Not sure if you solved this but you should be able to append single at the end of your line in lilo. Also you can just boot into a livecd, mount the root filesystem and edit your /etc/passwd file. Remove the * after root. The star just signifies to the login process to check /etc/shadow for the actuall password.
I’ve looked at a lot of different solutions, and in my humble opinion Aspose is the way to go. Here’s the link: http://aspose.com