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Alan Silverman
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Emergency: Windows Server 2003 logon then logoff how do I access the server

I'm having the same problem described here:

https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/24681933/Windows-2003-Auto-Log-OFF-problem.html

I have a windows server 2003 machine where when I logon it immediately logs me off.  

The answer is to log into the server and use the remote registry to clear out a certain registry entry.

As I write this  I'm at a clients office and have run into this.  How do I log onto the server from one of the networked computers, since it logs me off as administrator immediately after I log in.  The office opens in less than an hour.  Safe mode and last known good gets the same result.
Windows Server 2003

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Steven Carnahan

8/22/2022 - Mon
Ben Hart

You try RDP?
IanTh

I suspect its a virus I have seen some really nasty virus' that reside in protected system files and as a result a windows av suite cannot even find them let alone fix/remove them the only way is to use a linux av boot cd they are not quick mind you


see
http://www.techmixer.com/free-bootable-antivirus-rescue-cds-download-list/
Ben Hart

Or do you have another account to login with locally or remotely?
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William Peck
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Not a virus.  I was trying to add a backup drive and I'm pretty sure the drive letters got screwed up in the registry.  I put all the drives back where they were, removing the backup drive but still have the problem.  That experts problem describes my problem to a tee.  How do I get into the server registry?  Is there anything I can do if I boot into the recovery console?
Alan Silverman

ASKER
How do I get into RDP?  I'm on another computer now, but it's trying to access the server's C drive and it keeps on coming up that the network place doesn't exist.
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Is there any chance I could call someone to discuss this?  Windows Server is not my baliwick and this is really an emergency.
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SOLUTION
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Steven Carnahan

RDP can be found in Start/All Programs/Accessories.
IanTh

run mstsc
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Tried it.  First time it looked like I got in then knocked me out.
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James Murphy
Alan Silverman

ASKER
I'm trying to login using the same user, the adminstrator, that gets knocked out whenever I log in on the server console itself.
IanTh

hmm not a virus hmm
Ben Hart

So are there no other user accounts to try on this box?
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Alan Silverman

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Not that I know of.  I was just brought into this.  
And anyway, wouldn't it logoff those users too.
Is there any way to remove the password?
I know under XP and Vista there are programs that can wipe the password.
Is there any way to do with Windows Server 2003
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Ben Hart

If the remote Registry service is running you could maybe accomplish it that way too.  If your the one who has to connect to resolve an issue what does logging on any locally logged on users have to do with it?  Unless I'm mistaken this is a server right?
Alan Silverman

ASKER
This describes the problem:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321
And this is part of the solution:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/814590

I just have to figure out how to do it on this system.
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rwheeler23
IanTh

surely safe mode would work though
Ben Hart

remote Desktop admin mode should be enabled by default.. it allows up to two simultaneous connections.  Do you have physical access to the box?
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Yes.  I just did this:
net use \\remote_machine_name\IPC$ /user:administrator *
But got this message:
Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed
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Alan Silverman

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Just read here:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winservergen/thread/f95e5f0b-9805-4583-a648-92c44b85c827

It discusses assigning drive letters using diskpart.  I don't have a windows server 2003 disk.  I do have XP Pro.  I'm wondering if there's any way I can get into the recovery console using that and somehow assign C to the boot drive
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rmail

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Steven Carnahan

ubadmin's post 38710939 seems to agree with the resolution in your first link.  

The only reason to perform the net use command is if the server is not in a domain.
Ben Hart

Win2k3 doesn't have diskpart does it?  I've never ran it unless thru a Win2k8/7 boot disk.
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Alan Silverman

ASKER
rmail, can you give me specific commands that will allow me to use remote registery on the computer I am on right now?
Do I do it from a command prompt?
How do I do "file->connect network registry ? "
Thanks,
Al
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Alan Silverman

ASKER
found out how to do it.  command prompt: regedit.  Then I went to file under regedit and clicked on "connect network registry".  
But then when I try to login as administrator, I get a message: "The object with the following name cannot be found"
Wait, I think I'm in.  Not sure yet.
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Yep.  I'm in.  Now I just have to find the right keys.
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Ben Hart

What about prepending the hostname with the domain?  i.e. domain\hostname or even try the IP.
Ben Hart

Good deal.
Alan Silverman

ASKER
OK, so I changed the drive letter and now I can access that C drive through the network.  But I still can't logon.  I changed the
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon?\usinit
Settings.  But I don't think I got it right.
I just used this:
Userinit = x:\windows\system32\userinit.exe
Same result.  Couldn't login.  Any ideas?
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fblack61
Alan Silverman

ASKER
I'm wondering if it should be x:\winnit\system32 instead of x:\windows
Alan Silverman

ASKER
wrong drive.  it thought the c: drive was the CD drive. Not sure which is the real c drive.
Alan Silverman

ASKER
Finally got it.
I had tried to make C: the boot device per http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188
But that was insane.  Finally I found a forum where someone said to just delete all the \DosDevices\ in the registry and let windows reassign them.  That did it.  The boot drive was finally C: again. But then I ran back into the userinit problem in the registry.
My registry entry looked like this:  Userinit = x:\windows\system32\userinit.exe
I just changed it to Userinit = C:\windows\system32\userinit.exe  and I was able to logon.

I just tried to set up a backup drive in an old server (that I hadn't set up in the first place) and suddenly I was in for six hours of fun. If anyone knows how to swear off trying to fix ancient systems please let me know. There must be a support group for that.  

Thanks to all.
Al
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Alan Silverman

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Thanks again.
Steven Carnahan

" If anyone knows how to swear off trying to fix ancient systems please let me know. There must be a support group for that."  

 ROFL

If you find one please let the rest of us know.  

Glad you got it working.