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Every now and then when I am at the login screen, after some time away from my PC, the Windows login tells me my password is incorrect. It is a very simple 4-digit password. I'm not typing it in incorrectly, it just won't accept it. I have to restart my computer and then I can log in just fine. How can I fix this?

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You don't say if it is s desktop or laptop, but my first thought was a bad keyboard. Try replacing it, although it is harder if you have a laptop. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 11:40
    
It's a desktop. I'll try a different keyboard... –  Amanda Jul 19 '11 at 13:34
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4 Answers

Make certain that caps lock and numlock keys have not been pressed to change shift level. That is the most likely explanation. Someone else could even have pressed those keys.

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I did check. The password is just numbers, and I tried using the numeric keypad (with numlock on and off, just for fun), and the numbers at the top of the keyboard, with no success. StickyKeys are turned off, and no-one was holding down the shift key. –  Amanda Jul 19 '11 at 9:40
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I had this kind of problem a while back on Windows 7; it almost made me pull my hair and teeth out.

Then I changed the passwords for my admin and user accounts and the problem went away. Something must have corrupted some system files or database, whatever it was.

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I had a similar problem. When you wake up the USB keyboard, sometimes, the keyboard will not respond to keystrokes you type.

It's a BIOS setting, where [x] Recognize older USB 1.0 devices on boot.

This happens with newer keyboard, where you have to install driver for both keyboard and mouse to work.

If you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, please make sure it is supported at the BIOS level, otherwise, when you go away for extended period of time, you will find your keyboard inoperable until the driver wakes up the Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth mouse.

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Is this machine going into stand-by before you resume it to the screensaver password?

Try reconnecting the keyboard before entering your password, or use the on-screen keyboard (press Ctrl+U).

Worth noting that a four-digit password provides no security whatsoever on XP - it's on every hash-table out there and would only take a few minutes physical access to the machine to determine it.

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