I have a Windows 7 Ultimate computer (Shuttle) that I built myself and in it I put a Solid State Drive (SSD). It's been working well for a number of months but now when I start it there are problems.

I have 2 users setup on the computer and when I try and sign in with either user it claims that the password is incorrect. I could understand the odd typo but I've had my wife try it as well and we've got the passwords correct.

On top of that it will remain at the login screen for 1 minute and 20 seconds and then spontaneously reboot without shutting down.

So I'm trying to work out if this is a hard disk problem or something else. Any ideas?

(I have a nightly backup to a WHS so it will be easy to recover but I don't want to do that unless I have to and don't want to waste time putting in a new HD just to discover it's something else.)

More info: If I start in Safe Mode I am able to login with the password and all appears as normal as it can in Safe Mode. However, normal boot continues with same problem.


Although it is possible that the tiny bit of space on your harddrive that stores you password spontaneously got corrupted and windows didn't recognize this (it checks for data inconsistencies) it's highly unlikely. Sounds like you have some form of malware or crapware. Restore your nightly backup from before you started noticing the problems, then you'll know for sure. If all else fails, reformat.


Sounds like some malware that has replaced the shell with a fake login screen. After you restore from your backup, make sure you change the passwords.

  • After logging on in safe mode I've tried a system restore to a previous auto-save point and that has made no difference. Although I haven't tried the full backup restore yet I don't think that it will fix the problem as it will be very similar to windows "restore to this point" - what do you think? – Guy Mar 17 '10 at 16:28
  • If it's a virus, Windows restore points won't get rid of it. The backup has a much better chance. – Ben Mar 20 '10 at 6:45

If you are getting anything, the drive is not failed.

I'm not hugely knowledgeable, but it sounds like a virus.

  • Virus had crossed my mind. So what is the solution if it's a virus? Boot from another disk and run a check? If so, what would be the easiest way to setup a boot disk? From a USB drive? – Guy Mar 17 '10 at 4:34
  • I use MSE and Malwarebytes to remove any problems on my machine. You may need more. Good luck – Xavierjazz Mar 17 '10 at 5:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.