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I installed ubuntu on a spare HDD and use GRUB to select my OS, Vista or Ubuntu.

I cannot remember my ubuntu password for the life of me. If I reinstall ubuntu could that destroy my ability to launch Vista?

I plan on reinstalling via live CD unless there is an easier way.

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Boot from live CD, mount external HDD, chroot /mnt/whatever-the-hdd-is /usr/bin/passwd root. – geekosaur Apr 1 '11 at 18:29
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You don't need to reinstall just select the recovery mode from grub then select the root shell option from the recovery menu and use the adduser command to add another user (for more on this look at the man page)

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It shouldn't. If vista is already installed GRUB will pick it up again. The only problem I have ever had with bootloaders is installing windows after linux. But, to be safe I would download and burn supergrub or some form of bootloader live cd incase something goes wrong.

I would go here and download the iso there, just incase something goes wrong. I've done several multiboots though, and never had an issue. The disks I linked too have solved all my problems with Grub in the past automagically. Just read the descriptions and they'll point you in the right direction.

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Instead of adding another user, as Reuben suggested, you can just change the password for your existing user and keep all settings: Select recovery mode from grub, start into a root shell and then use the following command:

passwd <username>

This will allow you to reset the password of your existing user.

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