Forum Thread

how to reset mac laptop

Novakingwai 2,142 263 December 10, 2015 at 09:18 AM
have a mac laptop that needs restoring. When you turn it on it goes to a screen asking for a user name and password instead of the normal one where you click a username and type in a password. I manually type the username and password, then the desktop loads. The only thing that loads is Preview program. If I close the program by going to Apple logo> Quit, the program closes and nothing else is on the screen except the desktop background. I do not see a dock and can't load any programs. When I hold Command R to open the disk utility nothing happens. I have a USB stick with a MAC OSx recovery on it, and when I load it into the USB slot and hold Option while rebooting the computer the only thing that shows is the Mac HDD. Normally when I do this on other macs I can choose the USB drive and reinstall onto the HDD. I need help.

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#2
Quote from Novakingwai View Post :
have a mac laptop that needs restoring. When you turn it on it goes to a screen asking for a user name and password instead of the normal one where you click a username and type in a password. I manually type the username and password, then the desktop loads. The only thing that loads is Preview program. If I close the program by going to Apple logo> Quit, the program closes and nothing else is on the screen except the desktop background. I do not see a dock and can't load any programs. When I hold Command R to open the disk utility nothing happens. I have a USB stick with a MAC OSx recovery on it, and when I load it into the USB slot and hold Option while rebooting the computer the only thing that shows is the Mac HDD. Normally when I do this on other macs I can choose the USB drive and reinstall onto the HDD. I need help.
Dock is probably auto-hiding, move mouse around sides of screen. Go up to the apple logo and choose about this mac, post the exact model and the OS version. A little more history on the machine could help too, is it yours, where did it come from etc.

At the desktop, press command (apple) - n this should open a new finder window. command-shift-a should open the applications folder and command-shit-u should open the utilities folder. If for some reason any of those fail you, you can always try command-shift-g which lets you type in the path of a folder you want to open (including hidden folders). See also the "Go" menu.
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Last edited by jkee December 10, 2015 at 12:10 PM
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
Dock is probably auto-hiding, move mouse around sides of screen. Go up to the apple logo and choose about this mac, post the exact model and the OS version. A little more history on the machine could help too, is it yours, where did it come from etc.

At the desktop, press command (apple) - n this should open a new finder window. command-shift-a should open the applications folder and command-shit-u should open the utilities folder. If for some reason any of those fail you, you can always try command-shift-g which lets you type in the path of a folder you want to open (including hidden folders). See also the "Go" menu.
I will try tomorrow.

I am not a 100% computer noob. I did try moving my mouse around the edges of the screen to make the dock appear, nothing happens. I couldn't go to About this Mac. Everything is greyed out except for Logout. Ive never seen anything like this.
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#4
Quote from Novakingwai View Post :
I will try tomorrow.

I am not a 100% computer noob. I did try moving my mouse around the edges of the screen to make the dock appear, nothing happens. I couldn't go to About this Mac. Everything is greyed out except for Logout. Ive never seen anything like this.
It could be a limited account or maybe some form of malware. Try the "Go" menu.

More information would help. What's the model number, how old is it, what version of os x, ownership history, etc would go a long way. If a firmware password has been set you could have a very difficult time getting it to boot off of anything else.

You could always kick it into single user mode during boot and see if you can resolve it from a text based terminal. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201573
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255
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#5
Quote from jkee View Post :
It could be a limited account or maybe some form of malware. Try the "Go" menu.

More information would help. What's the model number, how old is it, what version of os x, ownership history, etc would go a long way. If a firmware password has been set you could have a very difficult time getting it to boot off of anything else.

You could always kick it into single user mode during boot and see if you can resolve it from a text based terminal. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201573
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255
Based on the serial number this is the model I have from EveryMac.com
http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-...5101jbufsw
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#6
Quote from Novakingwai View Post :
Based on the serial number this is the model I have from EveryMac.com
That's old enough it probably doesn't have internet recovery.

More information about the history of this computer would be very helpful! Have you always owned it / do you own it? Where did it come from (refurb, former corporate machine, fell off a truck, etc.)? Do you know if it has any other user accounts?

I still suspect a limited account, but give the Go menu a try. If you have an appropriate OS X DVD, try booting off of that. You could also try safe mode by holding shift.

If it is a firmware password that's preventing you from booting other media, that machine is old enough you could probably reset it. It's much harder to reset on newer Macs, the only real option is to take it in to an apple store.
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#7
Actually everything seems to be working now. I had the recovery USB in the computer and restarted while holding Option. Normally this would bring the recovery USB right up. It wasn't before. I got called away and left the computer in recovery start up. When I came back this time it was showing up. I guess it just needed a few minutes to recognize the USB stick. I have it restored now and everything is working.

I work at a place where we buy and sell a lot of used stuff. We are supposed to check out electronics thoroughly before buying them, but obviously who ever was here last has let some things slide. I'm coming up with iPads with PINs, computers that aren't booting, and other crap.
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Last edited by Novakingwai December 12, 2015 at 03:10 PM
#8
Emm.Select the "Apple" icon at the top-left corner of your screen and select "Restart." Press "Cmd-R" while your computer restarts. This will launch the Mac OS X Utilities application. Select your Mac OS X hard disk from the list of disks that appear.
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#9
Quote from MikeM6349 View Post :
Emm.Select the "Apple" icon at the top-left corner of your screen and select "Restart." Press "Cmd-R" while your computer restarts. This will launch the Mac OS X Utilities application. Select your Mac OS X hard disk from the list of disks that appear.
Are you sure? I don't see an apple icon, I see a watermelon icon though.
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