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Hi, My machine is getting an error in booting and keeps automatically rebooting. The error message: "cannot find password database". This is after I had a system crash and had ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Aug 2009
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    "cannot find password database", boot failure


    Hi,

    My machine is getting an error in booting and keeps automatically
    rebooting. The error message: "cannot find password database".

    This is after I had a system crash and had to manually fsck the root
    partition.

    I have no idea where this "password database" is. Online search, including
    on this forum, turned up nothing. I tried to play with /etc/passwd. That
    did not help either.

    At this point, I can get in the system through the rescue disk. But I can
    not start it through regular boot.

    I am running FC10, 2.6.27.5-117.fc10.i686.PAE

    I am wondering if there is a way of repairing this "password
    database", which I guess may be the only way of getting the system back to normal.
    Any advices or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Kai

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,529
    The password database is actually several files in /etc - passwd, shadow, group. The file /etc/shadow contains the actual encrypted passwords and has to have permissions set to 420 (-r---w----).

    It is likely that the crash damaged the /etc directory and/or some of the files in it. If the password files have been munged, then other necessary system files in /etc are also likely fubar and you might need to do a reinstall of your system. So, boot up a rescue cd and backup your data before you do anything else.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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