Unless you have any X.3.x installation disks, and can boot from them, then you are generally SOL.
The major question here is not that you cannot change your password, but that you cannot boot from the CD. Will it boot from any CD? Will it read any CD's? How were you planning on installing OS X fresh without any installation disks?
Go beg, borrow or otherwise obtain, a set of Panther installation disks. If you are trying to boot from the RESTORE disks from another Mac, you are probably wasting your time. They are machine specific.
can anyone help? i have a 12" G4 powerbook running Mac OS X 3.3, i remember my login which isn't a root login, but have forgotten my admin password. i also do not have the original OS X disks to change it. i want to erase the hard disk and install OS X fresh so i have root access to make changes etc. but i have had no luck. it wont mount via firewire onto the desktop of my other mac, it wont boot from a CD... I'm stuck!