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XP Logon/Logoff Loop

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello, I have a problem w/ my Windows XP, when I click logon, it flashes my wallpaper background real quick, and then immediately logs me back out to the welcome screen.  I tried a repair install and it didn't fix it, any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Question by:PavPPZ1
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LeeTutor earned 500 total points
ID: 24078544
The following page describes how this problem occurs after you have attempted to clean up adware/spyware with a certain version of the data, and also what to do about it:

http://www.winxptutor.com/wsaremove.htm
Unable to logon to Windows after removing BlazeFind using a spyware removal utility?

[begin quote from the above page:]

Logon - Logoff loop, also caused by BlazeFind

Another critical symptom caused by this malware: This malware modifies the Userinit area in the registry (replacing the userinit.exe with wsaupdater.exe) and Ad-Aware (with a particular definition update) removes the wsaupdater.exe file from the system, thus causing the Logon - Logoff loop. That is, when you login to Windows, the 'loading personal settings" verbose will appear, but suddenly it will logoff. This issue was documented clearly by Lavasoftusa in it's Lavahelp Knowledgebase.

Here is the solution to the logon - logoff issue in Windows XP.

Enter the Recovery Console

Boot the system using the Windows XP CD-ROM. In the first screen when the Setup begins, read the instructions press "R" (in the first screen) enter the Recovery Console. Type-in the built-in Administrator password to enter the Console. You'll see the prompt reading C:\Windows (Or any other drive-letter where you've installed XP)

Type the following command and press Enter.

CD SYSTEM32
(If that does not work, try CHDIR SYSTEM32)

COPY USERINIT.EXE WSAUPDATER.EXE

Quit Recovery Console by typing EXIT and restart Windows.

You'll be able to login successfully as you've created the wsaupdater.exe file (now, a copy of userinit.exe)

Now, change the USERINIT value in the registry (see Phase II in this page) and change it accordingly.


NOTE    If you don't have a Windows XP CD-ROM, you need to use Windows XP Setup floppy disks to enter the Recovery Console.

 Phase II  -  Fixing a registry entry which causes the Quick Launch issue (not retaining the settings)

Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT. Navigate to:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

In the right-pane, change the value of Userinit to "C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,"

Type the above value exactly as given, including the comma - exclude the quotes. Also, change the path to userinit.exe appropriately, if Windows is installed in a different drive.

Close Registry Editor and restart Windows.

[end quote.]


Sometimes, you will find that there is no file Userinit.exe or Wsaupdater.exe in the \Windows\System32\ folder.  In this case, all you need to do is, while in the Recovery Console, use the following command to decompress the file userinit.ex_ into the \WIndows\System32\ folder as userinit.exe (where X: is replaced by whatever drive letter your CD-ROM uses):

EXPAND X:\I386\USERINIT.EX_  C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32
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by:johnb6767
ID: 24080108
Actually, I have also found alot of instances lately, where userinit was not signed by MS, and not a valid OS file. Defualt for this size, is usually 24kb, but as low as 21kb for an older system. If you dont have the CD handy, you can also copy it from c:\windows\system32\dllcache, if it is the proper file.....
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Author Closing Comment

by:PavPPZ1
ID: 31567077
Worked like a charm, you're my hero.
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