NV41 not working out of the box

Unpacked it - all packaging in good condition, no sign of any tampering. Plugged it in, plugged in the NitroKey USB security dongle, booted to an error. Contacted support, but after couple of days no response from Nitrokey, I then attempted factory reset. This proved challenging because the instructions on Nitrokey website are different from what actually happens, and so its not possible to use their instructions with any confidence. I have now managed to get to point where Nitrokey is recognised and I can get to boot options, but after entering PIN, I am now at a Disk Password screen, I cannot get past this screen

This is a new experience in purchasing a laptop, over the last decades of laptop purchases, I have always been able to start the laptop, or have prompt help from support. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences to share as to how I might actually achieve a working laptop for my money?

The default password for disk encryption is mentioned in the nitropad documentation. Does it not work? Which configuration of bios and operating system did you purchase?

Hi ion
Thanks for comment, I tried the default PleaseChangeMe, but it did not work, tried several times and with great care.

Since posting, I have made a little further progress. Cannot remember all the steps I took late last night, but essentially I re-encryted the drive (which took a very long time) setting a new Disk Password, and now I can start the laptop with the Nitrokey, which is accepted, I can then let it boot to the point where it asks for Disk Password - enter the new password (I am no longer using ‘PleaseChangeMe’) and I can get to screen to log in.

The only problem here is that at this screen, I get option of ‘user’ or ‘other’ and demand for password. How do I get past this screen and create a new user - ie me.

I sense I am nearly at a place where I have a working laptop???

This is the item I ordered:
NitroPad NV41 (i7-1260P, 16 GB, 1 TB, English QWERTY, Blob-free Wi-Fi 4, Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA222 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, with webcam and microphone, Qubes OS 4.1 (requires min. 8 GB RAM), no sealing, same shipment, Type C, Europe, HEADS with Measured Boot, incl. Nitrokey Storage 2, 64 GB) Option: I donate for firmware updates (fifty)

Good you are making progress. I’ve tried Nitrokey’s images for the laptops, both Ubuntu and Qubes, albeit years ago but the default PleaseChangeMe worked back then. So, this is a little strange. I can speculate you might have used the “Do you wish to add a disk encryption to the TPM [y/N]:” option, when you reset the Nitrokey but other than that I don’t know. As advised in the documentation: Don’t use that option for now, it’s a heads default to ask.

I’m aware you can’t post links as a new discourse user yet, but please write (1) which Qubes image you were using to reinstall (Nitrokey or direct from Qubes), and (2) which heads bios version the laptop is using - you find it in the heads menu (I think “system info”. NK heads release can be something like 1.3.1, 1.4.x or 2.1).

Unfortunately I can’t remember, if I had trouble with the initial Qubes start up using the Niitrokey image back then. Going by the documentation the Qubes initialization wizard should ask you to set a password. Perhaps someone else does know, or the wizard asks you to set a password once you select the predefined user with an empty password.

By the way, good choice to go with 16GB ram. Due to all the virtual machines, Qubes runs very slow with its 8GB minimum.

edit: The reencryption took so long, because the Qubes wizard wipes the full device with random data by default. It’s nothing that needs to be done each time you reinstall but I’m not sure there is an option to skip the step.

I think your analysis is correct, I did select in the affirmative for disk encryption - it took about an hour or so, maybe longer.

I followed the process described here Factory Reset Heads 2.0 - Nitrokey Documentation and followed the instructions - at no time was I asked for a disk image.

At System info - I get the following

Nitropad N41 | v2.1
FW_VER Dasharo (coreboot) Heads-v0.20.0-1584-gf7019e8

CPU 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P
Battery charge: 97%
Battery Health: 103%

Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 1953525168 sectors, 3597M

As for any wizard coming up on start up - nothing, just straight to login screen, drop down default being user, box below asking for password.

I am surprised by the lack of support from Nitrokey - its really very very bad service - they were very fast to answer questions pre sales, but once I had paid in full, it seems they then do not care about their customers, whether what they have sold works or not.

I have been purchasing from Tuxedo for last few years, I purchase one or sometimes two laptops a year, they now have excellent support. I wanted Coreboot, so this is why I am trying Nitrokey, but based on experience so far, I doubt I will place an order with them again, and certainly not recommend to others, Great shame, but in my book, to sell something that is not working from the getgo and then ignore the customer is, and should be, a recipe for business failure

Due to the total lack of interest and support by Nitrokey, I am now going to return it and demand a full refund. The purchase agreement was a simple transaction, payment in full for a working laptop. I have made full payment, I have received a non working laptop. I have spent hours trying to sort this out, using Nitrokey documentation that is incorrect and does not reflect the reality of the laptop. Their interest to ensure the transaction is legally completed,(ie a working laptop for funds transferred) is close to zero. Unfortunately I do not have the time to spare to try to get their products working for them. Consequently, I am out of patience. Its nearly one week since I received the laptop, I have had two emails from support after waiting several days, and then nothing more. Nitrokey is in breach of contract as they have failed to provide what was purchased. I will not be able to recommend them to any of my work colleagues, many are in the market for secure laptops

Sorry to read about your user experience and decision. I can’t comment on your lack of support response, but the measured boots solution is certainly very unique in itself and takes getting used to operate in any case. Thankfully, I knew it beforehand (actually since attending the heads prototype presentation) and was able to leave my own machine untouched until I had enough time at hand to do set up experiments (I never use a default installation). I leave it at that.

This is the NK heads version 2.1. It’s the latest release.

ion, likewise, I also took time and great care to follow the instructions, one step at a time, from the moment of receiving the package through the unpacking stages, to start up. The problem is that Nitrokey documentation is not correct and needs updating - one of the two emails I received from support admits that the documentation needs updating. So they are aware that the documentation is not correct
So what options does a purchaser of a new Nitropad have given that documentation is not correct and support is non existent? Perhaps purchase and leave on display until such time as Nitrokey is able to provide correct documentation?

If it was a car that I purchased from a German manufacturer, and it did not work and I could not drive it, would it be considered acceptable to be ignored by the manufacturer?

Nitrokey have responded positively and are shipping the laptop back for further investigation and correction. A good response from them

Good news, yes. To achieve such with a german car manufacturer, you need to (a) be outside the EU (definitely outside Germany), or (b) hire a lawyer. [personal opinion;]

I have found Tuxedo computers to be very good in this regard. I have several of their laptops, good quality, price and performance with excellent service

That’s good. And I have heard good things about their hardware before.

Still, I also remember trying to help a Manjaro user (they have a brand deal, basically promising full hardware support) to get the fingerprint reader in his machine to work. It turned out to be a waste of time. While I have to give Tuxedo credit for sponsoring some Linux driver development for a particular fingerprint reader, they apparently only did that after having sold Laptops (clevo platform) with deprecated fingerprint support of varying origins. So, your mileage may vary …

Does anyone know if Nitrokey have now gone out of business?
They have not responded to emails for all of this week
Also no-one picks up the phone when I call
I have paid for a laptop - it was not working when it arrived, so its now been returned and since sending it back to them, they have ignored all my emails - I just wanted to know if it has arrived, it being nearly two weeks since I handed it over to the mail courier and the tracking system is not working.
If they are still in business, then take note, they really have no care for customers