I have a Windows XP computer (Dell Optiplex). I cannot login to the admin account. I can click on the user then click on the password box. A larger-than-normal black rectangle appears as the cursor, but when I type keys they are not 'remembered'. I can hold ctrl-alt-del and get the older style login. I can use the mouse to select the name and the password boxes but I have the same problem with the cursor ... and the keyboard characters are still not remembered/indicated. It does not let me delete or overwrite the user name in the name box ...
At the 'to begin' screen, if I click on an account/user that has no password, the system logs me in ... and the keyboard works fully. Also, the keyboard works in BIOS setup. I have tried both PS/2 and USB keyboards: they work except for login as described above.
Problems like this have been reported before ... but the only solution seems to be install Windows XP from scratch ... which I would very much like to avoid.
All suggestions are welcome.
a) The system came pre-installed. I don't have the OS media ...
b) all the "uses" of the OS serial number have been used up ... so I have to pay for the OS again.
It is my son's computer. He has autism. Perhaps I'd be better off installing Linux ... it may be better protected and/or be more resilient to his occasional forays into system settings.
I just thought someone might know what causes Windows XP to behave in this very peculiar fashion ... and how to fix it.
To help people better troubleshoot your problem, can you answer the following:
1) Did this issue happen recently with a previously working Operating System install, or is it happening with a new system re-install?
2) Can you access the keyboard properly through Safe mode? (Keep tapping F8 after the BIOS screens to get the option).
3) Which model OptiPlex is this?
Another thing you can try in the F8 options is to 'Load previous configuration' etc., it sounds like something took over WinLogon binaries that is preventing you from logging in.
To bypass the screen completely, you can try auto login 'future' which will input a login + password for you which can let you continue troubleshooting:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Autologon.htm (if you have Windows XP Home, you can't use the administrator account for this future). The catch for this of course, is that you need to at LEAST get into safe mode properly.
Another, more tricky (and slightly more dangerous) method is to blank out the password for one of the accounts, so that on login, you can get by with just clicking 'OK' (through the traditional login screen) or clicking on an account picture to login: