Asking for Admin Password and Freezing at Welcome Screen?



About 2 days ago, all the user accounts on our computer started asking for
passwords, which were never set. Actually, 1 user had a password, but it was
not recognized. I restarted the computer, and heard a beep, then got an
error message about being unable to log on to the Admin. Account because of
an account restriction. I clicked on the OK button and the Welcome screen
came up with all user accounts. This time no one was asked for a password. At
my user desktop, I went into User Accounts and found that the box had been
checked to have all users sign in with a password, which had never been
checked before. I unchecked it. Then I went into Display settings and found
the box had been checked to return to Welcome Screen after the screensaver
runs--I NEVER check that box, but there it was. I unchecked that also. But
now everytime the computer starts the Admin error message pops up.
Yesterday, I followed directions from another forum group, I think it was
Major Geeks or something, to edit the registry in order to get rid of the
error message. These were the instructions, which worked for several other
people reporting the same problem:

Go here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Look for a value called Autoadminlogon.

Set it to 0, or delete it.

I did this, then had to shut down for a thunderstorm. I restarted later and
I still had the problem, but was able to proceed to the Welcome screen, so I
figured I'd live with the problem until I had time to ask someone about it.

Today, I started the computer and it hung at the Windows is Starting Up
screen. I restarted and same thing. The third time I went into Safe Mode and
used the Last Known Good Configuration option to boot up and that worked, but
still with the Admin Log on error screen.

I think I started all this by moving files between user profiles Documents
and Settings folders, and maybe I should have used the shared folder instead.
Anyway, right after I moved some files is when the password mess started

I have WINXP SP2 Home, I use DSL and have firewall, anti-virus, anti-spy,
and am behind a router as well. Anti-spy showed nothing and I'm about to run

Any suggestions as to how to get rid of the log on error message? And how
did those settings get changed anyway? Is HAL 9000 living in my computer?
Thanks for any and all help!


One of your users is probably being cute, using a reg file to change the
registry. I would do a search for *.reg, and do a text find within all of
them for "AutoAdminLogon" Even if it is not that, there is certainly
something operating in the system directed purposefully at tinkering with
passwords. Not something to be written off as 'random error', in any case.
If it were a file corruption problem, the file WinLogon.EXE is bound to be
it. This could easily be replaced with the msconfig utility, and its "Expand
File" button.


The anti-virus scan showed nothing. Is there some other utility that might
help identify if there is something in my system? Sorry, I'm not that
familiar with registry files--what would I be looking for in a text find of
*.reg files? I have run msconfig before, but how do I find the file
WinLogon.EXE and use the expand utility to fix it?
Thanks for your help!


I just did a search for WinLogon. EXE and found it in 2 places, one is
WINLOGON in the C:\I386 folder, and the other is winlogon in the
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder. Is this right? Are there supposed to be 2 of
them? And what do I do with them?

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