Forgot my password for my file.

  • Posted: 23 November 2010 10:54 PM

    I’m not going to tell you I’m a newbie. I think that will be painfully obvious.  rolleyes
    I use my laptop a lot to scan and store old family photos and stories for a genealogy project that I am working on with another family member. Therefore, I take it with me to various family members as I’m collecting these pictures and info. I like for the family to see what we have so far, so I don’t have a password on my computer. However, I also have my own work on here. I used the disk utility and made a password protected file to keep some stuff in. It works great. I’ve opened it several times. The only problem is, I don’t use it often and I have forgotten the password. I’m fairly certain I’m entering it correctly now. Are you locked out after so many tries? If I can’t remember the password, how do I reset it or retrieve my work?
    And yes, you have permission to laugh at me, everyone else does. smile

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    Posted: 23 November 2010 11:56 PM #1

    As far as I am aware, there is no limit to the number of tries on encrypted disks created by disk utility. Regarding password recovery, there is no tool that I know of.

  • Posted: 24 November 2010 02:32 PM #2

    Over here in Ireland we had some bankers with a similar problem, namely password locked files that outlined all their bad behaviour.  We found that a sledgehammer was useful in helping them remember fairly quickly.


    Dogma is Mans best friend

  • Posted: 24 November 2010 04:13 PM #3

    If you are describing a password protected DMG file, I know of no way to break in short of telling the CIA-NSA that the file contains the location of Ossama bin Laden and rely on their supercomputers to crack in. Of course that could lead to jail.

    If you are trying to access the DMG on a system other than the one you created it on, the password may still be held in the Keychain of the originating computer or account. Check that. Make sure the caps lock setting now is the same you used when everything worked.

    Did you never write this password down anywhere? If not, you must have thought it was so obvious that you couldn’t forget it. Was it a name, a verb, a date, a string of numbers or letters like Pi?

    Here are some mental tricks. Consider all your other passwords. How do you remember them? What were you thinking when you created the password originally? Might this password be one of your other passwords with only one letter capitalized or an extra character attached? Carry the computer to the location where you successfully created and accessed the DMG previously. Look around and recall what the room looked like then, then open the folder holding the DMG and type—- did it work? Was the password something that you see on the Mac’s screen when the DMG icon is visible?

    Perhaps you can recover the source data from TImeMachine as the files may have been on your Mac before you dragged them into the DMG.

    I hope this helps.

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    Posted: 24 November 2010 05:53 PM #4

    Clever, Ashley Grayson.

    Have used your method before; have made a copy of your points and will spend some time meditating upon them to recover a password for a document I have that I would like to access. Mindfulness takes effort. Method is the key. Writing down your passwords is the open door. The last is the only one I know I can rely upon.

    Now I have one password to use for simple security. The important stuff that involves trade secretes and my clandestine or peculator toils need the tricky passwords.

    The answer might seem the finger print reader or eye scan but I’ve seen too many movies with the old separation of body parts grab to make these technical solutions desirable.


    Know History; not just your Folklore! At least until I find time to rewrite the laws of physics.

  • Posted: 24 November 2010 06:35 PM #5

    For future passwords I would highly recommend 1Password. I won’t go into it in full here as their website does a much better job than I can, but I have never been so happy with my password situation and I can’t ever forget them (since I never had to know them). It can do much more besides which makes my web experience much smoother and quicker so I have to recommend it highly.

    Of course, you can also store DMG passwords in there securely too wink


    -Matt Cox / Mac Technician / Matt on Twitter

  • Posted: 25 November 2010 08:34 AM #6

    Many people like 1PassWd but I have always been wary of browsers and their vulnerabilities so I’ve stayed away from it.

    My tool of choice is Yojimbo, which is good for lots of things. One of which is storing passwords with encryption. It’s great in that you can have it sync through MobileMe so the info is available on all your Macs.

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    Posted: 25 November 2010 11:51 AM #7

    Or you could always use the notes capability in Keychain.

    Just don’t forget the keychain password.

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    Posted: 29 November 2010 02:32 PM #8

    For remembering passwords I find it helpful to put myself in the same environment (or at least close my eyes and remember it as vividly as possible).

    Back in the consulting days I would help a lot of clients with a lot of passwords, and if stopped on the street and asked I wouldn’t have a chance at remembering most of them. But when a client would call and ask, I would close my eyes and ask them to describe their computer room to me… almost without fail I would remember the password within about 30 seconds of them starting their descriptions. smile


    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

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    Posted: 29 November 2010 04:35 PM #9

    That sounds like the sort of superhuman mental ability that Jack Reacher can do. I’m very impressed. Are you 6’5” and 250lbs as well? (:


    Laurie Fleming - the singing geek


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    Posted: 29 November 2010 04:42 PM #10

    Love Jack Reacher! As for my stats… well, I’m almost 6’5” (a couple inches to go) and, uh, yeah, let’s go with almost 250lbs (I’m only short by about 60lbs on that last one!).


    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.