[Durham] Help

Jonathan Gowar jon at whiteheat.org.uk
Tue Apr 26 16:27:22 UTC 2016

On 2016-04-26 17:11, A Pearson wrote:
> Hello
> Mint Cinnamon 17.3 64 bit from LXF 207 Feb 16
> Its been a long time since I came to the group as most of the talk was
> way above my head and I use desktops not laptops as they are easier to
> modify so that was another reason.
> I hope I have got the posting right as its many years since last time.
> Installed Mint OK but it will not recognise password or username which
> I had installed a few minutes earlier.
> Typing them in correctly with correct case several times just gave the
> message that either wrong names had been entered or the case was
> wrong.
> I have re installed four times now booting on to a clean HDD and no
> mistake has been made. During install I went through the process of
> getting Mint to identify the keyboard which is a Microsoft business
> model of British format.
> It is on its own drive dual booted from the BIOS for either the Linux
> or Win 7 drives. I do not use the Grub bootloaders etc as experience
> shows that if you remove Linux you lose access to Windows and have to
> start all over again.
> I am quite proficient with windows PC's but relatively new with Linux
> having tried a couple of distros in the last ten years but now wish to
> make a determined effort with Mint.
> .
> Hope you can advise so I can move on. Found nothing definite on Google
> which was mainly people losing their passwords which is not this case.
> Thanks in anticipation that you may be able to help me with something
> not too complicated.
> Regards
> Alan.

Hello Alan,

   Without Grub I think you will need to boot your Linux install on a 
Live Linux environment.

I would recommend Knoppix64, it is a Debian based, and has options to 
boot to command line or GUI.  Any live environment will do though.

Download the ISO burn to disk or dd to USB, then boot from it.  I'm not 
sure if your dual BIOS booting will get in the way.  Personally, I'd go 
back to a single disk boot system, as it removes a layer - the more 
layers removed the simpler things become.

If you went with Knoppix, from the boot loader type "knoppix 2" that 
boots to a command prompt.

Once booted try this;

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
for i in sys proc dev ; do mount --bind /$i /mnt/$i ; done
chroot /mnt /bin/bash
passwd username

(replace "username" with the actual user :)

Then enter your password, keep it really simple, like "password" 
something without symbols or capitals etc.

Then to finish up:

umount /mnt/{sys,proc,dev}
umount /mnt

Note: I am assuming here that sda1 is your root device, and that it's 
just 1 large partition.  Without having a Linux install to boot on to, 
it will be hard to confirm - chicken and egg all over again.

Any way, once rebooted to Linux attempt a login with your username and 
password, I can not think of a reason why that would not work.

To address the BIOS dual-booting issue.  Once you have a working Linux 
install, switch to a single OS booting BIOS and boot Linux.  From the 
command line type this:

sudo update-update
sudo grub-install /dev/sda

Again, I am assuming you only have one drive.  It actually only needs to 
be on a primary drive, but I always put grub about :)

Upon rebooting Grub will have nicely picked out Windows for you too.

I hope some of this is helpful, let me know how you get on - Happy 

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