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I'm having an odd issue with a windows xp computer belong to an older family friend. A few days ago, out of the blue, she found herself unable to login to any of the accounts on the computer. Windows would consistently say "invalid username or password" even though the password had not been changed.

I used http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ to blank out the passwords for the accounts. Rebooted and then reset the passwords back to what they used to be. Things seemed to be working fine. However, 4 days later, she called to say it wasn't working again. Any idea of what the root cause could be and how to prevent it from happening again?

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Have you ruled out malware? –  Mokubai Oct 6 '13 at 22:25
    
no I have not, and that's one of the things I'll check when I go back there on Monday, but I wanted to get this question out there in case there was a known root cause –  AndrewSwerlick Oct 6 '13 at 22:56
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for non-technical people I would recommend setting up auto-login and make sure "passwords don't expire" plus "user cannot change password" tickboxes in user properties in "local users and groups" are enabled. local security in those cases is NOT a concern, they just use the computer to view sons' pictures and read news - nothing really important enough to have a password on their account! –  Costin Gușă Oct 7 '13 at 0:03
    
yeah I didn't set this box up, but that's probably what I'll do. Thanks for confirming that for me. –  AndrewSwerlick Oct 7 '13 at 0:34

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