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How do I reset a lost Administrative (root) password?

I am using a EEEPC 901 bought 2 years ago. I had to go back to Windows laptop for work reasons so I stopped using it for the last 18 months. Since then, I have forgotten all passwords.

I now want to upgrade from the old Ubuntu. I am not even sure if it is 8 or 9. I am not concerned by any loss of data since all my documents are so old.

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marked as duplicate by Eliah Kagan, Jorge Castro, Bruno Pereira Jun 12 '12 at 19:24

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Welcome on Ask Ubuntu, Sean! Do you remember if you installed your home folder on a dedicated partition? If you don't understand this question, the answer may be no. – Agmenor Jun 12 '12 at 8:03
Could you please edit your question to specify if you want to recover your old documents? – Agmenor Jun 12 '12 at 8:07

Apparently you didn't use your computer for a long time, so I doubt there are any documents you want to recover.

As a consequence, if I were you I would just do a clean new install by following the instructions on

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Thanks for welcome and fast reply.I'm not that techy and had a pal who did the clean install with me. Sounds like thats best and he'll be up this week from new distant address! I was trying to see if the upgrade option is any good but seems like most folk think not. – Sean Jun 12 '12 at 8:24
Got nothing on it that matters and always tried to keep it empty but did find it got very full with upgrades despite 20GB SSD. – Sean Jun 12 '12 at 8:27
That's excellent! Please keep us update about your results, we will be happy to help you! If you think that this question is answered, don't hesitate to upvote answers and/or mark any as accepted. – Agmenor Jun 12 '12 at 17:30
If the version of Ubuntu is old, upgrading is probably not possible (unless you were using 10.04/Lucid). In any case, clean install is what I would do as well. – zpletan Jun 12 '12 at 17:32

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