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Windows 7 Pro Thinks its on a domain

I get "cant log in the specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted" when trying to log in to my windows 7 professional 64 bit computer.  It has never been connected to a domain. I am trying to log in to a password-protected account. I don't remember installing any updates prior to shutting down this morning.  Used computer in the AM to check email, didn't install any  updates or anything, didn't even open any emails, only looked for anything important. Computer was shut down normally.  Came home from work and get the above error message when trying to log in.

Have tried:
Logging in to hidden administrator account. Enabled administrator account from a Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery disc through command prompt. I get the same error when trying to log in to this account. Both accounts give the same log in error in safe mode or normal mode.

System Restore.  I haven't quite figured out why System Restore doesn't always find restore points from the MSDART disc.  It says no restore points found but I've seen this happen on many other windows vista/7 systems. There ARE restore points, even a few manually created ones, the disc wont pick them up...  Trying to run system restore through the "Repair your computer" option from the F8 boot menu lists only one restore point from 2012.  The clock is set correctly on the system, so I am not sure why this is listed (this is the only one listed) and I am afraid that restore point will cause more harm than good.

Tried SFC scan from MSDART disc, no files were found to be incorrect.

For fun, I have tried bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot.  No difference.

Currently, I have the drive connected to my laptop doing a virus scan with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Anyone have any ideas?

Wipe/Reload would be out of the question at this time.
Microsoft Legacy OSIT Administration

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8/22/2022 - Mon

try to boot in safe mode with networking

Then control panel system and security  system

under computer name domain and workgroup settings

click on change settings

What do you see?

I can't log in to either account to get that far, even in safe mode. Both accounts, "Administrator" and my "User" account give "cant log in the specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted"   when trying to log in.

when you get the logon screen does a domain name appear?

Do you know the local account  and password with this machine?

At the logon screen just leave the domain name blank it should allow you to switch user then enter local account.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

The windows 7 log in screen that I see looks exactly like the log in screen of a system that is not on a domain, it shows my account picture and account name. It now also shows the Administrator account because I've enabled and passworded it. There is no domain name or any obvious sign that it is on a domain at the logon screen.  I do know the password for both User and Administrator accounts. Trying to log in to either account gives the error message: "cant log in the specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted".  There is no "Domain Name" area to leave blank.  

FYI: I've since stopped the virus scan I've been running with the drive connected via usb adapter to my laptop.  1.5tb will take too long to scan, no viruses were picked up within the first 20 minutes, so I will assume this is not a rootkit issue.

Upon first boot of the system with the trouble (drive reinstalled in desktop), started to do a startup repair.  It says "Attempting Repairs" but doesnt tell me what its doing. Time will tell at this point..

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At the logon screen click "switch user", then click "other user", then in the user name type your user name preceeded with a ".\".

For example, if your user name is Joe:

Do you get the same error?

Ended up loading windows 7 onto a SSD and pointing my "Libraries" to the original C:\ drive which is now D:\.   Wish there was a better way to do it, but things went smoother that way than previously thought.  

bigbigpig, there was no way to change the user name that it logged in to. Because it was never actually connected to a domain, I only could click on my user name (not change it) . The login screen appeared as it would if it wasn't on a domain.
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