I had installed ubuntu 12.10 with security key for encrypting system hard disk which requires you to enter the passphrase before the login screen every time you boot your system... i wanted to get rid of that security key so i used a command in terminal while my system was working fine but somehow the command disabled the logon to my system (even after using the correct PW same is not opening ... i wanted ti reinstalll ubuntu through bootable USB but i think the security key for encrypting the hard disk is preventing the same ... i am just left with a useless laptop with me where i cant even install new OS .... what to do please help....how to disable the security key encryption passphrase or atleast how can i access or logon to my system Please help ...

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Can you elaborate a bit more on what command you used in an attempt to "disable the security key encryption passphrase"? I believe there's no such thing, as all data on the sda5 partition is now encrypted and has to be decrypted first, which is impossible in-place on the same partition. – gertvdijk Jan 30 '13 at 11:54

As long as your hard drive doesn't support encryption itself and you used it there is no way an encrypted partition can prevent a simple reinstall.

So you should have no problems booting from USB and installing ubuntu again. Maybe go to the manual partitioning and remove all partitions from disk during setup, but this shouldn't be necessary at all if you choose guided using the whole disk.

  • What hard drives have built-in, hardware level encryption? (I've seen drives that ship with a filesystem that supports encryption, but that is equivalent to the situation here.) – Eliah Kagan Jan 30 '13 at 10:47
  • @EliahKagan Those are self-encrypting hard drives, unlocked using the ATA security command. I believe this is not the case here, as that is a very non-standard approach for Ubuntu to be asked at boot time. Usually this is handled by the OEM BIOS before the bootloader can be even read, and is not working on individual partitions obviously. So, also obviously not the case here. – gertvdijk Jan 30 '13 at 11:56

You should be able to boot from usb or cd even if disk is encrypted(as the encryption passphrase is asked for after the HD boots).

Make sure to go to your bios settings and double check that they have priority over your HD. Likewise you could try using Dariks boot and nuke (http://www.dban.org/) to wipe your system and then run your Ubuntu installer.


With things like security, don't mess around.

When you choose the option to encrypt your data you are saying the data is more valuable being lost and unreachable than it is being stolen.

write down passwords that you can't recover.

What you can do is install a new OS like Windows or Linux again, and use Balena Etcher to boot it. It's endorsed by Raspberry Pi and has an executable file for all OS.

Then when the computer boots up, you hit F1 I believe, or one of those Fn keys to start the special bootupmanager. then boot from the flashdrive.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.