Computer Help forum

General discussion

Cannot log on to computer

by plumadw / October 9, 2005 7:25 PM PDT

I would really appreciate any advice anyone could give me! I was spending too much time on the computer[if you could imagine that] so my roommate changed my username and password and forgot what he changed them to. Now I can't get on my computer at all. What can I do to fix this problem? Besides getting rid of him! Thank you for any input you can give me! Kathy

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Cannot log on to computer
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Cannot log on to computer
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
First you can
by PudgyOne / October 9, 2005 7:52 PM PDT

First you can try to ask him.

Second did you read these words in red print?

Note: If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem.

Collapse -
Cannot log on to computer
by plumadw / October 10, 2005 6:29 PM PDT
In reply to: First you can

First of all, I did ask him and he can't remember. I'm sorry, I forgot to include my system information. I'm running Window's 2000 Professional. Intel Pentium III Processor:667 MHz. Level 2 Cache:256 KB Integrated. Dell Optiplex-GX110 I am pretty new to computers so I hope this information helps. Thanks for any help you may be able to give me. Kathy

Collapse -
by John.Wilkinson / October 9, 2005 10:46 PM PDT

Well, although I've heard electroshock is very effective in aiding a person remember things, all parties involved would probably involve a less painful method.

The big question is what operating system you have, and how well you protected it. If you are using Windows XP, try pressing F8 during boot to enter Safe Mode and log in as the hidden system administrator. (Works if you know that password or never set one.) If there is another administrative account on the computer you can force access to the locked account, provided you aren't using Windows XP Professional's encryption abilities. If neither of those are options, it looks like you'll have to pay to recover your password by purchasing a program such as this one.

If you have Windows 95/98/ME, you can simply press "cancel" to access the guest account, unless you made the registry change to patch that security hole. From there you can disable password protection on your account, log out, and log in without using your password. Just let us know what your operating system is, and how it's set up, and we'll guide you through the process of getting your computer back.

Hope this helps,

Collapse -
Cannot log on to computer
by plumadw / October 10, 2005 4:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Options...

I am pretty new to computers. The only thing I know is that I'm running Windows 2000. Dell OptiPlex-GX110. I'm one of those that keep a COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE by my side! Thank you very much for your reply! I'm hoping you'll be able to help me but I'm thinking this one is going to cost me! Thanks again! Kathy

Collapse -
Kathy, Another Options For Windows XP...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 10, 2005 9:30 AM PDT

Many users are unaware of the "Administrator" log in that is present in both XP PRO and HOME..As a result, they frequently leave the password as blank. First, restart the computer into Safe Mode using the instructions below:

How To Start In 'Safe Mode'

When you reach Safe Mode, if you're using the "Welcome Screen" option you'll be given a list of users to log in as ..Choose "Administrator" and leave the password option as blank. (If you're not using the Welcome Screen option and a log in box loads, then simply type in "Administrator", leave the password box blank, and click on OK.)

It should then start in Safe Mode as the Administrator log in. If it does, click on Start-Run, type "CONTOL userpasswords2", then click on OK. When the "User Accounts" window loads, then click on your new user name to highlight it, then click on the "Reset Password" button. Type a new password for your new username and follow the prompt to save it..WRITE DOWN YOUR NEW PASSWORD SO YOU DON'T FORGET IT.

Now restart the computer into your new user name.

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
Cannot log on to computer
by plumadw / October 10, 2005 6:07 PM PDT

Thank you for your help. When the log on box came up, I did what you said. Another box came up that said "The system could not log you on. Make sure your user name and domain are correct" That's as far as it lets me go. Have any other ideas? Thanks alot for your input! Kathy

Collapse -
Kathy, If You Are Connected To A Domain..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 11, 2005 4:02 AM PDT

..which is not the local computer, (colleges and such will connect you to their own domain) you can use the Administrator log in, but you'll need to change the domain name at log in...At the log in window, you should see three lines..Username, Password, Domain. (If you don't, then click on the "Details" button to show the "Domain" line. Type "Administrator" in the Username line, change the "Domain" line by using the "drop down" menu to select the name of the local computer, leave the Password line blank, then click on OK.

If you can log in as "Administrator", then you should follow the instructions I gave previously to "Reset Password" on your username.

Hope this helpls.


Collapse -
cannot log on to computer
by plumadw / October 12, 2005 2:41 PM PDT

When I start my computer a log on box appears asking for username and password. There's a choice of OK or cancel. No details.Everytime I type something in, a box appears saying "The system could not log you on. Make sure your username and domain are correct." That's as far as it lets me go. Have any more ideas? Thanks for your input! Kathy

Collapse -
Kathy, Sorry My Mistake..It's 'Options' NOT 'Details'
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 13, 2005 1:46 AM PDT

...and on Windows 2000, the domain line says "Log on to"...So now, when the log on box comes up, can you click on an "Options" button and change the "Log on to" line to the local computer name by using the drop down arrow next to the "Log on to" line? If so, then type Administrator in the "Username" line and leave the password blank, then click on OK.

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
Another option if Safemode is available
by TONI H / October 13, 2005 3:12 AM PDT

for the Administrator without a password needing to be used is a registry hack.

Once in safemode, go to RUN, type REGEDIT....

click through the plus marks in front of the following:


Now click the words USERLIST for that folder so it opens up on the right hand side. If you can get to your OLD account listed there, you can change the DWORD line by right clicking, choose MODIFY, and change the VALUE that will be highlighted to the number 1 to unhide it.

This can be done in XP and since it's written on the NT base that is Windows 2000, I'm pretty sure the locations and settings would be the same. Hopefully, even with a new username and password assigned to your account, somewhere W2000 kept the old account in the registry as a 'backup' type account.

Hope this helps you......and all of this will be dependent on whether you can enter safemode using the methods given by Grif regarding the 'domain name' as entrance as well as W2K keeping your OLD account in the registry for you.


Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Turn up the volume with our Apple Byte sweeps!

Two lucky winners will take home the coveted smart speaker that lets Siri help you around your connected house. This sweepstake ends Feb. 25, 2018.