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System user accounts lost after system halt

Hi all,
After a system halt, i find all the users in my system seems been lost. I can't login in as any id. I tried to use linux single mode to boot. but after system setup, the system give me a prompt said "you have no name". I find my "/etc/passwd" file has become a binary file full of something unreadable.
    So what should i do now?
    i don't want to reinstall the system since i don't have much time.

   Thank you for suggestions.

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