Password reset for ~1998 AIX on RS/6000?

Ian Finder ian.finder at
Fri Feb 2 14:49:49 CST 2018

I had this experience with a Tadpole N40, running AIX 3.

I simply DD'ed the drive, took the image...
$ strings aix-machine.img | grep root: get the password line.

Dump that into a passwd file and run john (the password cracker utility) on
it for a couple days.

I don't think Linux can mount the early AIX filesystems directly.

On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 8:24 PM, r.stricklin via cctalk <
cctalk at> wrote:

> On Feb 1, 2018, at 7:28 PM, Tapley, Mark via cctech wrote:
> >> Image the hard drive off to a raw file using a linux host with a SCSI
> HBA?
> >>
> >> Once that is done, it might be possible to run a hex editor against the
> hard drive (one that doesn't copy the contents into RAM) and then search
> for the password file. From there you can copy the des hash and use rainbow
> tables / wordfiles to crack it or replace it with a known DES hash?
> You don't need to do any of these things.
> > Update, I did locate a CD saying “AIX V4.2.1 for 5765-C34” and this URL:
> All you need is this disk. You can boot it, and use it to start a
> maintenance shell, from which you can mount the root filesystem and edit
> the password file(s) directly. The procedure you found will get you there,
> easily.
> ok
> bear.
> --
> until further notice

   Ian Finder
   (206) 395-MIPS
   ian.finder at

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