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Windows XP Logon Screen with No User Accounts?

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on March 20, 2007

The worst purchase I ever made was my Compaq Presario laptop. It has been a near endless cause of headaches. I was playing around with some settings and when I rebooted my computer I noticed that it prompted me with the Windows login screen… except there were no user accounts?!

windows xp no login account can't login in administrator

I did the usual process of grabbing the boot CD, logging in to the Recovery Console where it prompted me for an Administration password that I did not know.

Doh.

Web searches revealed that the default administrator password for Compaq Presario computers is blank, but that didn’t work. I grabbed a handy-dandy Ubuntu Linux live CD I had lying around, booted it, but it was configured not to be able to mount the Windows partition. Grrarrgh.

If only there was a way to get to a login console other than that crappy Windows welcome screen. I had an idea, so simple it was guaranteed not to work. I rebooted yet again and went to the broken welcome screen. This time I pressed Control-Alt-Delete.

windows xp no login control alt delete ctrl alt del

Nice try Mr. Gates. You almost had me, but I’ve outfoxed you this time!

Of course, as soon as walked away from the laptop for two minutes the hibernation mode kicked in and it locked up again. If only there was a way to turn that off…

Disabling the Windows login prompt for password

  1. Start Menu >> Run…
  2. type: Control Userpasswords2
  3. Uncheck “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”

Disabling the Windows prompt for password after hibernation

  1. Start Menu >> Control Panel >> Power Options >> Advanced Tab
  2. Uncheck “Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby”

I stand secure in the knowledge that I can go another two years without having to know the administrator password for that danged laptop.

9 Responses

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  1. momes said, on March 20, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I bought a dell PC once, and I must say, it was almost as trashy as your Compaq Presario. Basically, its own cooling components were inadequate, and the graphics card overheated after a period of 6 months.

    Now, I feel very unconfident regarding brand name computers, i much rather build my own. :)

  2. engtech said, on March 20, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    I got a smackdown from a friend when I was complaining about that laptop.

    “You of all people should have known better!”

    I fell into one of those boxing day stupors where I buy something without thinking…

  3. Rod said, on March 21, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Back when I was a tech for Computer City (uh, who?) better than 50% of the machines that we took in for service were Compaq-made. Not many laptops, but I’m not surprised to see that things haven’t changed.

  4. Ryan said, on March 21, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Did you happen to play with this Registry key?

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system]
    “dontdisplaylastusername”=dword:00000001

    That would account for why you don’t have a user account showing on either logon screen modes.

  5. engtech said, on March 21, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    I was using TweakUI to disable the email count from displaying in the Windows Logon Screen even though I wasn’t using it. Not sure what TweakUI “tweaked” in the background — but it turned on the Windows Logon Screen with nothing there.

  6. dalesaa said, on March 29, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    The Welcome Screen in Xp Appears but there are no users displayed. cannot get to windows to make any of the changes above.

  7. engtech said, on March 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Try rebooting and hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete a million times after you see the Windows XP loading screen.

  8. Wizard said, on May 11, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Dear friend it seems that i hv the same prob..but i cant log on ? I only see the mouse and i hv done the previous comments advice to press endless CTRL+ALT+DEL.

    I dont want to format my laptop !!!

    omehow the user account names are gone from the Windows XP login screen. I mean I can’t do a system restore without logging into Windows can I? I tried booting with the Windows XP installation cd. I got to a point where I thought I was about to reinstall windows but I wasn’t sure so I stopped.
    I tried to boot in safe mode by pushing the F8 button. And nothing !!!

    What i can do ?

  9. engtech said, on May 11, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    You only see the mouse? Not a user login screen without accounts? That’s a different problem.

    Is it this one?

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314503


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