Vicious Cycle. 60 minutes loop.

A friend had used the Lost Mode (Lock) feature on iCloud to lock out a Mac OS X computer at home. This rebooted the Mac and prompted for the 4-digit passcode that was set during the Lock process.

This is a great feature, especially when the kids had homework waiting…

The problem was, if you put in the wrong passcode several times, you’re faced with a “Your Computer is disabled. Try again in 60 minutes” message.

*Kids, guessing passcode is the job of the FBI*

Lost Modea

After waiting for 60 minutes, however, instead of prompting you for the passcode, this dreaded message “Wrong Passcode. Try Again.” shows up.

At this point, rebooting the computer brings back the above screen, and waiting out for another 60 mins brings back to the same “Wrong Passcode. Try Again.” screen.

Vicious cycle.

Lost Mode

What can be done at this point, is to press the ESC button. This would bring out wait… patiently for the 4-digit Passcode to prompt again. The friend of mine waited 3 days before the pin code prompt re-emerged.

Hopefully you enter the correct passcode time, and get out of the Lock Mode.  

Some tech thoughts…

When a Mac is Locked via iCloud or Find My iPhone app (sic), it sets a temporary firmware password on the Mac OS X if there wasn’t one set before.

This explains why using ⌘-R, or ⌘ -OPT-R (or most Startup Key, except ALT) will result in the Firmware Password prompt disabling NVRAM reset, Safe Mode etc.

Lost Modeb

iCloud was able to locate the Mac, when it connected to the WiFi, but the Lock feature was disabled. This makes sense, as the correct passcode had not been entered.

In fact, the Lock mode is only cleared when a user Log In to the Mac.

Lost Modec