I forgot my password for an old computer I have that is running Ubuntu 14.04. I encrypted the hard drive when I set up the computer.

There is nothing important on the computer so I do not care about erasing the hard drive.

I have Ubuntu on a USB, but when I enter recovery mode before I can reinstall Ubuntu, I obviously get asked for the password. Is there anyway around this?

  • Is it hardware encryption or software encryption? I mean are you talking about an encrypted home partition? – Nidhin David Jul 15 '16 at 11:38
up vote 33 down vote accepted

If you can't remember the password, then that's all she wrote.

All you can do is install a new OS. You don't need to enter recovery mode to do that. Just boot up the live USB and carry out the normal installation process. The hard drive will get overwritten.

  • 24
    Just for people like me (non-native English readers) the phrase "that's all she wrote" means something like "that's the end of the story" or "it's hopeless". – MV. Jul 10 '16 at 4:51

I have Ubuntu on a USB, but when I enter recovery mode before I can reinstall Ubuntu, I obviously get asked for the password. Is there anyway around this?

I think you're missing a key step - boot from the Ubuntu USB drive. As it is, it sounds like you're not booting from the Ubuntu USB at all, and only getting stuck booting from the encrypted hard drive.

There should be a boot menu or a setting in the BIOS/setup menu to change the first boot device away from the internal hard drive and to the external USB.

It is possible to reset the login password without logging in. I do not know how a password reset affects access to an encrypted drive, however. See the procedure below:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword

Good luck.

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