Summary: undoing a vfstab entry

From: Sara SaiMohan <>
Date: Tue Feb 18 2003 - 17:49:22 EST
Thanks to all for pitching in and helping me solve this issues, sorry though 
that I am a bit late in posting this reply.

I have got abundace of replies and all of them refered to booting up from 
the cdrom drive and then mounting the partition to edit the vfstab file. 
Voila it worked. for some reason the Ctrl Break wasn't workingon my console, 
got that fixed and followed the advices of the Guru's.

All of them suggested two options:

1. Boot in single user mode and then remount the / with rw options.


    # mount -o remount,rw /  (might fail because it can't look up "/".)


    # mount                  (note /dev entry for /)
    # mount -o remount,rw  /dev/whatever /

2. Booting from Cdrom and doing the following:
   boot cdrom -s
   then mount the root file system on /a
   assuming your root file system is on /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0
   mount /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 /a
   cd /a/etc
   export TERM
   vi vfstab

Cathy M. Bodenstedt has gone an extra step and explained the process of 
resetting the root password, I am attaching her reply so that this may help 
someone tommorow.

You need to boot off of an OS install cd and mount the boot disk to 
partition /a and edit the vfstab. I've included  some notes that I've had to 
used for a group I support.
Just replace/ignore the instructions for resetting the root passwd to 
replacing /etc/vfstab file.

Good Luck.

To boot off of cdrom to reset the root password.

1. Load Solaris 8 1 of 2 Disk ( OS load cd), in cd caddy.
2.  Press the STOP and A key at the same time.
3. At  OK> prompt type in boot cdrom.

Ok> boot cdrom

4.  You will be prompted with two questions about languages. Type in 0 for 
5.  After a few minutes, a window will prompt you for hostname information. 
At this point right click on the desktop
and select a terminal window.
6.  Once you are at a command prompt, you will mount the root partition from 
the boot drive to the  "a" directory which is
a mount point in memory at this point. You must know the boot drive address, 
usually it is c0t0d0, then figure out what
partition is the root partition, usually s0.
If you are not sure type in format, select 0, then p for partition and then 
p for print. You should see something like the


Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders        Size            Blocks
  0       root    wm       0 -  969        1.66GB    (970/0/0)   3483270
  1       swap    wu     970 - 2110        1.95GB    (1141/0/0)  4097331
  2     backup    wm       0 - 4923        8.43GB    (4924/0/0) 17682084
  3 unassigned    wm    2111 - 4923        4.82GB    (2813/0/0) 10101483
  4 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
  5 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
  6 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
  7 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0

Part =  partition slice. Type in q for quit twice to get back to a command 

7. To mount the root partition to "a", type in the following:

#mount   /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0  /a

8. Once the the partition has been mounted, cd to /a/etc. This will be the 
/etc directory from the boot disk.
9.  Vi the /a/etc/shadow file and remove the encrypted password.  The fields 
are delimted by a colons, remove the password
between the
first and second colon.


10. Reboot the system with init 6

# init 6
11. Once the system has rebooted, log in as root and hit the return key for 
the password. As soon as you are logged in, open
a terminal window
and change the password.

root@abc: passwd

For mirrored boot disk.
Added note to reset root passwd, you must do the
same procedure for c0t1d0, starting from mounting
the partition on /a. The internal disks are
mirrored so if you don't edit the /etc/shadow file
on both disks you'll never get the password reset.


Thanks to all
Tim Conrad, Thomas_J_Jones, Luc I. Suryo, Bryan Crawford, Coleman, Jim CORP, 
Alan Bradley, Ashok Bala, Darren Dunham, Cathy M. Bodenstedt, Ben Green, 
David Foster (the Critic), Matthew Clausen, Jay Lessert, Alan Bradley, 
Abhilash V M, Sugan Moodley, Zaigui Wang, Bryan Crawford, Darren Dunham, 
Siert Zijl, Jay Lessert, Ian Veach, Ashok Bala, Ben Green, Francisco Puente,, Hichael Morton, Adam and Christine L, Craig Raskin, 
Paul Richards.

Have Wonderful Day.

>From: "Sara SaiMohan" <>
>Subject: undoing a vfstab entry
>Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:30:34 -0800
>Hi All,
>I was kind of troubles shooting a vx problem and mistakenly commented the 
>rootvol and var and swap entries of a vfstab and did a reboot...
>Now I am not able to re-edit the vfstab file. No matter what I do it says 
>that it is a read-only file system. and it doesn't allow me to go into init 
>1, it is always takingme into single user mode.
>Help appreciated
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Received on Tue Feb 18 18:04:21 2003

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