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windows nt 4 server can't unlock

Posted on 2006-05-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have NT4 server, the server has been logged in and locked, when I tried to unlock it, I don't have the domain log in prompt with 3 field: user name, password and domain. I only have a workstation login prompt which has only user name and password fields. I tried to use domain\username to unlock it, but didn't work. Any one knows this issue?
Thanks!
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Question by:hhsl_server
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ECNSSMT earned 1000 total points
ID: 16699112
Hi hhsl_server,

Sounds like someone was working on something and decided that they wanted to secure their session for the night.  There are not too many possibilities that can attribute to this.  If neither the domain or local admin/password works, you may want to schedule a non-productiion time span to reboot the server.

Regards,
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16699416
Thanks for your comments. The point is I don't get the DOMAIN login prompt which has three feilds--username, password, domain. Instead, I get a login prompt with only two feilds--username, password. seems it lost authentication connection with the domain controllor. other network services seems okay. I checked RPC service and EventLOg service is not responding
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by:ECNSSMT
ID: 16704335
hmm, do we actually have network connectivity?  Can the IP address be pinged from another PC?

Regards,
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by:Shanidar
ID: 16705081
You should not be seeing a domain when you try to unlock a session.  That is normal.  Try it on your regular workstation.

So don't read the lack of a domain window as lack of domain authentication. That assumption isn't correct.

If you have another NT 4 box, you can use User Manager to change the local admin account (if it isn't a domain controller).  This will give you a different admin account to try.
How? Inside of User Manager, poke around until you find Manage Another Domain, or different domain. I forget, it was a while back. Regardless, find this option in one of the File, Edit, etc menus.  Specify that server name as the "domain" name you want to manage.  Voila, it will show you all local accounts on that machine.  You can reset the local Admin account password, or create a new one.  then unlock the server and you are done.

Good Luck
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16713022
I can't find user manager on other server, this server can be one of the kind in our network, My account should have admin privilege on it, I can connect to it from mmc, I look at services, the event log service and remote procedure call service show no handle there, they still show 'running' but can't be managed some how. seems the  login/unlock interface can't pass my information through..
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by:Shanidar
ID: 16713144
Get out your NT server install disk, or call some IT friends or search the net, but find a program called Usermgr.exe.  If your server is patched to current, I believe this program will run as is, without any installation.  It should also be included in the NT 4.0 resource kit, and can probably be downloaded from the web.

Give it a try and report back.

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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16719526
Betetr yet, at a workstation do a START....RUN....\\<servername>\c$\winnt\system32\usermgr.exe

This works in our environment...my XP PC talking to an NT4 DC.
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by:Shanidar
ID: 16722678
Hey , IT Garage, that is really clever, I had never thought of that.  I will be sure to use it though...
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16743447
I CAN FIND USRMGR.EXE, BUT IT IS USER MANAGE FOR DOMAIN, WHEN I TRY TO CONNECT TO THE SERVER, IT SAYS 'THE NETWORK PATH WAS NOT FOUND'
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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16743971
Thanks Shanidar :-)

HHSL...you launch USRMGR and and you get "network path not found"?

Can you reboot this server off business hours and log in with your credentials then as ECNSSMT suggested?
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16744146
I think if I reboot this server will solve this, but since this is an old server, the change board don't allow me to reboot, and if I reboot, I can only reset the power because I can't access the console.
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by:The_IT_Garage
ID: 16744452
PSSHUTDOOWN from systernals (http://www.systernals.com) will allow you to remotely reboot cleanly assuming there are no other issues, but you are in a tough spot since your change board won't allow a reboot. RPC serveice and Event log service not responding should be enough reason to restart I would think.

Here's a thought: For username and password fields...in the username did you try putting DOMAINAME\USERID and then your password in the password field?

Username: <yourdomain>\<yourID>
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16744489
yes, I did use this format to try, but didn't work, I used the domain account which logged in and locked the server, but didn't work. I can access the c$ drive of the server from network.
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by:ECNSSMT
ID: 16811787
That's funny.  Getting onto the C$ means you've authenticated somehow.  ??
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16816180
Yes, I think I still can authenticate, just the UNLOCK screen can't pass my account over to be authenticated.
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by:ECNSSMT
ID: 16946857
reboot off hours may be the best solution;

sound like the screen save may somehow not be using your current domain information for some reason; I've seen 3rd party screensaver with some funky behavior.  If this is a MS screen saver; then I'm in the dark...

Regards,
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by:hhsl_server
ID: 16954767
I guess I have to reboot it, Can someone give me some idea about rebooting it without login to console, like schedule a auto reboot? I still can access the drive on the server from remote and control the services from remote.
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by:ECNSSMT
ID: 16976745
<grin>, if this was a file server; I'd say just power off, wait a minute and then power up;

if this is a database server; you'd be taking your chances with possibly records getting corrupted.  But the converse to that is having a database that may have problems and maybe no backups for an extended  period.  Its going to be biting the bullet and powering down; but if it is a database, I'd want to run a check afterwards on the integrety of the data with whatever tools the dbase manufacturer provided.

If you need to, have the manufacturer standby ready to offer you any assistance...

Regards,
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 17149419
OK, really,really silly question but having been caught out by this one today with accessing a server remotely that wouldn't respond to certain keys only to find that it thought ALT was on.... in which case the old hit the ALT SHIFT and CONTROL keys repeatedly trick seems to work :-)

.... or even Caps Lock on...

Said it was a silly question :-)

As everyone has said though you should be able to unlock it either with another local user or domain user that is an admin or the same user that ws logged in.  You say that you can authenticate to it as an admin as in you can get to \\server\c$ so...

net use \\server\ipc$ /user:username password      to authentictae
run up computer management if you haven't got usrmgr.exe
Right click, manage another computer.  This should be using the user you have authenticated with already.
Create a local user, make it administrator group member
Goto the console login .... maybe!

Steve
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