This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.


15 posts / 0 new
Last post
HughMungus's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 12
"Unlocking" an imac g3?

Hi, my gal just found and snagged me an old iMac g3 that was gathering dust in the basement of the school where she works. It's ruby DV+, 450 mhz and 320 mgs of ram. The problem is it seems to have been locked down by someone (school IT, I guess). For instance, I can't access a lot of the control panels ( the control panel "___" could not be opened because it is locked") plus, although I could install some games, I can only write to/save files to the documents folder. Anywhere else, I get a message saying file saving is not permitted in this location. Any way I can undo this without re-installing the OS? thanks

Comments

WhosIt.There's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Which operating system - OS 8 / 9 or OS X?

Either way, you may well need a password and it's probably best to re-install the OS anyway to get rid of all the accumulated junk and start fresh.

HughMungus's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 12

It's 9.2. At no point have I been asked for a password. The control panel files in the system folder don't appear to be locked either. Anywhere else I can poke around?

WhosIt.There's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Depending on what they've used to lock it, there will likely be an "admin account" password required to unlock it ... otherwise the kids could easily unlock it and screw it up.

Most likely it's the Multiple Users Control Panel has the Mac set to startup in a "limited access" account. You MIGHT be able to get around it by either:

  • Booting on another drive (e.g. an install CD) and then deleting the file "Multi-User Prefs" from the original startup drive's System Folder -> Preferences, or
  • using Extensions Manager (press the spacebar when booting until Extensions Manager shows) to disable Multiple Users.

But the school may have used some other third-party application to lock-down the Mac from meddling kids.

HughMungus's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 12

Thanks for the info, I'll check it out.

sfp1954's picture
Offline
Joined: 2013 Dec 29

Boot from CD and try deleting the preference files related to multi-users and file sharing.
Or just drag the entire preferences file out of the system folder.

HughMungus's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 12

Ok, after several unsuccessful attempts to boot from 2 os 9 disks (one burned, one retail) I got it to boot from an ibook 9.1 disk. However i can't move or modify any of the preference files because " the disk is locked". There is a lock icon on the upper left corner of hard disk folder. Also I could not get extension Manager to load by pressing space while booting. Tried multiple times. Any suggestions?

WhosIt.There's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

You could also try holding down the Shift key when booting to disable extensions.

Silly question which may not work, but have you tried clicking on the hard drive icon in the Finder, choose "Get Info" from the File menu, and then seeing if you can untick the lock drive option.

You may be able to unlock the drive in Disk Utility (may need to boot off another drive). Or perhaps this Disk Locker (although you may need the original password).

The problem is that the school needs to be pretty thorough in locking down the computers to stop sticky-fingered kids mucking them up (anything too simple and some kids will easily work out how to get around it), so unlocking it without knowing how it was locked in the first place could be impossible.

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

This is almost certainly something like Macintosh Manager has been used to lock down most of the OS9 components, or (completely differently) File Vault or similar, used to lock parts of the disk.

It might help to start reading documentation for these to see if the features they describe match your scenario.

Found the the Mac OS X Server Administration Guide for 10.2 from Apple. Your situation sounds like Macintosh Manager, although I'm not sure how it is working without the server, probably from cached data while it knows it off the network.
The MM v2.2 software looks pretty resilient, it apparently survives booting with extensions off, and/or removing it from the system folder.

Can you open the Multiple Users control panel and tell us what settings you can see (if you can get into it) ??

The one "weakness" I saw in the guide, was that MM will connect to *any* Mac Server with MM installed. The solution might be something like attach the Mac to another Mac network with an early Mac OS X Server, ie. 10.2, 10.3 and then turn off MM.

OR, forget MM, plug in an external USB drive (USB v1.1, so it's going to be painfully slow), backup the stuff you want to keep onto a Mac HFS+ partition, then reformat and reinstall the bits you wanted to keep. That's a great iMac, make the effort.

HughMungus's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 12

First, thanks to everyone for the help. I booted the mac with extensions off and was able to access the control panels. I found a control panel for FoolProof, an educational security program (mac garden has an early version, I think). However, it was password protected. In the extension folder i found 2 extensions:FoolProof init and FoolProof shared lib. I moved them to extensions disabled folder (was I supposed to use extension manager?) On restart, I can now access all control panels and save anywhere. Also, the control panel for Foolproof is now not accessible from the menu and is now in control panels (disabled) folder. When booting from 9.1 disk, I can modify the hard drive (disk is no longer locked.) I think I can cautiously call this a win but should/can I safely delete the FoolProof control panel and extensions now and/or is there a way to completely uninstall FoolProof?

WhosIt.There's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Good work finding the problematic extension. Smile

You don't have to use Extension Manager to manipulate extensions. You can simply drag them around in the Finder (the same with most things in the System Folder, such as Fonts, as long as you know what you're doing). Extension Manager simply makes it easier and allows you to create "sets" (e.g. a reduced set to give a bit more performance for gaming, a standard Apple set for troubleshooting, etc.) and be able to simply swap sets at boot / reboot time.

Without the original installer and password there probably no way to uninstall it "properly". The original installer may not even have such an option.

As bertyboy says, there is probably a preference file somewhere (usually in Preferences or loose in the System Folder, but it may have an obscure name) and possibly something in Application Support. There may be an admin application somewhere as well, although it's more likely the Control Panel did that function, but the Init and Control Panel will be the main working parts blocking your usage. If you don't want FoolProof, simply put those two bits in the Trash and get rid of them.

Edit:
I just found this text file about hacking an older version of FoolProof. It does list the Init, Control Panel, Preferences file, and an Admin Tools application, but the newer version may have rolled the Admin Tools int the Control Panel.

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Awesome result.

I think that you have got everything, although there could be a preferences file somewhere. I now wonder if just removing the preferences file would return FoolProof to an "off" state.

You don't have to consider putting FoolProof back to test this, the rest of us have been running OS9.2 for 15 years without FoolProof.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Excellent work disabling the security program! I'm now curious if these extensions would work by themselves on other Macs.

You mentioned you saw an earlier version on MG. Would anyone want to try configuring these system utilities on a Mac? If they simply work to lock a system down, they could prove useful (of course having an installer and documentation would be perfect, but I'm thinking MG may have use of a backup of these little tools).

Temporary Joe's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Nov 14

I remember in school the Mac computers had a little control panel/extension with a picture of a yellow key on it, is that it? Wish I knew all that back in 5th and 6th grade, I could've been a wizard that unlocked the computers, and maybe I wouldn't have gotten bullied so much. Glasses

MacTouch's picture
Offline
Joined: 2016 Mar 19

the Mac computers had a little control panel/extension with a picture of a yellow key on it

If I remember correctly, this was the Apple "password" control panel in Mac OS 9, nothing else ?