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Not sure of a more appropriate Stack Exchange website, but I have a really urgent problem that needs fixing, as I am leaving to China soon.

Last night my computer shut down abruptly, and upon restart I found that there was a corrupt user profile, so it logged me in as a temporary profile. I attempted to fix the problem by first creating a restore point and then using the Wise Registry Cleaner to revert to registry from a couple of months ago.

After logging out and restarting I cannot log back in. I've used Ubuntu via USB to replace the Utilman.exe file in System32 with the cmd.exe binary so I can open that without logging on, but that's all the progress I've made. Both my main account stopped working, and my admin account disappeared entirely.

Right now, I want to boot up in safe mode or log into an admin account to do the system restore, but all I have is a command prompt with the whoami command returning nt authority\system. I do not have any installation disk or Windows 8 Recovery Media.

Upon attempting to run msconfig at the command line and trying to save settings, comes up with a message something like "system configuration cannot save the original boot configuration".

If I try to do a system restore from command line, the restore point I made before using the registry back up from the Wise program is missing, and instead is a default restore point from this afternoon made by the system.

Thanks for your help!

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2 Answers

I believe the best option would be for you to create a DaRT 8.0 recovery image. The Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 8.0 is for Windows 8 and Server 2012, and can fix a lot of problems. From another Winodws 8 computer, create the DaRT 8.0 recovery image, then boot the computer experiencing issues to it. Run through some of the tools to attempt to fix the issue. You can find information about creating a DaRT recovery image here, on Microsoft's Site. The main tool I think will help you in DaRT is the SFC Scan (System File Repair Wizard). Also, if you recently made any changes to the registry, DaRT will allow you to get into the registry so you can repair what you did.

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Since when is DaRT/MDOP free? AFAIK it is not even available to end users, only to MS' Software Assurance program customers. –  Karan Jun 6 '13 at 4:40
    
If the image from one computer works on another, are there any images already out there available? I only have the one. –  pqn Jun 6 '13 at 4:58
    
sfc can also be run on cmd.exe and without DaRT. Just run sfc /scannow. –  Werner Henze Jun 6 '13 at 7:21
    
Just for safety: chkdsk. If it's only a corrupt user profile, why not create a second user? You can use net user /add to create it and net group to make it member of the admin group (if required). –  Werner Henze Jun 6 '13 at 7:24
    
Sorry, @Karan, I thought DaRT was free. It appears that you can create your own using the OS. I will go ahead and take off the part that says it is free. –  David Jun 6 '13 at 19:47
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When you get to the command prompt at the start screen you can create a new account to login with using these commands:

net user /add useraccountname mypassword

net localgroup administrators useraccountname /add

then use this command to check for all accounts on your system

net user

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I made a new account but no dice, it doesn't appear in the log in screen (the switch user button is completely gone). Also, the net user command returns with "The command completed with one or more errors." –  pqn Jun 7 '13 at 4:00
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