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Early 2011 Model: A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor

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How do I reset the firmware password on my MacBook Pro?

Hi, everybody. I'm Wilson, as you see on the forum. Well, I got a MacBook Pro early 2011 that I bought from a friend 2 months ago. The firmware is protected by a password, and I cannot boot form my HDD. When I googled it, I found that the firmware password should be removed or reset, but I don't know how to reset it. Please help me, because I ain't got any other to work on.

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Bu iyi bir soru mu?

Puan 68
18 Yorum

Warum nicht auf Deutsch

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Hallo wollte mal Fragen wie ich mein Firmware Passwort entriegeln kann da ich es vergessen habe, wenn jemand mir helfen könnte, habe ein 17zoll Macbook Pro Ende 2011

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thanks you sir its working

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Please use English!

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I'm Jeff, I got a MacBook Pro that I bought from a friend . The firmware is protected by a password, and I cannot boot form my HDD. When I googled it, I found that the firmware password should be removed or reset, but I don't know how to reset it.

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13 tane daha yorum göster

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Have you tried this? Feedback from the comments in the article says it works:

Add or remove a stick of RAM. Obviously if you have one stick in, add one and if you have two in remove one.

Power on the Mac and immediately press and hold command-option-P-R.

The system will restart with the ‘bong' noise; allow it to do this 3 times. On the third ‘bong’ you can let go of the keys.

The machine will now boot with a cleared password and reset PRAM/NVRAM.

You can then shut down the machine and reconfigure the RAM configuration as you want it.

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Puan 42

25 Yorum:

Good call--here is a link to the article. +

http://www.macworld.com/article/1145418/...

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wow.......you are great sir..it really worked :D

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Wow Thanks a lot

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will not work on anything above 2008 model you have to clear out the bios chip with programmer check out http://jerseycityrepair.com/macbook-air-...

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Wow Thanks a lot,, It really worked, it's been an on going problem and i mean pronlem with my Mac,.. with many trips to the Apple store + $$$.. Thanks a lot..

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I am a hardware engineer and former employee of a large computer company with that said i can give you a basic understanding that you can hack or reverse any efi password with the proper tools. all you have to do is reprogram the bios chip with a clean firmware that does not have a password on it. for this you will need a couple of things. first you have to identify the bios chip (microcontroller), then you have to get a .bin file that does not have a password on it and it has to be for your specific machine 2011will not work on 2014 and so on.(that maybe hard to get since manufacturers own this info and do not give it out. thirdly you need the proper tools to do it. eprom programmer once the chip is removed from the board. this is just a basic description. I have seen it done and here is someone that can answer more in depth questions

Block Image

ok so here is a picture of the bios chip on the bottom right. It is the chip with 8 legs. it is the MXIC6406e CHIP and it is used in many computers not only macbooks but hp and many others. remember that most components are just that components and every company uses them. just the data onboard the chips are different.

thats the best I can do in a basic explanation. this work is on a engineering level that goes beyond the knowledge of technicians and is fully understood by those that can build a computer from its most basic components and make it work. In other words it not easy but it can be done with some education and skill.

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Puan 13

3 Yorum:

will not work on anything above 2008 model you have to clear out the bios chip with programmer check out http://jerseycityrepair.com/macbook-air-...

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@Sam, the links seems to be broken :/

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Not much has changed in the mac book since 2010 it's still the same type of EFI BIOS chip in the new 2015 2016 in 2017 models only difference is it is a BGA chip the type where you cannot see the legs which makes it a little bit more difficult to program but the correct way of doing it will have to be through the Diagnostics port on the motherboard of the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air I know of many technicians who tried to do a souldering job to remove the chip only to end up with a bricked motherboard. The only thing that has changed has been some updates to the EFI programming from Apple that only allows you to install the latest OS X without being able to downgrade so it's important to remember that you should not update your EFI bios chip on your MacBook Pro or air because you will not be able to install an older OS X once you upgrade to a newer one.

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One thing to note:

90% of the people who do BIOS level fixes &&^& up the ME region, meaning, your laptop will run slow, and suck in graphics applications when running on Intel video. If yours experiences this after having someone mess with your BIOS on a core i platform, they messed up the ME region.

The ME region of the BIOS speaks to the PCH. They do a handshake upon first boot.

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Puan 7
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On pre-2011 systems, you can do this with a Snow Leopard DVD or changing the RAM configuration. Apple sells this for $20 but I think they only continue to sell it for Mac OS X upgrades since you need to have 10.6 installed as a bare minimum to upgrade the OS through the App Store. While 10.6 has been EOL for years and application/hardware support hasn’t been there for years, it does come in handy - legacy hardware and situations like this are why it still makes sense to keep around.

In order to boot from the DVD, put it in the drive and press Option and select the DVD or press C. Both of these will work, so it's a matter of which one works for you. Expect to sit for ~15-20+ minutes or more to err on the side of caution - the DVD drive takes it’s sweet time unlike a flash drive.

Once the system is up, go under Utilities and find Password Reset utility. This will allow you to clear it out.

If you have a HDP (Hard Disk Password), the drive is typically discarded because it’s so difficult to recover from that. It can be done but the use of encryption in the firmware to hide it makes it high risk and usually impractical. You can try and crack it, but you may damage the firmware on the drive and permanently mess it up. Don’t try unless you don’t care about the data and you know EXACTLY what you are doing!

For 2011-present systems, you need a clean EFI with an intact ME region - Apple has a procedure, but they require a proof of purchase.

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Puan 6
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Sam is partially right,

On newer Macs you MUST have an Authorized Apple Technician (like me) and we MUST speak with our second level support at Apple, they will send us a file to put on a formatted USB thumb drive that will erase the system password.

This is the only way and... there are no connector on the logic board to do this on the MacBook Pro 13 early '11.

So if you have this problem just go to the nearest Apple Store or Apple Premium Service Provider, they will know what to do.

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Puan 4

3 Yorum:

Riki, I bought my 2011 Macbook Pro from a private party about a year ago. Last weekend my housemate copied a Mac Os disk in my machine and suddenly the lock screen appeared an will not go away. The problem is I have not proof of purchase that the Mac centers need. What can I do?

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im in the same boat nevilvfried, what did you end up doing?

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Systems that all of a sudden go into lock up like this is were the original owner enabled Find my Mac putting it into lock down. This is just like Find my iPhone service but for your Mac. I would go back to whom sold you the system and get your money back as it was likely stolen.

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Please people stop spamming, its easy to remove the system pass-code to the chip (bios) just add or remove RAM and follow the directions

Power on the Mac and immediately press and hold command-option-P-R

Do it a few times it will work

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Puan 2

5 Yorum:

Removing the single RAM module trick only works on the older models the newer Atmel chipped models this won't work.

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The Command-Option-P-R only resetting the saved settings not re-programing the EFI part of the chip.

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Yea, on a late 2011 MBP8,3 the Password Screen with no text and just the "Lock" and "Password Input field" with an "arrow" on the right pops up with the cmd-alt-P-R (Command-Option-P-R) keys at boot. No 'bong' or any sound at all. When I enter a password it proceeds to the "OS X Utilities" section. Trying to change the firmware password with the "Utilities --> Firmware Password Utility" does not accept the previously accepted password..

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This is what mine is doing

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Very very helpful tip. Was dealing with this same issue for over an hour. Thank you so much.

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The Best way to unlock your mac is to go to service provider. they will unlock it free of cost if you have Proof of purchase ( billing invoice ). they will unlock it in Approx 10 mins .

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Puan 1

2 Yorum:

An iPhone yes that is the way, a MacBook Pro that is not the way.

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In a way I agree with Dan, if its brand new from Apple then yes you can send it over to a service provider close by I know I got my Apple Macbook Pro used it won't do any good.

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APPLE dont do it without original receipt and Email address confirmation where the mac is registered for the owner . Apple is very strict with these condition for EFI lock bios password.

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Puan 0
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please help apple macbook A1278 boot time password one days complete boot usb in macbook but not working.

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Puan 0
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I had the same thing (firmware-lock and Icloud-lock) and I use a lot of linux distro’s, so I had the feeling of a procedure that would probably work. We’ll it did!

Important! Only if u don’t mind losing the files on your ssd or hd!

1. Download a fedora workstation live-iso https://getfedora.org/

2. Burn the .iso to a usb-stick. With Etcher https://etcher.io/ it will probably always burn successful, and available for win10, mac and linux.


3. Download a ubuntu live-iso https://www.ubuntu.com/


4. Burn it also to a usb-stick with Etcher.

5. Fedora uses also efi, like macOS. So if ubuntu will not show up as a, .Windows install-disc when pressing the alt-key at start-up. Then first boot in fedora live. If u can boot straight to ubuntu you can go to step 7, but it can’t harm to follow step 6 also.


6. Use the Disks utility in Fedora Live and delete all the partitions on the ssd/hd. Reboot.


7. Boot into ubuntu. And actual install it on the whole ssd/hd. Because we still need to replace the apple-efi-recovery with grub2-bootloader. In the install-proces you will get a warning like: “When proceeding you will delete efi. It can be difficult to install another OS later on the machine” We’ll just press ok, and accept the grub2-install of ubuntu. Reboot.


8. Hold the command-R keys at start-up. Make sure u can connect to wifi. Internet-recovery will start.


9. Open disk-utility and just format the ssd/hd back to 1 Apple journaled GUID-partition


10. Select fresh OSX install. Done! A fresh MacBook Air that u can register with your own Apple-ID.

I only tested it on Macbook Airs shipped original with Lion but I can’t think of a reason why it will not work on newer ones. Older ones (pre-internet-recovery) U probably can use a OSX install-usb at step 8.

Please add comments, when u run into some kind of trouble! Good luck!

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Puan -1

4 Yorum:

Egge, that does not work.

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could you please let me know if this method works on 2017 MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar model?

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Does not work for ANY Mac built 2011 onwards as keyboard input is disabled unless you type the correct EFI password. All the normal boot options like "C" for cd, "Option" for boot menu are disabled. There is no hack around this other than unsoldering EFI PROM etc.

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This is my experience on a 2011 21.5" iMac.

Swapped RAM till I was almost blue-in-the-face and am still unable to zap the PRAM and therefore boot from a different OS. Blank screen till I let go of the keys and it works out the SSD has nothing on it, at which point the flashing question mark makes its way on-stage...

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