Author Topic: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?  (Read 681 times)

slope

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How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:42:31 am »
I have a 2004 G5 tower which I would like to delete my user account from before giving the computer away. I have lost the original install discs + I don't have a monitor to connect the G5 to.

I do have a G4 iBook and ethernet and firewire cables and can access the G5. But I can't figure out how to delete my user account on the G5 via the G4 iBook.

Any help very much appreciated  :) I'm not so smart with these things  :-[

ps I also have a newish Intel based iMac if that might help?


Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 11:07:04 am »
How are you trying to do it? Booting the G5 in Firewire target disk mode and deleting it from the other computer?

If you do "Get Info" on the drive there's a checkbox for something like "Ignore permissions on this disk" that you might need to turn on.

The other thing to try, if you have the install disks for the iBook, is to boot the iBook from those and wipe the G5's drive and do a clean OS install from the iBook.

(this assumes the iBook came with a new enough OS to boot the G5, which depends on their relative ages)

slope

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 11:40:31 am »
Thanks grams  :)

How are you trying to do it? Booting the G5 in Firewire target disk mode and deleting it from the other computer?

Sorry don't understand target disk mode  :-[

What I have done is to firewire connect the iBook and monitor less G5 and on the iBook's Finder > Go >Connect to Server > click Browse and then select G5 from the Network pane, then Connect As - Registered User - and enter my G5 password. Which then gives me access to all my stuff on the G5.

If you do "Get Info" on the drive there's a checkbox for something like "Ignore permissions on this disk" that you might need to turn on.

Not sure what you mean there  :-[


The other thing to try, if you have the install disks for the iBook, is to boot the iBook from those and wipe the G5's drive and do a clean OS install from the iBook.

(this assumes the iBook came with a new enough OS to boot the G5, which depends on their relative ages)

I do have the original iBook OSX install disks. As far as I remember the G5 is running OSX something - both are pre Intel so both are Power PC processors

Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 11:53:31 am »
Sorry don't understand target disk mode  :-[

Shut down the G5 and power it up while holding down the "T" key on the keyboard (hopefully you have one!). This turns it into a giant Firewire hard disk rather than a remote file server, and gives you complete freedom to delete things.

If you do "Get Info" on the drive there's a checkbox for something like "Ignore permissions on this disk" that you might need to turn on.

Select the drive in the Finder and choose "Get Info". This check box won't appear if you're connected as a server.

Kim

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 11:59:16 am »
This sounds like the real question is "Where on an OSX filesystem is the user-specific data kept?"


Possible alternative approaches:

Boot it up, ssh in and delete the account with unisex spaceadmin tactics?

Connect the disk to anything convenient and zero it, leaving the OS as an exercise for the recipient?

Remove the disk, destroy it via your preferred method of ultraviolence, and give away the machine without a hard drive?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Jaded

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 12:52:00 pm »
Deleting user directories on a target disk might not delete the user.

I'd try this:

Set the G5 in Target Disk Mode as suggested above.

Connect the iBook.
Boot it up holding the Option key down (ALT) to get a list of disks that you can boot from. Hopefully the G5 disk is there.
Boot from that and then you are running OSX from the G5 via the iBook display and keyboard.

go to System Preference and then Users and Groups. Delete the User account. You may have to create a new Admin User if there isn't one.

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

tonycollinet

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 01:14:10 pm »
The obvious answer here is:

Connect to a TV or borrow a monitor.

slope

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 02:28:06 pm »
Very many thanks everyone ^, much appreciated  :thumbsup:

YACF rocks with help  :-*

I now think I understand all your advice, have moved beyond being in a tizzy mode and can proceed accordingly  :)

It is Efrogwr OTP who will be the recipient of said old dusty G5 mega heavy tower - and if I can't succeed with the above advice utilising the G4 iBook, I know I can borrow a monitor from him, as I gave him one when I sold him my old 2010 Mac Mini not that long ago




Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 03:56:52 pm »
At the bare OS level a 'user' exists as a few things:-

a) An entry in the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files (along with lots of other possible entries in other files such as /etc/group(s), /etc/sudoers, and so on).
b) The user's home directory: /Users/username/
c) Probably some other things I've forgotten or simply don't know about with MacOS X

The safest way to make sure you get everything associated with the user would be to boot up the machine, log in as an admin user and then use the User Administration (or whatever it is) GUI to remove the user, that should take care of most other things. Can't remember if MacOS X requires at least one non-admin user.

Just removing the entries in the files (a) and the whole user's home directory (b) would cover 99% of the things that would be needed.

Depends what your concerns are though, whichever you do unless you do a multi-phased scrub of the entire drive then anything you delete could possibly be recoverable.

On a side note I've still got the (re-)install media for my G5 somewhere (it's the quad core PPC version, not the x86 version). I'd be happy to try and make a couple of copies and post them if that would help.

(I've still got my Quad Core G5 - should really scrub it and hoik it on eBay. Similar seem to be going for ~£300 although it's probably close to that in postage too given they're so bloody heavy.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

slope

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 05:19:08 pm »
On a side note I've still got the (re-)install media for my G5 somewhere (it's the quad core PPC version, not the x86 version). I'd be happy to try and make a couple of copies and post them if that would help.

PM incoming re your kind and generous offer  :thumbsup:

slope

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Re: How to delete a user account Mac G5 from another Mac?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2019, 02:29:41 pm »
Update on this issue. Greenbank OTP kindly sent/leant me his two original G5 discs + a copy of disk 1.

For some reason Firewiring up the monitorless G5 tower in Target mode with the G4 iBook - it shows up both on the G4 desktop and in Disk Utility. BUT via DU it won't erase. It will Verify and Repair Permissions but the rename and Erase options are greyed out. This applies to both the main Firewire icon and the indented named 'PW5' Firewire icon.

I inserted Greenbank's Install disk 1 and it's lablelled 10.4.2, wondering if I could erase the HD with that and then reinstall - but without joy. The OS on my G5 is 10.5.2 - I have no idea if this is of any consequence?

It seems second hand 160Gb and 320Gb used HDs are available on eBay for £25-£30. Sadly the separate 160Gb Samsung HD I previously used as a backup has totally different connections and isn't compatible with the G5.

I'll see if Efrogwr is still interested or it's be down the municipal tip.

The G3 blueberry fires up fine, and click calcks away a good 'un as it does its thing - everything seems working :)