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Root Account Disabled

Rachel D Ferrer
Occasional Advisor

Root Account Disabled


my root account was disabled and all other admin acocunts. I only have one regular account but I cannot change it to super user.

Will modprpw -k root only works for admin or super user?

I am also trying to boot in a single user mode with the help i've got also from this forum:
1. Reboot
2. from console interrupt the boot when youre asked (you have 10 secs to interrupt autoboot)
3. Boot from primary boot device (boot pri)
4. When asked to interact with IPL answer Y (yes)
5. hpux -is (this will boot to single user mode).
6. once up reset roots password/re-enable it.

BUT, when about to type:
HPUX> boot pri
Could not open file pri to check for a directory
Could not open file pri

Loading failed...


please help, i am new to this one...
Anyone's immediate reply will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

R.K. #
Honored Contributor

Re: Root Account Disabled

Hi Rachel,

>> HPUX> boot pri

At this prompt you need to specify the single user mode option.

for single user mode
HPUX> boot -is

for LVM quorum mode
HPUX> boot -lq

for maintenance mode boot
HPUX> boot -lm

Don't fix what ain't broke
Michal Kapalka (mikap)
Honored Contributor

Re: Root Account Disabled


1. During the systemâ s boot sequence it will usually wait and display the following or
similar messages if Autoboot is enabled:
Processor is booting from first available device.
To discontinue, press any key within 10 seconds.

2. Press any key before the 10 seconds elapses. The system console will display the
following or a similar prompt:
Boot terminated.
---- Main Menu ---------------------------------------------------------------
Command Description
------- -----------
BOot [PRI|ALT|] Boot from specified path
PAth [PRI|ALT] [] Display or modify a path
SEArch [DIsplay|IPL] [] Search for boot devices
COnfiguration menu Displays or sets boot values
INformation menu Displays hardware information
SERvice menu Displays service commands
DIsplay Redisplay the current menu
HElp [|] Display help for menu or command

3. If the primary or alternate boot path is set correctly, you may boot using the
commands boot pri or boot alt, respectively. If you know the exact path of your
boot disk you may e.g. choose the command boot 0/0/2/0.0 at the prompt.

4. Otherwise, you may first search for potential boot devices using the SEA command.
The system presents you the following or similar listing.
Searching for potential boot devices.
To discontinue search, press any key (termination may not be immediate).
Path# Device Path (dec) Device Path (mnem) Device Type
----- ----------------- ------------------ -----------
P0 0/0/0/0 lan. LAN Module
P1 0/0/1/0.6 extscsi.6 Random access media
P2 0/0/1/0.3 extscsi.3 Sequential access media
P3 0/0/1/0.1 extscsi.1 Random access media
P4 0/0/1/1.0 intscsib.0 Random access media
P5 0/0/2/0.0 intscsia.0 Random access media

Rachel D Ferrer
Occasional Advisor

Re: Root Account Disabled

Thanks a lot!

I was able to changed the root password.
After this, what would be the proper next step?

Should I just turn it off manually? or what?

Thank you very much again!
Honored Contributor

Re: Root Account Disabled

I hope you got the root filesystem out of read-only mode before changing the root password. Otherwise the password change is unlikely to "stick".

(The easiest way to do that is usually to run "mountall". It will attempt to mount the root filesystem to read-write mode, and mount all other filesystems according to /etc/fstab.)

After changing the root password, just run "shutdown -r now" to restart the system.

Some background information about the boot procedure:

The prompt for the command "boot pri" should normally be "PDC>", not "HPUX>".

"pri" is neither a file or a directory. It refers to the hardware path of the primary boot disk stored in the NVRAM of the PA-RISC systems.

The instructions in your original post assume the system is a PA-RISC system (models like rpNNNN or earlier). Your boot prompt and the error messages seem to indicate you have an Itanium system (rxNNNN models). For them, the procedure is different.

HPUX> is the prompt of the HPUX.EFI boot loader. To make the Itanium system boot to single-user mode, type:

HPUX> boot -is

Tim Nelson
Honored Contributor

Re: Root Account Disabled

BTW, ( too late )
If the root account was simply disabled you can still log in via the console.

modprpw -k root

In this case it would not have been neccessary to shutdown/crash the OS.
Trusted Contributor

Re: Root Account Disabled

If the system is bound as a NIS or NIS+ client, and is not the master server, you can create a UID-zero user in the domain which will then allow you to gain root privileges by su-ing to that user.