Can't log into Windows Server 2003

May 14, 2009 at 12:51:24
Specs: Windows Server 2003
I've pulled one of our servers, running Server 2003, from our network because of a suspected virus infection. I try to sign in locally as administrator, but the second it begins to sign in, it automatically saves the settings and logs right back out, bringing me back to the sign in screen.

Any ideas how to get around this, and get signed in as administrator to troubleshoot? Much thanks in advance!

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May 14, 2009 at 13:36:27
I've seen this often with Windows XP, and it may be the same issue with Server 2003. The Windows registry contains a key (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\) which points to the program to run at/after logging in (normally "C:\WINDOWS\System32\userinit.exe"). If this key gets changed (by a virus) or if the userinit.exe file is overwritten by a virus, you will experience the behavior you described. The best thing to do is use another computer, or a boot CD to replace the file C:\WINDOWS\System32\userinit.exe with a know good one and to also verify the registry key mentioned above points to that file.

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May 18, 2009 at 12:41:35
Just FYI. If this post had been made in the correct forum, like the Security & Virus forum or the Windows Server 2003 forum, you might have gotten more responses. Again, just a suggestion.

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