Can't get to command prompt or boot w/ CD to repair

By Squiggly1
Feb 27, 2009
  1. I have a computer (Dell OctiPlex) that can't get past the Windows user log on. It rejects the correct administrator password as "invalid", and it rejects the guest log on as "account disabled" even though there is no password required for the guest to log on to the desktop.

    Complicating matters is the fact that I can't log on in Safe Mode with Command Prompt. It keeps going to that log on screen.

    I tried to boot with the Windows CD to do a repair but much to my frustration it goes to the same user log on screen instead of the blue screen menu.

    No viruses were found on the HD when I scanned it with my other computer. All hardware appears to be working fine too.

    Reinstalling Windows is always a last resort. Any ideas before I resort to reinstalling?
  2. tazman75

    tazman75 TS Rookie

    Did you set a password for the admin account?
    And do you know if the cd is first boot in bios? if not you will need to go into the bios and set to first boot cd rom, secound boot floppy if you have one and if only 1 hard drive set third boot to HDD 0.
  3. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    I set the password. It no longer lets me log in with it. I am unable to log on as "Administrator" either. I cannot click "cancel" and log on as a guest either, which you normally can do. I suspect something might be corrupted with the Windows file that stores the passwords or the system files related to the log on.

    I did set the boot order to the CD drive, with the Windows XP CD in the drive and still the same "locked out" results. It still reverts to the log in. From what I understand this is normal operation for WIndows to require login before you can access the recovery console or use Windows Repair CD.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  5. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    I was finally able to clear the password with NT Password & Registry Editor CD and got to the desktop.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Thanks for the update

    I'm not sure why ophcrack couldn't find it though, it has always helped me
    Obviously the password error was not your standard missing or forgotten password issue

    Anyway, you got it now :grinthumb
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    You did the right thing by virus-checking your HDD in another PC, but I would caution that the original symptom you describe is almost invariably a nasty virus, some are even timed to not explode for a few hours or days. In short, I would very strongly advise going through the 8-step process on the Virus and Malware forum of this site. It is particularly important to update all the tools before you use them. If you browse through some of the posts on this site, you will also come across mentions of several other virus and malware scanning package that drift in and out of favour. This is because not all packages can spot all problems, so obviously the more you use the better.
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