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Thread: P/Book Titanium 400(Locked Logic Board)

  1. #1
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    Rolleyes P/Book Titanium 400(Locked Logic Board)

    Hello there,

    I currently work for a second hand Apple dealer and as part of our shipment of computers we have received a G4 400 Titanium 15".
    It has an operating system on it but has been locked somehow with the firmware. Booting off option results only in a padlock. Short of finding out the old users password, is there any way to unlock the Logic Board?
    It isnt of huge importance but it might help if we encounter the same issue down the track. ( It is running Jaguar.) Unable to boot off any CD.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    harvester.

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Pretty sure locked firmware can be easily reset by reseating memory, at least in some Macs... Give it a go and let us know. I can dig up more, but don't have it handy.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    Toss out the motherboard. There is no way to recover if the Open Firmware password was installed. The computer will not boot to any CD, it will not access any other drive, you cannot change the startup disk. Even Apple themselves would be unable to work around an Open Firmware password installation.

    Sorry.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  4. #4
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    Really???

    Maybe I am confused, or it varies by LB, but I thought there were ways....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
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    Quote from David Pogue, The Missing Manual:

    But there is one way to secure your Mac completely: by using the Open Firmware Password Program.

    Once you've turned on OF Password Protection, none of the usual startup keys tricks will work. snip none of it works without the master Open Firmware Password.

    This password is deadly serious and un-hackable, and there is no backdoor. If you forget the OF password, you can't change the startup disk ever again. Even Apple can't help you out of that situation.

    No amount of clever restarting or inserting of disks can bypass this heavily armed gatekeeper.
    That is why I do NOT use an OF Password Protect.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Rick,

    Does this say the same thing http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106482 or is it indicating there is a way? k

  7. #7
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    Did a little googling....

    Came up with this (tried to edit for content):


    So you can boot anyone's Mac using a CD or (for newer machines) mount the hard drive using target disk mode. Therefore, your machine isn't secure, right? Stock, yes; otherwise, no. Apple has a neato utility described [in Mac OS X 10.1: How to Set up Open Firmware Password Protection] that eliminates this problem and more. From the article:

    [references info from doc from Kaye's link above]

    I have installed it on my iBook (late 2001) with OS X and I am definitely pleased with the results."

    -----------

    What was NOT entioned when using this as a security method, but I believe is covered in same tech note, is that removal of any RAM can reset the password and allow a user to bypass. It is certainly better than nothing but it is not rock solid nor makes it easy to use a CD for diagnostics when needed. I kept forgetting I put the firmware password in my machine and wondered why the CD failed to work.

    -----------

    While this may be effective for public-use computers (in a computer lab or library), if someone has physical access to your computer, this will not help. This security is on the firmware of the machine and not the hard drives, so the hard drive could be easily removed and accessed in ANOTHER computer. Additionally, I'm not sure about this, but if these settings are stored where other startup data is stored, removing the battery on the logic board will erase the password settings.

    -----------

    This issue is being made overcomplicated by some.

    The principles work like this:

    1. The operating system cannot provide full security on its own, as it is only software. Anybody could develop a CD, Zip or Firewire disk with a different piece of software to overcome the first, and boot off that.

    2. Therefore you may as well provide a convenient method of resetting the root password, and not inconvenience the legitimate user by forcing them to seek a download hack. Thus we have the utility on the OSX Install CD.

    3. So to stop all attempts to bypass OSX starting up and authenticating normally, you need the help of hardware, and so the Open Firmware can be set to disable all alternative boot selections and its own resetability.

    4. But in case you do this wrongly and accidentally, you are given the last-resort ability to remove and replace any RAM chips in your machine, in order to reset the Open Firmware.

    5. But, finally, to prevent this from happening illegitimately, you come back to physical security -- as you will always do. Use any lock on the security bolt to fully secure a PowerMac G4.

    -----------

    Following up on Apple's Mac OS X firmware security document, two readers pointed out some limitations in the scheme...

    I really do not see the difference between a PC and the Mac in defeating the firmware password protection? The BIOS on many PC's if not all can be setup with a password and that password can be easily erased by removing the mother board battery. How is this different then removing the Macs PRAM battery or a RAM card? Some PC mother boards even have a dip switch or jumper on the mother board to zap the password away. This feature implemented in any way needs a way to disable the password. Otherwise some people could get locked out of their computers forever! That would be a waste of several thousands of dollars.

    Basically with the firmware secure and a padlock on the case, I do not see how you can erase the firmware password except to wait several years for the PRAM battery to die
    Apple does not come out and say it (from Kaye's link):

    Warning: The Open Firmware Password can be reset and changed by any one of the following:

    1. By any administrator user, as designated in the Accounts preferences (or in Server Admin).
    2. Via physical access to the inside of the computer.
    3. When the computer is started up in Mac OS 9.

    So yank RAM or PRAM battery to if that does it.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  8. #8
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    So what do you think? David Pogue wrong or circumspect?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    Talking Re: Locked Logic.

    Wow,

    Unclemac, Ricks and Kate, you have really done some thorough searching.
    I really appreciate your efforts. I have also heard that re-seating memory and PRam Battery might be worth a try. I'll let you know what the result is.
    It does say something about Apple's security measures though. Can't complain about that. I'm pretty sure we will be able to salvage most of the computer for bits. After all we do call ourselves "Applebits".lol
    Anyone looking for a 15" G4 Titanium screen? Just kidding.

    Thanks again,

    harvester.

  10. #10
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    Ricks:

    I dunno...nobody can be right about everything all the time.

    Maybe he is taking Apple at their word, and unless they spell it out somewhere *specifically* how to reset, I could understand how one could think there was no way...

    So what *exactly* does "via physical access to the inside of the computer" mean? OK, my Mac is open....now what? Maybe you just have to open it up, peek in and yell, "Steve, Steve, he's our man! If he can't do it, nobody can!"

    I'll bet ya a beer the RAM/PRAM battery pull works...not that I know, but have seen several good sources that report the same.

    Harvester: there is a beer riding on this now, so we now we *need* to know: any luck??
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  11. #11
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    You're on UNC!!!

    I am a real risk taker. Ain't I all bad?

    BTW, I can't see how RAM can have anything to do with it. RAM reverts when power is removed at shutdown.

    ePROMs now, those would revert to default with the zeroing of power on them. PRAM, NVRAM.

    R
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #12
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    Danger is my middle name too....if the memory pull thing does not work, it is a good urban legend, and being propagated widely.

    And ya know, I forgot we are talking about a laptop here....no PRAM battery in the ibooks, so if that is case, pulling the main battery would reset the password lock, no?

    ...What flavor beer you like?

    Check this, including the comments at the bottom...
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  13. #13
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    Yeah,

    I recall reading about this elsewhere. And if memory serves Unc's on the mark here. There is a 'secret' way to reset the open firmware password -- the method of course not to be found on Apple's public site (or for that matter apple doesn't make a huge fuss out of it).

    Believe it's there for admins and techs who meet the occasion forgetful user, old-Mac gets new users, disgruntled workers, etc. From what I recall you had to get inside the machine, but I forgot exactly what you had to pull to do.

    Looks like silly me didn't save a copy of the info. But Unc I think is on the mark with the idea of pulling some RAM.

  14. #14
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    AHA!

    Check out this this link. And this.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  15. #15
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    OK Unc,

    Now that you posted that, Apple Legal called on the phone and said we can no longer use the words Apple or Macintosh on our site. Neither you, the company you work for, nor MacGurus can ever purchase another Macintosh or other Apple Corporation product while you live.

    These conditions are revokable upon proof of your death.




    What type of beer do you drink?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  16. #16
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    Cold. Or luke warm in an emergency situation....

    No worries about the legal thing. Hey, did you see the new Pear rev2 DP G5 Granny Smiths?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  17. #17
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    Oooh! I love this forum....
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemac
    Cold. Or luke warm in an emergency situation....

    No worries about the legal thing. Hey, did you see the new Pear rev2 DP G5 Granny Smiths?
    Yeah, no worries for us.

    And I guess I am not cool. I have no idea what a Pear Rev2 DP G5 is
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  19. #19
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    Code names....very hard to crack.

    Can't say the A word, wink wink. Know what I mean, nudge nudge? Pear, kinda like that other fruit that starts with A....I bet you know, aye squire? No law against talking about Pear computers, know what I mean?



    Sorry, the preceding was a bad parady of a good old Monty Python skit. I humbly apologize. Please tell me you smiled a bit biggles.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  20. #20
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    Are you dead yet?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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