have apple powerbook 150 but no logon password!

So, at the thrift store, I purchased a working Apple Powerbook 150 for about a dollar. Old school laptop that runs… sweet, right?

Well, it requires a password to login to the computer so I can’t get past the initial screen and see whats on there (perhaps old school Oregon Trail?!)

does apple have a default password to get into options of the computer? without knowing the user’s password info who owned it before me, what are my options? I know there has to be more than just the login screen as an option that apple built in.

(If there’s nothing I can do, look for another thread about what I can actually do with the computer :))

Having a default password that will get you in would be a REALLY poor idea from a security standpoint; see “Microsoft Bob” for an example of the mocking they’d be in for.

However, that’s a pretty old laptop. Which means it’s probably not running OS X, which in turn leads me to wonder what password it’s asking for. OS 7-9 had a multi user option, I believe, but it wasn’t commonly used. It’s also possible that there was a way to set the BIOS/OpenFirmware password. What does the screen look like when it’s asking – Mac Logos and such, or just a plain “Give me a Password” type of box?

If it’s the OS itself giving you the password, you can just reformat the disk and re-install Mac OS whatever (probably 7 or 8). If you got disks with the machine, use those. If not, you can probably buy them in a garage sale or something for about a buck. Alternatively, check here and see if there’s a download available – System Software of that era (System 7, anyway) was freely distributable to anybody with a Mac, so if you can find a disk you’re golden, license-wise.

A more interesting question is…what software can you get for it? That’s a REALLY old mac, with system software probably ten major versions out of date.

this fine piece of technology has leg that “flip-out” behind it… sort of the way that old keyboards do… I love it
as for your question
the prompt says “please enter the password for Carter1109.” assuming that is the user who owned it before.

then, with my state-of-the-art trackball I can choose shutdown or OK after typing a password in the box.

we also have a disk compartment… not this kind

but this kind
I have no discs, no case to carry it in, and no Atari system in case I became bored of doing homework… just a brick-style 1980’s computer that costs one dollar

A page of data & links for the PB 150

RE passwords

This says

well I took your advice and decided to call that number you provided. they directed me to another 800 number who also could not help at all. He said I would need to reformat the entire computer (which is absolutely fine) however he said that there was no way to do it… I’m out of ideas. is it time to throw it out the window?

No, don’t throw it out the window. Go to an Apple Users Group near you ( http://www.apple.com/usergroups/ ) and ask if someone has a floppy disk installation of system 7.1, 7.5, or 7.6. This site ( http://hardcoremac.stores.yahoo.net/software.html ) sells older versions of Macintosh Operating System software on floppy disks, but it’s (relatively) expensive.

This website here talks about Macintosh OS System 7 and how wonderful it is:

And if you decide to throw it out the window, go to an Apple Users Group and ask if anyone is interested in your machine, before you dump it in the trashcan.

a) You can boot it from a bootable floppy, and reformat the internal HD from there. System 7.1.1 was what it was born with (and it required an “enabler” file) but 7.5, more readily obtainable, ought to boot that sucker right up. More to the point, perhaps, you may be able to boot from floppy and access the files that are on the hard disk before reformatting, using tools such as DeskZap.


b) You should also be able to boot from an external SCSI device such as a Zip drive, SyQuest drive, external hard drive, etc. It will need to be HFS formatted (not HFS+) and have an OS version somewhere between 7.1.1 + PB 150 enabler and MacOS 7.6.1; to tell the PB to boot from the external device by default, you may have to hold down Command-Option-Delete-Shift until you see the smiling Mac face and the parade of extension icons. Again, you can reformat from there and/or try to access the files on the internal HD using various utility tools.

If you can edit the fies on the internal HD with a tool such as DeskZap, you may be able to trash whatever preferences or extensions are locking the HD at boot. I don’t think it was anything stored in parameter RAM, just plain files that load at boot time off the hard drive. Not even sure if you need utilities at all if you boot from something other than the internal HD, you might have full access via the Finder and just toss out the extension or control panel that does the security, such as it is. (I could be wrong about that, but I don’t remember much in the way of serious security measured in those days on the Mac)