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Old 02-15-2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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My uncle passed away suddenly and I need to access his files

I dont have the first clue about linux I have tried some things in blogs but have been unsuccessful. I reset the password I can reset in the that the root password I keep hearing about? I can provide proof that i'm trying to gain access rightfully. My uncle had a very close friend in Japan that does not know he died and I can only find her by getting in the computer. The police gained access and advised me to download knoppix to a disk and boot from the disk. I'm scared b/c a couple sites said I could lose the data. I dont want to simply "use" the computer I need access to personal files because he is dead for christ's sake! I changed something in the bios where I typed single=/bids( im not sure exactly now what I put b/c my sister was telling me what to type over the phone. Please help me.
Old 02-15-2008, 08:01 PM   #2
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The password in BIOS has nothing to do with the OS password. You can use a LiveCD version of Linux such as Knoppix or Ubuntu to access the drive on the computer. If you're that lost I'd suggest finding someone who knows more about computers and have them help you.
Old 02-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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If you can boot with a live distro like knoppix, then you could mount the partition and access the files directly (and copy them to an external drive) without having to log in. ( provided that the partition isn't encrypted ) You don't need to reset the password.

The process of resetting a password is to edit /etc/shadow and delete the characters between the first and second ":" character.
  • sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
  • sudo mount -t ext31 /dev/sda5 /mnt
  • sudo vim2 /etc/fstab
  • <edit out the encrypted password hash>
  • reboot the computer and login without a password

1The filesystem may be different. Use the output of fdisk -l to determine it. ( the -t ext3 part )
2You can use any editor, you don't need to use vim.

Last edited by jschiwal; 02-15-2008 at 08:28 PM.


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