Please help me in setting up the firmware password on my MacBook Pro.

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014

I just read a 'How To' on AppleMatters about Five Ways To Safeguard Your Mac and want to implement some of these on my MacBook Pro. Setting a firmware password sounds very useful to me as it will prevent anyone from formatting my machine. However, I'm having a little trouble setting it up.

Apple's instructions say that "For Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must use the updated version [of the Open Firmware Password application] that can be copied from the software installation disc (located at /Applications/Utilities/ on the disc)." But there does not seem to be any 'Applications' folder on either of the software installation discs that came with my Mac.

What am I doing wrong?


  • Reply 1 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    I don't know if you can even do that on an Intel Mac because it uses EFI not Open Firmware. Apple sort of suggest that you can do it by mentioning Intel Macs here:

    but at the bottom, it says:

    "Note that Intel-based Macintosh computers do not use Open Firmware. Thesesteps do not apply to Intel-based machines."

    There doesn't seem to be any way to access the EFI shell as there was with PPC using opt-command-o-f. I read that was because by doing certain things in the EFI shell, it could turn your machine into an expensive paperweight so they didn't include it. There is a way round it mentioned here:

    If it is somehow possible to set a firmware password, I wouldn't do it on a computer without a shell interface to the firmware.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    aryayusharyayush Posts: 191member
    So, basically, there is no way for me to prevent someone removing the password of the administrator account on my machine or even formatting it?
  • Reply 3 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Originally Posted by aryayush View Post

    So, basically, there is no way for me to prevent someone removing the password of the administrator account on my machine or even formatting it?

    It looks that way for the time being. But put it this way, even if you did have a firmware password, it can be reset by changing the Ram in the machine. Admittedly if someone didn't know that, it may prevent a stolen laptop being sold on but it could easily be trashed or taken to someone who does know how to do that.

    Your best bet is to keep your personal data encrypted and backed up in a secure location (preferrably DVD as thieves would go for computer hardware over copied discs) and/or use a tracking device if you can afford it. If you had your data backed up then insurance would probably suffice as it might mean you get a newer model.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    aryayusharyayush Posts: 191member
    OK. I already have my data backed up but my machine is not insured.

    I think I'll purchase Undercover. Thanks!
  • Reply 5 of 7
    archilarchil Posts: 1member
    There is a utility called "Firmware Password Utility" on install disk #1 under applications/utilities/.

    This utility will allow you to set a firmware password on Intel Macs.

    As far as the Applications/Utilities folder not being on the #1 installation disk...scroll down, it's there. When the window first opens all of the folders are at the bottom of the finder window, out of view.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    aryayusharyayush Posts: 191member
    Yeah, it does exist. Thank you so much!

    The utility is called "Open Firmware Password" though.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,397member
    So where is this utility in the 10.5 install disk? All I have is the install app, an instructins folder, and an optional installs folder.
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