Today I bought an ibook G4 from a garage sale. The people who sold it to me didn't know the password for the 2 accounts on it. Apparently it was the guys late father's laptop. Any suggestions on how to get into the laptop and set a new admin account and password?

  • If you're able to gain access to the existent accounts using the accepted answer, I suggest you offer these guys access to their father's data. – Joseph R. Oct 19 '13 at 9:37

You must boot the Mac into single user mode and change an admin user's password from the command line. How to do it depends on the Mac OS version installed on the iBook.

Here are the instructions for 10.4 (Tiger) which is probably what's installed on such an old Mac:

  1. Power on your Mac.
  2. At the chime hold down Command S on your keyboard to boot into single-user mode.
  3. Type sh /etc/rc and press Return.
  4. Type passwd username Return, replacing “username” with the short name of the account whose password you want to change. You can get a list of account short names with ls /Users Return.
  5. Enter the new password and press Return.
  6. Type reboot Return.

Once the Mac boots you should be able to log into the account whose password you changed.

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    I advise buying an old installation DVD and doing a complete OS reinstall at your earliest convenience. I would not trust the existing installation to not be compromised in some fashion. – Kyle Jones Oct 19 '13 at 2:36
  • Thank you for the help Kyle Jones, that did the trick. I am new to linux and I've always been against Mac's, so I figured for $20.00 it would be worth buying and using to learn with. May I ask if you would have any suggestions on how I should go about learning everything in Linux? – Joaq Oct 19 '13 at 5:30
  • @Joaq Stack Exchange is not the place to ask that question (sorry!), as it's a bit chatty. your first step is to choose a distribution (personally I recommend Mint, as it's fairly newbie-friendly, and doesn't do some things that the Ubuntu project does that make me angry), but beyond that, we cannot help you unless it's with a specific issue that you're having. – strugee Oct 19 '13 at 5:55
  • @Strugee Well what is the purpose of having a forum full of experts if they can't give suggestions or their personal experience as far as learing goes? Besides I was only thanking Kyle Jones for his help with an issue. – Joaq Oct 19 '13 at 6:51
  • @Joaq they absolutely can give suggestions or personal experience. It's just that on Stack Exchange, we like questions to be very focused. Yours was too open ended (and in fact, it has been asked before and then closed for that very reason). – strugee Oct 19 '13 at 7:07

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