I have a friend's laptop running Windows XP SP3 which refuses to log in.
It has a single user account (besides Administrator) without a password.
Now, however, the Welcome screen shows the account as if it had a password, and any attempt to log in (even to Administrator, or to a non-existent username) results in the error message
The system cannot log you on now because the domain D2NPL961 is not available. (D2NPL961 is the computer's machine name; it is not joined to a domain)
Safe mode doesn't change anything.
The Windows Classic logon dialog (Ctrl+Alt+Del) does not show the Domain dropdown.
I tried editing the registry offline (in ERD Commander) and making the domain name in
Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon blank, but that didn't change anything.
I tried DreamPackPL, but it didn't affect anything. (Apparently, the error is too early in the logon process)
I tried setting the screensaver for the logon screen to
cmd, and I was able to confirm that the machine name is
D2NPL961, but I was unable to elevate to admin and do any good.
In the screensaver, the
runas command produces the error
1056 An instance of the service is already running; I don't know if that's normal in this situation.
I'd like to try a repair install, but I cannot get administrative privileges.
Has anyone seen this before, or know what might be wrong?
Alteratively, how can I elevate to admin without logging on?
EDIT: To make it clear, the problem here is not a password.