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Knowledgebase: Mac Troubleshooting
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Posted by UCS IT Support 4 on 28 July 2009 01:05 PM

Resetting the original administrator account password

Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, that administrator account may be used to reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above.

  1. Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (one whose version is closest to the version of Mac OS X installed).  Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C). Or, you can use Startup Manager.
     
  2. Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue, then choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu (or from the Installer menu, if using Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier). Tip: If you don't see this menu or menu choice, you're probably not started from the CD yet. 

    Note
    : The default keyboard layout is U.S. English while started from the installation disc. If you use a keyboard layout other than U.S English, use the Input menu (the flag icon on the right side of the menu bar) to select the desired layout before typing a new password.
  3. Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
  4. Select the user name of your original administrator account.

    Important: Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually the root user. You should not confuse it with a normal administrator account.

  5. Enter a new password.
  6. Click Save.
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