How can I get past the Username authentication on fedora

I can access the menu but have no idea what I am doing as I am only familiar with Windows and Mac operating systems,  I am able to get the Boot Sequence to get to the point where the computer says; "Press and key to boot from CD..." but can't get past the screen:  "Setup inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..." for some reason.  Hopefully we can figure something out for installing windows on this pc, but in the interim we would like to recover data from the computer that is in the Fedora systems hard drive and we can't authenticate, the owner terminated his employees for stealing from him and they apparently changed the Username authentication password before leaving. HELP THIS IS VERY URGENT
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if m1tk4 suggestion dosen't work,  you can try boot using Knoppix (you can download from here, which is a linux boot from CD.

mount the /etc partition and modify the /etc/shadow make the root without a password.

you can use fdisk to view the partitions

fdisk /dev/sda    (for SCSI harddisk)   fdisk /dev/hda    (for IDE harddisk)

using "p" to display the partition, as below

/dev/sda1   *           6         266     2096482+   6  FAT16
/dev/sda2             267         330      514080   83  Linux
/dev/sda3             331       17849   140721367+   5  Extended
/dev/sda4             331        6704    51199123+  83  Linux
/dev/sda5            6705       11803    40957686   83  Linux

after that, try mount each partition, using "mount"

eg.  mount /dev/sda2 /test

go into the test folder by cd /test and display the folder of the mounted /test by using ls -l

you will find the folder called "/etc", after found get into it by cd /etc

after get into the /etc use the editor to modify the file called shadow

normally I will use vi, just type vi shadow and you will find an entry as below


change it to


now press esc and :wq to save the change

now the root will not have password. reboot the server/computer and try login as root without password.

but you might need to mount each partition to find the /etc folder

1. Remove the CD from the drive, and start booting normally.

2. Once it gets to the screen that says "GRUB" or "Booting" and has the kernel number on it, press any key to stop booting process.

3. Press "A" to append to boot commands - you'll see a line that ends with "...rhgb quiet" and your cursor at the end of it

4. Add a " 1" (space and 1) at the end, no quotes, and press enter.

5. This will boot you to single-user mode with root logged in - you'll see a prompt that looks like


6. At this prompt, enter


and reset root password.

7. At the prompt, enter


8. Root is an equivalent of Administrator in windows, so now you have full control over the box and can reset other user passwords.
Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
Or you can boot from CD and put empty password from editing /etc/passwd file.

BR Dushan
Boot from the factory cd, and select command line mode, or press ALT+F1, or F2, etc.

If your system is on /dev/hda1 then you would mount it such as
(can only do this if you booted from the CD, and the /dev/hda# isn't mounted)

mount /dev/hda1 /tmp/mnt


chroot /tmp/mnt

passwd userid


~K Black
reyeuroAuthor Commented:
That did the trick, sorry about getting back to you all so late, I was ill and didn't get to use the advice any sooner.
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