Log in as root and stop the mysql daemon. Now lets start up the mysql daemon and skip the grant tables which store the passwords.
You should see mysqld start up successfully. If not, well you have bigger issues. Now you should be able to connect to mysql without a password.
mysql --user=root mysql
update user set Password=PASSWORD('new-password') where user='root';flush privileges;exit;
Now kill your running mysqld, then restart it normally.
Originally authored by Nick Anderson at Howtoforge.
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