My computer is running Windows XP Home SP2 and has three accounts. My account uses a password. My wife’s account does not. With increasing frequency, my wife’s account asks for a password and, of course, there is none. When this happens, I try switching back to my account and Windows will not accept my password.

That’s one problem. There’s another which may be related. With increasing frequency some of the processes needed to run Windows do not start. For example, my account normally opens 41 processes. Sometimes, only 30 start, and some of the ones that don’t start are essential because when this happens I can’t do anything with Windows. For example, nothing happens when I click on the Start Button. However, Task Manager still opens and I can re-boot or shut down the computer from there.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far:

--A virus scan shows the hard drive is clean.
--A scan for spyware shows the drive is clean.
--I ran Check for Errors on the Tools tab under Properties by right clicking on the drive in My Computer. This showed no errors.
--I ran sfc /scannow. Since I don’t know what this does, I’m not sure it ran correctly. In any case, I didn’t get any messages.

I’d rather not re-install Windows, obviously, but for all I know I have a hardware problem.

Any thoughts?


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Windows break, so does Windows. It can happen that errors slowly creep in until they reach a critical point where they suddenly interfere destructively. My installation first started showing problems with [system] Search whereupon it could only be used from IE, not Explorer; then it just failed totally and I tried everything to get it back. Then my sys got hit by lightning so I did a Repair [new mb and cpu etc...], and all is back. You won't lose settings, files, accounts, and most pgms [3rd party sware] will still work afterwards.It does sound like more than Explorer is broken in your sys... eg. links are broken, Winlogon and security systems are down, so...
BTW, sfc does its job and just closes, no fanfare.

Hi gerbal,

I'm a little unclear about your answer. Do you mean insert the Windows installation disk and choose repair, for something else? The installation disk is an antique, from SP1, will it still work?


Nope, that one will not work... you must have an equivalent upgrade status on it, for that sys it should be SP2. Just borrow one from a mate, same type.. eg OEM, or retail version. When you boot from the cd, hit Enter to setup: "To set up Windows XP now, Press ENTER" [yeah, I know...], but you will be given the choice to Repair when Setup recognises your installation. Don't type R to use the Recovery Console.
PS... when you run Repair there will be an automatic restart... and the msg Press any key to boot from the CD - don't touch anything... let the sys bypass that and boot itself from the hdd.

if ur account is an admin account then try to edit ur wife's account or creat a password so that u can login next time by typing new password if this dosn't work's try to delet account password and re creat the account password

I prefer the suggestion of sys life.

To Repair Windows XP from your XP CD…..

1. Re-start PC with XP CD in drive (Have your serial number handy)
2. As your PC starts press “F12” for boot menu (Or what your PC may ask for)
3. Scroll to and select “boot from CD.”
4. At prompt “Press any key to boot from CD” Press “Any key”
5. In the Windows XP Setup window, Press “Enter” to set up windows XP, (Don’t worry, this is a repair only, not a fresh install.)
6. At next window, Press “F8” to accept license agreement
7. Wait until windows displays your current version of XP and asks “To repair the selected windows XP installation press R”
8. Press “R”
9. Enter serial number when prompted.
10. Wait for files to be copied (PC will indicate 39 mins, it will take a lot less.)
11. When asked to adjust Regional language options, click “Next” as it is still set.
12. PC will re-boot.
13. Check to see if problem still exists.

System Restore

1. Go “Start”
2. “All programs”
3. “Accessories”
4. “System tools”
5. “System Restore”
6. ensure “Restore to an earlier time” is checked and click “Next”
7. Select an earlier date when your PC worked well. (Must be a highlighted date)
8. Click “Next”
9. Allow system restore and reboot.
10. Check to see if problem still exists

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