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.