Client machine using XP Pro OEM. Desktop PC has never been part of a domain. The computer was manufactured and installed as an isolated stand alone pc. Up to a few days ago the system was working properly. Even when we attempt to login safe mode, the unit only allows an option for password - User is Administrator. Cannot alter user. If you enter a password it will respond with:

Logon Message
The system cannot log you on due to the following error:

The specified domain either does not exist or could not be

Please try again or consult your system administrator.

OK (this is the OK button)

We have hit the ctrl alt del keys twice and received the Log On to Windows window. The only option is User Name: and Password:. with 4 buttons below; OK, Cancel, ShutDown..., Options <<. If we select the options button, the only thing that changes is the Shutdown... button disappears. THERE IS NO OPTION TO LOG IN TO THE LOCAL COMPUTER. NO OPTION TO CHANGE DOMAIN TO LOCAL MACHINE. ONLY HAVE USER NAME AND PASSWORD. WITH THE ABOVE BUTTONS. If we enter the user name and password, we receive the same LOGON MESSAGE above -- The system cannot log you on due ... We have entered the registry via system commander. We have checked the WinLogon key. We have even booted up with the XP disk and entered repair - where we can login as local machine administrator. That is the only time we can login. If we boot up and choose boot to command prompt, we receive the same thing as above. Renamed Userinit.exe and Logonui.exe and copied new files. Same issue. Has anyone came accross this and know how to resolve. The client needs the system retrieved. Proprietary software, and the software company is no longer around.


When I see stuff like this I think, "Humm... a domain PC away from the domain... Hummm." But then again I have needed to unlock computers for legitimate reasons.

If the Administrator Account was not password protected, then you can logon to it in safe mode (as you have done) and create a new computer administrator account. In the Run dialog box (on the start menu) type the following and hit ENTER:

control userpasswords2

click to highlight the new account name, select the check-box that says, "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer," click OK, and restart.

Now you will be logged into your nice new Admin account. Some notes: Encrypted files will be tough to get, and domain locations will be inaccessible. If the application you need was installed for a Roaming User Profile or just one user, you will have more hurtles to overcome.

Good Luck

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