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MacBookPro boot problem. Open Firmware Password Protection?

by docmerengue / December 24, 2008 8:53 AM PST

I have MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Penryn 15". OS X Leopard, 6 months old.
In trying to add up to a wireless network at home (with a PC and a laptop Windows XP) I switched to "start from network" on System Preferences. On reboot, shows image of file with a ? or flashes a world clip. Usual command+S or C, Alt, attempt to reboot from CD fail. Before attempting anything else I don't want to lose my documents. When reboot with Alt, the padlock with space for password appears. I didn't set a password when I installed OS.

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try this,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 24, 2008 9:13 PM PST

restart the MacBook and hold down the OPTION key until you see, on the screen, a number of startup choices.
The HD should be one of them. Choose that and you should get back in.
Once you get back in, go directly to system preferences, Startup Disk and change the choice back to the internal HD.
You can only startup from a network if there is a valid startup image hosted out on the network.

On the subject of passwords. The OS must have told you a least a couple of times that having no password was NOT a good idea. OS X requires an Administrator to approve the installation of most software and by leaving that field blank, you are leaving your machine open and vulnerable.

Let us know how you get on.


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unable to reboot MacBook Pro. Open Firmware Protection Probl
by docmerengue / December 26, 2008 4:56 PM PST
In reply to: try this,
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Open Firmware problem
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 26, 2008 10:56 PM PST

Your symptoms certainly sound similar to having an Open Firmware password set but if, as you say, you did not set one, then who did?

The only way this can be put into effect is by having physical access to your computer and boot from the Leopard DVD and choose Open Firmware Password from the utilities menu. It cannot happen accidentally.

Even with 10.4, there is a lot to do before the password is applied, again, no accident.

Assuming that this is your personal machine, how did the open firmware password get applied?


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disabling Open Firmware Password Protection
by docmerengue / December 30, 2008 12:52 AM PST
In reply to: Open Firmware problem

I've managed to solve the problem! Searching sites I entered Cubeowner forums, where a 2006 post mentioned similar problem with a cube. Seems this software gets activated when there is an attempt to access the computer, (in this case trying to start from network rather than HD) irrespective if there is a password. I had to modify the memory, then reset PRAM three times and then reboot from the DVD, and, Hallellujah!,
It worked!! First thing I set up a password before restoring initial memory and the rest. So far, so good!

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Yep, that was the answer I was waiting to give you
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 30, 2008 2:00 AM PST

but you never answered my question.

Please you are back in business.


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disabling Open Firmware Password....
by docmerengue / December 30, 2008 2:40 AM PST

I have a (humble) theory:There was no password initially. The software once activated will not accept a "go on" command, even if there was no password...somehow. Once I rebooted to OSX I carried on just pressing "enter" without typing password and access was possible. When setting up a password this time, it did not reject not typing the "initial" password to allow the change. Of course, one way to prove it would be to engage the software again....but I'm not going to try this time.

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(NT) Probably a very wise choice. :-)
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 30, 2008 7:33 AM PST
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