Registry corruption, can't login

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

I have a scenario described here many times. System looked fine
yesterday, no problems at all, running NAV and SP2 with firewall up,
shutdown for the night, today I can't boot. The registry has been
corrupted and I need to get back in via Safe Boot or System Recovery
to fix it. The problem is that with this corruption the Login/Logon
process doesn't validate passwords for Administrator or my user
accounts. All of the docs that talk about fixing the registry from SR
assume that you can get past the prompt for Administrator password
after you specify the C:\Windows location. Catch 22 there.

I tried going back to Last Known Good setting - when booting before it
would at least ask for a password and now it doesn't. I think someone
said here recently that the accounts profile data isn't backedup in
the registry like this, so I didn't expect success here.

(Microsoft, please learn from these reports and fix them for
Longhorn/Vista.)

I export the registry to a backup folder once per week as files
HCC.reg, HCR.reg, HCU.reg, HLM.reg, and HU.reg. I know this isn't the
most effective way of fixing things, but to get back to a runnable
state I'd have no problem importing the files to the registry - if
only I can get to a command prompt to do it. Again, any attempt I
make to Safe Boot or otherwise get to cmd fails because I'm prompted
for a password.

I have other systems and would gladly hook up the hard drive with the
bad registry, import the reg files, then reload the drive back to the
right system, but how can I import to a hive other than the current
system hive? I don't want to put the drive on a good system and
import all the keys into that new system, I want to update the
inactive hive.

I do not have a Automatic System Recovery disk because I've read too
many times in the past that there is a good chance that it will fail
or make things worse, so I've tried to create homegrown backup
policies - but I didn't consider this scenario.

My plan so far is to ensure I have a complete data backup (should be
good as of yesterday) and maybe try using the the Bootdisk utility
from Petter Nordahl-Hagen to patch the registry or zap the password
but without knowing what kind of damage is there I don't have a lot of
faith that this will solve the problem.

Any other suggestions or am I looking at a full install? And how do
I/we prevent this from happening in the future?!?!

Thanks!
Tony
3 answers Last reply
More about registry corruption login
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Place your XP CD in and go to the Recovery Console.

    Added info:

    Recovering XP using the Recover Console (Line 333) Right hand side:
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

    --

    All the Best,
    Kelly (MS-MVP)

    Troubleshooting Windows XP
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com


    "TonyG" <g6q3x9lu53001@sneakemail.com.invalid> wrote in message
    news:j2i5e1lgate544s9rr2gt10kfh5suvldhv@4ax.com...
    >I have a scenario described here many times. System looked fine
    > yesterday, no problems at all, running NAV and SP2 with firewall up,
    > shutdown for the night, today I can't boot. The registry has been
    > corrupted and I need to get back in via Safe Boot or System Recovery
    > to fix it. The problem is that with this corruption the Login/Logon
    > process doesn't validate passwords for Administrator or my user
    > accounts. All of the docs that talk about fixing the registry from SR
    > assume that you can get past the prompt for Administrator password
    > after you specify the C:\Windows location. Catch 22 there.
    >
    > I tried going back to Last Known Good setting - when booting before it
    > would at least ask for a password and now it doesn't. I think someone
    > said here recently that the accounts profile data isn't backedup in
    > the registry like this, so I didn't expect success here.
    >
    > (Microsoft, please learn from these reports and fix them for
    > Longhorn/Vista.)
    >
    > I export the registry to a backup folder once per week as files
    > HCC.reg, HCR.reg, HCU.reg, HLM.reg, and HU.reg. I know this isn't the
    > most effective way of fixing things, but to get back to a runnable
    > state I'd have no problem importing the files to the registry - if
    > only I can get to a command prompt to do it. Again, any attempt I
    > make to Safe Boot or otherwise get to cmd fails because I'm prompted
    > for a password.
    >
    > I have other systems and would gladly hook up the hard drive with the
    > bad registry, import the reg files, then reload the drive back to the
    > right system, but how can I import to a hive other than the current
    > system hive? I don't want to put the drive on a good system and
    > import all the keys into that new system, I want to update the
    > inactive hive.
    >
    > I do not have a Automatic System Recovery disk because I've read too
    > many times in the past that there is a good chance that it will fail
    > or make things worse, so I've tried to create homegrown backup
    > policies - but I didn't consider this scenario.
    >
    > My plan so far is to ensure I have a complete data backup (should be
    > good as of yesterday) and maybe try using the the Bootdisk utility
    > from Petter Nordahl-Hagen to patch the registry or zap the password
    > but without knowing what kind of damage is there I don't have a lot of
    > faith that this will solve the problem.
    >
    > Any other suggestions or am I looking at a full install? And how do
    > I/we prevent this from happening in the future?!?!
    >
    > Thanks!
    > Tony
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    On Sat, 23 Jul 2005 21:46:46 -0500, "Kelly" <kelly@mvps.org> wrote:
    >Place your XP CD in and go to the Recovery Console.
    >Added info:
    >Recovering XP using the Recover Console (Line 333) Right hand side:
    >http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

    Before responding I just wanted to say Kelly - even before your
    response here I kept coming back to your site during this event and I
    appreciate all the links and info you've made available.

    Like I said in the OP, the problem that all documented solutions seem
    to skip by is that if the password for Administrator and other users
    has been corrupted then you the password isn't recognized as indicated
    on the page that you've linked to, so you can't get to a command
    prompt even when booting with the XP CD.

    The solution to my problem was found here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545
    I put the drive into another system and was able to recover
    yesterday's system32/config files with a current registry.

    I'm virus scanning now but I don't think I was hit with malware, I've
    seen Win32 flakyness like this before. Without knowing exactly what
    the problem was and is, I still feel vulnerable and may do a complete
    reinstall at some point soon anyway. As an MSDN Universal subscriber
    and developer with a LOT of utilities installed, that's always a very
    painful process so this whole event is very unnerving.

    Thanks and regards,
    Tony
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    TonyG wrote:

    > On Sat, 23 Jul 2005 21:46:46 -0500, "Kelly" <kelly@mvps.org> wrote:
    >>Place your XP CD in and go to the Recovery Console.
    >>Added info:
    >>Recovering XP using the Recover Console (Line 333) Right hand side:
    >>http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
    >
    > Before responding I just wanted to say Kelly - even before your
    > response here I kept coming back to your site during this event and I
    > appreciate all the links and info you've made available.
    >
    > Like I said in the OP, the problem that all documented solutions seem
    > to skip by is that if the password for Administrator and other users
    > has been corrupted then you the password isn't recognized as indicated
    > on the page that you've linked to, so you can't get to a command
    > prompt even when booting with the XP CD.
    >
    > The solution to my problem was found here:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545
    > I put the drive into another system and was able to recover
    > yesterday's system32/config files with a current registry.
    >
    > I'm virus scanning now but I don't think I was hit with malware, I've
    > seen Win32 flakyness like this before. Without knowing exactly what
    > the problem was and is, I still feel vulnerable and may do a complete
    > reinstall at some point soon anyway. As an MSDN Universal subscriber
    > and developer with a LOT of utilities installed, that's always a very
    > painful process so this whole event is very unnerving.
    >
    > Thanks and regards,
    > Tony

    Tony - If you are sure the computer was virus/malware-free, do some
    hardware troubleshooting before doing anything drastic like
    reinstalling Windowds. Make sure the RAM and hard drive are healthy.

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic"
Ask a new question

Read More

Login Registry Windows XP