Reset OS X Password without Installation CD

The StoryMac Powerbook G4

My brother came to me with an old…and I mean OLD Mac Powerbook G4 laptop and needed the system reset to factory settings.

The original owner did not remove the admin password and we have no way of finding out what it was. So instead of wasting time ordering a new installation CD, I decided to do it myself. Check out the video below for a QUIK rundown of what I did.

Here are the steps I took:

DISCLAIMER: Issues have arised using this method for the Mac G3. Try this technique AT YOUR OWN RISK. To reset your OS X password without the installation CD, you need to enter the system terminal and create a new admin account:

  1. Turn off your laptop.

  2. Turn on to reboot.

  3. Hold Apple + S down after you hear the chime sound.

  4. When you see the text appear on screen, let go.

  5. Enter these terminal commands to create a brand new admin account (hitting return after each line):

    • mount -uw /
    • rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    • shutdown -h now
  6. Reboot your computer. You should have a brand new admin account.

Check out the full tutorial video below and leave any questions in the comments below.


Quiksnip is a team of digital marketing assistants that creates promotional materials for small businesses and entreprenuers alike. Check out our blog for additional tutorials and tips to improving your business productivity. Subscribe to our newsletter today and receive a FREE brand analysis by one of our team members today!

All credit to Jenny Kortina for the original helpful post. 

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