XP lockout

  bythor 18:40 03 Oct 2006

I'm running XP Pro SP2. I consider myself security conscious, and frequently run ccleaner, adware etc etc. I also use Zonealarm (paid version) and Norton AV.
A strange one recently is that, maybe six weeks or so apart, I have got 'locked out' of Windows. Today must be the third time. When I try to login, first symptom is that differing software thinks I am a guest. As soon as I even look at user accounts, that's when things seem to go silly. Then if I need to log on it tells me I'm locked out. Up till now I've just booted to safe mode, logged in as me, then went thru a restore and all is ok.
Now, there is no 'me' in safe mode log in, only administrator and guest. If I go in as administrator, then go to and click on system restore, it just sits there and does nothing.
Before I could have logged in as one of my kids, although they are limited aco*[email protected]:s, but they are all reporting that they are locked out now! Any ideas before I start digging around?

  rodriguez 18:51 03 Oct 2006

Does it ask for a password when you switch the computer on? If it does, I'll post a bootable CD I made that clears Windows passwords.

  bythor 18:54 03 Oct 2006

Yes, at the windows log on, where I normally put in my password.

  rodriguez 19:07 03 Oct 2006

click here for the CD version or if you haven't got access to a CD writer, click here for the floppy version. On the CD version, open Nero or your other CD recording software and go on the option to burn a CD image. On the floppy version, put a blank floppy in and click the file. Tick the Writing on Floppy box and press OK and it'll write the disc. When the CD or floppy boots, the password reset program will start. Press option 1, then select the drive Windows is installed on. It will then search the SAM database and show a list of usernames on your computer. Select the username with the password that you want to reset and make sure there's a X in the reset box. Then press Y to save and Esc to exit. Restart the computer and the Windows password should be gone.

  bythor 19:22 03 Oct 2006

Thanks for your time mate. BUT! it's just now let me log in as normal, as though nothing was wrong!! Weird...
I left it on the safe mode page where system restore wasn't responding whilst I had my tea (yep, missus said had to stop..again! ;-> )
Anyway, after another reboot it's let me go in as though it's changed it's mind. What going on here? I think I'll still burn the file you posted, but I'd still like to know what's happening - no doubt it'll come again?
Scared to reboot or switch the bloody thing off now...any ideas??

  rodriguez 19:26 03 Oct 2006

It could be something in the Windows registry. Hard to tell though because it could also be something that's been installed. If it does it again, clear the password with that disc and if it still does it you might need to back up your data and reinstall Windows.

  mattyc_92 19:36 03 Oct 2006

Sounds like corrupt files and/or registry keys...

try doing the following:
Go to 'Start->Run' and type in "sfc /scannow" (without the quotations). This will replace all system-critical files on your system.

NOTE: You will need your WinXP installation disc

  bythor 19:39 03 Oct 2006

Thanks rodriguez - I'll do the disk bit.
mattyc_92 - thanks for that, I'll do what you say and post back here later if anything comes up.

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