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Immediate Win2000 logoff - can't get onto Windows

Posted on 2006-05-20
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Using Windows 2000 Professional on a Dell computer that has been working fine for a couple of years.  Had neighborhood power failure and computer flipped off with power outage.  

Now when I boot up, I get to the normal Windows log-in window.  I type in the password, the systems proceeds, saying "Loading your personal settings," which finishes, but then computer immediately says "Saving your settings," and logs me off, leaving me back on the initial log-in screen.

Same thing happens if I boot into Safe Mode, so I can't get into Safe Mode in Windows or command line version.  Didn't help to reboot under last know good configuration.

I am thinking that my registry is corrupted and I might have to reformat the drive.  Any ideas for a fix short of that?
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Question by:richard7
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by:Debsyl99
ID: 16725527
Hi,
You could try a repair install
How to: Repair Windows XP/2000 if you are unable to boot into Windows.
http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic8356.html

Deb :))
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16733165
Hi richard7,

if Deb's Idea doesnt work there is a process that works for xp machines. whilst this gives a different error it still sounds like your security has gone haywire and this may as a last resort be worth a try

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545

also, are you able to access the drive from another machine and view its event logs?
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by:richard7
ID: 16733298
I tried Deb's solution, but I can't get into the Winows recovery consol because I can't log on.  I tried the emergency disk procedure but apparently my emergency floppy disk is no good because the computer couldn't ready emergency backup disk.    I did get to the c:\winnt folder by booting to the Windows CD rom, and I ran chkdsk, but that didn't clean up the problem.  

I can access the computer's hard-drive files from a different computer on the network.  What event logs would be useful to look at?  
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16733313
most probably the system logs...

if you can access the local users and groups could you try creating a new user?
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by:McKnife
ID: 16737458
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/en-us describes your problem. The solution section has helped me several times on this.
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by:la_pepe59
ID: 16743074
There is probably a problem with userinit.exe or the corresponding registry key.  You will either have to boot with a bootable cd that allows write access or slave the hard drive up.  

Make sure there is a "userinit.exe" file in the \windows\system32\ .


HKEY_LOCAL_Machine\software\microsoft\windows nt\current version\winlogon

The attribute "Userint" should be "C:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe"  Spyware could have modified the key or a deleting of the userinit.exe could have occurred.  This has worked in the past for me.

Good luck!
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by:richard7
ID: 16743452
Thanks for the suggestions but nothing is working.  Apparently I have the "logon logoff loop" problem.  

http://www.winxptutor.com/wsaremove.htm  I followed the fix suggested here for WinXP (I have Win2000) of copying c:\winnt\system32\userinit.exe wsapdater.exe but that didn't work.

I can get into the Repair Console recovery c:\winnt command line, but can't get into the registry from there to see if it is trying to use userinit.exe to login.  I can get to the bad computer's hard-drive from the network, however, if there are any tricks I can do from a different computer.

Otherwise I am close to giving up and reformatting.

Any last minute suggestions?  thanks
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Debsyl99 earned 1200 total points
ID: 16743556
Hi
Have you tried accessing the registry remotely? Start regedit from another pc with a domain admin logon - Select edit - connect remote registry. Connect to the pc name or type it in. This should give you access to the keys HKLM and HKUsers. Was there anything in the event logs?
You might also try this - you'll need to validate you windows install first - but it will create a boot disk:
Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=56D3C201-2C68-4DE8-9229-CA494362419C&displaylang=en
Deb :))
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Assisted Solution

by:la_pepe59
la_pepe59 earned 800 total points
ID: 16744889
You can try to access it remotely like Debsyl99 said.  If that doesn't work, you can hook it up as a slave and use regedit to load a hive file.  The file should be under c:\winnt\system32\config and I believe it is the 'software' file.  All those in that folder without and extension, comprise most of the registry.  They can be viewed by

Opening regedit-----click once on HKLM----Click file...load Hive----give it a name like "temp"

It will then load the hive under a new key called 'temp' and everything can be viewed there.  When done, highlight the "temp" key and click unload hive.

Let us know if you get to that point...

Was there a userinit.exe in the correct directory?
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Author Comment

by:richard7
ID: 16745093
Yes - the userinit.exe is in the correct c:\winnt\system32\ directory.  I'll give what you said a try.  Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelWhelan
ID: 26394458
I experienced a similar issue as originally described, that required a different fix, I'll document it here for others, in case the above doesn't work for you.  

At first it was just white cursor on black screen.  I discovered some files in the windows folder were inaccessible due to security settings. I added everyone-full access.

Then it was logging in and immediately logging out, so I just opened security across the whole drive, then I could log in.  

It was probably a result of malware, though a failed Norton install, a botched Acronis OSS access via USB, and an ancient copy of Roxio GoBack 3 all happened too.

I used an old copy of ERD Commander 2005 to reset all the permissions in one swell foop,
(it cried about non-existent tokens, probably from the domain the system had been removed from years ago ).

I've not yet repaired the file permissions, but I expect Microsoft's KB 313222 will do well enough since it's now a solo home system.
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