Ubuntu

How to boot recovery mode on Vodacom webbook: need to reset password

Asked by Malcolm Jaros on 2011-10-29

I have just bought a new Vodacom South Africa Webbook (new model launched 19 October 2011)
which is pre-loaded with Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) running on ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v71)
I cannot discover the superuser password and the boot process happens behind a Vodacom splash screen.
How can I interrupt this to reset the password?

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu shadow Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Eliah Kagan
Solved:
2011-11-01
Last query:
2011-11-01
Last reply:
2011-10-31
marcus aurelius (adbiz) said : #1

google "psychocat reset password" and follow the instructions given in the link.

Malcolm Jaros (maljaros) said : #2

Thank you marcus aurelius for responding, but the procedure described by psychocats does not work on this rig because holding down the shift key (I also tried function keys) does not stop the boot process.
It seems the manufacturer does not want any buyer to get root privileges on his product and has circumvented this method.
OK I can understand they do not want inexperienced users messing with the system but running Ubuntu without a password means I cannot load any apps other than what they have pre-loaded, nor can I upgrade anything.
I sure would appreciate advice how to get around this.

marcus aurelius (adbiz) said : #3

when you turn on the webbook, press the shift key down immediately and keep it pressed until the grub menu appears. if you just press it once, it won't work. give that a try and see.

webbooks, imho, are pretty useless and inferior, like android tablets.

Malcolm Jaros (maljaros) said : #4

Holding down the shift key continuously from before pressing the start button until after the boot sequence has completed has no effect on this computer. Either that option has been deliberately disabled or it does not work on ARM processors.
I just hope that somebody who reads this can tell me another way of interrupting the boot sequence in the BIOS.
Perhaps I should try booting from a USB drive?

Malcolm Jaros (maljaros) said : #5

Holding down the shift key continuously from before pressing the start button until after the boot sequence has completed has no effect. The GRUB screen does not appear at all during this time, so it seems that GRUB is not part of the boot process on this computer.
I just hope that somebody who reads this can tell me another way of interrupting the boot sequence in the BIOS.
Perhaps I should try booting from a USB drive?

First, try https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LostPassword#The_Other_Way. (If you find those directions confusing, then after it says "Your system will boot up to a passwordless root shell," you can start following the instructions at http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword.)

If that doesn't work, then in your Ubuntu system, open a Terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and enter this command exactly (you can copy and paste it)

mount | grep ' on / '

and press enter to run that command. You should see something like:

/dev/sda1 on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro,commit=0)

The part you're interested is the device name before "on" (in this example, it's /dev/sda1). Remember that, or write it down.

Now boot the computer from an Ubuntu Desktop Install CD (you can burn the .iso image to a CD or DVD, or write it to a USB flash drive and boot from that) and select Try Ubuntu. When the desktop comes up, run the Terminal and, in the Terminal window, run:

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

If the device name was different from /dev/sda1, put what you saw instead. Then run the commands:

sudo chroot /mnt
passwd USERNAME

Replace USERNAME with your actual username. This will enable you to type in a new password. Enter your new password twice, as it requests. It's OK that no placeholders characters (like *) appear while you're entering your password.

Then run these three commands:

exit
sudo umount /mnt
exit

The last of those commands quits the Terminal window. Reboot the system by clicking the power icon on the upper-right corner of the screen and clicking Restart. Make sure to remove the CD before the system boots up again, so that you can get into your Ubuntu system on the hard disk. Now that you've reset your password, you should be able to authenticate when necessary.

Malcolm Jaros (maljaros) said : #7

Thanks Eliah Kagan, that solved my question.