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changing root shell

Hi everybody
I did something very silly on mu laptop. I manged to set the root shell to an incorrect value. Now I can't login as root. I know idiots like me should never be root and the world is probably a better place this way , but then neither can anybody else :-D.
Short of booting the laptop with a knoppix cd and correcting /etc/passwd,
Is there any other hope ? Basically is there a way to overwrite /etc/passwd.
I tried su --shell=/bin/bash .That says No shell and exits.
I will really appreciate all suggestions.

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