Windows Vista asking for "Other User"

By karawr ยท 19 replies
Jul 6, 2011
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  1. Hi all,

    To start off I have a Dell Inspiron 1420 running windows vista.

    I wanted to restore my laptop to factory so I pressed F8 on the dell splash screen. It would slowly load up and then ask for "other user" of which I have no username/password for. Leaving it blank, typing in "admin" or coming up with my own possible usernames did not work. I had to restore to factory settings using the OS CD that came with the laptop.

    Now that it is restored, I am trying to do the many updates it has on it. It will update and then go to restart, only to boot up with "other user" screen again. I am able to power off with the power button and it will start up normally without asking for the "other user", however I don't think my updates are installed.

    Is this a virus? Hardware issue? Or what? Any help is greatly appreciated... I'm getting really frustrated with this laptop.
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Now you have restored, can you boot into safe mode?

    If so select the admin account and then go to the User Accounts in Control Panel and see what accounts are set up, delete any that you don't need and create a password for your own account.

    If you still cannot sign into safe mode then in normal mode go to the User Accounts and tell us what accounts are shown to be on the system.

    Any infection on the active partition should have been wiped out and only one user account set up during the reinstall which would be yours. Did you format the partition before the reinstall?

    The OS CD that came with the PC, was it a full version of Windows or just a recovery disc? Has it maintained all your settings and software after the reinstall? If so any infection could still be present.
  3. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I, personally, didn't do any formatting or anything to the laptop. I popped in the CD and launched the application and it did its thing. The disk says "Operating System - Already installed on your computer. Reinstallation DVD". I'm assuming it's a full version of windows.

    When it was done my system was back to how it was when I opened it for the very first time... so no, it has not maintained settings or softwares. To be honest I have always done the restore using system repair, and never using a CD, so it was a little bit of an ignorant pursuit.

    Right now I'm installing windows service pack 2 (it's taking forever) but once it's done I'll check safe mode. Normal mode shows up with only my User and Guest Account, which is turned off.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    OK, when SP2 is done see how it goes and describe word for word what you see on screen when you boot up.
  5. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi there, SP2 is finally done.

    I restarted, pressed F8 and was able to boot up in safe mode. I checked the users and still there is only mine and the guest (which is turned off).

    I forgot to mention that the "other user" screen would show up when I went into system repair.

    I loaded up system repair too, and it asked for other user. It is the normal login screen, as if you had a password protected user account.
    When I leave it blank it says "windows security: please enter a user name and password".
    When I enter anything it says "the specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted".

    There are no buttons on the screen to turn off the computer or anything (I have to do that with the power button), just an "ease of access" button on the bottom left that does nothing when pressed.
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Have you had this PC from new?
    Or was it once used in a business environment?

    Right-click Computer from start menu, click properties, click Advanced System Settings, Computer Name, Change, select workgroup and change the work group name. Click Ok.

    The reinstallation disc you have, is the writing printed onto it or is it hand written?

    Can you get hold of a Vista retail disc that matches the version of Vista that is on your licence key sticker?
  7. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes I bought this laptop new 4 years ago. Only I have ever used it.

    I have changed the work group name as you have said. :)

    Yes, the writing is printed on the CD. It is the official disk that came with the laptop.

    And no, I can't get a vista retail disk. :(
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Go back into the User accounts in safe mode and add a memorable password to your Admin account and then report back what happens when you enter normal mode.
  9. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I've had no joy finding any real answers to this one. All the threads I have looked at referring to the sign in error message relate to PC's connected to a domain in a business environment.

    All I have found is something that may do the trick as a workaround. As you are the only person who uses this PC if you have no problem with getting shot of the log in you can switch off the User Account Control,

    Go into the user accounts and in the left hand pane of the window you will see a line that says "Turn User Account Control on or off" click on it and then select to turn UAC off. That should stop any prompt for a password when you boot the PC.

    There are other possibilities that I can suggest if this doesn't not work.
  10. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah I haven't had much fun either lol. I have been searching and searching with no solutions so I thought I should make my own thread.

    I've created a password in safe mode but it hasn't affected normal mode at all (besides asking me for -my- password). It wasn't asking for other user when just doing a normal startup... the only time it would come up during normal startup was if it was a startup after windows updates. But I've done a couple of updates now and it hasn't asked for other user.

    UAC is already off I hate that thing lol.

    Trying to launch system repair through F8 still brings me to the other user screen. It seems other user only pops up now in system repair and not during normal startup (that's something, at least).

    I'm going to do some virus scans regardless... though I don't see how this could be virus related considering I completely wiped everything when installing that disk...
  11. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    You may have already tried this but does it ask for other user if UAC is turned on?

    As the drive has been wiped it is extremely unlikely that you will find any infection and I am not aware of any type of infection that would cause this issue.

    Don't be tempted to run any kind of registry scan as that can do more harm than good.
  12. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

  13. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    If you have "SteadyState" installed on your system this might just be the fix to solve the "Other User" log in screen. This came from another forum.

  14. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Enabling hidden admin didn't help.

    Am I supposed to run steadystate under the hidden admin, I wonder? Because I can't locate it on that account and it won't let me download it.

    So, on my own account, I right clicked and ran steadystate as admin. It says uncheck all options in "first option" but I don't really get what that means. So I unchecked everything in "set computer restrictions" because that came first on the list.

    Windows disk protection isn't installed so it's off... so I just enabled it. Other user is now showing up on the normal login screen since I have hidden admin activated... so I disabled hidden admin again.

    What is disk protection?? It's saying changes are removed upon restart... does that mean whenever I download a program, make a file, etc, it will be removed if I restart?

    Edit: f8 system repair still brings up other user goddamn lol
  15. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I had to look this one up, and yes it's a bit like using system restore every time you reboot. It is for use in places like internet cafes so any changes someone might make will be wiped out when the PC is rebooted, you don't want to leave it turned on.

    Ok, so that fix is of no use and didn't work, did you try any of the others?
  16. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The others that you posted? Yes.

    UAC on or off doesn't help.

    Hidden admin didn't make a difference besides making other user visible on the main login screen (which it never was, it only popped up when going into system repair).

    I have set a password for my account but it makes no difference.

    And steady state didn't help... this is so strange. :( Maybe I just have to give up. I mean, it's not exactly detrimental to fix it... my computer still works fine. It's just annoying when I want to go into system repair and I can't.
  17. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I am out of suggestions now without spending hours searching for another answer. An odd problem which I may try to resolve when I have more spare time. If you do your own search and find the answer please do post it in this thread so others may benefit from it.
  18. JLingana

    JLingana TS Rookie

    Same Problem Here

    I just started working on someones computer with this very same issue. Through all my searching any possible success seems to be found in doing a "System Restore".

    The first system restore I did was the most recent available and that didn't work.

    I then did a system restore that was 6 days back and it took around 30-45min then failed saying that a registry entry could not be restored because it was the wrong file type. (something like that)

    Now, I'm doing a system restore from 2 days back and that is in progress. I'll post back the result.

    I have to agree with Mark56 that this is a Microsoft bug they don't want to admit. I believe this is related to an update. It seems that this issue popped up in Jan-Feb 2011 and now again recently July 2011. (Based on the posting dates I've found)

    Sure wish I could identify a root cause.
  19. karawr

    karawr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It has to be a microsoft problem as even after system restore it's still there; that's not a virus problem.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one having this problem. I haven't found any solutions yet, either, but to be honest I haven't been looking as it doesn't really cause a problem for me, since it only comes up when I go to system repair.
  20. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I had another look, try this.

    1.First log in to Safe Mode (By Pressing F8 On The Startup Screen)

    2.Then select Administrator, if asked for a password try your own, if that doesn't work try "Password" (without the quotes)

    4.Click on Start and then type "Control Userpasswords2" into the search box and hit Enter. From there select your user account and click on Properties and then select the Group Membership tab. Then select Administrator. Click on Apply, shut all the windows and reboot into normal mode.

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