help resetting password!


bought a used MacBook Pro. (Tiger, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo)
but whenever i try to install things it ask me for a password.
and i dont know the password or the last person who owned the Mac.
so i read that i needed an instal disk to reset the password.
my friend has a Macbook and let me borrow her instal disk(tiger)
it tells me to insert the cd. and to restart my mac.
and when it loads back up to hold the "C" key and the install menu should come up.
but what happens is i hold the "c" key then sometimes on the gray screen i get a pic of a folder with a question mark on it then it turns into the apple then it just get sent to my desktop like always and it shows me everything thats inside the instal disk. no install menu.
so i clicked on the "Instal Max OSX and bundle" and this window pops up with the big X mac logo, and it says that to run the instal disk
i need to click on the restart botton. i click on it and then the window pops up saying i need to put in the password in order to restart and run install disk.
how am i supposed to run the install disk to reset the password if i need the password to run the install disk?!?!

please someone help.

please respond to this post or email me if you could help.
Last edited:


ive looked and looked to no avail... when i tye in cretain commands i.e passwd it says command not found. i have no install discs either- what do i do...???


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Did you type it exactly as Satcomer posted it?

dscl . -passwd /Users/<username> <password>

Where <username> is your username and <password> is the password you want to give the account. (Don't include the brackets when typing the username and password you're trying to change.)

Alsol, make sure you adhere to the lettercase given in the commands. Unix is case-sensitive.


Chmod 760
Staff member
(old post but) dscl for non-Mac OS X Server was added in 10.5, so for anyone with Tiger or prior, we would need to use other means such as niutil.

passwd shortname

may work, replace shortname with your short name and give the new one.

Otherwise, create a new admin user and log in as that, then change the previous account's password.

So, for Mac OS X 10.4 non-Server

niutil -create . /users/fred
niutil -createprop . /users/fred gid [groupID]
niutil -createprop . /users/fred uid [uniqueNumberOver1000]
niutil -createprop . /users/fred shell /bin/tcsh
niutil -createprop . /users/fred home /Users/fred
niutil -createprop . /users/fred realname "fred jones"
niutil -createprop . /users/fred passwd '*'
mkdir /Users/fred
mkdir /Users/fred/.ssh
chown -R fred /Users/fred
chgrp -R [groupID] /Users/fred
chmod 755 /Users/fred

should do it. Replace all details with the other relevant details. The uid for first created user is 501, so don't specify that or make sure the uid you give isn't in use yet.