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The Windows XP Pro login loop.


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#1
ACher91

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The dreaded login loop is afflicting one of the computers in my house...

The computer starts up, brings up the log-in screen, I type in the password, and it starts logging in, says "Loading settings", brings up the wallpaper for a second, then says "saving settings" and immediately logs off and goes back to the log-in screen ready for another login. (After which it will do the same thing again, of course)

I've tried safe mode... same thing happens.

Recently it had a virus that I spent some time getting rid of (Advanced Virus Remover—a rogue anti-spyware program) After it was removed, on the next re-start, this began happening. It's the exact same issue as discussed in this thread http://www.geekstogo...Off-t15771.html
except that it wasn't BlazeFind, so I don't think a "wsaupdater.exe" exists here...

Still, it's probably the userinit registry messing up for whatever reason, and I've created a boot CD with the Windows XP Recovery Console on it, except that I don't know the administrator password to get into it... Yes, I've tried a blank password, and I've tried the password I use to log in normally; neither of them work.

Aaaand, this is where I am right now. Any ideas? :)

....is there some way to perhaps do system restore before windows starts up? There is on one of our other computers, but I can't find any such option on the problematic one...

Edited by ACher91, 29 November 2009 - 02:06 PM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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Give this a try. Without knowing a little more about what caused the problem, I can't guarantee it will work...and it requires the machine you make the disk on AND the machine you are fixing are both running XP.

Please download RC.ISO and save it somewhere you can find it.
Also download MagicISO.

Start MagicISO. You should see a window informing you about the full version of MagicISO.
In the bottom right select Try It! and the program will open.
Click on File and then on Open and navigate to the RC.ISO file you downloaded. Select it, and click Open.

First, we'll need to add a clean version of userinit.exe to the current RC.ISO

* In the upper right pane, double click on the i386 folder.
* Right click in the upper right pane and select Add Files...
* Navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and select userinit.exe
* Then click Open to add userinit.exe to the CD image.
* Click File and select Save As...
* Name the file RCplus and save it somewhere you can find it.


Next, we'll need to burn the newly created image to a disk that we can use to fix the problem.

* Put a blank CD-R disk in your CD burner and close the tray. If an AutoPlay window opens, close it.
* Click on Tools and select Burn CD/DVD with ISO.... A window will appear.
* Click on the little folder to the right of CD/DVD Image File then navigate to the newly created RCplus.iso Image file and click Open.
* In the CD/DVD Writing Speed drop-down menu choose the 8X setting.
* Under Format make sure that Mode 1 is selected.
* And finally, click on the Burn it! button to burn RCplus.iso to disk.


Once the disk is burned, put it in the machine you want to fix and restart it.
Boot to the CD just as you would with a Windows XP disk.
At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R to enter the Recovery Console.
Choose the installation to be repaired by number (usually 1) and press Enter.
When you are asked for the Administrator password, enter the password or leave it blank (default) and press Enter.

At the C:\Windows> prompt, type the following commands pressing Enter after each one. Note: Watch the spaces.

D:
cd i386
copy userinit.exe c:\windows\system32
exit


After putting in the third command, you should receive the message 1 file copied which will indicate that the operation succeeded.
Now take out the CD and reboot your computer to normal mode. Try to log in and it should let you back in.

Thanks to wannabe1
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#3
ACher91

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Well, I have PowerISO instead of MagicISO, and I used that to create the RCplus file. But now, when I try to use the CD that I put the Recovery Console on, it gives an error message saying "Error verifying blank media". If I just try to drag the file over to it and do "write these files to CD", the CD writing wizard tells me "the disc in the drive is not a writable CD or it is full" ...I only have two other CDs, one of which is completely empty, and the other has some random stuff on it, back from when I used CDs to transfer files because I didn't have a flash drive yet... But when I try to use either of those, my computer acts retarded and refuses to acknowledge the fact that there is a CD inserted, and pretends like there is nothing in drive E.
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#4
ACher91

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Ahh ok... I somehow just got PowerISO to work and burn the files over. The rest of the computer still thinks the CD doesn't exist, however, and I can't open it to view the files on it... K well, I took it out anyway, put it in the other computer, and I get a blue screen that says

STOP: c0000221 Unknown Hard Error
\SystemRoot\system32\ntdll.dll


Anyway, even if this were to work, I still wouldn't be able to get past the administrator password, and leaving it blank doesn't work.

Edited by ACher91, 29 November 2009 - 03:49 PM.

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#5
rshaffer61

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Even to get to the restore points from the recovery console it will ask for the administrator password which you have stated won't work.
Do you have a Genuine Microsoft XP installation disk?
We can try a Repair Installation which should keep your data intact. Another option is a Parallel installation.
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#6
ACher91

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Do you have a Genuine Microsoft XP installation disk?

I do not. :)

We can try a Repair Installation which should keep your data intact. Another option is a Parallel installation.

Mmkay, how do those work?
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#7
rshaffer61

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Can you borrow one of the same type that you have installed on your system?
Repair will attempt to repair the corrupted usernit file and any other windows files that may be missing also.
A parallel installation installs a second version of windows on your drive that will allow you to move over your data thus saving it to the new installation. This will also allow you to get the malware help I'm sure you need.
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#8
ACher91

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And these both require the installation disk, right? ...so unless I have that, I'm pretty much screwed. :)
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#9
rshaffer61

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The only other option is to slave the drive to a working system and pull the data files off. Then we can do a complete format and fresh install....but yet again you will need the disk or at least a recovery disk.
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#10
ACher91

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All right well... I don't have the installation CD, so would it perhaps be possible to download one from somewhere and burn it to a blank CD...? Even if that was possible, however, the only three writable CDs I have are read-only, and I have stuff on them already... is it somehow possible to remove files from a read-only CD, and then write more stuff to it? Or is there a way to do this with a flash drive? (That would actually be much more convenient) Is there maybe a downloadable version of a windows recovery disk that can be put on a flash drive, and then used by booting the computer from it?
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#11
rshaffer61

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so would it perhaps be possible to download one from somewhere and burn it to a blank CD

Nope this is not only not possible but illegal even if you could.
The rest is no problem. Can you borrow a XP of the same type you have installed on your system from someone?
Home, Pro or Media
You have a sticker somewhere on your system that tells the original OS loaded and has your Reg key on it. You can use your key but you need to find a disk to borrow from someone to do the next steps.
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#12
ACher91

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Buuuuhhh..... :)

K, I'll try that :)
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#13
rshaffer61

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What about the rest of what I asked?
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#14
gregrulez

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I have seen this problem before too, its a royal pain in the neck.

However the way i solved it:
1.Download a copy of the Ubuntu Live CD (or i guess any live cd with ntfs and usb support will do)
2.Copy the userinit.exe from another copy of running windows to a USB flash drive
3.Boot up the live cd, stick in the flash drive
4.Mount the xp partition, usually by just clicking on it, and then browse to "C:/Windows/system32"
5.If it is there delete the existing userinit.exe file, and copy the version from the pen drive.
6.Shutdown the live distribution, take out the disk and try get back into XP

This is very experimental, and i don't recommend doing it if you don't feel comfortable replacing these files.

I really hope this helps, keep an eye out incase any other tech has any better ideas.

Best of Luck,

Gregrulez

btw if you need to burn the iso image, you can google "ISO Recorder" i use that and its simply enough.
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#15
gregrulez

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I have seen this problem before too, its a royal pain in the neck.

However the way i solved it:
1.Download a copy of the Ubuntu Live CD (or i guess any live cd with ntfs and usb support will do)
2.Copy the userinit.exe from another copy of running windows to a USB flash drive
3.Boot up the live cd, stick in the flash drive
4.Mount the xp partition, usually by just clicking on it, and then browse to "C:/Windows/system32"
5.If it is there delete the existing userinit.exe file, and copy the version from the pen drive.
6.Shutdown the live distribution, take out the disk and try get back into XP

This is very experimental, and i don't recommend doing it if you don't feel comfortable replacing these files.

I really hope this helps, keep an eye out incase any other tech has any better ideas.

Best of Luck,

Gregrulez

btw if you need to burn the iso image, you can google "ISO Recorder" i use that and its simply enough.
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