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User Accounts don't appear at log in after XP SP3 upgrade

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2008-06-22
After installing SP3 on a XP Pro Toshiba notebook only the "Admin" account I had created with administrative privliges appears on the Windows log in screen.  I had set up three User accounts for myself, my wife, and a "Visitor" account, all with limited privileges, and none of these three accounts appear.  I can successfully log onto any of of these three accounts from the log on screen using the double Cntl+Alt+Delete technique.  All three of these accounts appear in the Administrative Tools/Computer Management/System Tools/Local Users and Groups/Users window with no red Xs or other warnings.

The origins of this problem probably lie in the method that I uses to install SP3.  A number of attempts to upgrade from the Windows Update site generated an "Access Denied" error relating to backing up some registry key.  Microsoft has a fix posted as KB949377, and I had to download the upgrade file to my computer and then use the following steps posted there to install  SP3:

Method 3: Reset the registry and the file permissions
1. Download and then install the Subinacl.exe file. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e8ba3e56-d8fe-4a91-93cf-ed6985e3927b&displaylang=en (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e8ba3e56-d8fe-4a91-93cf-ed6985e3927b&displaylang=en)
2. Start Notepad.
3. Copy and then paste the following text into Notepad.
cd /d "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

4. Save this Notepad file as Reset.cmd.
5. Double-click the Reset.cmd file to run the script.

Note This script file may take a long time to run. Additionally, you have to run this script as an administrator.
6. Install Windows XP SP3.
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Question by:whousto
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Expert Comment

by:debuggerau
ID: 21756337
download Microsoft powertools, specifically tweakui which will let you select which users appear on the logon screen..
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx
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by:orangutang
ID: 21756415
Also, try resetting the registry permissions by following the instructions from:
http://www.windowsbbs.com/showpost.php?p=316029&postcount=2
from "Here is my modified 'fix' that has been tested:" to the line before "regini C:\reg_fix.txt"
Save it as C:\fix_reg.cmd and run it.
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Author Comment

by:whousto
ID: 21771615
I had tired TweakUI (forgot to mention this), and the User accounts missing from the Welcome screen don't appear there either.  The default XP Administrator account and the "Admin" account that I created with Administrator privileges when I bought this laptop do appear in the Tweak UI Logon screen.

orangutang, I tried your fix and the script ran and ran and ran and completed OK, but still no joy.

I'd like to reiterate that I have no problem accessing each of the administrator accounts or the three user accounts, and they are all fully functional.  The problem is that the user accounts don't appear on the welcome screen, and I'm sure my wife (who's been out of town during this fiasco) will NOT be happy with having to do the three finger salute, twice,  at the Welcome screen just to log onto her account.

Also, aside from this glitch, SP3 did install and the computer is running normally otherwise
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Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21771772
Do you still get an access denied error?
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21771809
Also, open to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
and make sure none of the accounts are there.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21772018
Also, this might be slightly related to your problem:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331880
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Author Comment

by:whousto
ID: 21774135
I don't have Symantec "PC Anywhere" installed, so the microsoft KB link you posted does not applyl

I don't get access denied errors.  SP3 did install after using their recommended procedure to get around this error, as described in the Question.

The key you mentioned does not have any of the not-displayed user accounts.  I installed SP3 on my desktop with NO problems a few days before this incident.  So, I compared the contents of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
in the desktop's registry with the same key on the problem laptop and the entries were identical.

I ran CCleaner before I did the SP3 install, so I suppose I could restore the registry backup that CCleaner created at that time, but I'm not sure how that would affect the operation of the laptop post SP3 install.

I also used Norton Ghost to image the hard drive, just before the SP3 install, but I'd like to avoid the problematic restore from this image if I can avoid it.



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by:orangutang
ID: 21774164
Hmm, did you try http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331880 but skip step 2?
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Author Comment

by:whousto
ID: 21775967
orangutang,
KB331880 addresses problems with Symantec's "PC Anywhere" program.  I do not have, nor have I ever had, this program on my computers.
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Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21776004
Yeah but try it but skip Step 2.
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Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21776108
Or maybe do you have anything similar to PC Anywhere instaleld?
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Author Comment

by:whousto
ID: 21777493
I have no remote access software installed.  I did not have this problem before I installed SP3, and I have installed no software since I did that install.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 21780801
Try step 3 or send us your Autoruns (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx) log.
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Author Comment

by:whousto
ID: 21783201
"Step 3" didn't accomplish anything because the appropriate box was already checked.

How do I send the Autoruns log?  I saved the scan, but it's not an allowed file type (*.arn) on this site for attachment.
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Accepted Solution

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whousto earned 0 total points
ID: 21785444
I get the points.  Please send the check to my off-shore account or have Carmen Diaz personally deliver it.  Or, forget the check and just send Carmen.

Poking around in Administrative tools\Computer Management\System Tools\Local Users and Groups\Users I saw that my limited access user accounts still appeared in this window.  However, when I looked at the Properties\Member Of tab there were no Groups listed - the space was blank.  I tried the Add... button on this tab but it couldn't find these account names.

So I went to the Groups folder, double clicked on Users in the list that appeared, and added the missing account names using the Add... button.  Then I went back to the Users folder and was able to add Users to the Properties\Member Of tab, as the Add... routine now found the account names.

Rebooted, and all the limited user accounts appeared on the Welcome screen
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