I recently installed MysQL 5.1. I had a terrible time installing it. I first recieved errors about "could not create service". This was reported by other users to be an issue with having previously installed MySQL. This was not the case for me. I uninstalled MySQL and changed the service name from mysql to mysql51 and that seemed to fix the problem. Unfortunately this had the side effect of causing the 1045 error. Since a MySQL instance had been created with a root password I was asked for it during the instance configuration. The password that I used was not accepted. No matter what password I tried or how many times I tried it, it just didn't work! I used this command to change the password before running the instance configuration and after the install:

$ mysqladmin -u root password NEWPASSWORD
This only works if the root password has not been set. If it has been set you must use:
$ mysqladmin -u root -p OLDPASSWORD NEWPASSWORD
Once I set the password to something that I knew, I was able to successfully install MySQL.

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