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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Serious keychain screwup: can I undo?

Serious keychain screwup: can I undo?
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Aug 16, 2008, 11:32 AM
 
This question pertains to a Tiger, OSX 10.4.11, system.

I have been, for the last week, trying to recover from a waaaaaay premature drive failure in my new (October 2007) AL iMac. In the final stages of recovery, I found that the backup I'd used had a lot of obsolete keychain info, so I transferred Library/Keychains/System.keychain from a newer backup. This was a mistake. I now find that I'm being asked for a system password when I try to modify items pertaining to the configuration of the computer, and the password is not anything I would have used.Therefore I can't get into a lot of critical functions.

I"m guessing that a system password was automatically, invisibly generated when I installed the system software a day or so ago, and it doesn't match what was in my backup file.

I need, of course, to regain control of my system. I certainly don't want to have to repeat the 2.5 days of work it took to install all fresh software and recover my user accounts from backups all over again.

Is there anything I can do in Terminal? Would an archive/install clean this up?

Failing that, would a total backup of the existing installation, followed by a clean system install and a migration of my old account from this backup work?

Hope someone can help!!!!
( Last edited by Etnier; Aug 16, 2008 at 11:46 AM. )
     
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Aug 16, 2008, 04:57 PM
 
     
Etnier  (op)
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Aug 17, 2008, 11:47 AM
 
I'm afraid this DID NOT work. It erased all my saved internet logins and leaves me where I was: I am asked for a system login password I don't know when user login begins.

I now cannot "import" my backed up internet keychain data from any backups, despite the fact that this option is presented in the Keychain app.
     
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Aug 17, 2008, 04:48 PM
 
Reseting would indeed wipe your keychain, but it should have asked you type your "new" login password which would then make your keychain password match your actual login password.

I'm stumped. I've never seen the reset procedure fail.
     
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Aug 17, 2008, 06:51 PM
 

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Etnier  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:45 AM
 
I'm afraid that didn't help either.

The most obvious indication of my problem is that I get this dialog, upon restarts or log-ins, and at other junctions:

     
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:57 AM
 
Can't you login as root and just delete the System keychain from that user? It won't have anything to prompt you with if it doesn't exist, I assume.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:43 PM
 
Why would you need to log in as root for that? Shouldn't you just be able to trash /Library/Keychains/ and click "Authenticate" and enter the admin password if needed?

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 01:21 PM
 
Yes, but it appears from the description that whenever he tries do almost any operation the keychain dialog returns, thus preventing him from much interaction with the account directly.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Etnier  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 01:30 PM
 
No, I should be able to trash /Library/Keychains/. I guess there's no harm in trying that.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Yes, but it appears from the description that whenever he tries do almost any operation the keychain dialog returns, thus preventing him from much interaction with the account directly.
I don't think the authentication dialog uses the system keychain, but if it does, he could use sudo rm -r in the Terminal, which wouldn't for sure.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Etnier  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 04:02 PM
 
Trashing the file appears to have fixed things without further damage. I was reluctant to go that route for fear the startup process would stall on the missing file.

Thanks all!!!!!
     
   
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