Can't login locally, in a non-existing workgroup

By Sciyo
Nov 7, 2011
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  1. Hello Techs,

    Initial Problem:
    I sent a technician to fix a computer that wasn't able to log in to the domain.
    The computer is running on Windows XP service pack 3 that I cannot currently log in to.

    Current Problem:
    The technician removed the computer off of the Domain on to a non-existing Workgroup. After the mandatory reboot occurred you can no longer select (from the drop down box that is now missing) to log in via locally, from a domain, or choose a Workgroup. The new error is the computer is locked out locally.

    Tried the local admin Username and Password with no success. Can't use an existing domain Username or Password because it isn't attached to a domain.
    Attempted to start in safe mode with the network cable unplugged so it wouldn't jump to the workgroup and it still didn't work.

    If I can just get on locally I will be able to reverse the Workgroup and reattach it to my domain or troubleshoot it for myself.

    Any ideas? Sorry for the long read. Thanks in Advance!
  2. Sciyo

    Sciyo TS Member Topic Starter

    Fixed and resolved the issue by doing the following:

    1. Logged on locally to a machine that was located near the problematic machine.
    2. Right-Click My Computer > Manage > Local Users and Groups:
    3. Found accounts named 'temp', 'Administrator', 'Guest', 'Support', and our local Admin accounts.
    4. Went back to the problematic machine and used 'temp' as the login name since all of our previous local admins accounts have failed. Typed in what use to be the local admin password and bam! Logged in successfully.
    5. After logging in we re-added the local admins we had before this entire ordeal, and reset it back from Workgroup to Domain.

    Both issues were solved and the costumer is happy. Hope this can help anyone that may have had a similar issue. Check nearby machines to see if there are accounts attached to the machine locally that you may not have remembered placing. I didn't load the machines so I never would have known that temp was there. Good luck and sorry for the long read! We're just happy we didn't have to resort to attaching a linux distro and extracting everything.
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Hi Sciyo

    Glad you found a workaround for your problem and taking the time to post your solution. Here's one more "trick" for such a situation: if you google xp reset admin password you'll find images for rescue CDs which allow you to reset the Administrator account password. Download the image, burn and then boot from the CD should allow you to reset the Administrator password on the local computer. Then reboot into Windows and you should now be able to logon again as Administrator

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