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computer completely messed up!!!!!! pleeeease help!

post #1 of 141
Thread Starter 
hi - i really don't know too much about computers and i apparently decided somewhere along the line that i was an expert. ok, wrong. i wrecked my computer, can ANYONE pleeeease help?? here's what i did:

i got an ipod nano from work and thought, great, i'll install the software.
i then realized that both of the accounts on my mac os x 10.3 have somehow been changed from admin accounts to standard accounts. (makes NO sense - but it happened). which means at this point there is no admin account on my own computer (which obviosly also means that i am unable to install new software).

ok, here's where i thought i was ms.computer hacker 2006:

did tons of research online to discover i may be able to go in under single user mode enter some codes to make my computer think i was turning it on for the 1st time and i would be able to set up an account which would be the admin account. at which point i could go back into my computer, sign in with my new admin account and grant my old standard accounts admin capabilities. great. OR NOT!

here are the codes i used:

fsck -yf
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
reboot

i thought that it was working because when i rebooted my computer, it did the whole welcome screen and told me that i would need to set up my account and enter my onfo. i began to enter my information (the whole time feeling quite impressed with my sudden computer hacking skills - felt so naughty and bad! - ok, so what if it's not naughty and bad to hack into YOUR OWN computer!) when i got to the screen that asks for your name and assigns you a short name it asks for your password and then to verify it. it also asks for you to choose a picture from the list that, i guess, will be used for something (ichat??) anyway - there are no pictures on my screen to choose from SOOOOO, that means that i can not press "continue" because it is faded. until you choose that picture it will not let me go any further! but it's not even there for me to choose.

so, i am now unable to even get to my desktop.

pleeeeeaase, i am begging to any one that can help me! i love my little emac and i love my itunes and i love my i photo. i want my computer back. i promise i will never think i am a computer wizard again if i can just get myself out of this mess! thank you so much!

sincerely - the opposite of computer genius
post #2 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
fsck -yf
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
reboot

Okay you've deleted (rm'd) the file that tells the computer that it's already been setup. If we could figure out a way to copy that file from another computer, or create a new one then you could boot in to single user mode and enable the root account. You could then log in to the root account and change one of your existing users to an admin account. I'll be busy checking out the textcast of the MWSF in an hour and fourty four minutes but if I get a chance to do some research I'll post my findings. There will be alot of traffic here today maybe someone else will offer a solution too. Sit tight.
NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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post #3 of 141
What about booting from the DVD and trying to change the Admin password there?

If you just want to replace the .AppleSetupDone file, it may be able to be done in single-user as


touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone



but we don't know if it actually checks the contents of that file.

Why not just do an Archive and Install?
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #4 of 141
Thread Starter 
thank you soooo much for posting back!!!!!!!!

alright - here's where i admit even more of my lacking computer knowledge
i secretly have no idea how to "archive and install" (so embarassing) - will it erase anything i have on my computer already ( documents, photos, emails, music,...etc?)

i did go in and reset the admin password with the cd, however, since the computer doesn't recognize either account as an admin account, the password doesn't work - and both accounts are still listed as standard.

at this point, i don't even know how to get beyond the welcome and account set up pages (have to use work computer for this).

i don't know if it helps you or just makes things worse for me but, a master password was set BUT i had a friend set up my computer for me and so i don't know that password and have lost touch with him. (i have tried to contact him regarding this issue but i think his crazy girlfriend thinks i want some hot action from him,ewe, she's nuts... i just want my computer back!!)

oh no! (am i screwed?)

thank you, thank you and THANK YOU!!!!!!


Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
What about booting from the DVD and trying to change the Admin password there?

If you just want to replace the .AppleSetupDone file, it may be able to be done in single-user as


touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone



but we don't know if it actually checks the contents of that file.

Why not just do an Archive and Install?

post #5 of 141
If you manage to get past the apple setup screen, then all you need to do is add a user to the admin group (I guess this would work from single-user mode). With your disc partition mounted, do this:

niutil -appendprop / /groups/admin users erica

replace erica with your short username.
post #6 of 141
OK, this as you know is a very strange situation - it isn't supposed to be possible to have no Admin account. So I suspect that the dude who set the master password somehow torqued up your system. I hope he did not also turn on FileVault, as if FileVault is on and you don't know the master password you are screwed.

Anyway, if it were me I would just pop in the DVD or CD that came with the computer, hold down the "c" key during boot to boot to it (as you already did), and then run the Installer, choosing "Archive and Install" when it gets to that screen (it may be under a button "Options" or something like that). All that does is move the current System folder aside and install a fresh system folder - you don't lose any data.

This may not work, as it is going to be confused when it finds no Admin account, but it's worth a try.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #7 of 141
Thread Starter 
ok, i will try this when i get home. i am so thankful for all of you that are trying to get me out of this mess! i was so bored last night without my computer that i did 4 loads of laundry, did my dishes two times, spied on my neighbors dog to see if he was going to poop on my lawn and i actually taught myself how to knit. so as you can see, i am in dire need of technological distractions! thanks so much!!!!


Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
OK, this as you know is a very strange situation - it isn't supposed to be possible to have no Admin account. So I suspect that the dude who set the master password somehow torqued up your system. I hope he did not also turn on FileVault, as if FileVault is on and you don't know the master password you are screwed.

Anyway, if it were me I would just pop in the DVD or CD that came with the computer, hold down the "c" key during boot to boot to it (as you already did), and then run the Installer, choosing "Archive and Install" when it gets to that screen (it may be under a button "Options" or something like that). All that does is move the current System folder aside and install a fresh system folder - you don't lose any data.

This may not work, as it is going to be confused when it finds no Admin account, but it's worth a try.
post #8 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
ok, i will try this when i get home. i am so thankful for all of you that are trying to get me out of this mess! i was so bored last night without my computer that i did 4 loads of laundry, did my dishes two times, spied on my neighbors dog to see if he was going to poop on my lawn and i actually taught myself how to knit. so as you can see, i am in dire need of technological distractions! thanks so much!!!!

How did it work? Did you "Archive and Install" or boot in to Single user mode like lundy suggested?
NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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post #9 of 141
Thread Starter 
i wont actually be home until tomorrow night! i will certainly let you know what happens (hopefully from my own somputer after i fix it!!!!!)! believe me i am sooooo anxious to find out. keep your fingers crossed.

Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
How did it work? Did you "Archive and Install" or boot in to Single user mode like lundy suggested?
post #10 of 141
Thread Starter 
omg, omg. omg, omg! i got back in my own computer!!!!!! i love you guys sooooooooooooooooo much. i am the happiest girl in pennsylvania right now.

ok, so i got back in and maybe now i'm being a little greedy - but, um, i checked and both accounts on the computer are still standard accounts. is there a way, now that i am able to see my desk top and stuff, that i can create an actual admin account so i can install software change certain settings?

oh, btw, here is what i used to get past that horrible welcome/set up phase:

/sbin/fsck -yf
mount -uw /
touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

(so thank you guys tons for giving me those codes to put in!)

anyway - you guys are awesome and have helped me SO much, and if anyone knows how to create an admin account on a computer that is soo lonely without one, that would be incredible!

hopefully i will hear from you soon ( now that i am at MY OWN computer!!!!!!! )

Quote:
Originally posted by erica
i wont actually be home until tomorrow night! i will certainly let you know what happens (hopefully from my own somputer after i fix it!!!!!)! believe me i am sooooo anxious to find out. keep your fingers crossed.

:
post #11 of 141
Well this is certainly good news.

Only an Admin account can change another account to Admin, so this is really strange. The only way that I see to do it is as root. You cannot enable the root user in Netinfo Manager, because only an Admin can do that.

Hmmm...


OK, can you boot from the DVD and see if there is an "enable root user" menu item anywhere in the menus of the Installer screen?
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #12 of 141
Thread Starter 
hello,

there are no menus like that on my DVD/CD thing that came with the computer. there are 3 discs though. they all say eMac software Install and Restore (but one says 1, the next 2 and the third (of course), 3) - i have only been using "1", should i be using anyof the other ones? also when i do anything with these cds i should be pressing "c" when i restart, right? that's what i have been doing - but the menu is so limited.

thank you for sticking with me on this! it is very nice of you.




Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Well this is certainly good news.

Only an Admin account can change another account to Admin, so this is really strange. The only way that I see to do it is as root. You cannot enable the root user in Netinfo Manager, because only an Admin can do that.

Hmmm...


OK, can you boot from the DVD and see if there is an "enable root user" menu item anywhere in the menus of the Installer screen?
post #13 of 141
OK - I had hoped there would be a way to enable root there - but apparently not.

I am waiting for an answer on how to change a user to Admin from the gang at DSLR.

In the meantime, log out, try entering "root" as the login name in the login panel, and the password of what used to be the admin account. Probably won't work, but hey...

Of course, you can always just do an Archive and Install.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #14 of 141
Thread Starter 
hmm, i tried to use login name: root and my old password and that didn't work.
Oh, and i tried to do an "Archive and Install" a little earlier (suggested by an earlier post), but when i press "C" when booting my computer, then i looked at all of the dropdown bars and everything and i couldn't even find an option to "archive and install" (believe me - it is almost as annoying being this technologically challenged as it is trying to walk me through all of these steps!).

thanks lundy!




Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
OK - I had hoped there would be a way to enable root there - but apparently not.

I am waiting for an answer on how to change a user to Admin from the gang at DSLR.

In the meantime, log out, try entering "root" as the login name in the login panel, and the password of what used to be the admin account. Probably won't work, but hey...

Of course, you can always just do an Archive and Install.
post #15 of 141
To do the archive and install, just go ahead and run the installer (the main window showing) after you boot from the CD. It will give you the option during the install.

This may not fix the problem, but it won't erase anything.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #16 of 141
A kind colleague provided the niutil command to add a user to the admin group:

1. Boot into single-user by holding down command-s, as you have done.
2. do the mount -uw / command.
3. enter this command, replacing the word "username" with the short name of the user that you want to be Admin:


niutil -appendprop / /groups/admin users username



for example, if the account that you want to make admin is "Erica", the command would be


niutil -appendprop / /groups/admin users Erica

EDIT: Sheesh - my bad, I see that QChem already told you about this. I should read the thread.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #17 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
OK, this as you know is a very strange situation - it isn't supposed to be possible to have no Admin account. So I suspect that the dude who set the master password somehow torqued up your system. I hope he did not also turn on FileVault, as if FileVault is on and you don't know the master password you are screwed.

Anyway, if it were me I would just pop in the DVD or CD that came with the computer, hold down the "c" key during boot to boot to it (as you already did), and then run the Installer, choosing "Archive and Install" when it gets to that screen (it may be under a button "Options" or something like that). All that does is move the current System folder aside and install a fresh system folder - you don't lose any data.

This may not work, as it is going to be confused when it finds no Admin account, but it's worth a try.

Btw, to get the admin status back,
why not going into the system prefs, -> users -> check
"this user is allowed to manage the computer". (I don't know the
exact phrase in english, because i am running a non-english
OS version.) I think it is worth a shot under this circumstances.

Odd things happen all the time.

For future purposes:
If this "Archive and Install" thing fails, than there
are 2 other possibilities, that jump into my mind.

1. Target disk mode, maybe. (To get the raw data at least)

2. IF (and only IF) you once set up your computer
with at least TWO partitions, than there is a good chance
to just install a new system onto the partion
which was formerly not used to be the system hd. maybe.

good look (EDIT: äh, luck)
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #18 of 141
Thread Starter 
ooops! i fell asleep. (hmm, perhaps my body just couldnt handle the excitement of having my computer back!!!


Ok - i have tried to go into system pref, accounts then there is a lock that says "click lock to make changes", i click it and a login/ password box comes up: type an administrator's name and password to make changes. since i technically don't even have an admin account - it won't accept my login info...soooooooo...i can't change anything there.

and to be honest (ah, self - humiliation at it's best...) i have nooo idea what the other things you are suggesting i try even mean.

BUT, on a positive note... i'm glad to hear that weird things happen to computers all the time, at least that gives me hope that weird things get fixed on computers all the time too...um, i hope!

i have to get ready for work and i won't be back at my computer until monday, but i promise if anyone posts suggestions, i will try them AS SOON as i get home! in other words, your efforts are not going unnoticed or un-used!

*oh, and when you give suggestions - talk to me like i'm 2 - because in this big, bad world of technological jargon, well - i kinda feel 2!

thank you so much... have a really good weekend - i will be checking in!

sincerely - the "standard"-girl who can hopefully (thanks to you!) will soon be calling herself the "admin"-girl!



Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Btw, to get the admin status back,
why not going into the system prefs, -> users -> check
"this user is allowed to manage the computer". (I don't know the
exact phrase in english, because i am running a non-english
OS version.) I think it is worth a shot under this circumstances.

Odd things happen all the time.

For future purposes:
If this "Archive and Install" thing fails, than there
are 2 other possibilities, that jump into my mind.

1. Target disk mode, maybe. (To get the raw data at least)

2. IF (and only IF) you once set up your computer
with at least TWO partitions, than there is a good chance
to just install a new system onto the partion
which was formerly not used to be the system hd. maybe.

good look (EDIT: äh, luck)
post #19 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
...
*oh, and when you give suggestions - talk to me like i'm 2 - because in this big, bad world of technological jargon, well - i kinda feel 2!

you're pretty much welcome.
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #20 of 141
Thread Starter 
i'm at work now - but i was just thinking about in an earlier post it was mentioned that if filevault was on, well, i'd be screwed... file vault is not on but a master password has been set. (this probably doesn't help you but i thought i'd let you know just in case).

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
you're pretty much welcome.
post #21 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Btw, to get the admin status back,
why not going into the system prefs, -> users -> check
"this user is allowed to manage the computer".

She can't do that, as that action requires an Admin account to change the setting. Catch-22.

The niutil command listed should do the trick.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #22 of 141
Thread Starter 
so when i enter the code, should it be like this??? :

/sbin/fsck -yf
mount -uw /
niut -append / /groups/admin users shortname
reboot

will it let me know on that screen if it worked? will i have to enter a password? i can't wait to try this on monday!!!!!!!!!! i don't know if i can handle the anticipation!



Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
She can't do that, as that action requires an Admin account to change the setting. Catch-22.

The niutil command listed should do the trick.
post #23 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
[B]so when i enter the code, should it be like this??? :

/sbin/fsck -yf
mount -uw /
niut -append / /groups/admin users shortname
reboot

Not quite. The command is

niutil -appendprop / /groups/admin users username

("niutil" instead of "niut").

Quote:
will it let me know on that screen if it worked?

Unless there is an error message, you should be fine. The niutil command may give some feedback, but unless it's an error, no problem.
Quote:
will i have to enter a password?

Nope. In single-user you are the superuser and can do anything. This is why anyone with physical access to your computer can do anything.

Now in regard to the other issues:

- the master password won't hurt anything as long as FileVault isn't on. If you ever forget your account password, the master password will let you in - that is the purpose.

- Please let us know how this command works, or if it works. I for one have never seen this particular problem and would like to know if this command fixes the problem so I will know how to advise people in the future.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #24 of 141
Thread Starter 
i will let you know as soon as i try! it will probably be monday morning. i cant wait!!!!!! thank you for the suggestions, i am so excited! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Not quite. The command is

niutil -appendprop / /groups/admin users username

("niutil" instead of "niut").


Unless there is an error message, you should be fine. The niutil command may give some feedback, but unless it's an error, no problem.

Nope. In single-user you are the superuser and can do anything. This is why anyone with physical access to your computer can do anything.

Now in regard to the other issues:

- the master password won't hurt anything as long as FileVault isn't on. If you ever forget your account password, the master password will let you in - that is the purpose.

- Please let us know how this command works, or if it works. I for one have never seen this particular problem and would like to know if this command fixes the problem so I will know how to advise people in the future.
post #25 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
She can't do that, as that action requires an Admin account to change the setting. Catch-22.

The niutil command listed should do the trick.

Well. i clearly made a wild shot on this issue.
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
...

- Please let us know how this command works, or if it works. I for one have never seen this particular problem and would like to know if this command fixes the problem so I will know how to advise people in the future.

I really appreciate this manner.
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #26 of 141
Thread Starter 
oh no.

i tried the niutil command but my accounts are still standard. poopies, i was so certain this would work! well, what do you think that i should do? you have helped me soooooo much by getting me back into my computer, i would never have known how to do that! i am hoping that some one reading has heard of this and will know how to help me.

thank you so much for everything so far! i'll be home all day and around my computer, so if anyone has any ideas - even if they seem silly - believe me. as long as you explain the process like you are talking to a 2 year old then i will try it! (like i said before, i don't know computer terminology)

thank you-thank you-thank you-thank you-thank you

wait, i just thought of something - it may mean nothing BUT i thought i'd mention it just in case.

after i tried that niutil command, i rebooted and went into
-system preferences
-accounts
(this is where it still listed both accounts as "standard")

but just to try it, i clicked on the lock to make changes and that is where the box popped up that said something like: enter administrator's name and password to make changes.

so i entered my shortname
and i entered my password

password was rejected - soooo, i tried two more times and a password hint came up. if the computer is giving me a password hint for this, does it recognize my login name as an admin???? even though it is listed as standard??? i am super, duper confused. but anyway - i tried using the password that the hint prompted me to use and that didnt work either, but my point is that this box asked for an "admin" name and it still gave me a password hint even though my account is listed as "standard". so what if i now go in under single user mode and change the admin password. do you think that might work?

and if you do think it will work, will you give me the specific commands to enter...i am nervous to do it without you telling me what to do ( i do not want to get locked out of my computer again!)

Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!

post #27 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
oh no.

...
Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!


If i were you, i would copy all important
data over, and than perform a clean install.

Do you have access to all your data? ('though
you are a non-admin user, you should have access
to your, say, data. ) This is all that i can
come up with. Best.
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #28 of 141
Quote:
so what if i now go in under single user mode and change the admin password. do you think that might work?

It might -

passwd shortname

is the command.

Failing that, I'd agree it's time for an Archive Install. A clean install erases the disk, so you'd need another place to back up your data to. Oops - ending a sentence with a preposition - I mean "another place to which to back up your data."

To do the Archive Install, it's trivial - just boot the CD, and follow the onscreen instructions, choosing "Archive Install" when it gives you the choice of the different install types.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #29 of 141
Thread Starter 
ok, i am obsessed... i cant stop thinking that there must be a way out of this (primarily because i don't know how to "back up my system and do a complete reinstall). ok, so - remember how i got myself into this mess in the 1st place by entering the codes that caused my computer to think it was being used for the 1st time. well, i know it didn't work last time...but it seems like there must be a way to go in under single user mode and create a new admin account or grant a standard account admin status.

i just did some googling and found little tidbits of info that sound like a foreign language to me... but maybe you guys could translate and let me know if this stuff is even worth trying.

here is what i found:
------------------------
master password can be changed from the Terminal:
sudo niutil -createprop . /users/root passwd `openssl passwd "secret" `

Just be careful about the spacing in the above expression (.<space>/users/root), and use the backquote (`) not apostrophes (').

If you don't have a valid admin account, it is still possible to reset the password from single-user mode. It is a little more complicated since the NetInfo daemon is not running, and involves using 'nicl -raw'.

The previous post about file-vault is correct. Any encrypted disk images require knowledge of the original password. They can be subjected to brute-force attacks, but this only works for relatively short and easy to guess passwords.

This post has been edited by testuser: Mar 8 2004, 7:29 PM
------------------------

does any of this make sense? or, what about:
------------------------



(i was going to cut and paste but it was a lot so i thought i would just include the link instead) :


http://www.macfora.com/forums/unix_admin-t7989.html



but this forum is asking if you can create a new admin account from the single user mode and the reply is very complicated to me. if you think that this is something that will work for me... could you - (sometime when you are not so busy) - tell me what to do, step by step?

honestly,

i know i am asking alot, but as you can see, i am trying to research it too so that you don't have to go so out of your way. i truly appreciate all of this. and i apologize for being so obsessed with this, but i kind of feel like this is a mystery to solve, i feel like the computer version of columbo or murder she wrote!
post #30 of 141
Hi Erica,

I, too am interested in how this problem can be solved without having to do an archive and install. It maybe quicker to do an archive, but where's the fun in that? Also, I have this feeling that the problem really should be solvable in Single-User mode. It must be fixable, it must be!

Firstly, may I say how pleasant it is to meet someone who is clearly so interested and grateful for the help they are receiving.

Secondly, I want to check/ask a couple of things to make sure I've got them straight:

1. You can log into your computer, and perform most tasks without a problem. You just don't have any admin rights.

2. You are runnning 10.3. Which version, exactly? You can find this out by going to the Apple menu in the top left corner, and selecting "about this mac".

3. Do you have anything you can back-up important data to? CDs? External hard drive? Another computer?

Here is my plan:

I'm surprised the niutil command didn't work. I'm going to read up on it.

I'm going to have a close look at the forum you linked to, and elsewhere. The posts in that forum are from 2002, and might be too old (i.e., from the Jaguar days)

I think it should be possible for you to create a whole new user with admin rights in Single-User mode. You may need to download a script first, and then run it.

See you soon...
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #31 of 141
Thread Starter 
hi mr. h

yay! i am so excited that you also imagine that there must be some way to do this in single user mode.

thanks for offering your time to help me with this!

here is what i found when i clicked on "more info" under "about this mac":


Hardware Overview:

Machine ModelteMac
CPU TypetPowerPC G4 (3.3)
Number Of CPUst1
CPU Speedt1 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU)t256 KB
Memoryt128 MB
Bus Speedt133 MHz
Boot ROM Versiont4.64f1
Serial NumbertYM347ARRPPA

System Software Overview:

System VersiontMac OS X 10.3 (7B85)
Kernel VersiontDarwin 7.0.0
Boot VolumetMacintosh HD

secondly, i have blank cd's if that is what you mean. (i would ordinarily use them to transfer photos or music off of my mac) are those the same as i would use for backing up my data?

and to answer your other question, yes, i am able to do most other things - i cannot change security settings, change account status, install software...etc.

this is so strange, i have never had any reason to go into the account settings before, so i am not really certain how long this problem has existed on my computer. hopefully we can work through this to figure out a solution!

thank you! i look forward to your thoughts on this!

from,

one optimist to another!



Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Hi Erica,

I, too am interested in how this problem can be solved without having to do an archive and install. It maybe quicker to do an archive, but where's the fun in that? Also, I have this feeling that the problem really should be solvable in Single-User mode. It must be fixable, it must be!

Firstly, may I say how pleasant it is to meet someone who is clearly so interested and grateful for the help they are receiving.

Secondly, I want to check/ask a couple of things to make sure I've got them straight:

1. You can log into your computer, and perform most tasks without a problem. You just don't have any admin rights.

2. You are runnning 10.3. Which version, exactly? You can find this out by going to the Apple menu in the top left corner, and selecting "about this mac".

3. Do you have anything you can back-up important data to? CDs? External hard drive? Another computer?

Here is my plan:

I'm surprised the niutil command didn't work. I'm going to read up on it.

I'm going to have a close look at the forum you linked to, and elsewhere. The posts in that forum are from 2002, and might be too old (i.e., from the Jaguar days)

I think it should be possible for you to create a whole new user with admin rights in Single-User mode. You may need to download a script first, and then run it.

See you soon...
post #32 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by erica
secondly, i have blank cd's if that is what you mean. (i would ordinarily use them to transfer photos or music off of my mac) are those the same as i would use for backing up my data?

Yes, indeed. If you don't mind using up CD-Rs on data, you can burn important stuff to CD using the Finder. Instructions can be found by launching Mac help (accessed from the Help menu in the Finder).

Personally, I'd say that this is a good idea, regardless of the situation you are in now. You'll be glad you've got backups should your Hard Drive break or your computer get stolen.

I'm reading up on a couple of things. Hopefully a new post coming in the next 30 mins or so... In the meantime, you can start backing up
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post #33 of 141
Do you want to try making a whole new Admin user? The link you gave lists the steps:

niutil -create . /users/username
niutil -createprop . /users/username passwd \\"\\"
niutil -createprop . /users/username home /Users/username
niutil -createprop . /users/username shell /bin/tcsh
niutil -createprop . /users/username uid 520
niutil -createprop . /users/username gid 20
niutil -createprop . /users/username realname \\"First Last\\"
niutil -appendprop . /groups/admin users username

and then make a Home directory for the user:

mkdir /Users/username
chown username:staff /Users/username

then reboot.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #34 of 141
SECOND EDIT: Here's an article at securemac.com that discusses changing the root password in Single User Model. I haven't tried this yet and I've got to run out to pick up some supplies to run CAT in the office tonight. If I get a chance I'll do it and post my results.

EDIT: DO NOT DO THIS! This does not work in Single User Mode like it does in the Terminal. I'm going to leave this here because it might spark someone's thought process.

1) Log in to single user mode (Command S during reboot.)
2) type the following sudo passwd root
3) supply a password when asked.
4) reboot.
5) At the login screen you should see a user name Other, click it and for the User Name type root supply the password you set while in single user mode.
6) You should be able to open System Preference and click on Accounts and change one of the existing accounts to an account with admin privileges.
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post #35 of 141
OK. Here is my (hopefully understandable) translation of the thread you linked to.

niutil doesn't work when in Single-User mode. That is why the appendprop you tried didn't have any effect.

Mac OS X uses, amongst other things, a "NetInfo" database to keep track of users. There is an application, or more specifically, a "deamon" which manages this database. The niutil, presumably, works in conjunction with the deamon to update the database. However, in single-user mode the deamon isn't running. You can start the deamon, but then you aren't in single-user mode anymore and are back with the problem of having no admin user or a root password. Apparently, you can use the "nicl" command instead, which I'm just reading up on.
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post #36 of 141
Cool. Let us know the results.
--Johnny
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post #37 of 141
Hi fahlman,

Interesting idea. I could be wrong about this, but I think that even if root has a password, you still can't login to the gui unless you've enabled the super-user in the NetInfo GUI application. I'm guessing that erica never did that.

Anyway, I'm off to my weekly pub quiz now. Back in a few hours...
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post #38 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Hi fahlman,

Interesting idea. I could be wrong about this, but I think that even if root has a password, you still can't login to the gui unless you've enabled the super-user in the NetInfo GUI application. I'm guessing that erica never did that.

Anyway, I'm off to my weekly pub quiz now. Back in a few hours...

I guess, as much fun it is to you guys to solve the problem
for christ sake, it is much better, easier and promising
to back up, what is still there, and than do a clean install.

Tinkering with the niutil is a bad idea. The problem
in which is Erica hooked into is probably a symptom
to much much nastier issues.

I strongly recommend to get rid of the system, and
enjoy a fresh install. Honestly.

Though, if i find something to contribute, i will post it.
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #39 of 141
Thread Starter 
you are awesome! thanks for all the info! i am trying to "back up" all of my info (itunes, iphoto, documents...etc.) to CDR. i guess i will try to do a new install. i am just nervous because i don't want to lose anything.

am i doing this properly? i am clicking finder, choosing the application i want to back up and highlighting it, i am going to the file dropdown and choosing "create an archive". it then goes to my desk top in a zip file. now what? i have a blank CDR in my computer but when i click on mail.zip, for example (on my desktop) and go to the file dropdown, the option to "burn disc" is faded so i cannot choose it.

i might be doing this all wrong. this is very scary - i do not feel so much like columbo or murder she wrote anymore... much more like the cowardly lion

thank you all so much!!!
post #40 of 141
A fresh install would be the best thing. But is sure is fun trying to figure out how to fix the problem.
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