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Messed up root

I've done the unthinkable. I accidentally changed root to qroot in my /etc/passwd file and then proceeded to log out of root. All of the files in /etc were changed to owner qroot and the root password doesn't work any more. I have a new Knoppix CD and a new Debian network install CD. Can I use either of these to edit the passwd file and correct the problem. If so, how.

Thanks in advance

Gary R.

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