Originally Posted by yancek
No, you don't. You don't want to get to the login command on the installed system if you plan to reinstall use the installation medium again. How did you install PCLinuxOS? Did you use a DVD, a flash drive? The formatting during the install would be from that installation medium Just use the DVD/flash drive again. Since you just installed and something went wrong, it would be a lot simpler to just reinstall. When you first boot the computer, you should see a screen specifying which key you need to tap to enter setup. That will get you into the BIOS where you will have a boot tab option and set whichever medium you used previously to install as first boot priority. If you installed it yourself the first time, you would have had to do this.
If you want to try changing the root password for the installed system at the prompt your posted in your initial post you should be able to do that. At the link below start at #8 on the page, enter: passwd at the prompt then each subsequent command shown.
so far no good I believe that I have done everything correctly.
I typed in passwd bill and got the next line
new password--I put in a new password and got the next line
confirm password and I typed it in and got the next line
passwd: all authentification tokens updated successfully and on the next line
so I am thinking need to re-boot so went to con,alt,delete combination which has rebooted in the past and got
INIT:switching to level:6
side note here if it means anything when the boot screen is running it eventually finishes at level 6 then after some seconds commences again and ends up with the sh-4.1#_ line.