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Old 10-24-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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HP 2133 Mini boot up fail - activating swap-devices in /etc/fstab

I've been trying to revive an old HP Mini, running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. Unfortunately, each time I try to boot, I'm always met with the same 'activating swap-devices in /etc/fstab' fail message, followed by a failed fsck attempt and then a prompt for root password. The complication is that I have no idea what the root password is, and I've tried everything I can think of. There's no one I can ask unfortunately to give me the password, so that's not an option.
What are my options? Can I try to reinstall the OS from a USB stick? Or is the SSD corrupt in some way? I'm guessing there's no way of me recovering/changing the root password given that I can't boot properly.. You can probably tell I'm new to Linux, so please go slow with me if you're kind enough to help.
Old 10-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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To deal with the swap problem:
1. Boot a live distro from a USB stick
2. Mount the Mini's Linux partition in a convenient place, say /opt
3. As root, edit /opt/etc/fstab, commenting out the swap entry
4. Save and Reboot

As for the root password, you can't recover it, but you can delete it:
1. As above, if not already done
2. As above, if not already done
3. As root, edit /opt/etc/shadow, eliminating the character string between the first two colons (but leave the colons)
4. Save
Old 10-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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There are several HowTo's like this one

--> or this one


that you can follow to reset a lost root password. Basically, you have to edit the /etc/shadow file and remove the characters between the first and second colons, save the file.

Can I try to reinstall the OS from a USB stick?
You could, although you will learn more by trying to fix the problems.

Or is the SSD corrupt in some way?
No way of knowing for sure. I do know early production SSD's had a limited write life. So it could be a hardware failure.

I don't use Suse, so I don't know if it uses Grub or Grub2, they are quite different. Treat this as a learning exercise, try to edit the shadow file, with the aid of the instructions. Ask questions if you get stuck.

BTW, welcome to the forum.
Old 10-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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thanks for both your replies: I tried the guides to reset the root password but they didn't seem to work, but I've managed to solve the problem by booting puppy linux from USB. Thanks again


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