March 23, 2009 (Macworld) Reader Sabrina has a common, but potentially delicate, question. It goes a little like this:
I was given my mother’s iMac because she passed away but I don’t know the password. How can I gain access to this Mac?
I suggest this question is a little delicate because you could use the method I’m about to describe to access any Mac. And that may be a problem for parents who want to keep kids out of their stuff (and vice versa). On the other hand, situations such as yours (as well as problems that come up when you purchase a used Mac that hasn’t been properly cleared) invite a response.
That response is this in regard to OS X 10.5: Locate that Mac’s installer disc or a recent OS X installer disc (a Tiger or Leopard disc, for example). Insert that disc into the Mac’s media drive and hold down the keyboard’s C key to boot the Mac from that disc.