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XP login - do it quickly or else!


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#1
GrumpyDragon

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Hi,

I suspect I have a slightly broken version of XP. I would rather avoid the hassle of a full re-install of XP, so any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Symptoms are as follows:

1) When I get the XP logon password entry screen, if I don't enter my passord within a few seconds, the system will display my desktop, minus shortcuts and taskbar, and go into an interminable loop. The disk activity LED barely flickers, and the cooling fan starts up as the CPU just thrashes until infinity. Entering the Password within a few seconds results in normal behaviour (except for 2) below)

2) I am seeing similar instability at other times - eg, iTunes now will no longer play a tune - the PC just freezes as the CPU just loops. Certain web sites will also kick off the similar behaviour.

I can't track this to any specific install I have done. I have restored to the earliest point I could but to no avail.

My machine is a Toshiba Tecra M1, running XP Professional with SP2. All the latest updates have been applied.

Help!

Graham
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#2
WinCrazy

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Hi GrumpyDragon.

It is amazing that your account login is password protected, yet XP just ignores that after a timeout and logs you in anyway.

You have set a password set, right ?

_______________________________

You can make sure that the login screen is enabled properly:

Control Panel > User accounts > Change the way users log on or off

Make sure that "Use the Welcome screen" checkbox is checked.

See what happens the next time you start up.

_______________________________

If that doesn't work try this:

Start > Run > control userpasswords2 > OK

You will see the User Accounts window.
Select the Advanced tab.
In the "Secure logon" box check off "Require users to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete"

Restart and see what happens
_
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#3
GrumpyDragon

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I didn't make myself clear.

If I log in straight away, it works (subject to what I said later). If I leave it more than a few seconds before I log in, the system won't go any further than display the naked desktop, no icons, taskbar etc, and displays the CPU-in-a-spin behaviour.

The system is NOT logging me in automatically.

Graham
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#4
WinCrazy

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OK, but XP is still bypassing password entry when it shouldn't, right ?

Try my suggestions.
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#5
GrumpyDragon

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No, you're not right.

How can I explain this?

Scenario 1: I start up PC, and get the password entry stage. I enter password straight away, and things are fine (except for some stuff not working as I describe).


Scenario 2: I start up PC, and get the password entry stage. I leave it a few seconds before I enter password, and the system displays the naked desktop graphic, with no icons or taskbar, and the CPU just loops, I never get fully logged on.


It's almost as if XP continues to load stuff after it throws up the password entry screen, and if you log on before a certain module gets loaded, you stop it doing something bad to itself.

Graham
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#6
WinCrazy

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I think there is a semantics problem.

The XP "Desktop" is the screen that shows the Taskbar with the Start button, the icons, etc.

Are you really describing the background window of the screen showing the user accounts and the password entry box ?

Is the "naked desktop graphic" your wallpaper image ?

What happens to the popup box for entering the password for your account ? Does it disappear ? Does the Welcome page go away ? Does your PC then display the XP Desktop without the Task bar ?

Please be more descriptive.
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#7
GrumpyDragon

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I think there is a semantics problem.

The XP "Desktop" is the screen that shows the Taskbar with the Start button, the icons, etc.

Are you really describing the background window of the screen showing the user accounts and the password entry box ?

No

Is the "naked desktop graphic" your wallpaper image ?

Yes

What happens to the popup box for entering the password for your account ? Does it disappear ? Does the Welcome page go away ? Does your PC then display the XP Desktop without the Task bar ?

It disappears, Yes, and Yes (just the Wallpaper, no icons or taskbar)
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#8
WinCrazy

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Then, XP is not requiring you to enter your password and is going straight to showing the Desktop after a time-out, right ?

You do have a non-blank password set, right ?

If "Yes" to both these questions then follow the steps listed before.
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#9
GrumpyDragon

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Then, XP is not requiring you to enter your password and is going straight to showing the Desktop after a time-out, right ?

No.

See my second posting above.
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#10
WinCrazy

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I believe your XP installation is too damaged to work with it any more. It's time to bite the bullet and reinstall XP.

- Save all your important files to CD, DVD, a separate hard drive, etc.

- Reinstall XP.

Read this:

Reinstalling XP
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#11
GrumpyDragon

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Well, that was helpful.

Does anyone else have any ideas, before I emabrk on the three weeks of pain getting my system bck to how I like it?

Graham
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