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Unable to log on, "domain ... not available."

I've been having trouble with my laptop for over a week now.  It's going very slow, it keeps hanging up and freezing.  I've been running virus scans and spyware scans, and just when I think I'm making headway, suddenly when I attempt to log on to Windows XP, I see there is a password box next to my name when I never set any password.  When I try to log on, I see an error message that says that I can't log on because my domain is not available.  One of the solutions I've seen to this problem is to rename the computer and reboot, but I don't know how to rename my computer.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.  
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BrandiCT
Asked:
BrandiCT
2 Solutions
 
WistfulWhimsCommented:
Hey there BrandiCT,

         Renaming your Computer is fairly easy.  Please follow these steps:
       
         1.  Right Click  "My Computer" and left click "Properties".
         2.  When the System properties dialog box appears, left click the "Computer Name" tab.
         3.  Left Click the "Change" button and enter the new name for your computer, then click ok.

          As for your other problems, without knowing a little more about your configuration, it's really hard to say what could be causing your problems.  I recommend using XP's "System Restore" to return your computer to a state that it was in before you started having these issues. System Restore is in your Help and Support Section.  If you need a walk- through, let me know, and I'll type one up.
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WistfulWhimsCommented:
           My Apologies, I needed to add that this all needs to be done from "Safe Mode".  During the boot-up process, press the F8 button on top of your keyboard.  When the screen appears, choose "Start Windows in Safe Mode".   You can then make all the changes I discussed in my last post.  Sorry for omitting that.
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BrandiCTAuthor Commented:
Wistful,

Thank you for your help.  If you could provide a walkthrough of System Restore, I would appreciate it.  Thanks again.  
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WistfulWhimsCommented:
   Boot the Computer into "Safe Mode"

     1.  Left Click "Start" in the bottom left hand corner of your desktop.
     2.  Left Click "Help and Support"
     3.  Left Click "Undo changes to your computer with "System Restore"
     4.  Check the "Restore my computer to an earlier time" box and then click "Next"
     5.  Select a date on the calendar that was before you started having these problems and click next.
     6.  You will get a warning screen that any changes you made to the computer between the selected date and today will be lost and that you should shut down any other applications that are running.  Click "Next" again.
     
      The Computer will now restart and run the restore program.  Depending on how big the restore file is, this could take a litle while.  Let it run through its functions without hitting any keys.  When the system is up and booted with the restore file, it will tell you that the restore function was completed successfully.  This should return normal function of your computer to you.

       Important:  If this does work for you, it doesn't mean necessarily that your computer is fixed.  If it was a virus/trojan that was causing your problem, then that problem still exists.  There is a very good, free scanner at www.grisoft.com called AVG (version 7.5 I think right now).   I suggest running that or whatever virus software you have already to try and determine what caused your problem.  If it finds nothing, then your issue was most likely a software configuration problem.

ILet me know if I can do anything else for you.
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BrandiCTAuthor Commented:
Wistful,

Thanks again for your help.  How would I identify and fix a software configuration problem?
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WistfulWhimsCommented:
There are literally thousands of possibilities that could cause your situation with just a simple glitch in your settings and or Operating System Software.  You didn't have to do anything wrong, and there isn't necessarily some malicious action on anyone's part that is causing your problem.  That is just the nature of Computers.  I'm currently on my 3rd day repairing a small business network that just decided to stop working in the middle of a work day. <sigh>

 My philosphy has always been to take the least amount of steps to repair a problem, and since there are thousands (possibly hundereds of thousands) of files that could be corrupted and causing you grief, I would go to the simpler fixes..  For example, if in your case, System Restore doesn't work or for some reason you can't get into Windows XP safe mode, I would first reset the BIOS Configuration Data, and see if that helps.  Failing that, I would attempt a WInXP repair from your Windows XP CD.

Were you able to get into Safe Mode?

Did the System Restore Work?

If not, on either count, let me know what laptop Model we're dealing with and what operating system you are running on it.  I won't lie....the steps from here get a little bit technical, but I'm happy to lay them out for you if you are brave enough to give them a try.

In any case, I feel your pain, and I only hope that I can help you in some way.
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tek-tlbCommented:
Go back to the regular login screen.  Now I think you can do this in both Home and Professional.  I know professional for sure and it seems as though you may be using Prof.   At the fancy XP log in screen, if you hit control+alt+delete at least once sometimes you may have to hit it twice, the traditional NT login box should come up which will allow you to type in any username and password (but of course only accounts on the machine will work).

Make sure the login window is not looking for a domain, if it is there is more to this issue than you described.
Type in the username box:  Administrator
Leave the password line blank and see if that will let you log-in.  Otherwise, try your own username again with a blank password.

I would also check, if this is your laptop; did anyone else use it for any reason?  Some network services will not let you access them unless a password is associated with your user account.
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Cherukuri30Commented:
If you are not sure what exactly causing the problem then its worth to do a repair installation. If you want to try a repair installation then boot with windows XP operating system CD and next until it shows you the partitions in the disk, at this point press R for repair installation and let it finish it completely. you wont loose any of your data as well if at all there are any operating system problems then those will be sorted.
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securitythreatCommented:
Brandi -

I would hold this thought for a moment.  If you are getting the message about the domain is not avaliable if you have a few things wrong here.  Your cached profile is messed up or you are not able to see the domain controller.  If you can see the domain controller and your cached profile is not messed up then your computer account has been disabled.  If this is a work machine, you will not be able to rename the machine.  Only administrators can do that (unless you have been given admin rights).  In such cases as this, you can try un-hooking all network cables and rebooting.  Then try to login.  This will try a cached account.  If this works, then you will need to contact your IT dept because it looks like your computer account could be blocked or deleted.  In any case, it will require the assistance of your local IT department and domain admin.
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thenoneCommented:
Sounds like a dns issue. click start and click run type cmd. Type ipconfig/flushdns and then type ipconfig/registerdns.
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Frank-MahonCommented:
Try this:

1) Go to: http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/ and get Ophcrack.  Just download the ISO, burn it, then boot from it.  It will give you the local admin password and others as well after a few minutes.

2) Log into the computer with an administrator profile.  This might be your login if you had Administrator rights and now you know what the password is since you ran Ophcrack.

3) Go to http://www.ccleaner.com/ and download CCleaner.  Run this to cleanup your drive and registry.

4) Reboot and see if it is better.  If not then go the full route with System Recovery.
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