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Seeing contents of linux drive in another PC?

SeanNij
SeanNij asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hi all,

We have a client who had someone setup a Linux file server for them (which they were conecting too via Windows XP). The server has died. Unfortunately, the motherboard cpu etc is so old i cant "replace" it. So we need to rebuild server for them. Hard Drive works fine, however, I cannot login as "root" as they have not got the password and the original persin cant remember it.

Not sure what my choices are here, but i need to get the data off the drive. Thought i could install say Ubuntu on another PC and place the "servers" drive in as a slave into the new Ubuntu PC. Would i be able to see the data on it? Or can anyone suggest a better way of appoaching this?

PS. I'm windows user (blush)....so not to technical on the Linux please....

Thanks
Sean

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Top Expert 2006
Commented:
Hi SeanNij,

> Thought i could install say Ubuntu on another PC and place the "servers" drive in
> as a slave into the new Ubuntu PC. Would i be able to see the data on it?
Yes ... you can mount the filesystem on the slave using mount command and browse the information

>Or can
> anyone suggest a better way of appoaching this?
If you can boot off this disk, you can try logging in single user mode, something like
http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-7.3-Manual/custom-guide/s1-rescuemode-booting-single.html

Exact details will vary somewhat depending on your bootloader, but in essence, it can be done.

Cheers!
sunnycoder

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Commented:
Mount command. mount //help get me going?

Does Ubuntu have a "windows user friendly version"......
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Top Expert 2006

Commented:
Hi Sean,

"man mount" will help you get going .. Online version here
http://www.die.net/doc/linux/man/man8/mount.8.html

It takes a while to get used to Linux. There was something called Lindows that was friendly for a windows user but I am not aware if that distro still exists.

Cheers!
sunnycoder

Commented:

Normally, boot from the Linux Installation CD and you will have an option to enter "rescue mode" or "recovery mode", which will mount all the partitions of the harddisk, and put you in a command shell.

From the command shell, you can enter /etc directory of the target harddisk, normally mounted as "/mnt/etc" and find the file named as shadow.

Find the root entry in th shadow file, and you will see something like this:

root:$1$xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/:13081:0:99999:7:::

Use VI or other available editor, zero out the second field (anything between the first and second semicolon), so that it become:

root::13081:0:99999:7:::

and save the file.

The action above has removed the root password, and you can login root without any password now.

Alternatively, if you have the password field of any other user which you know the password, you may copy over the user's encrypted password to the root's encrypted password field as above, and login with that password.

Good luck.



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