Information needed for Dolch 386 portable computer 1985´s with freeBSD i386

Roland Smith rsmith at
Sat Aug 9 00:31:25 UTC 2014

On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 07:30:54PM +0200, Kriszta Riho wrote:
> Hi There,
> I inherited a vintage Dolch 386 portable computer 1985´s which has freeBSD
> i386 on it and I would like to reset the computer for to use it.

Wow, that's pretty old.

> I do not
> want recover the information or data which is on it, only reset it, but now
> it asks me password and login and I do not have this information.
> Could you please, let me know who could help me or which programme I need
> to reset the portable computer?

It is normal for FreeBSD to ask for a username and password.

It depends with what you mean by "reset". If you want to install an old
version of MS-DOS or another operating system on it, you can just do that by
booting from a floppy. That will remove the current software, of course.

If you want to access the currently installed FreeBSD, read on.

Probably the easiest way to gain access is to go through the papers that came
with the computer, if any. There is a good chance that the password for the
administrator account (which has the username "root") are written down
somewhere. It could even be on a sticker on the bottom of the computer.

If not, you can try the username "root" (without the quotation
mark) and an empty password, or the password "root".

It is possible to reset the passwords, but the process is complicated,
especially on hardware that is this old and runs an ancient version of
FreeBSD. The machine will have to be booted from a floppy to get access to the
harddisk. Or the harddisk will have to be disassembled an put into a newer
machine. I would therefore respectfully suggest that if you want to do that
you seek contact with the Spanish user group
( and take the machine to a user group
meeting. They can probably help you with it.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

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