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System Accounts Manager Initialization failed


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#1
slreagan

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I have a Dell Dimension 4400 that is about 6.5 years old and running Windows XP Home Edition. I upgraded the memory in it yesterday from 256MB RAM to 1GB RAM. I was able to boot up the computer yesterday and use it normally. I shut it down overnight and then got the following error message when I tried to start it today:

lsass.exe - System Error
Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning. Error Status: 0xc0000001. Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into Safe Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

I have tried rebooting into safe mode, but get the same error. I have tried "Last Known Good Configuration" also. I get an information box that says "One of the files containing the system's Registry data had to be recovered by use of a log or alternate copy. The recovery was successful." After I click on OK, I get the same error message as before. The system never gets to the point that I can choose a login. It hangs up at "Windows is starting up..." and reboots when I click OK on the error message. So, I'm stuck in a loop on that machine.
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#2
Doug

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I am unhappy to say that "most often" the cause of lsass.exe errors is related to malware infection.

You might "intuitively" conclude that there is no such malware problem, since all you've done is add RAM and then got a successful boot, but "overnight" now have a booting problem.

Malware critters are crazy in their ways of operating.
Actually when you reboot or turn on your machine you give any malware, that has a temporary toe-hold in your system, an opportunity to dig in deeper. So again, intuitively, you may have run afoul of some malware prior to shutting down and then experienced the full blown problem upon booting up.
___________________

The Error Report refers to a "device attached to your system", which could be anything from an audio card, graphic card, or some USB connected external device.

You "might" benefit from disconnecting any peripherals (like USB devices, printer/scanners, etc) and then try booting again... or not.

Tell us a little more about your system.
Particularly, what peripheral devices do you currently have plugged in when the problem occurs.
Particularly, do you have active antivirus and antispyware installed?
If you do, and you can boot into SAFE Mode, run both.

Beyond recommending to run your onboard antivirus and antispyware I cannot further assist you with malware removal here in this forum and you should post for assistance in the Malware Removal Forum.

Since you're posting here, you must have another machine to use.
That's good and might help as we progress.
If you are interested and able, browse the internet by searching the term << lsass.exe - System Error >>
Microsoft has some specific instructions that you may benefit from.

Keep us posted.

Best Regards
Doug
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#3
slreagan

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Doug,
Thanks for the reply. I had a printer, scanner, and USB external hard drive attached the system. I have disconnected all of those and still get the same error message. I run AVG antivirus, Super AntiSpyware, and Zone Alarms firewall. All of these have been operating on the system since at least January 2008. As I said in my original post, I cannot boot up into safe mode because I get the same error message. When I click OK on the error message, the system automatically reboots.

Thanks for the help!

Shawn
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#4
Doug

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Shawn,

Have a look at the Microsoft recommended steps, here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316751

You "may" be able to restore your system with minimum loss by copying the "SAM" file from: c:\windows\repair\sam
To do so, you will have to create a "parallel installation" of XP from which to gain access and move the required files.
Microsoft instructions are complete and accurate for this procedure.
But it is a large task. -- Option #2.

Post back with any questions or comments and for sure keep us posted with your progress.

Best Regards,
Doug
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#5
Doug

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Hi Shawn,

Here's an after-thought that probably should have been the first consideration.

It is "possible" that you purchased a faulty stick of RAM or that the there is a problem with the RAM Module Slot into which you installed the new RAM. (particularly if there had not previously been RAM installed in that same module slot)

What happens if you remove the new RAM and simply try to boot with the original RAM alone?

If the machine boots successfully with the original RAM, then we may want to examine that new purchase more carefully again.

Let us know the results of following both the originally posted solution recommendation and of this inquiry about the RAM.

I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Best Regads,
Doug
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#6
slreagan

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Doug,

I started down the path of a parallel installation of Windows, but when I got to the screen on where to install, I never got an option to install any where other than the current location. I was hesitant to agree to that since I thought it would overwrite all of my existing data. So, I tried the steps in the Geeks To Go pinned article "How to repair Windows XP". I tried the repair steps listed in that article. After performing that, I got the following message on a BSOD:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SAM
Or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete.
Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.

Next, I tried to boot from the Dell-provided Reinstallation CD for Microsoft Windows XP. Unfortunately, I could not boot from that CD. I borrowed a bootable CD from a friend, and followed the steps in the Microsoft KB article to delete the current SAM file and copy the one from the repair folder. When I rebooted, the system prompted me to insert the Windows XP CD and appeared to be going through an installation. In the end, I got back to the Windows login screen, but no login names are provided to click and I can't get by that screen. I rebooted with the CD, and all of my data is still there. So I haven't lost that yet. Any suggestions to get logged into the system now?

I have not yet tried to remove the new RAM and re-install the old.

Thanks for the help so far!

Shawn
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#7
Doug

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Shawn,

You wish to have a parallel instance of XP installed on your machine so that you can copy the SAM file that is presently missing or corrupt.

During your procedure to install a parallel instance of XP, follow these instructions to place the installation into a new location, instead of allowing XP to be installed over-top of your current XP operating system.


To install Windows XP to a new folder (also known as a parallel installation), follow these steps:
1. Start your computer from the Windows XP CD. To do this, insert the Windows XP CD into your CD or DVD drive, and then restart your computer.
2. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message appears on the screen, press any key to start the computer from the Windows XP CD.
3. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to begin Windows XP Setup.
4. Read the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then press F8.
5. Select the partition in which you want to install Windows XP, and then press ENTER.
6. Select the Leave the current file system intact (no changes) option, and then press ENTER to continue.
7. Press ESC to install to a different folder.

If the Setup program detects another operating system folder, it prompts you to type the name for the new folder after the backslash (\), for example, \WINXP. If there are no other operating systems detected, the Setup program automatically names the folder \Windows.
8. Press ENTER to continue.
9. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Windows XP Setup.


Source: http://support.micro...b/316941/EN-US/

Shawn,

I am presently not receiving email notification when new replies are posted.
This may be related to recent updates and changes of the Board conflicting with my ISP email client.
Others have reported similar inconvenience, but I'm sure it will get worked out soon.

In the meantime, there may be delays in my noticing that you have posted a reply and this may delay my responses to you.
I apologize to the inconvenience.

If my notification problem persists, I will contact another Tech to them to begin assisting you.

Best Regards
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#8
slreagan

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Doug,

When I get to Step 5 below, I only have 1 location show up to install Windows XP. My hard drive does not have multiple partitions. If I continue on with the other steps, will it install over the top of my current intallation? That may be my ultimate solution anyway, but I would like to try to save this one first.

Shawn
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#9
Doug

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Hi Shawn,

That may be my ultimate solution anyway,


For a straight-forward solution, you may be right.
_______________

It is also "possible" that you could boot up with a Linux OS running from CD.
Using the Linux system, you could possibly copy/paste the SAM file from \repair.... as per previous instructions you've read from my links.

Linux can be kinda fun to use, but there is a learning curve.
Unfortunately, with my present email notification situation it could be quite inconvenient with delays of response if I were to attempt to assist you with selection and use of a Linux Distro.
Therefore, I am not able to promise that I can help you further at this time.
I will contact another Tech to look in on this thread.

Reinstalling XP may at this time, be the least time-consuming and complicated alternative.
Please remember that you will need to reinstall the motherboard chipset drivers and all of your other utility features
  • Chipset Drivers from the computer manufacturer website
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • Adobe Shockwave
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • JAVE Runtime Environment
  • AntiVirus
  • Firewall
  • AntiSpyware
  • various Browser Add-ons


Best Regards
Doug
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#10
slreagan

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Using the Linux system, you could possibly copy/paste the SAM file from \repair.... as per previous instructions you've read from my links.


I have been able to copy the SAM file from \repair when I booted from a friend's XP bootable disk. However, when I rebooted on my computer, it gets to the login screen with no options to login (no login names show up). I have no idea why that is happening.

If I go the route of re-installing XP, I assume I can start with the CDs that came with the computer from Dell. That will install XP, plus I have another CD with drivers on them. After that, I would need to install all of the updates from Microsoft. Does this sound like the right order?

Thanks!

Shawn
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#11
Doug

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Yup.

But please hold up on any action in case the Tech that I've asked to look in might have some suggestions.

Doug
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#12
Artellos

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Hello Shawn and Hello Doug,

I read a lot about hardware in the previous suggestions but no 'real' confirmation about most of them.
The first thing that springs to mind is the RAM that was asked about earlier.
I would suggest you do a memtest to make sure it isn't your memory.
Click this for a guide to using Memtest
Click this to download Memtest
Run it overnight if possible

Next up I would like to check the hard drive. To make sure it isn't dying or maybe already dead.
I couldn't find which brand Hard Drive disk the Dell Dimension 4400 has. (I only did a brief search though.)
Could you maybe look for me what brand hard drive it is?

Now that I think of it, sometimes you get a hardware diagnostics CD with your Dell Machines, do you have one of those?
If yes, could you try to run a full test and tell us what came out?

I would like to exclude hardware from this issue first. If it's not the hardware we can try a few things software based.

Regards,
Olrik
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#13
slreagan

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Olrik,

I downloaded Memtest and ran it overnight according to the instructions. No errors were found. I also ran the diagnostics from the Dell CD that came with the computer. All diagnostics were passed there, including the memory and the hard drive. I looked in the owners manual for the manufacturer of the hard drive, but it was not listed there. Also, the invoice just says 40GB ATA-100 7200 RPM hard drive. I have not opened the box yet to look for the manufacturer's name on the disk itself.

Shawn
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#14
Artellos

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I'm sorry for my delayed response, I have been busy with some school work.

Ok, So it's not the hardware..
Since it's been a while since I last responded, Do you still have the same problem with logging in?
Have you already tried a windows repair?

Regards,
Olrik
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#15
slreagan

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Yes, I still have the same login problem. I did try a Windows repair before copying the SAM file from the repair directory, but have not attempted a one after copying the SAM file from the repair directory. Should I try that next?

Shawn
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