I forgot my username and password so I can't log on.

I have seen how to load a recovery boot from the grub menu, but I can't access mine. It says press esc, but I've tried at least 50 million times and it just counts down from 2 and continues loading.

  • I've tried holding it and pressing it repeatedly.
  • I tried pressing shift (even though I have an older version where you press esc) and that didn't work either.
  • I tried every other butt so many different times and ways with no success. I've also tried guessing my username and password (since I can't remember either) but to no avail.
  • I also created a Windows 7 boot disc to try and change OS and just wipe my computer, but it doesn't work.

It just takes forever to read the disc and then ignores it and continues loading Ubuntu...


My big brother made me this computer but I have a laptop and didn't have space for both in my tiny dorm room. Now I have my own apartment and I NEED to use this.

Is there some way to wipe it externally?

There are no important or relative files since it's so old and I just want to use my computer again... is there anything I could do?

marked as duplicate by Alvar, Eliah Kagan, Basharat Sialvi, Eric Carvalho, Kevin Bowen Jul 21 '13 at 4:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Rather than pressing the Esc key, try the up and down keys, because if you change which menu item is displayed, the count down will stop. – SimplySimon Jul 20 '13 at 8:08
  • You said you tried pressing Shift. To make the GRUB menu appear, it is often necessary to hold down the Shift key start from when you turn on the machine (or very shortly thereafter). If you haven't tried that, I recommend doing so. If you can access a GRUB menu, you can probably reset your Ubuntu user account password using one of the relatively easy techniques explained there (as Alvar suggested). But if you can't get a GRUB menu, you can reset the password this way (so we can dupe to this). – Eliah Kagan Jul 20 '13 at 10:30

If you simply want to wipe the disk clean an install Ubuntu again, simply boot from a liveDVD or liveUSB and install Ubuntu afresh using the "Use entire disk" option.

It will repartition the disk and remove the existing installation of Ubuntu.

  • Once booted from a live CD/DVD/USB, the OP could simply use it to access the installed system and reset the user password. This is one way to do it from a live environment. There are other, such as editing the shadow file and replacing the password with a hash corresponding to the desired new password (or to a temporary blank password, though some parts of the system may assume the password is not blank). – Eliah Kagan Jul 20 '13 at 10:33

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