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windows xp logs on and then off

Posted on 2011-04-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I have a Windows XP machine that I can't get to load the to desktop. It logs on and then immediately logs off. I have tried to log on as the administrator in safe mode but to no avail. I have also checked that the userinit.exe path is correct in the registry under winlogon and replaced the file with a fresh copy. Is there another registry entry to look at?

I have run a repair install from the Windows xp disk also but the condition persists. Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:imij11
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13 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
ID: 35456618
How did you manage to check the userinit.exe path under winlogon?

You could check the Registry of your system and see if there is any entry apart from "Userinit.exe" in "HKEY_USERS \ MyXPHive \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon" section.

Below is tutorial on how to do it.

How to edit the registry offline using BartPE boot CD ?
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/peboot.htm

I hope that would help.

Sudeep
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Author Comment

by:imij11
ID: 35456634
I have already done that. I booted from an an Active@ CD, similar to BartPE, and loaded the registry hive to check the HKLM for winlogon settings.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:richardsk-octjamaica
ID: 35456656
Try replacing winlogon and explorer.exe, also check for batch scripts such as scripts running at start-up.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:SamMacPC
ID: 35456698
Is it possible it's malware? To test run the rescue CD of your choice. Kaspersky has one. Norton has one (I don't recommend their software, but the rescue CD should be OK.)

Also, is this Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows XP? What about the solution of creating a new user account and migrating their data over?

Did you try a system restore?

Did you try looking in the event log of this machine to see what event codes happen to cause the login failure?

--Sam
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Author Comment

by:imij11
ID: 35456961
I have tried replacing the userinit.exe and explorer.exe but no luck. I put the drive in another pc and ran a scan with avast already and it cleaned any infected files. I can't do a system restore because I can't get to the desktop and because I did a repair (in place) install of windows xp which I believe erases the previous system restore files. I could try a malwarebytes scan.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:rpggamergirl
ID: 35457501
When loading the registry outside Windows, also check this registry key.
If you find unknown value to the DEBUGGER delete that delete that value.
Or just delete the userinit.exe subkey under IFEO key.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\userinit.exe]
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Author Comment

by:imij11
ID: 35457869
There was no userinit.exe subkey listed under IFEO. Is the another logon file or reg key that could be causing the issue aside from userinit.exe?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:richardsk-octjamaica
ID: 35458075
Run the following command at the Windows Recovery repair using the Windows XP media setup CD.

 
CHKDSK /R

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:imij11
ID: 35458958
Sorry I forgot to mention that I have run a chkdsk /r already.
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Accepted Solution

by:
imij11 earned 0 total points
ID: 35467530
I wound up just wiping the drive and rebuilding. It was a faster solution than troubleshooting the registry. Thanks for you insight guys and gal I appreciate it.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:rpggamergirl
ID: 35467777

Yes, sometimes it's better to reformat than to spend time troubleshooting.

In closing this question, you also have the option to just 'Delete' the question since the solution does not have much value to the database(your points will still be refunded).
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Author Closing Comment

by:imij11
ID: 35499730
The help from the experts was good but unfortunately didn't fix my issue. I marked this as the solution so that if someone else does a search of the KB they have accurate information.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:SamMacPC
ID: 35501488
I wanted to say that given that the system was infected, it was most likely caused by malware. While taking the drive out and scanning it was the right thing to do, Åvast has a very poor track record.

I recommend:
* Super-antispyware and/or Malwarebytes in conjunction with the articles on experts exchange
http://www.superantispyware.com/ (It has automatic fixes for problems and corruption not found in Malware bytes including possibly your windows logon issue. (not confirmed.)

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

* Trend Micro Housecall (excellent, and has rendered systems usable that otherwise aren't)
www.trendmicro.com/housecall

Note that Trend Micros and all other vendors will be greatly affected by the latest SP being installed.

* NOD32 (trial version available, excellent third scan to make sure you've got everything)
www.eset.com
also, on a system that can be booted:


http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Internet_Email/Anti_Spyware/A_5124-Stop-the-Bleeding-First-Aid-for-Malware.html

http://wiki.lunarsoft.net/wiki/Dial-a-fix
nod32, trend micro, sas, mbam full then complete
http://killbox.net/
http://esupport.trendmicro.com/Pages/How-does-the-Twin-Fix-tool-work-and-how-is-it-used.aspx
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
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