When things go wrong, there are ways to fix problems. However, these
methods require that you understand the system well. This chapter
describes how to boot into rescue mode, single-user mode, and emergency
mode, where you can use your own knowledge to repair the system.
You might need to boot into one of these recovery modes for any of the
You are unable to boot normally into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (runlevel 3 or
You are having hardware or software problems, and you want to get
a few important files off of your system's hard drive.
You forgot the root password.
This problem is often caused by the installation of another operating
system after you have installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Some other operating systems
assume that you have no other operating system(s) on your computer.
They overwrite the Master Boot Record (MBR) that originally contained
the GRUB boot loader. If the boot loader is overwritten in this
manner, you cannot boot Red Hat Enterprise Linux unless you can get into rescue mode and
reconfigure the boot loader.
Another common problem occurs when using a partitioning tool to resize
a partition or create a new partition from free space after
installation, and it changes the order of your partitions. If the
partition number of your / partition changes, the
boot loader might not be able to find it to mount the partition. To
fix this problem, boot in rescue mode and modify the
For instructions on how to reinstall the GRUB boot loader from a
rescue environment, refer to Section 5.2.1 Reinstalling the Boot Loader.
This category includes a wide variety of different situations. Two
examples include failing hard drives and specifying an invalid root
device or kernel in the boot loader configuration file. If either of
these occur, you might not be able to reboot into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. However, if
you boot into one of the system recovery modes, you might be able to
resolve the problem or at least get copies of your most important
What can you do if you forget your root password? To reset it to a
different password, boot into rescue mode or single-user mode, and use
the passwd command to reset the root password.