How to reset the password for the local Administrator account (or enable it) using Linux

If you have a personal computer maybe this is nothing you encounter very often.

If you have a computer in a network, in a domain maybe, you will definitely need at some point the local Administrator password. This occurs with various issues like the computer going out of the domain or user accounts problems.

There are 2 common situations:

  1. You know the Administrator password but the account is disabled.
  2. You don’t know/forgot the Administrator password.

The method below will help on both problems.

The Linux command used is chntpw.

Note: HirenBootCD uses the same application.

chntpw is not installed by default on Linux distros so you have to install it from your Package Manager.

I have it on a bootable USB flash with Puppy Linux. Here is my presentation of Puppy Linux.

DISCLAIMER!!! Resetting the Administrator password with this method is considered brute force cracking and not permitted in networks. It might be illegal in your area. The method below is only for educational purposes and you should never do that. System Administrators will detect that. If you can’t access a computer, always ask help from the System Administrator.

How to use it (i assume we use Windows XP but the method is use for other version of Windows):

  1. Boot the machine with the Puppy Linux USB flash.
  2. Make sure the Windows partition where the Windows folder is mounted.
  3. Open a Terminal and navigate to the location of your SAM file (in Windows XP is here: C:\WINDOWS\system32\config). For other versions of Windows find the SAM file location first.
  4. Type this at the prompt, without quotes: “sudo chntpw -u Administrator SAM“.
  5. Here you will be given some options. The 1st one is to reset the Administrator with a blank password and the 4th is to enable the Administrator account.
  6. Depending of your situation, enter a number and press [Enter].
  7. When the app asks you to write the SAM file, choose [y] and press [Enter].
  8. Reboot and login. If you enabled the Account, login with the password you knew. If you reset the account, use a blank password.
  9. Always remember your local Administrator password and disable the account after you did your job.

Happy day!

Windows 10 not showing in GRUB boot menu of Linux Mint

A rule of thumb for dual booting Linux and Windows is to install Windows first.

But as anomalies in the Matrix exist, doing so may cause to have only Linux in GRUB boot menu (the linux boot menu that let you choose the operating system you want to boot into).

There are GUI programs to fix this but i will show you the Terminal way. I know the linux Terminal is scary but you’ll se you have nothing to worry about.

Look at the bright side, it’s an exercise for linux Terminal and editing a text file.

So, it’s simple as that:

  1. Open a Terminal.
  2. Type without quotes: “sudo nano /etc/grub.d/40_custom”
  3. Enter your password.
  4. Add this to the file:

menuentry ‘Windows 10′ {

set root='(hd0,msdos1)’

chainloader +1

}

5. Save and exit the text editor.

6. Also on the Terminal, type without quotes: “sudo update-grub2”.

7. Enter your password.

8. Restart and enjoy.

 

How to install memtest86+ on a USB flash drive

It comes a time when your computer starts trowing on you some errors, restarts, blue screens of death and the only thing left is to start checking what is causing the problems.

One of the first things you should check is if you have a faulty RAM module.

The best tool for testing memory modules is memtest86+.

Where you can find Memtest:

  • On HirenBootCD.
  • On almost every linux distribution LiveCD.

If you remember the previous tutorial on this site about Puppy Linux on a bootable flash disk drive, the thing is, we don’t have memtest86+, but we can install it on the good old trusty linux on a stick to use memtest on any computer that can boot from USB.

We assume you have the Puppy Linux installed on a USB flash drive and we start from there:

  1. Boot your computer on Puppy from your USB drive.
  2. Go to Menu > System > Grub4Dos bootloader config.
  3. Select your USB drive and press OK.
  4. On the next screen just press OK to install GRUB bootloader (GRUB is menu system that lets you choose the OS/drive/app you want to boot into).
  5. Open a web Browser and go to the Memtest download website.
  6. Download the 3rd link (as of Memtest86+ V5.01 (27/09/2013), the one that points to memtest86+-5.01.bin.gz
  7. On the bottom of your Puppy Linux desktop open the root of your Puppy USB drive (mine is sdf1). Leave this window open.
  8. At the top of the Puppy Linux desktop open the file app (the one with a home icon on a folder).
  9. Press the Downloads folder. Here you will find the downloaded Memtest file.
  10. Right click and Rename. Rename it to memtest.bin.
  11. Now drag the file from step 10 to the window on step 7 to move the memtest.bin file there.
  12. Now, on the location you moved the memtest.bin file (your sdfx location=the root of your USB drive) you can see menu.lst (the menu for the GRUB bootloader).
  13. Open menu.lst and after the entry for Puppy linux, paste this (without the 14.):
  14. # memtest+
    title memtest86+ v5.0.1
    kernel /memtest.bin
    boot
  15. Close the file and reboot Puppy.

 

After rebooting the Puppy Linux USB drive, you will get the GRUB bootloader with some entries:

  • Puppy
  • Memtest
  • Windows (if you have it installed)

All entries shoot boot the appropriate OS/apps but to test our installation select Memtest and wait until it checks your RAM modules. Press ESC when done.

There you have it, you can test the memory on any USB bootable computer in the world.

Have fun and if you have questions, please shoot!

 

Grub rescue > and how to recover your boot menu and make changes permanently

A few days ago, after resizing some partitions on my hard-drive i did a restart and boom, no boot menu and i got this message:

unknown filesystem.

grub rescue>

What happened until now:

– i have 1 hard disk with dual boot setup with GRUB (linux boot menu) with Debian Linux and Windows.

– the Windows part has 2 partitions: C:\ with the system (bootable) and D:\with stuff.

– the Linux part have 3 partitions: root (/) (also bootable), home (/home) and swap.

– i shrinked with gParted the D: partition and grow the root and home partition on Linux.

– restart and ran into the grub rescue> problem above. What happened was that when resizing the root partition i screwed up the boot part.

The solution is basicaly to identify your linux bootable root partition and update the GRUB with the correct settings so that at the next boot, GRUB to be able to “read” all bootable partitions in your hard drive.

1. Make sure what is your Linux bootable root (/) partition. To do that, make sure you have the Debian Live DVD and boot into this DVD.

2. Go and try the Live image. Wait to load.

3. Open a Terminal.

4. At the prompt, type (the sudo -s won’t require a password):

sudo -s

fdisk -l

What i get was all the partitions and the bootable ones marked with *. I get something like:

Drive           Bootable      Type          Mount         Size        Etc……

/dev/sda1     *                 ntfs

/dev/sda2                        ntfs

/dev/sda3   ………… blah            blah

/dev/sda4                        ext4          /home

/dev/sda5                        swap

/dev/sda6    *                  ext4          /

5. So the Linux root bootable partition will be /dev/sda6. TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS: so it’s on the first drive (sda) and on the 6th partition (sda6). At point 7. you will understand.

6. Restart and take the Debian/Ubuntu Live DVD out.

7. Back at the grub rescue> you should type each line followed by [Enter]:

grub rescue>set boot=(hd0,msdos6)

grub rescue>set prefix=(hd0,msdos6)/boot/grub

grub rescue>insmod normal

grub rescue>normal

8. You are back at the lost boot menu. ^-^. Boot into Linux.

Back on track, but if you restart the computer, you will be back to the grub rescue> problem. So to make the changes to GRUB that will be permanent, we should reinstall GRUB on the hard drive and update the GRUB menu:

9. Open a Terminal and type (Now for every sudo command you should enter your user password):

sudo grub-install /dev/sda

sudo update-grub

10. That’s it! Your changes to the boot menu ar permanent.

NOTE: If Windows won’t boot, use a Windows installer DVD and do a Stratup Repair.

Have fun! ^-^

The story of Nokia MeeGo by TaskuMuro

MeeGo Handset Launcher from MeeGo 1.1 “Day 1”

MeeGo Handset Launcher from MeeGo 1.1 “Day 1” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A very interesting read about Nokia’s MeeGo

Here is the article and no further comments.

I just love Nokia but i’m not happy with Windows Phone on their devices….i know they are!

Wireless in Debian Squeeze – Read carefully

A wireless icon

Image via Wikipedia

I spent 3 days until i managed to make my USB wireless adapter work in Debian. No! You should not spend 3 days installing an USB wireless adapter in GNU/Linux, i made a huge mistake not reading very very carefully the debian wiki and after i focused a little i realised that i could install the thing in a few minutes,  and for demonstration i’ll use my case so you should extrapolate to yours:

1. To start go here: http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi.

2. Read the page entirely.

3. Connect the USB wireless adapter to the computer and in a terminal type: lsusb and press [Enter] (mine is USB, if you have a PCI card the command is lspci).

3. Identify your adapter, mine is Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2070 Wireless Adapter.

4. At this moment i made a mistake, i installed the wrong driver for my chipset. If i read the line in step 3, i could see that my chipset is RT2070 and i thought it was rt73usb. So, note your chipset, see on the debian wiki WiFi page at point 1 that your chipset is listed and follow the link to how to install the driver. If your chipset is not on this page (like in my case) search for your chipset on a search engine, google search for debian rt2070 gave me this first page: http://wiki.debian.org/rt2870sta. You may ask why i went to google which send me back to debian wiki, i don’t know why but searching for rt2070 on the wiki didn’t gave me any results.

5. Anyway, once on the driver page, follow every step and you should be fine installing the driver. If something doesn’t work, the Troubleshooting on the same page is your best friend in 90% of cases.

6. The last installation step is in general “Configure your wireless interface as appropriate”, so follow the link to setup your wireless connection.

7. Configuring the wireless network is as easy as reading the instructions (you might have some problems if you can’t read).

8. After i corrected the driver installation, configuring the network was a snap and the connection was up and running.

So, to wrap up, it’s just reading carefully and following some easy steps, maybe my tutorial seams long but once you do it you’ll see that is as easy as installing a USB wireless adapter and setting up a wireless conncetion on every operating system.

Have fun!