Thank you for this nicely formatted forum. I am now going to explain my difficulties.
I have installed Elementary OS and it was running as a virtual machine under Virtual Box. From time to time I had to restart the machine and I wouldn't get a black screen. Now, I see that the screen goes through some verbose text and at the tail end I read login and password. Now, even if I try to go through the recovery section, I can't get past those two items : login (user name) and password. Is there any way for me to know that I have the correct spelling for the login and password or reset? Last resort for me to reinstall.