"Suppose you have just taken over as a new system administrator from another person just before they left and they forgot to give you the root password. Now, let's say you have to install the latest version of PHP on the system so that the sales department's website works the way its supposed to. You have to get the website up yesterday, since you are losing money every minute it doesn't work. Or maybe you simply need to add another user to the system.
The above scenarios are just two possible cases when you might need to reset the root password on a system; there are hundreds of other possible cases when you might need to do this, but I am not going to list all of them. Most of us know what to do when something like this happens on a Windows machine, but not a lot of us know how to recover lost passwords from Linux machines. This document attempts to rectify this situation by telling you about the different options available to recover passwords from YOUR machines. (Don't use this to break into other people's systems as that would be stupid and will get you into big trouble if you are caught.)"