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How can be reset password on Mac OS X? Is there something like single mode that Linux provides. I have installer CDs and DVDs of Mac with me.

I have a utility called rEFIt installed on that Mac. It allows to boot by default into other OS like Linux. As soon as I boot I get rEFIt options of booting into Mac OS X, Linux and some efi shell.

I tried alt +S but either I am not able to press it soon enough after selecting to boot from Mac or the shortcut is not working at all. Any other methods other then alt+s?

Luckily I could edit the file /efi/refit.conf without being root and rEFIt has accepted the changes. So there is no emergency now to change / reset password. Still is there some sure way for future reference?

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You hold command+S before you select which volume to boot from. As soon as you press the power button you should hold them down – MDMarra Jul 8 '09 at 11:52
Unfortunately the first thing that comes is refit boot menu. And command +s is shortcut for EFI shell in refit. So if I press that before I select to boot from MAC partition then I go to efi shell and cant boot into mac at all. Call it bad design or bad luck but shortcuts for rescue mode in MAC and shortcut for efi shell in refit are same. – Saurabh Barjatiya Jul 8 '09 at 12:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Apple has a knowledge base article on Changing or resetting an account password.

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Yes there is you have to hold down the command and s key while booting to enter single user mode: then you can do the following (checking filesystem, mounting it, starting services and changing root password):

# /sbin/fsck -y"
# /sbin/mount -wu /
# /sbin/SystemStarter
# passwd root

Reboot and you're done.

EDIT: there's some additional informations here for OSX 10.3 10.4

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I got similar instructions from friend who uses MAC a lot. But I was not able to press command +S for some strange reason. May be bad keyboard support. Thanks for the help. I used the method with installer CD by pressing c. I was booting with wrong installer DVD so I was not getting reset option. After reading knowledge base I realized that DVD version is wrong and used DVD that came with that mac and things worked as expected. – Saurabh Barjatiya Jul 8 '09 at 10:37

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