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Vista Home Premium: Instant logout, after login.

OK, here's one that has me stumped, though I have solved a similar issue in the past on Win2000...

I have as part of my punishment for knowing something about this stuff, been given a friends laptop to fix, like we all get....

This is a fairly recent Toshiba Equium, with Vista Home Premium loaded as standard.

Now, I'm familiear with 2k, XP and earlier, but this stuff does my fading grey cell in...

The problem.

At the welcome screen, you hit the users login icon.  There is no password set.  It shows "Welcome", then "Loging out", and bombs back to the welcome screen.   The first time it's instant, the second time it takes a little longer, the more times you try (becaust it's there!) it takes longer and longer......

I managed (eventualy) to get the thing into Safe Mode, and make myself a nice new account with admin privalges.  Sadly, I couldnt find how to get to the main PC's admin account, Vista is too different, for the time I have spent on it so far.   Anyway...

My new account logs in fine, and has allowed me to do the usual "maintenance" (kill uTorrent, Limewire, and all the other p2p dross found on there, she's a download junkie!) and have done Spybot, AdAware, and AV sweeps (AVG 8 free) all of which had a hissy fit with what they found.  However, AFIK it's now a clean machine, and even does WIndows updates again just fine...

OK...   My login works great, and the machine is stable and all the bell's and whistles seem to work OK, plus there is no unusual network traffic (monitored from another PC with ethereal)

But, the big question..  The orignal users login still "bounces"...    What and where do I go looking for, to fix the instant logout when I loging with the original users account (also an Admin)?

I've flagged myself as a Beginner on this subject, as it's only the 3rd Vista machine I've ever had fingers on, and as you all know, it's sufficently different to confuse most people, and I'm as baffled by all the (seemingly) needless changes MS have done, moving all the usual tools and utilities arround.

Any idea's anyone?

Dave B.

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1 Solution
DanielGouldInfrastructure ArchitectCommented:
Go into user accounts and delete and recreate their account. Sounds like something has become corrupt in their profile.
g8kbvAuthor Commented:
Cheers Daniel...

Had thought of that, but she wants to retain all the music and photos etc.   The last time I did that, (on a XP machine) all the "MyDocuments" stuff went with the old accout.   The music isn't that important, guess she'll just go and download more of it or rip her CD's, but it's her family pictures she doesnt want to loose...   Guess what...  No backups!

I shold have mentioned, that though I can see her folders and files, they appear locked or encrypted so I cant move them in such a way so as to make a usefull backup.  Or I would have done just that already.

In any case, I'd rather learn and try to understand what and why it's happend, rather than just flatten it and start again.   From past experience with earlier OS's, reloading and reconfiguring back to the same functionality can often take much longer than diagnosing and fixing the main trouble...  Sometimes!

However, there's always that option.

Just had a phone call from someone else who's also a p2p and mesenger fan.  Similar problem, but with XP.   Is there something going round, or is it coincidence...    Yet to look at that one, so no idea as to details.   Just mentioned that as an asside.

Dave B
DanielGouldInfrastructure ArchitectCommented:
There are some nasties on Messenger at the moment, so it could be one of those.

If the data is encrypted, you will need to get the encryption key out of her account. If it is just telling you access denied, you should be able to take ownership by using the security tab on properties of the folder.
g8kbvAuthor Commented:
Getting close, as I know Messenger (MSN whatever) was on here too.

I've just found that my new profile/account/login (whatever Vista calls it) is at least 5 times the size (in bytes) than the buggy account that instantly logs out.

I've also learnt tonight, that I'm not the first to try and sort out the mess on this machine.  So...   I wonder if the previous putton presser had deleted too much, and there is no way back?

Where though, is the start menu folder?  I can't even find that for my account, I was going to look and see if there was much/anything in any of the startup places, but even as "an" administrator class user, that seems to be fairly well hidden.

The vista equivalent of...
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
(That from this 2000 machine)

Is what I'm looking for...

However, this may be more of a clue as to what happened....

I changed the original account type to a standard user, and added a password.

Now, when you try and use that account, I get a message on screen...

"The Group Policy Client service failed the logon
Access is denied"


I have also just found, that I can now "gain access" as you describe to that account's files and folders, so as I type this, I've got it backing up all the data (music and pictures etc) from C:\Users\*Name* etc....


As an asside, I have also had a phone call from a third person (also MSN\Limewire user) that their PC is acting strange, so I suspect there is as you say, "something going round".

Thanks for the pointers, a nice easy 500 points for you I think, and a "steep" learning curve for me!...

Cheers, now going to raid the fridge....

Dave B.
g8kbvAuthor Commented:
All because MS moved stuff arround when they came up with Vista, so us luckless unpaid helpers are stumped for a while.....

I'll be back!  (To paraphrase a well known movie) More learnng to do etc...
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