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Refuses to accept password

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by boweasel, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. boweasel

    boweasel Banned Thread Starter

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    Running XP Home SP3.

    Last week the PC began asking for an Administrative password shortly after I turned it on. I was just a black screen with a smallish black box outlined in white. I'd never even heard of such a thing so I asked a friend who know computers to take a look. He told me that the system wanted some sort of password that had been entered into the BIOS settings. I told him that we'd never set up anything like that, and asked if he could get around it.

    He took a small battery out of the PC, and left it out for about 30 minutes. When he put it back, it no longer asked for that password, but when it booted to windows, it did not bring up my desktop. It went to a signon page with the name Guest. And only that name. It did not show my user name (which is Mike), or show my desktop. It also wanted a password for Guest.

    Since I have no password on my system, I had no idea. We left it blank, but it brought up a message box reading

    The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted
    Please try again or consult your system administrator.


    My friend booted into safe mode, where we got essentially the same result, except that this time the user was Administrator. No other users on the page. And once again it asked for a password.

    He went home and got a disk called ERD and booted from that, and then went into some utility from the start menu that would allow him to reset the passwords. He reset both Guest and Administrator, and showed me that there was no Mike listed as a user.

    After he reset the passwords, he booted normally and in safe mode. Both cases worked the same as they did before.

    He took out the hard drive from my PC and we went over to his place. He hooked it up to his PC with a USB cable so he could see what was on my computer. We found no user data for Mike. No pictures. No documents.

    Is there a possibility that they are still there but are hidden because he couldn't access a user account on my PC? I'd hate to have him reinstall windows which would of course delete all my pictures before I had a chance to save them
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla

    Joined:
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    2,554
    Don't reinstall Windows. If Windows and everything else is on the same partition (which it probably is) then you will lose everything.

    Yes, you are correct. All your files are there but you cannot see them. The most likely reason for this is that during the process of doing what you did your User Profile became corrupted. (Unfortunately user profile corruption is one of the failings of XP which has now been fixed in Windows 7).

    Suggest that you do the following: -

    1. Restart (just to clear RAM and everything else)
    2. Login as Administrator
    3. Navigate to my computer\local disk c:\documents and settings\
    4. Look through the list of Folders. You should see your previous user Folder listed. Under that Folder will be your files.

    There is only one situation where you will certainly lose all your files and that is if you had previously activated Windows Encryption for the specified User Account. If you do that the ONLY way to view those files is if you are logged in as that specific user. If the User Profile becomes corrupted and Windows Encryption has been activated then your files are permanently lost.

    T.
     
  3. boweasel

    boweasel Banned Thread Starter

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    Done that MANY time
    As i already said, going into Safe mode brings me the Administrator login, but it wants a password. AFAIK there is no passord on any account on this PC. Booting normally and pressing <Ctrl, Alt, Delete> twice brings up the box with a blank user name and password. Entering Administrator and any or no password give me the same error box
    How do I do that if I cannot log onto the system?
     
  4. Tabvla

    Tabvla

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    Obviously I have misunderstood your previous post. You wrote....

    I thought that this meant "...as they did before..." by before I thought you meant before the problem started. Wrong!

    Saving your data is now the priority. When you went to your friends house....

    ..... did you look for your files under "Documents and Settings" on your disk?

    As I wrote in my previous post....

    If you have NOT activated Windows Encryption then your files will be there. That is an absolute guarantee.

    T.
     
  5. boweasel

    boweasel Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Turns out that my daughter, who is always thinking ahead, had already backed up the pictures onto a disk, and since there was nothing else of any importance on the PC, I reformatted and reinstalled the OS. Of course it's a paint to have to redownload the drivers, update Windows (it didn't even specify what service pack we were on after the reinstall - SP0?) to SP3, reinstall Adobe, anti-virus, yadda, yadda, yadda... but it is working just fine now.

    Thank you for your reply, and I'm sorry that we had a communications problem - I probably should have used a better choice of words...
     
  6. gangaoya

    gangaoya

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    Post edited.
     
  7. raybro

    raybro

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    Messages:
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    Hi boweasel... Just a suggestion for your consideration...

    All computers are subject to various problems but, IMHO, any computer with more than one user will have a much higher probability of experiencing an event similar to what you just went through. Not laying blame or fault, just stating my experience.

    A tried and proven method of minimizing the impact of such an event is to implement a backup program such as Acronis True Image. There are a couple of ways to use the program to create a full backup image of the entire content of your hard drive, but my suggestion is to purchase either a second hard drive to install inside your computer (assuming its a desktop) or, as in my case, and external hard drive connected via USB. One simply creates a full backup image on the second HDD and updates it periodically with what is called an incremental image which simply records any changes since the original image was created.

    The advantage is if such an event as you just had were to occur again, you simply boot into ATI and restore your hard drive back to the configuration it was in when the last image was created. It take only a few minutes to complete the process.

    Give it some thought... Raybro
     
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