single-user mode, which IIRC the password-reset procedure is based on. (Single-user mode is akin to Safe Mode in Windows -- sounds like you've instead mounted the filesystem as read-only, which normally only happens when a Unix startup disk check fails.)

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iBook boot process.

Thanks for getting back to me!

I held down the Command button (the one with the apple) and the "S" key as the computer began booting up. When the text appeared, there was a lot of stuff that made no sense (to me), but ended with the Localhost prompt: root#

By typing: run '/sbin/fsck I could get to >

Following instructions that I found on this site, like: mount -uw /'
got me no where.

Marc

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OK, after booting by holding

OK, after booting by holding down Command-S, try:

sh /etc/rc
passwd username
reboot

...where username is the username of the account whose password you want to reset.

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Applefritter Admin

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Booting the iBook G4

OK. At the > prompt, I typed sh /etc/rc then hit return.
I got the > prompt

Then I typed passwd followed by the name of the user I wanted to replace, for example: John passwd John

Then I hit return. I got the same prompt: >

Then I turned off the machine. Then I restarted. The screen came up the same as before with users the same as they had been ... including "John." By the way, there are 3 users.

I guess I'm missing something!

Thanks!

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OK, since you plan to ultimat

OK, since you plan to ultimately remove the user accounts anyway, perhaps the best approach is to re-run the initial OS X setup wizard (that normally appears after you've installed OS X):

Boot to Single User Mode (Command-S as you've been doing), then:

mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
shutdown -h now

Pay close attention to those commands -- there's a space between mount and -uw, and a space between -uw and the forward slash. Also, on the second command, note the space between rm and /var, and also the period before AppleSetupDone. The "shutdown -h now" is a standard Unix command to halt (shut down) the system. It's best to let the hardware power itself down (since there's filesystem cleanup/checks/dismounts that need to happen at shutdown), instead of simply holding the power button until the machine clicks off.

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Applefritter Admin

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iBook G4

That did it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I appreciate all your help ... and especially your patient and clear explanations. Now I'll see if I can master the use of my first Mac!

Have a great day,
Marc

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iBook G4 I'm back!

My question now has to do with previous users, and the previous Administrator. I noticed that, while I have added myself as a new user, the previous users and Administrator remain ... however, I have no access to their files. Can I replace the previous Administrator and/or delete the other previous users?

Thanks again!
Marc

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You can have multiple adminis

You can have multiple administrator-level accounts in OS X, so you don't really need to "replace" the existing admin account...the account you created during the setup wizard should have admin-level privileges.

Here's a nice index of all the different things you can do with user accounts in OS X, with guides:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3309

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