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Old 06-26-2007, 10:01 AM   #1
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Unhappy No clue how to start up computer

I have an old computer that had linux, but when i went to use it it needed a root login and password i tried to figure it out for about twenty minutes but couldn't so i decided i would try to use a boot disk. I found a floppy that said linux boot disk on it, but then i followed the insturctions. I put in one of my linux cd's and continued but then it asked me questions i had no clue about like is the cd you have in SCIC cd or something I have a but load of cd's and floppies with info on them but i have no clue what to do. PLZ HELP
Old 06-26-2007, 10:28 AM   #2
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Are you able to run a livecd on the old puter? Check out what is written in /boot/grub/menu.lst for the boot options on the mounted hard drive. Then with one of the floppies when you reboot press 'escape' and then 'e' to modify the entry of the floppy. Assuming it's a grub boot loader. Good luck.
Old 06-26-2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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Is that computer using Grub as it's bootloader? What distro is it?

You can add a kernel option to boot in to single user mode and then change root's password there and then log in.

When you see the Grub screen, press a key to stop the timer, then highlight the desired installation/kernel and press "e" to modify that entry(as stated in the on-screen instructions). On the line that begins with "kernel" you'll scroll to the end and simply add a "-S" to it and then boot from that same installation/kernel.

You're line might look something like this after the edit:

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet -S

You'll be dropped in to a single user shell, where you can change the password for root using:
> passwd root

After you've changed that password, reboot the machine and remove the "-S" that was added before. You should be able to log in as root with the new password.

Last edited by Linville79; 06-26-2007 at 11:50 AM.
Old 06-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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For situations like that, I have a "rescue CD" running the Knoppix distribution ... which is a complete Linux distro that runs entirely on a CD-ROM.

When my computer was in perfectly good working order, I booted up Knoppix and took the time to really learn how to use it. It has proved to be priceless, not only for debugging botched Linux installs, but for botched Windows installs too!

On another computer, go to the Knoppix web-site, grab a CD-image and burn it to a CD. Boot that CD. This will eventually take you to a functional Linux installation that is not dependent on whatever your hard-drive contains; "borked" or not, Linux or not.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 06-26-2007 at 07:09 PM.


boot, cd, floppy, help

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