Affinity password reset procedure

This reset procedure can be useful if the root password has been forgotten. If this procedure is not able to reset the password on your unit, then the unit must be returned to Guralp Systems for reflash. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details and to arrange an RMA.
Note: This procedure applies to Affinity digitisers only.


Equipment required:

  • A GPIO/Console cable (12-way military-specification bayonet to DE9, part number CAS-DCM-0036)
  • A laptop or PC with either a serial port or a USB-to-RS232 adaptor.
  • A copy of Scream (see the Scream download page if you do not already have this).

Physical access to the unit will be required.

Preparing scream.ini

The procedure requires some text to be entered very quickly. The simplest way to achieve this is to program the function keys in Scream's in-built terminal emulator to generate the strings required. To do this, open Scream and select File Save Program State. Note the location of the scream.ini file, as shown in the resulting dialogue box:

Close Scream and then open scream.ini in your favourite text editor. (Güralp recommend Notepad++.)

Locate the section marked [SoftKeys]. If you have never used Scream's programmable function keys, the entries in this section will all have null right-hand sides. If this is not the case, copy the current values to a back-up file and then change the first three key entries to read:

F3=setenv bootargs "quiet service"
F4=run nor_boot

Save the file

Identifying the COM port

If your PC/laptop has a serial port, it should be labelled as COM1 or COM2. If you are using a USB-to-serial adaptor, you need to identify which COM port is allocated to it. To to this, open Windows Device Manager, scroll down to the "Ports (COM and LPT)" sub-tree and click the right-arrow next to it () to open and expand the sub-tree. Plug in the USB-to-serial adaptor: within a second or so, you should see an extra item appear. Note the COM port number allocated to this new entry. In the example below, it is COM7 (labelled USB Serial Port (COM7)".

Configuring the emulator

If you are using a USB-to-serial adaptor, ensure that it is plugged in.

Open Scream and select File, Setup… from the main menu. Select the "Com Ports" tab of the dialogue. Locate the entry corresponding to the connection to your Affinity, set the Baud rate to 115,200 and clear all the check-boxes, as shown:

Now double-click the number at the left-hand end of the relevant row. Scream's Terminal Emulator window will open.


Apply power to the Affinity. Around 15 lines of output will appear almost immediately, ending with the line "Enter enable string to access bootloader".

As soon as you see this, key the F2 key. This will automatically type the correct "enable string", although it will not be echoed to the screen.

Wait half a second and then key the F3 key. Wait another half second and then key the F4 key. These two keystrokes send commands which configure the boot-loader and then instruct the Affinity to boot in service mode.

The Affinity will generate some output as it boots, ending with:

Immediately key the enter key and the system will print the service prompt:

service / # 
Note: If you do not see this output, power-cycle the Affinity and try again. The most common problem is not reacting quickly enough to the prompts.

Changing the root password

It is not generally possible to recover the root password, but it can be set back to the factory default, guralp3 and then, after logging in with this password, changed again to something secure. To do this, enter the following commands:

ubiattach /dev/ubi_ctrl -m 1  
mount -t ubifs /dev/ubi0_0 /mnt
cd /mnt/etc
cp shadow shadow.bak
sed -i shadow -e '/^root:/s/.*/root:$1$SHR2tXKJ$9GLrxQtEihf3NksjV82Nj\/:14666:0:99999:7:::/'
cd /
umount /mnt
Caution: These commands must be entered exactly or your Affinity may become unusable. We recommend that you use copy-and-paste rather than trying to transcribe them manually.

Power-cycle the Affinity and allow it to boot normally.

After power cycling, it will then be possible to log in using the username root with password guralp3. Once logged in, using either the web interface or the command line, change the root password to something secure. From the web interface, visit "Change password" from the "User: root" menu.

If you prefer the command line, use the command passwd and follow the prompts.

Note: Do not connect the unit to the Internet without first changing the root password. Strong passwords are essential for Internet-connected systems.

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