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Why would XP user profile lock then disappear?

Posted on 2009-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Dell Vostro 1000 laptop, Main Profile with Administrator Rights had a password but the password stopped working - Correct password was being used GUARANTEED, after a crash and reboot. I logged in to another account with added Admin priveledges which has no password (created much after original). This profile had no password so not affected. I tried changing the password on my account but system still would not accept password/log in. I then tried to remove the password - The both accounts showed but mine still requested a password which none of the password options old or new would work. Then another reboot caused My main profile to disappear completely - which is worrying as all my invoices (backed up about 3 months ago) is there. I would try a system restore but this has failed the last 2 times I tried for other unrelated issues (what causes that? - restore files not saving?).

Main question how to recover profile or documents etc in profile?
2nd What is cause so I can stop a re-occurrence? Similar happened months ago but changing password worked that time. DEFINATELY not wrong password as cause!!!
Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Freshcafe
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by:jfields71
jfields71 earned 2000 total points
ID: 23611773
Do you mean that your actual user profile folder structure is gone for that user?  Or do you just mean that you can't log in to it.  I am not clear about that from your description.  Is it possible that your account became locked?  if it is locked, then changing the password doesn't really help until you unlock the account.  

As for the system restore failing, that would be a different issue.  Perhaps you have not set aside enough space for the restores?  
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by:Freshcafe
ID: 23612016
It had an image/button for fast user switching but the button has disappeared. Of course the profile being used has no access to the password protected profile or files inside. The restore is set to 12% (12495MB). Just checked the Admin tools - local user and groups and the profile name still shows as a local user but how to proceed to restore without the restore app working?
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jfields71 earned 2000 total points
ID: 23612223
So the profile is still there under C:\documents and settings?  If so, then you can fix this.  First reset the users' account and unlock it.  If you can't do this through windows, then use a password reset disk.  http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/.  With that, you burn the ISO to a CD and boot to the CD.  Then follow the instructions to reset the user's password and unlock the account.  Then reboot the computer like normal and you should be able to log in.  If that doesn't work, you should be able to boot to a rescue CD (or any linux distro) and copy the files from the user's profile folders to another location.  Then you can rebuild the machine and restore the data without losing any.

If you want to try to fix the Windows install (because none of the above works), then you can try system restore.  You don't mentions what happens when it fails, so we won't be able to provide any help for that currently.  
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by:Freshcafe
ID: 23639321
Restore just says it has failed so nothing was done and gives a prompt to try another restore point. But the profile is back now and I'd just like to know why this happened - should not get locked out after 2 attempts and the lockout should only be 30 minutes as default and set currently when I checked the admin. Just being patient may have sorted it but having the login disappear and thought of losing two months - panicked.
Thanks for the assist. Points soon.
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Assisted Solution

by:jfields71
jfields71 earned 2000 total points
ID: 23660054
Check your security log in Event Viewer.  Do you see the lockout event occuring in there?  You may be able to see what is locking the account from there.  By the way, what message did you get when you tried to log in when the account was locked?  Did you actually get the message that the account was locked?   Again, check Event Viewer for details around the time of these lock events.  It may be a security issue or maybe something else entirely is occurring.  
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by:Freshcafe
ID: 23661445
This is even more confusing/raises even more questions! Security in event viewer shows Failure audits since Decembe 2007. My account is on most showing
logon Account error
event 680
error 0xC0000234 or 0xC000006A

There are a few on the other account/profile
same category
error 0xC000006E

NONE OF THESE COME BACK AS LOCKOUT WHEN REPORTED- BEST WAS WRONG PASSWORD but every day since 2007 is unlikely especially since it signs us in and MICROSOFT SAYS NO USER INTERVENTION REQUIRED. ????

The 5 sucessful audits of 778 are 3 policy changes on this pc name and
2 System events on Computer name STUDENTXP

Cannot find evidence/report of lockout and there was no error - it just wouldn't let me in with my password then the icon on the fast user switching screen was not there.

AT LEAST ITS WORKING AGAIN BUT WOULD LIKE TO RESOLVE IT TO STOP IT OCCURRING AGAIN.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Freshcafe
ID: 31552609
May not be everyones answer but - patience may have worked. It acted like a lockout but no message or log or other evidence to say so. Thanks for your assistance. Now on to the next peculiar fault!
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:Freshcafe
ID: 23767631
May not be everyones answer but - patience may have worked. It acted like a lockout but no message or log or other evidence to say so.
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