A colleague of mine gave me a MacBook Pro that a friend of her has asked for help with.

The MBP is installed with Lion, 10.7.2, but unfortunately the previous owner, the father in the family, died, so I don't have any of the passwords necessary for his App Store account.

I can run the reinstall program from the recovery partition, but of course this wants to activate with App Store with his account.

They are currently waiting for his email accounts to be opened up, and until that happens, requesting a new password from Apple won't do much good either.

However, the new owner, the son in the house, wants to use his own account. Can I activate Lion against his account instead? Of course he has never had a Mac tied to his account so he has not purchased Lion, yet.

What is the best way to move forward with this?

Basically, I want to reinstall the MBP to Lion factory presets, and tie this to the sons account instead of the dead father.

Or should they just take it to a factory outlet? Unfortunately there aren't any native Apple Stores nearby, but there are some ... what's the word, Apple Dealers, a local electronics shop that has a large Apple section. Would they be equipped to do this?

Can this be done? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


It can only be done if the son's account has purchased a copy of Lion from the Mac App Store. So either wait to get the password for the father's Apple ID or have the son drop $30 and purchase a new copy of Lion.

  • I'm basically assuming he will have to purchase a lot of software for his "new" MBP, so if he purchases Lion, I can help him reinstall and then reactivate the MBP against his account? Can he purchase Lion before he has a Mac? I mean, can he visit the Mac App Store on the web and purchase it there? Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 19:43
  • On second thought, the MBP boots without a password, I guess I can switch the account in the App Store on the mac itself, have him create a new account and purchase Lion, and then reinstall. Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 19:46
  • If the computer boots, then why reinstall? Just create a new user account for the son and call it a day. If the son ever needs to reinstall then he can research his late father's password or just bite the bullet and buy a new copy of Lion.
    – Carter
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 19:56
  • That might work too, I'll talk to them tomorrow and figure out what they really want/need. Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 20:31

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