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Support and repair information for MacBook Air models with 13" displays

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Mother Board locked? How to unlock

Hi. I Bought a MacBook Air 13" from eBay and found that whenever I try to start it up even with a good operating system on a good ssd it shows the flashing ? Folder. So I tried to go into recovery mode but it won't go into that... instead it shows the flashing ? Folder again... I then pressed down option on startup to look if it can see the ssd. But when it opened up there was just a lock and a area to put a password in. I will show the picture

Block Image

that's what's my problem... please help! Thanks.

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Bu iyi bir soru mu?

Puan 13

Yorumlar:

@mr_icy did you have any luck?

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Any news? I am also having the same problem. Not really sure if I can still recover the password.

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reset does not work neither does Command+Option+P+R to reset the PRAM, Command+R to enter recovery mode. only erasing pm area of chip by hardware method .

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It's like the brand new, out of the box, MacBookAir I bought from the PX. I locked it up, and took it into have it unlocked by Apple. Since I no longer had the sales slip, they said I stole the computer. That's Apple for you.

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First I would notify eBay that it is a locked machine. (it may be stolen).

Users who require higher than usual security measures often set a firmware password on a Mac, which requires that a password be entered before the typical OS X boot sequence begins. While these low level passwords are quite secure, but that higher security also means a forgotten firmware password can be a significant problem. Nonetheless, if you wind up in a situation where you or another user has forgotten a low level firmware password on a Mac, don’t panic, because you may be able to recover the password or bypass it using one of the methods outlined below. If all else fails, Apple can possibly help you too.

Do note that a firmware password is not the same as an administrator password or the general computer password used to login to a Mac. The firmware password appears immediately upon boot and is a gray locked icon, looking like this:

The Mac firmware password screen, that you forgot the password for

If the password you’re having trouble remembering is a general Mac login or administrator password, you can reset it with these instructions instead. Using the the Apple ID approach on boot is typically the easiest for modern Macs.

1: Try to Reset or Disable with Firmware Password Utility

You may be able to reset, change, or disable the firmware password using the same method you used to set the password to begin with, this requires booting into Recovery Mode:

Reboot the Mac and hold down Command+R to enter recovery mode

At the Utilities screen, go to the Utilities menu bar item and choose “Firmware Password Utility”

Select to turn the Firmware Password to OFF

If this is successful it will tell you the firmware password is off.

Disable firmware password in Mac OS X

Always check your caps key and num lock key before entering or modifying passwords, often mistakes are as simple as that.

Obviously you’ll need to enter a password to gain access to Firmware Password Utility, so why is this even mentioned, right? Because sometimes it works, maybe because of user error when typing the password to begin with. Yes you should actually try it.

2: Have Apple Unlock the Mac Firmware Password For You

If all else fails, you’re going to need to get ahold of Apple or an Apple Authorized Support center who can bypass and/or reset the firmware password using proprietary tools. This works on modern Macs, including the following (this list is not necessarily conclusive, always contact Apple directly if you can not remember your firmware password regardless of the Mac):

MacBook Air (Late 2010 and later)

MacBook Pro (Early 2011 and later)

MacBook Pro with Retina display (all models)

iMac (Mid 2011 and later)

Mac mini (Mid 2011 and later)

Mac Pro (Late 2013)

(Maybe others too, contact Apple to find out for sure)

You can contact the official Apple Support channels by phone, or schedule an appointment with a Genius Bar at a local Apple Store. Again, even if your Mac is not on that list, you should contact them.

In most cases, you will need to provide proof of ownership of the Mac which has a locked firmware password in order for them to unlock the computer in question. There may be exceptions for a variety of unusual circumstances, discuss those with them if necessary.

3: The firmware locked Mac is not included in the above list, and the password reset didn’t work, what now?

Wait, did you contact Apple Support or an Apple Authorized Support agent and ask them? They can probably still help you to unlock the Macs firmware login.

But if you’re the do-it-yourself type (like myself), then you will find that many older Macs, particularly those that allow you to upgrade and change RAM yourself, allow a hardware bypass to get around firmware passwords by physically removing memory from the computer and following the instructions offered here. That is a fairly technical process, which makes it appropriate for advanced users and systems administrators, but it should not be attempted by a person with novice computer experience. With that said, it does work, and I’ve had to use it myself before in a variety of interesting IT and troubleshooting situations.

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 9

Yorumlar:

I bought the laptop from a guy who bought it from someone else. The hard drive didn’t come with it so I don’t have the original drive... so I can’t go into disk utility to take it off. The laptop also is not a complete MacBook Air, unfortunately when I bought it it was just a motherboard and I had a frame, I also don’t have a screen for it. That’s why I was using a monitor

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@mr_icy You bought a pig in a poke and got took.

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Looks like a firmware password to me. You'll need to install the original SSD and unlock the motherboard from there as far as I understand.

Here's Apple's support link: How to set a firmware password on your Mac

You might be able to take it to an Apple Store if you can't fix it yourself, it looks like they may have some tools there for it.

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I don't have a original ssd for that one

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And it wasn't my mac to begin with

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Yorum Ekle

It's a firmware lock,

you have 2 options:

1. The seller gives you the password

2. The seller gives you the original receipt, so you can take it to apple, they can remove the lock. here in the Netherlands it cost me €45.

The flashing folder means that the drive is empty or that it cannot see the drive.

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Puan 3
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This happened to me after I updated the os, 4 years after I purchased it second hand. Original owner was hard to track so no help at all with that. What I did was power it on then instantly held down keys CMD+R till the apple logo came on. I've never had that padlock problem again. Hope that helps.

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Puan 1

Yorumlar:

So would I be eternally grateful if you could solve my padlock problem. Have been trying for 6 month. No one, to date, had done anything to improve the situation.

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Have you tried holding down cmd and r buttons before Apple logo comes on

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all you haft to do is press enter 3 or 4 times and it will work

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That doesn’t make sense lol

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The Mac doesn’t have recovery... when I bought it I tried that but without the original drive Or one with Mac on it I can’t get into recovery

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Yorum Ekle

I read that f you enter the word ROOT then you can reset the password. Many have said it worked for them.

good luck

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 0

Yorumlar:

no way thats too easy its hardcoded onto bios chip

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Sam i have a dud Mac because of a lost receipt too. is the reprogramming something I could do at home or at a shop?

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A root is something we do in Australia. It doesn’t work like this.

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On 2011 and earlier Macs with EFI locks:

with the power off, remove a ram module and then turn on the MacBook. Immediately hold Command+Option+P+R to reset the PRAM. Reset the PRAM twice. Then once it chimes, the password should go away. It’s a stupid bypass but it works. After the password goes away, turn off the Mac again and reinsert the ram and reset the PRAM again to include the new ram in the PRAM config.

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Puan 0
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Nothing works. I sent it to my son-in-law in the state to see what can be done, and their was it can’t be fixed. They also said I stole it. Thanks to Apple. That makes my day.

My MacBook Air is in Santa Ana, if you give me your email address I will send it to my son-in-law to get it fixed.

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 0
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I have the same issue. I am third owner. I tried to update OS. Computer now shows flashing question mark file. If I go Option/Power I need a firm ware password. I don't have. If I replace the SSD with High Sierra pre-loaded, will I be able to use the computer?

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 0

Yorumlar:

Sorry No, The padlock icon is telling you the system is firmware locked.

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No it will probably not work because the software is basically a reporting device that the hardware needs to tell you if there is a password on the computer. Basically what I am saying is that Mac builds there software in a way that when it boots up it checks the hardware to see if there is a password on the hardware. no matter which OS x you put on there if it's the stock one from Apple without any modifications it will check the onboard chips and report back to you that there is a password or pin lock on it. I can tell you that I have tinkered with the software many years ago and I was also able to load Windows on to the Mac natively because Windows obviously does not check EFI password and security so you would have to preload Windows and try it for fun. As of now the only real way to do it is via hardware method if Apple will not do it that's the way I do it now I just interface with a programmer on to the motherboard pin connectors and erase the area of Memory that contains the password and the icloud information. Hope this helps you out.

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 0

Yorumlar:

No it will not work most schools and financial institutions will have both EFI lock and a hard drive lock which is encrypted changing the hard drive will not work it will still boot up to a passcode or can code because the password is still on the motherboard so when you put up with a new hard drive it will still check the motherboard and report back with the lock you have to remove it from the motherboard first then erase the hard drive. Don't waste your money on buying a new hard drive.

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I brought a MacBook retina 2015 from eBay and it says it’s a school property I tried the command keys but it has firmware password I don’t know what to do

but I’m thinking about getting a new SSD and install it

would it work? If not what should I do

Bu yanıt yardımcı oldu mu?

Puan 0

Yorumlar:

Time to contact the school to get it unlocked if the school sold it otherwise you'll need to return it to the school.

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Getting a new ssd won’t work because the firmware lock is on the motherboard... so if you do that the Mac will still be locked

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