[ubuntu netbook remix] Recover password

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Wonder if anyone can help and save me a reinstall? My wifes AAO with Jaunty crashed last night and corrupted the filesystem on one of the cards so I reinstalled (with Karmic). It's nearly there but: 1. Despite setting it up as UK, the keyboard is running in American mode i.e "@" is showing as """ and vice versa 2. The system is not recognizing the password (possibly the 2 are connected) so I can't change any settings. 3. To make it worse, on bootup the escape button is ignored so I can't even start a root session to reset the password. Is there anything I can do other than to reinstall (again). Thanks Ian (Hardware)