I have a Powerbook G4 whose owner forgot her password.
(This is a Powerbook 6,8. The install disk says OSX 10.4 but I don't know if it's been upgraded.)
I can't insert the install disk into the optical drive (it encounters a solid resistance - I can't tell if there's another disk in there or not, but pressing Eject does nothing, and I don't see any hole in which to poke a paperclip to try to manually eject it).
I found a recommendation to:
- boot into single-user mode
- run fsck -fy
- mount -uw /
- rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
which supposedly would take me through creating a new (admin) user account, which I could then use to reset the owner's password. It rebooted, asked me what language I wanted to use, and after that, nothing (it briefly showed the spinning gear, changed the screen color a couple of times, showed the spinning gear, changed screen color, ad infinitum).
I did manage, from single user mode, to use Unix commands to verify that the owner's home directory still existed. I also inserted a flash drive into a USB port hoping I might use Unix 'cp' to copy the home directory onto it, but it didn't appear in the /Volumes directory.
Now the machine boots up to the window asking what language to use, and goes no further. And as I mentioned, the optical drive doesn't appear to work.
Before I go out and buy a FW 400-800 cable and a FW800-Thunderbolt adapter to try and mount the PB in firewire mode to my 2012 MBP, I wondered if someone could suggest any other things to try.
UPDATE in response to Gordon Davisson:
Output of sw_vers
- ProductName: Mac OS X
- ProductVersion: 10.4.11
- BuildVersion: 8S165
Output of ls /dev/disk*
- /dev/disk0 /dev/disk0s1 /dev/disk0s3
Output of ls /dev/disk* after plugging in flash drive
- /dev/disk0 /dev/disk0s1 /dev/disk0s3 (same)
Output of diskutil list
- Command never completed! (I also tried rebooting and issuing command without flash drive inserted - same result.)
I reran fsck -fy but got a clean bill of health.
[UPDATE]: There is no disk in the optical drive, but a mechanical "stop" that is apparently designed to hold the CD in has moved into place as if a CD were there. This is what is preventing my inserting a CD.
[UPDATE]: All suggestions were useful but were stymied by other unforeseen problems (optical drive problem, etc.). I finally paid about $35 for a Firewire 400-800 cable and a Firewire->Thunderbolt adaptor, booted the laptop into FW target mode, and successfully copied the home folder (about 40GB) onto my Mac. The laptop may be a brick at this point, but the data is rescued. Mission accomplished.