Password reset for ~1998 AIX on RS/6000?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at
Sat Feb 3 09:08:08 CST 2018

On 02/01/2018 02:28 PM, Tapley, Mark via cctech wrote:
> Is there a standard procedure for recovering lost passwords for these
> systems, or for resetting passwords? I do have physical access to the
> machine; it’s possible I can find an AIX install disk but it’s *highly*
> desirable to preserve the contents of the existing hard drive.

I want to say that my machine's a 43P-140, too (and I actually have a pair 
of them, but one has some form of hardware fault)

Anyway, for mine, I seem to remember putting the drive into one of my SGIs 
(I didn't have a PC with SCSI on this side of the Atlantic) and writing a 
little script which read the drive block-by-block, saving any to the SGI 
which looked like they might be file fragments containing root password 

That gave me ten or so blocks, which I then moved over to a Linux PC (which 
had a little more CPU power than the SGI). AIX's password file format is a 
little different to that of everyone else (of course), so I had to tweak 
the data to get it into the right format. From there, it was just a case of 
running a Unix password cracker and it just took a minute or two to find 
the root password.

I forget now which version of AIX I have; I remember that the password 
mechanism changed at some point (and 99% of the information I found at the 
time via Google related to a different version; it was hard to find details 
on the one that I have)



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