Breaking into your MacBook Air after you forgot your password... and you have your Recovery Key

Discussion in 'Mac OS X' started by Rafagon, May 14, 2014.

  1. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    I haven't used my MBA in about two to three months, and I forgot the password. I set up a hint but I cannot figure it out, due to capitalization, spacing, hyphenation or what-not.

    However, I have the Recovery Key printed on a physical paper.

    I tried following these instructions:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH13971

    But they do not work. Specifically, step 5 does not work:

    "If you still need to reset your password, click the bottom line “reset it using your Recovery Key,” then enter your recovery key."

    There is no bottom line that says "reset it using your Recovery Key."

    I called 1(800)MYAPPLE to no avail.

    I spoke to one Shaun Bergen who told me his job title was "Senior Advisor with Apple" and gave me his extension number - 57342.

    I asked if he was in a call center in Cupertino and he refused to tell me where he was.

    He rudely told me that if I wasn't satisfied with his help, that I should call back and see if I get a different Senior Advisor. He refused to transfer me to another one.

    He wants to charge me $20 for some kind of Apple Care Plan or what-not because I purchased the machine more than a year ago.

    I told him I was unwilling to pay $20 simply to get into my MacBook Air, especially given the fact that I have my Recovery Key in front of me.

    I mentioned I would send an e-mail to tcook@Apple.com, and he started getting an attitude, and told me, well, if you wanna do that, then go right ahead. Then he told me to have a nice day and basically hung up on me.

    If any of you know e-mail addresses for other Senior Officers at Apple, please reply to me and tell me a few—the more the better. Meanwhile, I'm going to e-mail tcook@Apple.com and tell him about my experience.

    Additionally, if any of you know a way to break into a Mac running Mavericks (and, again, I have my Recovery Key), please tell me the steps.

    I spent about 90 minutes Googling and following steps from non-Apple websites, like this one:

    http://lifehacker.com/5681710/how-to-break-into-a-mac-and-prevent-it-from-happening-to-you

    I followed steps from almost seven different websites.

    @Europa @chris if you are able to help me I would be very grateful.

    At this point I am going to show up at an Apple Store "Genius Bar" sometime in the next seven days and I am not going to be a happy camper.

    As proof that I'm not fabricating the fact that I have my Recover Key, here is a photo of it (with the private info concealed for obvious reasons):

    I apologize for venting. I needed to do it. I would appreciate if any replies any of you provide are not "mean."

    Thank you kindly,

    -Rafael

    RK.jpg
     
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  2. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Lastly, as soon as I get in, I'm going to disable this "two-step verification" bull. Facebook and Twitter implemented two-step verification very nicely, but, sadly, Apple did not.
     
  3. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    That recovery key is for your Apple ID. Look at the bottom of the printout. You set it up about a year ago when Apple starter recommending it as a more secure way to protect your Apple ID. It has nothing to do with your computer's master password. You can set a recovery key for File Vault, but the one you posted is unrelated.
     
  4. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    But during one or more of the websites I visited, it stated that "FileVault" is a prerequisite for that Recovery Key...

    Here's a screen capture from Wikipedia:

    WikiCapture.jpg

    (please click to expand—the "or" is so small that it is barely legible)

    I know my tone sounds upset but please, please don't think it is directed at you. It is directed at Apple.

    I expected better from them.

    I don't think I have ever been so disappointed by Apple—expect maybe the time I camped out for the iPhone 4 and there was no desginated place to make a line and at one point a stampede ensued.

    I'm going to take my Recovery Key printout and the URL to that Wikipedia page when I go to the Genius Bar.

    You're obviously more savvy than me, so maybe you can explain that Wikipedia sentence that I might be misunderstanding.

    Thanks for always helping :)

    -Rafael

    EDIT: "you're more savvy than I" - apologies
     
    #4 Rafagon, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  5. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    After you get this sorted out, I highly recommend the eWallet app. It's a password manager that encrypts and syncs your passwords across computers and mobile devices. I did a lot of research before deciding on one several years ago and I've been really happy with how it's worked.
    I'm not sure why you are upset with Apple over this. I've explained that you're using the wrong recovery key. It's like trying to unlock your house with your car key. How is Apple to blame for that? You need to find the correct recovery key. FileVault is not a prerequisite for two-step verification of your Apple ID. Your screenshot is for two-step verification. It is completely unrelated to your MacBook's master password. Two-step verification works great for recovering your Apple ID; I've tested it. Look at the date and description on bottom of your recovery key printout. It says what it's intended for. Apple first implemented this in late March 2013. You printed that in early April 2013. Some people had to wait on Apple for a few days before they could set it up; you were one of them. I remember you starting a thread here regarding it.
     
  6. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Ok. Let me see if I understand you correctly. There are three passwords for Mac computers? The password you type below your username; a "master password"; and finally a "Recovery Key"?

    You saw my original post right? It clearly says "Recovery Key"!

    I never knew there were three passwords on Mac computers?

    I dunno. I only got two hours of sleep last night. Let me try reading your post again in the AM.

    Thank you for being so patient with me :)
     
  7. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    No, there aren't three logins for your computer. Yes, I saw your original post. There is a master login and password for your Mac. There is a login and password for your Apple ID that you use for iTunes and the App Store. The two aren't related in any way. The photo of the recovery key that you posted is for your Apple ID, not your computer.

    The recovery key you have is an alternative to security questions for your Apple ID. Again, this is not related to your computer's login/password. It is a more secure way of protecting your Apple ID. Apple implemented it in the spring of 2013 when they got hacked. IIRC, someone could gain access to your Apple ID if they knew your Apple ID email and DOB - even if they didn't know your security questions. Therefore, they started to offer a more secure way to protect Apple IDs. You set it up at that time. You started a thread here on eiC regarding it. I posted a link to it in my previous post.
     
  8. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    I love happy endings... (no pun intended)...

    I woke up this morning and I simply didn't feel like letting this go. If the plight I described in this thread should ever befall you or a friend, just go here:

    http://osxdaily.com/2010/08/10/forgot-mac-password-how-to-reset-mac-password/

    I followed the instructions below "Reset Mac Password – without a CD or Boot Drive" and everything went more swimmingly than Michael Phelps could've hoped for. The actual process took approximately half an hour, after fifteen minutes or so of Google searching and clicking on pages that were no help.

    No Recovery Key password was even necessary.

    I may get rid of that Recovery Key/two-step login BS immediately—after all, why bother? Anyone with a bit of perseverance and minimal Google search skills can hack into a Mac that doesn't belong to them. It certainly doesn't take someone from the NSA.

    It looks like I may have to reset the master Keychain password, but that's a small price to pay, all things considered. I've got all my passwords stashed away in a spreadsheet file that is tucked away on my iMac's... Desktop. :)

    A big thank to you @Europa for the help she provided, and also to anyone who read my original post. (Europa, I still don't know which "master login" password you're talking about, forgive me.)

    gotin-1.jpg

    gotin-2.jpg
     
  9. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    The master login/password is what you use to log into your computer and when you install programs, etc.
    I've explained what your recovery key is for three times, but you aren't reading my posts and you still insist that it has something to do with your computer, so I give up...
     
  10. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    The master login/password, the one associated with a given user account? When you install programs, log in, etc.? Are you referring to this one:

    Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.04.58 PM.png
    photo.JPG

    If you are referring to that one, then of course I'm familiar with that; but if I had known that password, I would never have had to hack into my MacBook Air, and would never have created this thread in the first place. In the first sentence of my original post, I stated that I forgot the password. It's also stated in the thread title.
     

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