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Thread: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

    Well, I tried your method but I don't know how to create a new user account and I don't see the full path of the drive location. I am very unfamiliar with how Ubuntu works. I need step by step directions because I'm not going to know what to do if something is glossed over. When I type in that code you have there, all I get is "[sudo] password for user:" I don't have a password, which is the problem. I don't know what nautilus is either.

    Can't I just use this mounted version to run recovery mode? I tried to boot from my USB device, but it wouldn't, it always went into the OS, even when I set removable media before the hard drive for bootup.
    Last edited by veryannoyed; July 21st, 2009 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

    You can run the mounted version in recovery mode, but it's a little bit tricky and involves something called chroot, which I'm not even that familiar with.

    So step by step.

    1. It seems you've successfully booted your live USB, yes?

    2. Once you get the live session up, there should be three text menus in the top-left corner. One says Applications, one says Places, and one says System. Select Places.

    3. The menu will drop down vertically and you'll see a bunch of places (Home, Desktop, Networks). One of these places will not actually have a name. It'll look like a silver drive and in place of a name, it'll have a size (16 GB, for example). That is most likely your Dell Mini's drive. Select that drive and it should automatically mount.

    4. Press Alt-F2. This will get up a Run dialogue, which is a little box where you can launch commands.

    5. In that box, type or paste in
    gksudo nautilus
    Nautilus is the name of the file manager (the Ubuntu equivalent of Windows' Explorer or Mac OS X's Finder). With the gksudo prefix, you're telling Ubuntu to launch Nautilus with system-wide access, so you can make modifications to the mounted drive.

    6. Once you're in Nautilus, navigate up to the top-most directory by pressing the Up arrow. Then click on media. Within media, you should see a few folders. A couple will be called cdrom-something. Ignore those. Select the other one. It'll probably be called disk, but it may be called something else.

    7. Inside that folder, you should see a whole bunch of folders. To make sure this is your actual drive, click into home and then your username, which I'll assume for the sake of this example is veryannoyed.

    8. If everything looks good, click the Up arrow two more times to get back to /media/disk/

    9. Then click on etc so you're in the /media/disk/etc directory

    10. Inside that directory, you should see a text file called shadow

    11. Copy shadow and paste it in the same directory and name the new file shadow.bak. That's a backup of the encrypted password file.

    12. Open the original shadow file by double-clicking it.

    13. It should open in a text editor. If it doesn't, and you're prompted for what application to use to open it, select Text Editor or use the custom command
    14. You'll see a bunch of lines with a bunch of gibberish. At the beginning of each line, though, will be a username. Look for veryannoyed (or whatever your actual username is).

    15. The line will look something like
    16. Change the gibberish so looks like
    That U6aMy... stuff has to be exactly as written.

    17. Save and exit the file.

    18. Reboot without the live USB.

    19. When you get to the login screen, your username is still veryannoyed (or whatever it really is), but your password will be blank, so just hit Enter for the password.

    20. You can then reset your password to be whatever you want it to be by going to System > Preferences > About Me

    If you find those instructions intimidating, this video may help you feel more comfortable:
    Last edited by aysiu; July 21st, 2009 at 09:34 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

    I got it. Thank you all! It's so exciting to be able to install new programs!

    Now, one last little question as I am probably an idiot -- where might I find new programs I install via Synaptic Package Manager? I downloaded Loderunner through Add/Remove Programs and I see that in Applications > Games, but I downloaded XMMS2 via Synaptic Manager and I don't see it anywhere, not even in Applications > Sound & Video. What do I do?

    Obviously still learning my way around, but knowing I can't get a virus is a freeing feeling.
    Last edited by veryannoyed; July 22nd, 2009 at 05:40 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

    I don't know much about XMMS2, but I think it may be a command-line program, and you may have to install a graphical frontend to access it graphically.
    apt-cache search xmms2
    abraca - A simple and powerful graphical client for XMMS2
    esperanza - XMMS2 client which aims to be as feature-full and easy-to-use as possible
    gkrellxmms2 - GKrellM plugin to control xmms2
    gxmms2 - xmms2 client for the GNOME desktop
    libaudio-xmmsclient-perl - XMMS2 - perl client library
    libxmmsclient++-dev - XMMS2 - client library for c++ - development files
    libxmmsclient++-glib-dev - XMMS2 - glib client library for c++ - development files
    libxmmsclient++-glib1 - XMMS2 - glib client library for c++
    libxmmsclient++3 - XMMS2 - client library for c++
    libxmmsclient-dev - XMMS2 - client library devel files
    libxmmsclient-glib-dev - XMMS2 - glib client library - development files
    libxmmsclient-glib1 - XMMS2 - glib client library
    libxmmsclient-ruby - XMMS2 - Ruby client library
    libxmmsclient-ruby1.8 - XMMS2 - Ruby bindings
    libxmmsclient4 - XMMS2 - client library
    pidgin-musictracker - Plugin for Pidgin which displays the current music track in your status
    python-xmmsclient - XMMS2 - Python bindings
    wmxmms2 - remote-control dockapp for XMMS2
    xmms2 - Client/server based media player system
    xmms2-client-avahi - XMMS2 - avahi client
    xmms2-client-cli - XMMS2 - cli client
    xmms2-client-medialib-updater - XMMS2 - medialib-updater client
    xmms2-core - XMMS2 - core package
    xmms2-dev - XMMS2 - plugin development files
    xmms2-et - XMMS2 - phone home package
    xmms2-plugin-airplay - XMMS2 - airplay output plugin
    xmms2-plugin-all - XMMS2 - all plugins
    xmms2-plugin-alsa - XMMS2 - ALSA output
    xmms2-plugin-ao - XMMS2 - libao output plugin
    xmms2-plugin-asf - XMMS2 - ASF plugin
    xmms2-plugin-asx - XMMS2 - ASX playlist plugin
    xmms2-plugin-avcodec - XMMS2 - avcodec decoder
    xmms2-plugin-cdda - XMMS2 - CDDA plugin
    xmms2-plugin-cue - XMMS2 - CUE playlist plugin
    xmms2-plugin-curl - XMMS2 - curl transport for HTTP
    xmms2-plugin-daap - XMMS2 - daap plugin
    xmms2-plugin-faad - XMMS2 - faad decoder
    xmms2-plugin-flac - XMMS2 - flac decoder
    xmms2-plugin-gme - XMMS2 - gme plugin
    xmms2-plugin-gvfs - XMMS2 - gvfs plugin
    xmms2-plugin-ices - XMMS2 - ogg streaming output
    xmms2-plugin-icymetaint - XMMS2 - shoutcast metadata plugin
    xmms2-plugin-id3v2 - XMMS2 - ID3v2 plugin
    xmms2-plugin-jack - XMMS2 - JACK output
    xmms2-plugin-karaoke - XMMS2 - karaoke plugin
    xmms2-plugin-lastfm - XMMS2 - Last.FM plugin
    xmms2-plugin-m3u - XMMS2 - M3U playlist plugin
    xmms2-plugin-mad - XMMS2 - libmad based mp3 decoder
    xmms2-plugin-mms - XMMS2 - MMS transport
    xmms2-plugin-modplug - XMMS2 - modplug decoder
    xmms2-plugin-mp4 - XMMS2 - MPEG-4 plugin
    xmms2-plugin-musepack - XMMS2 - mpc decoder
    xmms2-plugin-normalize - XMMS2 - Normalize plugin
    xmms2-plugin-ofa - XMMS2 - OFA plugin
    xmms2-plugin-oss - XMMS2 - OSS output
    xmms2-plugin-pls - XMMS2 - PLS playlist plugin
    xmms2-plugin-pulse - XMMS2 - pulseaudio output plugin
    xmms2-plugin-rss - XMMS2 - RSS podcast plugin
    xmms2-plugin-sid - XMMS2 - libsidplay2 based decoder
    xmms2-plugin-smb - XMMS2 - Samba transport
    xmms2-plugin-speex - XMMS2 - speex decoder
    xmms2-plugin-vocoder - XMMS2 - vocoder plugin
    xmms2-plugin-vorbis - XMMS2 - vorbis decoder
    xmms2-plugin-wma - XMMS2 - wma decoder
    xmms2-plugin-xml - XMMS2 - XML plugin
    xmms2-plugin-xspf - XMMS2 - XSPF playist plugin
    xmms2-scrobbler - Audioscrobbler/Last.FM client for xmms2
    xmms2tray - systray integration for XMMS2

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Forgot administative password, no GRUB screen

    Ah, I guess that would help. Thank you. I thought xmms2-core - XMMS2 - core package was all I needed. I don't like this esperanza... I'll try another.

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