Oct 20

Connecting to a Cisco Router or Switch with a Mac or a Macbook Pro is not quite as straight forward as it is on a Windows PC. Mac’s don’t have serial ports and sometimes finding a USB to Serial adapter with Mac Drivers can prove difficult. This tutorial will show you how to connect just about any USB to Serial adapter to a Mac using a very generic driver and then how to start a session to your Cisco device by just using the Terminal app.

This tutorial assumes that you already have some kind of USB to serial adapter.

1.) Download the Prolific Technology Driver for USB to Serial adapters for Mac: md_PL2303_MacOSX10.6_dmg_v1.4.0.zip
2.) Install the Prolific Technology Driver and then Reboot your Mac.
3.) Plug the USB to Serial Adapter into any USB port on your Mac.
4.) Open “System Profiler” located in /Applications/Utilities.
5.) In “System Profiler“, under USB-Serial Controller, you should see your device. Click on it.
6.) You should now see Product ID and Version ID. These id’s will be listed in Hex and you will have to convert it to decimal using a calculator or an online converter.
7.) Open up the following file by typing this command into Terminal: sudo vi /System/Library/Extensions/ProlificUsbSerial.kext/Contents/Info.plist
8.) You should see something similar to the following:


9.) Make sure that the converted decimal value of your Product ID and Version ID in System Profiler match the values in Info.plist.
10.) Save your changes by type ESC :wq!.
11.) Unplug your USB to Serial Adapter.
12.) Type the following command into the Terminal App: sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/ProlificUsbSerial.kext
13.) Plug the USB to Serial Adapter into any USB port on your Mac.
14.) Open up “System Preferences” and go into the “Network” options and verify that your Mac lists your new USB to Serial Controller.
15.) Type the following command into the Terminal App to verify that your device is indeed installed on your system: ls /dev/tty.usbserial
16.) You should now be able to type the following command into the Terminal App to start a connection to your Cisco Device: screen /dev/tty.usbserial 9600

You should now see something like this on your terminal screen after you press return a few times:


Oct 18

So you have either forgotten your Mac User’s password or you need to change an existing user’s password without knowing the original password. You have come to the right place. In my case, I was working on a friends Macbook for them and they left it with me to work on and they forgot to give me the password so that I could login and fix the issues. I could have waited until I could reach them to get the password but then I started thinking….If I ask them for the password, then they are going to think I don’t know what I’m doing, especially if I have to ask/beg them for the password…..Or I could just reset it and let them wonder with amazement at how I gained access to their system so quickly.

This tutorial assumes that the Mac User in question probably didn’t password protect their firmware (Which is the default out-of-the-box option).

1.) Power on the Mac in question.
2.) Immediately after you power on the Mac, before you hear the initial mac boot sound, Press and hold the “Command” + “s” keys until the Mac boots into a command prompt.
3.) Once you get a root prompt type the following commands:
mount -uw /
passwd username
4.) You will now be asked to enter in a new password for your user. Enter your new password.
5.) Now just type “reboot” and press return.
6.) You should now be able to login with the password that you just typed in.

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