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endless logon messages - 'logging off', ' saving settings', ' loading settings'

Posted on 2004-09-17
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
This is a fairly straight-forward computer - Windows XP Pro - used for family email, internet access, digital photos, some music, etc.  This machine is set up as a single user box - a single account, automatic logon, etc.  After no significant events, the machine is now unable to boot all the way.  What follows is the sequence of events:
  - Power on
  - Normal BIOS messages
  - Windows logo
  - Wallpaper appears normally
  - Now things get interesting with the following messages repeated endlessly
    - 'Logging off'
    - 'Saving your settings'
    - 'Load your personal settings'
  - At this point the only option is to power off the machine.  CTRL-ALT-DEL has no effect.  This box does not have a reset button.
  - Safe mode has no effect on either.

My thoughts at this point are that this is a corrupted user profile.

I have a accessible complete backup from a few weeks ago (Powerquest Drive Image).  I have created a bootable CD for maintenance duties (Bart PE) wioth access to the hard drive.

I have saved the current NTUSER.DAT and restored the one from the backup with no change.

So where do I go from here?

I could do a complete restore from the backup - this seems like overkill as well a losing a bunch of stuff that has been done in the meantime.

A partial restore is a possibility, but I am at a loss as to what files/directories may be candidates.

System Restore would probably work, but I see no way to get to a point where I can invoke it.

What happens if I simply delete the current NTUSER?

Thanks,
Richard
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Question by:RichardStetson
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sramesh2k earned 250 total points
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Hi Richard,

Press and hold the SHIFT key at startup (just before the Welcome Screen is displayed) in order to skip the auto-logon. Once you see the Welcome Screen, press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice and login as built-in Administrator.

If you're unable to login as Administrator (or as any other user), see section "Logon - Logoff loop, also caused by BlazeFind" here : http://www.winxptutor.com/wsaremove.htm

BTW, NTUSER.DAT applies to that particular user profile. First, let's determine if the problem is seen globally.
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by:RichardStetson
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Bingo!  I had already tried the Shift key thing - that machione simply has a single user.  Probably should figure out how to have multiple users as well as a straight through logon, though it probably would not have helped in this case.  Anyway, the BlazeFind fix did the trick.
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by:sramesh2k
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Glad that helped, RichardStetson. And thanks to Lee for the quick turnaround :-)
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