Problem resolved! It turns out that were two issues conspiring against me. First, the DVD-Rom was at the point of failing and any password recovery methods would not work. Once that was replaced, the whole process went along further, but still would not work no matter what application I threw at it. At the end I tried the password recovery DVDs on another PC I had laying about and all of them worked. It was only after I was given the password (long story) that I discovered that the whole Windows installation was fouled up beyond all repair. Thankfully the recovery disks did manage to restore teh beast, but not before it was a huge pain in the ass.
Wait... You went through all this hassle to get into the system and then one day you were simply given the password?? I know you said "long story" but I couldn't resist lol. Glad you solved the problem at any rate!