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I got an old Mac G4 (powerPC) from the company who wanted to put it in a bin. The company agreed that I can take it home for private use.

It is running an early version of OSX but because it is old and the person in charge no more in the company, I do not have any login/password for entering the system.

Is there any procedure to either create a new user or to reset the password of an existing user?

marked as duplicate by Joseph R., slm, Anthon, Patrick, rahmu Nov 7 '13 at 13:39

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You can boot any OS X based Mac into single user mode by holding ⌘-S as it boots. You need to have it pressed by the time it gets to the gray boot screen. Once the gray screen disappears, so that you can see the text mode boot stuff, you can let go.

Once you get to a prompt, you can reset the primary user's password. Reboot, and you can then log in as that user.

Alternately, download an OS disc ISO appropriate to the machine's age, and reinstall the machine.

  • Thanks for the answer, note the Command key is the ctrl key on a standard keyboard (I do not have the original keyboard). I was able to reset the password with this solution. – рüффп Nov 7 '13 at 22:32
  • I read that the single-user mode can be disabled, this solution will not work in that case, hopefully the boss was not aware of this single-user mode limitaiton. Honestly I did not expect it would work like another BSD/Linux distro. Thanks again! – рüффп Nov 8 '13 at 9:01
  • Re: single user limit, you can boot from the OS CD and change the password that way, unless the machine owner also locked out the CD drive. Re: "like BSD", Mac OS X is Unix®. – Warren Young Nov 8 '13 at 13:42
  • Ok, but I do not have the original CD. I doubt I can have it freely, I am planning to put a real Linux or BSD on that machine. – рüффп Nov 8 '13 at 14:34
  • Every Mac comes with an OS X license. OS X also doesn't have obnoxious key checks, so you don't need a magic number to reinstall the OS. This is why I don't have a problem recommending that you download an ISO appropriate to the machine's age. And by "age" I mean its manufacturing date, not the date it was decommissioned. That tells you which OS version it came with from the factory. – Warren Young Nov 8 '13 at 15:35

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