I want to format for my mac book pro, but there is error like above. What is this key. How can I fix them. enter image description here


I read that this is a firmware lock.

This thread has further information about how you can remove it, from what I gathered by a quick look. I am not sure if I am allowed to copy the entire series of steps here, but I would encourage you to take a look at the link. Two people have reported successfully removing the lock, however, I have never had this issue.

edit: Click "read all replies" if it only loads the short responses.

edit 2: Sharing some of what was written on the thread:

Option 1:

  1. Insert OS X Installer Disc into the optical drive.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Immediately after the chime press and hold down the "C" key.
  4. Release the key when the spinning gear below the dark gray Apple logo appears.
  5. Wait for installer to finish loading.

(another user writes this, which sounds the same: This is for those of you who've tried to find out how to do away with the gray padlock of death. You have to install the original OS disc that came with your computer. Insert it and go to Mac installer, under Disk Utilities to the drop down menu. Then go to about the fourth one down marked Firmware Password. When you do, it just turn off the password portion of it and you won't need to enter any password the next time you install or reboot from your DVD/CD disc.)

Option 2: (may not work if your RAM is soldered to the board):

To force remove password protection, change the amount of RAM by adding or removing DIMMs then reset the PRAM three times.

Option 3:

Single user mode would do the trick unless there's open firmware password protection in place

To go into single user mode

Press the power button to start the computer. Immediately press and hold the Command (Apple) key and one of the following: the "s" key for single-user mode. (Command-S) This should boot into a white screen, and iirc throw you into a command prompt These instructions should work for older versions such as 10.4. Khafshoh S' version works for newer systems 10.5 and better - 10.7 also has yet another option for resetting the password involving the 'resetpassword' command in lion recovery.

Instructions for changing the password are based off of Apple's documentation though the documentation goes very in-depth.

You would then mount the file system as writable with

mount -uw /

then find out what the accounts on the system are with

ls /Users/

then change their passwords with

passwd username

reboot and get back into graphical mode with


Then check the accounts to work out which one is the admin account.

These are the most promising of what I saw.

Also, try:

  1. Reboot the Mac and hold down Command+R to enter recovery mode.
  2. At the Utilities screen, go to the Utilities menu bar item and choose “Firmware Password Utility”
  3. Select to turn the Firmware Password to OFF.

edit 3: Also note that if you don't have an OS install disc, you can make one using a flash drive and another Mac (if you have access to another Mac).

edit 4: One final link

  • How we can fix :( – Muhammed Hanifi Alma Jan 24 '18 at 18:10
  • I added the most promising posts that I saw on that thread. I hope it helps! – bianca Jan 24 '18 at 18:18
  • Comprehensive answer with several options : some more challenging than others ... – Solar Mike Jan 24 '18 at 18:28
  • Tnx so much for great answer, I will try that :) – Muhammed Hanifi Alma Jan 24 '18 at 18:40
  • 1
    This answer is incorrect in many cases. Option 1 doesn't work as you can't boot from external media with a firmware password. Option 2 is for Open Firmware which isn't present on Macs this decade (OF is not for Intel). Option 3 doesn't work since you can't boot to single user mode with a firmware password. Option 4 doesn't work as you can't enter recovery with a firmware password. The very last link explains taking your Mac to an Apple Store, which is the right answer, but hidden behind a link, making the only right answer a link-only answer. See the linked duplicate of this question. – grg Jan 24 '18 at 18:57

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