Cannot login to windows xp user accounts or use safe mode

By Darrenbilly
Nov 11, 2008
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  1. After using norton system works to optimise my computer. It asked me to get rid of some startup programs, once i restarted the computer i could not log into any of my accounts, including the admins, so i decided to run it in safe mode but that gets to the black screen with safemode written in the 4 corners and closes again back to the user accounts screen. Any ideas? Please help!!!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Please run System Restore, from booting up with your Windows CD, and using the Recovery Console

    Boot from Windows CD
    Allow all the initial loading of drivers
    Press R when requested
    Press 1
    Then press Enter
    (Hopefully no password on the Administrator account)

    Then type on the command line:

    rstrui.exe (or directly: c:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe)

    More info here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449/en-us
  3. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    Why should i use recovery console. Can i not just load the cd, go to set up windows xp now, press enter then press f8 to accept and then repair it? thats what geekstogo.com says. Either way, will i lose my pictures and music on there?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Here's the best step by step process (Guide) on Repairing XP

    Microsoft's Windows XP Professional Repair Install step by step
    http://www.windowsxpprofessional.windowsreinstall.com/installxpcdrepair/part3.htm

    Microsoft's Windows XP Home Repair Install step by step
    http://www.windowsxphome.windowsreinstall.com/installxpcdrepair/part3.htm


    But my first thoughts are System Restore, they probably didn't realize that you can run it from the Recovery Console (many techs don't know this ;) )

    But if the Restore doesn't work then go on to the Repair option

    Normally, on both situations, you will not lose any user data (unless you accidentally set up Windows fresh instead of Repair <-- don't do that :) ) Just follow the guide

    Oh and please update your Specs in your Profile to say Pro or Home version
  5. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    More than 1

    There are 3 partitions on this drive. There is a - a H and an I infront of each. One is 47mb (the-) one is 149464mb (H) and the other is 3075mb (I) The - is FAT the H is NTFS and the I is FAT32
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Thanks for letting me know, they sound like recovery partitions or something

    Anyway that's unrelated to what you are doing, and what is advised
    Please do not confuse Recovery Partition with the Recovery console

    And you didn't update your profile, as asked above

    How did the System Restore go? All ok now?
  7. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    .

    When i go to the set up windows, i cannot choose C: Because there are three. I need to know what one to repair?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    I see

    Well System Restore was favored (but may not have worked ??)

    As for the which Drive
    According to the Repair "step by step" guide you select the drive that has Windows installed on it

    You're not doing a clean install I hope
    Please check that guide again
    And preferably use System Restore
    And update your profile, I still don't know what version of Windows this is (Home or Pro <- note this belongs in your profile, as mentioned above)
  9. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    I have changed my profile. I was in the wrong place. When i get to the recovery thing it says type number, 1 is the only one so i typed it and then it asked for an admin password, so i hit enter, it then said H:/windows and i hit enter then do i type the command?

    I am following these notes: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/How-to-repair-Windows-XP-t138.html but when i get to the page where i should be able to press r to repair, there are 3 drives that are partitions. I do not know what one to do. And there is no repair option. With your notes, i type the command and it says incorrect.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Yes that's it :grinthumb

    It has automatically logged into the correct Windows drive
    Please note outside Windows the drive letters can change labels (to what Windows reports)

    That guide is not full
    The guide I provided is much better
  11. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    .

    I tried the biggest partition and it says windows cannot recognise the partition.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Answered above (we are overlapping our posts)
  13. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    This initially happened when i installed norton system works, i went through the startup programs and removed some, when i restarted the computer, it didnt allow me to log in to any account or use safe mode. This doesnt mean the hard drive is destroyed does it?
     
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    No it doesn't

    Drive letter may be different

    Actually use this line:

    %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
  15. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    .

    The only driver letter is H. I then get H:/windows but it says the command is not recognized
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  17. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    When following your guide and get to the stage after pressing F8. Its gives me the option of 3 partitions and not to repair any of them. I am following it exactly, and still im getting a differnt screen
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Note: System Restore preferred !

    On another topic

    Regarding repairing Windows
    It is possible that you may not see the Repair option (second R prompt this time)

    In this case, you may need to physically remove the Harddrive
    Mount it in another computer as a secondary drive
    Then back up all your data

    Then return the drive to your original computer
    And set up Windows clean
  19. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    it does ask for an admin password on the command prompt, but i hit enter because to my knowledge, one has not been set. Then it says: H:\Windows> Thats where i type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and it says the command is not recognized, type help for list of supported commands

    What is windows clean?

    How can you backup data when i cannot log on. I click a user and it kicks me right back out. Surely the drive is not going to work in another computer, if it doesnt work in this one. Is there anyway i can get the data off. Baring in mind, i cannot use safe mode.
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    ok try this

    At the command prompt H:\Windows\> ; type:

    chdir System32 (and then press Enter)

    chdir Restore (and then press Enter)

    rstrui.exe (and then press Enter)

    --------------------

    The problem here, is that Windows may have been originally set up incorrectly
    A clean install may still be better
  21. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    Im just trying that. But what do you think has caused this. After installing a program that should make the computer better, it has totally messed it up...

    I typed chdir System32 and H:\windows became H:\windows\system32 then i typed chdir restore which turnt it to H:\windows\system32\restore then i typed rstrui.exe and it said the command is not recognized..... press help for a list...
  22. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    This all quite normal

    Those utilities and just about all Registry fix tools must only be used by Advanced users
    Or you need to go through one at a time checking what is being recorded as being fixed

    Also "Clean" install of Windows, means remove the Partition(s) first
    Also instead of imediately replying to yourself. First wait, for my response ( I thought I was quick until I met you!)
    Then use EDIT if your is still the last newest post (ie don't reply to yourself)

    Another point, I am now slowing down my replies to you just in case you do reply again!

    Regarding your new reply. It seems Restore has been removed!
  23. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    .

    Oh S**t. Thats not good. So what now. Can i get the data off of the hard drive and onto a flash drive or something and just format it. I do have norton go back, it has several restores for today, but not to the point i did whatever i did wrong. Should i go back to one of them and try again? or is it unlikely system restore has been removed by that?
  24. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Oh Norton Goback! (the easiest option there would be to use that then)

    I had Norton Goback; but once I worked out how it writes to the drive so strongly (totally unmovable) I removed it. (I use Ghost these days but Acronis is probably even better)
  25. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 185

    Slight problem, when i press restore, it only goes back as far as today, so i cannot set it to yesterday, or last week for example.

    I'm going to have to give this a rest for today. Very late now. I really appreciate your help. Sorry for the rapid replies, but i really did want to fix the computer. Thank you so much for your help. If any other possibilities come to mind, please let me know. Thanks again

    sorry, i cant find how to merge. OR delete a post once ive sent more than one. As above, im going now, speak to you soon
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