I have made an extensive research through the site before submitting a new question, but on one side I'm a huge noob and on the other side non of the previous queries seems to fit my case.

I'll try to be as precise and concise as possible, hoping someone has a solution for my problem.

I tried to restore my old Ubuntu partition a few days back. I had an old laptop working with double boot HDD between WinXP and Ubuntu 14.04 in it, but about one year ago I couldn't resist to try Win8 and installed it over the WinXP partition. It obviously screwed up the boot loader but I didn't find the time to do the boot-repair untill now. Problem was that the LOGIN password didn't seem to work anymore. I say 'didn't work' instead of 'was forgotten' because I usually use the same Login password for all my users in all my OSs but the machine didn't accept it anymore. After trying a list of about 20 variables (I usually use my stickers for inspiration when choosing the login password, i.e. my password should have been intelRceleronRinsideTM or SUSElinuxenterprisedesktop or HPsixhundredthirty or some variarion of those) I thought that the login passwd must had been deleted during the Win8 install [but then again, I'm a huge noob]. So... I changed it from terminal using the passwd command. Now, as you might imagine, I can't log in anymore. When I type the right password at the login prompt, the GUI simply refreshes with no further explaination.

I understand that it might be a quite common problem, but all the other people had the decency to backup the mount passphrase somewhere safe but I, being the HUGE noob that I am, simply put it in a txt file INSIDE the encrypted partition... like locking the key of a safe inside the safe itself. I know better now, but I still need to recover the INVALUABLE content of the encrypted folder now and I'm starting to get desperate.

I tried all the usual steps which are suggested in cases like these, but not knowing the oringinal login password and having the mount passphrase lost, everything was uneffective.

TL;DR: My Home folder is encrypted and I need to recover the content. The original login password has been changed throug 'passwd' command, and the mount passphrase backup is lost.


PS: I can list all the failing methods I tried if necessary. PPS: Sorry for bad english.

  • There is no way without the passphrase.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2015 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


The whole point of encryption is to make it impossible to access data without the passphrase.

So there is no way to restore your data if you lost it.

  • Isn't there a way, having the actual login password, to visualize an history file of previous passwords? Does anything like that exist? I think that if I had the chanche to recover the password, I might be able do recover the mount Jul 25, 2015 at 16:41
  • Recovering the password is not a problem, but you will not get access to the encrypted partition. askubuntu.com/questions/24006/…
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2015 at 16:46
  • It's not like I need to simply change it... That's the procedure I followed the first time, screwing things up. I just wanna know what my PREVIOUS password is, if there's a way Jul 25, 2015 at 16:54
  • No, there is no way to get your previous password.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2015 at 16:55

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.