Unable to log on to Windows 2000

Posted on 2003-03-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a Windows 2000 based computer that hangs after you enter a user name and password.  The problem started after an unexpected shutdown caused from a power outage.  It sits for 5 minutes on "preparing network connections" then hangs after entering the username and password.  I'm unable to log on to the local machine with the administrator password either. This also happens in "Safe Mode".  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I have been able to recover data off the hard drive by plugging it into another machine as a slave but I'd like to try and fix it without having to reload the everything.

Question by:abgray
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Expert Comment

ID: 8236950
Try disconnecting the Network Adapter and then booting and logging in. The "power outage" may have damaged it.

Expert Comment

ID: 8239542
Tried loading last known good configuration.  This also sounds like a virus may have attacked your user accounts.  A common virus attack will delete the administrator and other accounts, which really sucks!  Just reimage the machine and make sure the user isn't bringing in any un-virus checked media from home or elsewhere.  To fix it locally you can also try to install a second installation of Windows 2000 in a different folder.  This will allow you to get at the files on the local computer, but it sounds like you have accessed them.  My advice, reimage the machine.

Andrew P.

Expert Comment

ID: 8243173
I would recommend reseting your administrator password.

To do this, you're going to need a cd burner and a blank cd.  

Either go to this web site and download the file that is called cd030225.zip:


To make it easier, you could just download the file from this link directly:


Once the file is downloaded, all you have to do is open the zip file with WinZip or another application that can open it and double click on the file "calledcd030225.iso"

It should automatically take you to the application on your computer that creates cd's and just create the cd.

Once the cd is made, you'll need to restart youre computer with the cd in the drive and it should automatically take you into the Linux based program.

Here are the steps in detail for using the program or you can go down under these 10 steps and go to a simplified version of how to work the program(this is a lot easier to read I recommend doing this way if your hard drive is not on a SCSI controller).

1. First you just press return/enter to begin the program.  

2. It will ask you if you if your hard drive is on a SCSI controller.  Answer (y) if you are and (n) if the hard drive isnt (The default is no and is your answer is no, just press 'ENTER').  

3. Next it will ask you which partition you wish to use and all you have to press is 'ENTER'.  

4. Then it will ask you what the full path of your registry is, just press 'ENTER' again.    

5. Next, it ask you which hives files you want to edit for the password settings, just press 'ENTER' again.

6. Now it list 4 different options you just type '1', to edit user data and passwords.

7. To change the Administrator's password, just hit 'ENTER' and it will ask you what the new password will be, just type your new password or type '*' which makes it so their is no password (THIS WORKS BEST) and press 'ENTER' again.

8. Type 'y' when it ask you if you really wish to change it.

9. Now all you have to do is type '!' to quit, then type 'q' to exit, and it will ask you if you want to save the changes to the hive and you'll just type 'y' and 'ENTER' and then your confirm your answer by typing 'y' again.  Now your done.

10. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete after the disk is removed from your CD-ROM and type your new password for the Administrator.

10. Remove the disk from your drive and press ctrl

Simplified steps:

1. Press 'ENTER'
2. Press 'ENTER'
3. Press 'ENTER'
4. Press 'ENTER'
5. Press 'ENTER'
6. Press 'ENTER'
7. Press 'ENTER'
8. Now you need to type in a new password or just type '*' which makes it so their is no password (this works the best) and press 'ENTER'.
9. Type 'y' and press 'ENTER'
10. Type '!' and 'ENTER'
11. Type 'q' and 'ENTER'
12. Type 'y' and 'ENTER'
13. Type 'y' and 'ENTER'
14. Remove disk and press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
15. Now you should be able to log on again.

**If you don't have a cd burner, please right back and Ill tell you another way that is much harder.**
If something doesn't work, please email me at cyberkegler@pimprig.com
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Author Comment

ID: 8243667
Thanks all for your suggestions.  I don't think its the administrator password because I can log on to the recovery console with it.  Also I put the hard drive into a same model machine and had the same symptoms so I don't think its network card.  There must have been some kind of file corruption in the power outage and I decided to start from scratch.  I have recovered the files I need off the machine.

Thanks again.

Accepted Solution

visitmeoo earned 225 total points
ID: 8245666
No need to start from scratch!

Microsoft offers two types of repair instalations. A quick one and a longer one (which is also quick).

You boot from the W2K CD. It copies the files and then gives a notice that you already have an operating system. It offers 3 options. Choose to repair, and then choose quick.

If this doesn't work, try the longer repair. Boot from the W2K CD. When it recognizes the installed OS, don't choose repair as above. Instead choose to continue the setup just like a clean instalation. Later, after you press F8 (agreement to the license), you have another option to repair. Choose this one. It is very similar to a new instalation, but it does not damage software and settings.

It always worked for me.

Good Luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 8249984
if you do that, you mine as well reinstall the operating system because when you perform a repair, your operating system wont be the same, i would recommend trying to reset the admin password before anything else, it would only take you 10 minutes and if it doesn't work, then you should really just re-install.

Expert Comment

ID: 8251664
My offer is much quicker then reinstalling, and you don't need to install software or recreate accounts. Every thing stays as it was.

With a clean instalation you'll need to reinstall all the software, which sometimes can be a pain.

Besides, abgray said the admin password is fine since he can login with it to the recovery console.

Expert Comment

ID: 8253652
sorry, i didn't see that he was able to logon, visitmeoo is probably right then.  you probably might just want to repair the OS.

Author Comment

ID: 8258367
Thankyou, I didn't realise there was another repair option there! I always chose the first one. Good one to remember in future. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

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