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Old 05-25-2015, 07:03 PM   #1
samtsco
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Boot hangup - wants unknown password at very start


I have been running vector linux 7.0 Light for about a year without a hitch, on a 10-yr old Dell machine.

Recently, at times, my machine has been energized when my kids turn on the power strip into which my machine is plugged. Normally, it should stay off. So last time I discovered it on, it was just sitting there with some boot-up code frozen on the screen that I do not remember.

So I pushed the button to turn it off but then somehow it started again or something - I do not clearly remember. All I remember is that I ended up pushing the button more than once or twice, just out of clumbsiness, and since then, every time I try to boot up, the Dell Logo comes on, followed by some code flashed too quickly for me to see what any of it is, then immediately, a white prompt in the center of a black screen says "Enter CURRENT Password:"

It gives me three tries and then tells me I have failed and stops responding. I turn it off and try again.

It will not accept my root or regular user password because they are too long. It only accepts 5 characters before telling me to try again.

I don't even know that this is an OS problem, it happens so soon in the boot-up. I have never run into a screen before that requests a password, other than the normal login that also asks for a user name.

I tried hitting Esc as quick as I could, with no effect. I don't know what else to try.

Is there some way to insert my installation disk (or not) and fix this without losing my files in my home directories?

I remember being warned to burn a repair disk but I don't think I ever got around to it.
 
Old 05-25-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
samtsco
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I also tried pressing Delete, to no avail.
 
Old 05-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #3
samtsco
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I haven't solved it or been able to enter BIOS yet, but I think what we have here is in fact a BIOS pre-boot authentication hiccup thing. Nothing to do with Linux.
 
Old 05-26-2015, 02:45 AM   #4
samtsco
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OK, got it fixed. Found out from http://www.dell.com/support/article/...9/SLN284985/EN that

"The information stored in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), known as ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) can occasionally become corrupted due to a variety of situations such as power events, incorrect settings by the user, hardware incompatibility due to a specific setting, or a No POST or No Video scenario. In these cases it is sometimes necessary to reset the BIOS or CMOS (Complementary metaloxidesemiconductor) to "Factory Defaults", or in other circumstances, clear the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory)"

My machine, a Dell Dimension 4500, does not have the jumpers on the MB as described in the article, but I removed the 3 V battery and shorted its + and - terminals good, and held its start button in 10 seconds as well, and was finally able to enter BIOS and restore factory defaults, returning everything to normal.

I had tried to get to BIOS many times by removing the power and the battery, and I got to a screen telling me to hit Delete to enter BIOS, but when I would, it would always give me that black screen wanting the password again. It wasn't until I prayed some more and actually shorted the + and - as well as holding the button and waiting, that when I powered up again, it finally gave me BIOS when I hit Delete.

I apologize that this turned out not to be a Linux issue and this thread may be in the wrong place, but I hope it helps someone else.
 
Old 05-26-2015, 02:56 AM   #5
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samtsco View Post
I apologize that this turned out not to be a Linux issue and this thread may be in the wrong place, but I hope it helps someone else.
There's nothing to apologize for, you didn't know. Glad you got it fixed and if you would, please mark this thread as "SOLVED."

Regards...
 
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:33 PM   #6
fatmac
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Your machine was indeed asking you for a BIOS password, good to know you are up & running again.
 
  


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