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MacBook Cannot Reset to Initialization Wizard

Posted on 2014-03-02
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
Hello everyone,
   I have a bunch of old MacBooks (A1181 model) that we purchased from a school auction.  We are trying to clean them off to donate to a local church, but have run into a bit of an issue that I haven't seen before.

   The school had these locked down pretty tight.  My thoughts were to wipe the system and reinstall OS X fresh, but I can't.  It won't boot off the DVD and install.  So I thought, "OK, I'll reset the init sequence and just reset them up from scratch like they just came out of the box."  But I can't get in to delete the file in Single User Mode via - rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone.

  When I get into Single User Mode I see a "Key:" prompt.  When I type nothing echos which leads me to believe this may be a password of some sort... if so, how can I reset it?  I'm pretty good with Macs, but I've not seen this before.  Can anyone shed any insight on this?

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.
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Question by:ParadiseITS
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6 Comments
 
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39898975
It is possible that they have set an open firmware password. You can reset this by removing one memory chip and then resetting the PRAM three times:

http://www.securemac.com/openfirmwarepasswordprotection.php

http://www.macforensicslab.com/ProductsAndServices/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&cPath=5_20&products_id=69
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:ParadiseITS
ID: 39898980
Great strung, I'll try that ASAP!
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:ParadiseITS
ID: 39899093
Sorry to say I tried it twice and it didn't change anything.


Any other ideas what this "Key:" prompt might mean?
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LVL 53

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strung earned 2000 total points
ID: 39917374
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:ParadiseITS
ID: 39918570
OK, thanks -- I'm going to go through those and see.
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LVL 9

Author Closing Comment

by:ParadiseITS
ID: 39947707
Finally got it to work by pulling out the memory and rebooting it with a 10.9.1 USB stick, then rebooting again - then it came up fine.

Go figure...
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