The reason we use the command below is because we need the md5sum value hash of the password. This means that we cannot use the md5sum
Change "yournewpass" to the pass you want to set
echo -n "yournewpass" | md5sum
Then you get the md5sum hash of whatever you entered eg. in this case "yournewpass"
The first thing to diagnose is what is actually in the database (use PHPMyAdmin or CLI).
You will of course either find that the backslash is either in the database or not.
If the backslash is in the database you probably have magic quotes gpc/runtime on and/or are calling the "addslashes()" function which does this.
If you are escaping your data with mysql_real_escape_string() then think again, you probably have magic quotes gpc enabled either in php.ini or........
The fix for this was setting the correct permissions in /var/lib/php, it needs to be "root.root"
And /var/lib/php/session needs to be "root.apache" to work properly.
After that I was able to login to phpMyAdmin as normal. This whole thing happened because I accidentally changed all of /var/lib to root.root.........