View Full Version : Leopard Firmware Password Reset Help

15th April 2009, 09:57 AM
I'm in a real fix. And i really need a fix. Somehow, through a series of unfortunate events, I am left with a 2 and a half year old MacBook running Leopard (10.5.5) in this state. I have an account, with normal privileges. I can't remember my admin PW, nor my OF PW. my admin password is okay to be without, but I really need to know how to find out my own firmware password. I can't remember either passwords, and I lost my Leopard install disk, though I still have my old Tiger install disk. Is there any way I can be helped??

I really need to know how to either change or bypass my open firmware password (without removing RAM), and I need it pretty soon.

Can anyone please help? I'm desperate!

15th April 2009, 10:44 AM
I think the only way you can do it, regarding your circumstances, is by:

Remove the SO-DIMMs. [Do not touch the gold pins that go into the SO-DIMM slots.]

Replace the SO-DIMMs.

Start the MacBook, with the :cmd: key + option key + P key + R key all held down before the grey screen appears.

Keep them held down until you hear the MacBook Chime for a third time, and then let go.

To reset your Admin Password, you will most certainly need your lost Leopard Installer DVD.

It is not all that difficult to remove the SO-DIMM from an early MacBook. See here (http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_MEMORY_DIY.pdf).


15th April 2009, 10:50 AM
Passwords (at least the admin password) can be reset by starting up in single user mode. I forget the commands at the moment but a simple google will give you line by line instructions as to how to do this.

15th April 2009, 11:03 AM
Edit. Self delete as it's confusing the OP.

15th April 2009, 11:12 AM
Single user mode definitely would make everything easier, but as I set and forgot my firmware password, it seems to be locked or something, so I can't get into it (hold command-s from chime till spinning gear, but no black screen). This goes for Verbose-mode, and nearly everything else. (It's either disabled or has a password). I can use target disk mode though. Clockwork, I checked out the PDF, and it seems easy enough, though I have learned through many bircked PSP's and iPod Touches that I am stupid and unlucky, and should not try anything. Though I might try that (hesitantly).

Thanks to both of you for the help and on so quickly! Much appreciated!

15th April 2009, 11:24 AM
Sorry for the double-post! But I want to say no pun(s) intended anywhere, and

Clockwork, could you please give me step by step guide for how to use the DIMM removing method (like you did for using single-user mode), and the outcome from the procedure and any risks involved? Thanks in advance.


15th April 2009, 12:47 PM
I believe I did in Post # 2 of this thread... where I said: See here (http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_MEMORY_DIY.pdf).

Clicking See here (http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_MEMORY_DIY.pdf) will instantly download all the visual instructions and precautions.

17th April 2009, 02:42 PM
Oops. Sorry, you did give me instructions and precautions. Although, what will happen after I hold those keys down through 3 chimes and then let go?

17th April 2009, 07:14 PM
It should restart, minus a Firmware Password - after you've removed the SO-DIMM and then replaced it.

18th April 2009, 08:28 AM
Do I have to remove both SO-DIMMs every time I try it (can't press buttons fast enough, have to restart comp)? And should it be in this sequence:

remove then replace both SO-DIMMs
power on comp
hold command-option-p-r before gray screen
keep holding until select user window
let go, restart comp
hold command-option-p-r before gray screen again
let go at user select window.

Will I then be able to access single user mode?

19th April 2009, 01:39 PM
No. Holding down :cmd: + option + P + R will NOT put you into Single User Mode. Single User Mode will be of no help to you.

You only need to remove the SO-DIMM once!

Read Post # 2 again.

What you see there is exact - no holding down and letting go and holding down again.

Just follow the Post # 2.

We're trying to help.

19th April 2009, 02:25 PM
I've read post #2 many times, but I'm not sure what you mean by step 4. My Macbook only chimes once, and seems to start up normally.

Also, what I meant by "will I then be able to access single-user mode" is that after doing this, will the command-S feature work. (because it does not right now)


19th April 2009, 03:04 PM
You cannot start your MacBook in Single User Mode... because... you've lost your Firmware Password - which means you can't get into your MacBook at all. right?

So - to get around this problem:

Click here to download (http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_MEMORY_DIY.pdf) precise visual instructions on removing the MacBook's SO-DIMM.

Remove the the MacBook's SO-DIMM.

Put the SO-DIMM back into the MacBook.

Plug the MacBook's Power cord back in.

Press the MacBook's Power button, and then immediately hold down the Apple :cmd: key, the option key, the P key, and the R key - using both hands, and all four keys down at once, and hold those four keys down, until you "hear" the MacBook chime three times.

The "chime" is the noise your MacBook makes whenever it starts up. It may take 30 or 40 seconds between each chime.

On the third chime, let go of the Apple :cmd: key, the option key, the P key, and the R key all at once.

Note! : If you've already pulled out the SO-DIMMs, as per the instructions, and put them back in again, there is no need to repeat that process again.

This entire process should erase the Firmware Password you put over your MacBook, yet... at this point, I don't think you're really understanding what I'm saying, so... just take it into an Apple Service Centre and get the Techs to do it for you.



19th April 2009, 03:44 PM
My mac mutes itself on startup, so would it mess up the process if I continued holding all four buttons, and then stretched to turn up the volume, all the while holding the keys?

Also, how can I check whether wiping the password worked or not? Is there any instant indication?


19th April 2009, 05:25 PM
This is going nowhere.
Take it to an Apple Service Repair Centre.

19th April 2009, 05:59 PM
AddIt: What is the Serial Number of your MacBook?

You can find the Serial Number, by opening the Battery latch, removing the Battery and it's either on the inside front wall as shown here:


or it's directly underneath the Battery, just in front of where the bracket to the SO-DIMM slots are, as shown here:


We can then check the best Service Centre for you to take it into.

It will begin with: S / N : and then a series of Capital Letters and numbers, without spaces.



20th April 2009, 07:54 AM
Not enough info on exactly what kind of MacBook you have, as there seven models, dating all the way back to 2006.

Post your MacBook's Serial Number, and I'll know which model you have and can assist further.