Tag Archives: Macintosh Help

I forgot my Mac’s login password and now I can’t get to my desktop!

Forgot Mac PasswordThis is a common, and very frustrating, problem to have on the Macintosh. The story goes like this–the Macintosh by nature has a unique login password–the administrator password–that is created by you (or whoever set your Mac up) when you startup and setup the computer for the first time. Most people may never have to type this password in even once, or, they confuse it with the Apple ID password, which is a completely different password that allows you to get content on the iTunes and App Stores. At that point, you are now trying to install new software, or, even worse, you are stuck at the login screen without any knowledge of this administrator password. Don’t worry–it can be reset fairly easily, depending on the operating system you are running on your computer. Some of the later Macintosh operating systems have a secret partition built in that you can use to restart into and do things like disk maintenance or changing your administrator password. The easiest way to begin is to simply restart your computer and hold down the Command and R keys simultaneously. This will take a few minutes and eventually you should be booted into this secret recovery partition. Check along the top menubar for a tools menu. Inside this menu, you will most likely see a menu item called “Terminal.” Select this and when it launches, type in the following exactly like you see it:


Now, hit return and you should see the password reset screen appear. Select your hard drive and make sure the proper user account is selected below and type in your new password (twice) and give yourself a hint so it doesn’t happen again! Save your changes, and reboot your computer from the Apple menu and you should be back in business! The Macintosh may ask you about the keychain when you reboot and usually, I just tell it to delete the old keychain and create a brand new one.

Unfortunately, it gets more difficult with older operating systems–these have to be booted from a CD or hard drive to reset this password in virtually the same way, without entering the terminal first.

Did this solve your Mac OS X login issues?

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Why is my Macintosh beeping 3 times when I turn it on?

Macintosh RAM ChipWhat do you do when you hear 3 beeps when you try to turn on your computer? First of all, don’t panic. What this typically means in one of about 3 possible problems. First of all, this usually means that the built-in memory (not where your files are stored), or RAM, is either damaged, not seated correctly, or, the slot that they plug into is malfunctioning. A last dark horse that could cause this triple beeping is a strange bug while running Google Drive software on a Macintosh running 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If you meet this last condition, either deinstall Google Drive or upgrade your Macintosh operating system. See some more suggestions below after the fold below!

If your RAM is causing this beeping, what has to happen first is a reseat of the internal RAM. This means opening the bottom of the computer and removing the RAM chips and reseating them. You will want to have anti-static working conditions for this, such as an anti-static wrist bracelet or mat. This assures that you won’t zap the internal components of your Macintosh with harmful static electricity. Sometime, you will want to only reinstall 1 chip at a time, and through the process of elimination, you can figure out which RAM stick is bad.

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