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Windows log-in problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alex Wright, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Hi,

    I hope you can help me.

    One of the user's machines at my work that's running Microsoft Windows XP Pro is proving to be somewhat rebellious.

    On boot-up it gets as far as displaying the desktop wallpaper but doesn't then progress to displaying the application shortcuts and the "Start" button and "Taskbar" as per usual. All that appears is a minimised command prompt screen in the bottom left-hand side of the window.

    What could be causing this? I've tried booting up and logging in as the administrator, booting up using the last know good configuration... all to no avail. The only way that I can log-in and see the desktop - whichever profile I'm using - is to boot up in safe mode. A system restore gives me some temporary respite, but this is obviously just a short-term fix.

    All help will be greatfully received! :)

    - Alex
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    has there or is there any .dll error messages once getting into Windows?
     
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  3. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    are these local or domain accounts?

    In either case, have you tried logging on with an account that hasnt been used on the machine (such as by creating a brand new local account in safe mode)?
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
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  4. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Domain accounts, and yes I've tried logging in with an account that hasn't been used on the machine.
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    So its not likely to be an issue with the userdata on the machine then.

    If it logs in fine in safe mode on any of the accounts, then it sounds like a service is hanging. Have you tried using Safe mode with Networking? Does that log in ok?
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
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  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    If these are domain accounts then I'd suggest that this is a script/gpo that is going wrong.

    Harry.
     
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  7. Wassup

    Wassup Byte Poster

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    it is probably trying to map a network drive.
    check the startup folder for any .bat files and/or disconnect any network drives that have been mapped
     
  8. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Indeed it does.
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
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  9. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    you could try using msconfig and disabling all the startup programs. If that logs in fine normally, start reactivating them one by one till you find the culprit.

    Whilst you could also try this with Services, I would be careful about which ones you do. I'm no service expert, so I personally would steer clear of doing this.

    Is there anything in the Event log that might hint at the cause?
     
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  10. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Agreed, also as Fergal said check startup with msconfig.

    Also maybe run system file checker ?
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Have you logged on with the network cable unplugged?
     
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  12. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    I was going to suggest the same thing. Does the user have roaming profiles enabled by any chance?
     
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  13. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    If it works ok in safe mode but not on a normal start up, then windows isn't the cause, most likely it's a start up application hanging or driver issue.

    When did this start happening and have you installed any hardware/software recently?

    obviously it could be an application that loads with windows, such as a third party firewall or aniti-virus program hanging.

    If you have Norton Internet security on there, uninstall it. That cures 99% of all weird problems and speeds up your PC by an order of magnitude. :biggrin

    Do a malware scan in safe mode to, using your prefered scanner/s.. Spybot S&D, Lavasofts Adware etc.
     
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  14. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Hi all,

    Sorry that it's taken me so long to respond to your suggestions. There's some good ideas that have been forward and I'll take them on board.

    I'll return with an update on Monday.

    Thanks,

    - Alex
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  15. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Yes, I imagine she does. Should I try disabling this feature?
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
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  16. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    that depends really. It could be that the roaming profile is HUGE. In which case you could give it a shot.

    Personally I would start by creating a brand new user account with roaming profile (if the problem account does have it), and trying to log in with it. If the problem happens with it, then its unlikely to be an issue with that I'd say. A brand new account will have very little data in the roaming profile. You said you'd tried logging in with an account never used on the machine before. Was this a brand new account, or an account that is in use, just elsewhere?
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
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  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Which administrator account are you using here? The local admin account or the domain admin account? Try logging on with the local admin account as I would be surprised if the domain admin account has a roaming profile.

    When you log on and see the minimised command prompt have you opened that up to see what it is hanging on? It looks like it is crashing on something and may be related to the logon issues you are having.

    Also if you are using roaming profiles is there enough free disk space on the C: drive to download a cached copy of the profile? 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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