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"unable to log you on because of an account restriction"

Hi folks.  I have an older Dell with XP Home that I'm working on.  Currently getting "unable to log you on because of an account restriction" whenever I try to log on, under any account.  I've tried using Password Cracker to reset the passwords (and it seems to have an option to remove "disabled and locked" status, but i never worked).  Online hunting led me to try a repair install, but the BIOS/motherboard refuses to let me boot to the CD drive.  The BIOS sees the CD, and it's first on the boot order.  I hear the drive spin up and then it jumps on past to the next thing in the boot order.  No F-keys or Delete ever bring up a boot menu option either.

Ugh.  Any thoughts?  Thanks!
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ProfessorGeek
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ProfessorGeek
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1 Solution
 
sasoppieCommented:
Windows Xp has a 3 to 5 second timeout.  It is very easy to miss your chance to boot to a cd if you are not ready for it.  It is also possible that your monitor is not displaying the message before it goes away.  You just need to press a key while the message is up.
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sasoppieCommented:
I'm assuming that you are able to boot from a cd to try your password crack.  This means your problem is with the windows cd.
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ProfessorGeekAuthor Commented:
I booted to a cd on a different computer with this hard drive attached to get password cracker working.  

I've tried all button punching at boot, but will run through them again.  I get a cursor in the top left when the cd starts spinning but it doesn't change.  I will try hitting something during that.  
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ProfessorGeekAuthor Commented:
So at the moment, I have CD as the only item in the boot order.  After the BIOS screen, a blank screen with a cursor comes for a instant (maybe 1.5 seconds) and then "Invalid Boot Diskette. Insert BOOT diskette in A:".  I actually went and disabled the Floppy controller, told the BIOS that nothing was installed on Floppy A, and unplugged the power, yet the same thing happens.  

It sees the CD drive, because the BIOS screen pops up with the two IDE drives (HD and CD) correctly.  
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burrcmCommented:
CD drive may be faulty. Boot it with a win9x floppy with cd support and see if you can read a cd.

Chris B
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SgtSpikeCommented:
Agreed, sounds like a bad drive.  Try temporarily attaching another CD or DVD drive to the system and see if you can boot off of it.
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ProfessorGeekAuthor Commented:
The CD drive is functional, at least on a different computer.  Tried several different CD drives (this one actually belongs to a different computer).  

So my problem in a nutshell:

1. Windows registry is whack with the account restrictions, and needs a repair install.
2. The motherboard is just messed up enough to prevent booting to a CD to do the repair install.

Anyone know a solution to the account restriction garbage without using a CD drive?
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burrcmCommented:
Will it boot to a floppy? If so you should be able to start setup with D:\Setup or wherever setup starts from. Have a look at the disk in another machine.

Chris B
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auraorangeCommented:
Im not totally sure that your floppy drive is working???
However I had a problem where my customer messed up his passwords so i found a program on internet called "active password changer", it loads onto a floppy disk and ive used it 2-3 times and it works really good.  (I used it on XP home and Pro)

If you just need to break the password this will do it in a few minutes

Cheers AURA
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auraorangeCommented:
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ProfessorGeekAuthor Commented:
We eventually used a nearly identical Dell model, put the crappy Windows version hard drive into the functional model, ran windows repair, then put the hard drive back in it's original home and it let me log in.  Enough things screwy with the original computer that any normal, single repair method was impossible.  Thanks for the thoughts.  
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