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Thread: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    13

    Unhappy I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypted

    Dear community,



    I feel awful and embarrassed. I had done a fresh install of Linux on my computer that has had Windows 7. I kept the Windows 7 OS, and just created a Linux partition on the same hard drive. When the installation program asked me whether I wanted to encrypt the Linux partition, I said "Yes". was out of the country for many months and forgot what my Linux login password is. All that I remember is my login username. I don't really care if I can't log in to my Linux partition. What I care about is accessing my personal files, such as my pictures (JPG).


    I've tried to think of what the password could be, but all attempted passwords are incorrect. What can I do now?


    Some possibly important bits of info:
    --I am the only user on the Linux partition.
    --My login gives me admin access.
    -- I don't mind if it takes days for my password to be successfully guessed. I can wait. I just want access to my files.
    --I sometimes need to work on the computer, using the Windows OS. Hopefully whatever solution we consider using has a "Pause/Resume" feature.


    If you have some advice, I would be so grateful to hear them. Please feel free to ask any questions.





    So here's what I want to know:

    1. Without knowing my Linux login password, is there a way I can get access to my personal files on the encrypted Linux partition?
    2 Is there a computer program that tries one password after another until it successfully logs in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    13

    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    Hello. Thanks for your quick reply. I am following the Psychocats instructions you linked to. But i am stuck now. It tells me to choose the"root -- drop to root shell prompt" and then I'm supposed to enter a mount command. The problem is that after choosing the root selection, the text at the bottom says "Give root password for maintenance (or type Control-d to continue)". But I don't know the root password. And Ctrl-D just takes me back to the recovery menu.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    If you encrypted your drive and forgotten the password then you're out of luck I'm afraid.

    The whole point of encryption is to try and make it impossible to access the files without the correct password.

    It is possible for a program to try all of the combinations until you guess the correct password but were not talking days, this would take decades.
    Last edited by Cheesemill; May 23rd, 2013 at 11:12 AM.
    Cheesemill

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    Howdy,

    The purpose of encryption is to protect your data. Linux encryption is very good at that and is used for military systems too.

    You need to go on another vacation until you either remember your password, or you are so laid back that you don't need to remember it any more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    use your backup
    Feel Free to Bitcoin Tip: 135Rp4pwwYTHEJ4u8bxKaDQiC91N9LUoV2

    Backtrack - Giving machine guns to monkeys since 2006
    Kali-Linux - Adding a grenade launcher to the machine guns since 2013

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    If you have been foolish enough to use a weak password you may be lucky. Let's call it fool's luck. If you can narrow it down to maybe 100,000 possible passwords you can try to brute force it in a reasonable amount of time. I'm not sure of this forum's policy regarding telling people how to crack their own password.

    If you had a strong password the remaining lifetime of the earth may not be enough to crack it, in which case you won't be able to access your files.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    13

    Solved

    HermanAB, Cheesemill, impavidus,


    I've got good news and bad news.
    Bad news: You are wrong.
    Good news: I was able to reset my login password by using a Live linux USB and doing this:
    Code:
    mkdir newfolder
    mount /dev/sda5 newfolder
    sudo chroot newfolder
    passwd triciasurfer
    I then rebooted into the Linux partition and logged in with my new password.

    But you have raised the issue: If I can do this on my own system, then is there any real security to using a login? And encrypting my /home/ folder?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    Really? You recovered all files? OK. I waited a while before answering this thread because I wasn't sure myself. But if you can just reset the password and it works encrypting the home directory isn't really useful. The login still blocks remote hacking attempts though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    13

    Re: I want access to my files but forgot Linux login password & partition is encrypte

    Impavidus,
    Yes, I can access all my files.
    My solution scares me. If I newbie like me can reset my own Linux login password, then anyone can hack into their contacts' computers if they have physical access to them.

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