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Use a rescue disk. Usually the first disk of any distro will do the trick. Type "linux rescue" at the prompt, and it will look for and mount your system under /mnt/sysimage. chroot /mnt/sysimage then use vim or whatever editor you like to edit inittab. Reboot and there you go.
Sounds like you need to play with your x configuration, but that's another story alltogether.
Have you tried doing a ctrl-alt-F1 while it was acting strange? It might drop you at a login:
Distribution: Red Hat (8.0, RHEL5,6), CentOS, SuSE (10.x, 11.x, 12.2, 13.2), Solaris (8-10), Tru64, MacOS, Raspian
Originally posted by sami ctrl-alt-f1 did nothing, the filckering just goes on
what to do now
Have you tried Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot?
When the system is starting up, you should be able to enter Ctrl-X (if you're using `lilo' as the boot loader, anyway. Dunno about `grub'). This exits the graphical boot selection and drops you to the text console. Then enter the kernel label followed by `single'. Press Tab if you need to see a list of the bootable kernels. For example, I have two kernels: generic from the install and custom, so I'd see
boot: custom single [Enter]
The system will then startup in single user mode. It will mount filesystems but not start all the usual collection of services. You can then cd to /etc and edit inittab to change the default run level. I'm assuming that you're familiar enough with vi to make the needed change. When you're done, I normally just reboot using `sync ; sync ; reboot'.
I'm brand new to the world of Linux
I was given a machine with Mandrake installed
but i wasn't given the username or password. Now how would
i bypass these screens and i doubt if i can. So the next step
would be to format the hard drive i have attempted as much but
am having problems using FDISK from a windows based system.
(don't know if that has any bearing) Is there a specific FDisk
program that has to be used with Linux?
Thanks for your reply - the problem is that the linux machine is set up with a username and password which i don't know. The box was given to me and i was never told what the username or password was so now i'm trying to make use of the computer by formating the drive and reinstall an OS.
There are some ways to bypass password in Mandrake distro.
If you're using LILO as bootloader in graphic mode : press ESC at boot screen to get into text mode and type "linux single" (w/o the " ") or "linux 1". This will make linux enter single user mode which will allow user to enter root for maintenance without password (you won't be able to fo this in some distro like SuSE).
When you get your prompt type passwd at the prompt and enter a new password.
Otherwise try to boot from Linux CD and find out yourself the maintenance and fixing tools included with the distro (i believe it won't be too difficult).
Thanks for your reply that worked!!! I was able to set up an new password. UNFORTUNATELY once the new password is set up and i get the prompt it still requires a Username which i've also attempted to manipulate. I just can't get in. It definitely sets up a new password but when i enter it at the login screen it won't match anything. Any other ideas thanks...Jesse