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No login window on startup


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#1 Duke 2.0

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 08:23 AM

Alright, so a week ago I said to myself "It is about time I cleaned up this mess of a computer." So I started to check the usual places. Deleting the temporary files, defragmenting the computer, running the usual anti-malware programs, the works. After sufficiently satisfied with what I had done(All routine stuff, no doing things I have not done a million times), I started a download of some large image files and went off for lunch. When I came back, it seemed the computer had crashed.

Alright, that seems to be rather odd but not unfixable. So I started the computer back up again, and noticed that there was no disk checking after the XP logo. The error message was:

No stera program found: skipping autocheck.

Odd. That was the only real thing that stood out during startup. After a few seconds, it flashes to the default blue background where the login window is supposed to appear. I can see the mouse cursor, and can move it. However, there is no login window. No keyboard commands seem to work(Ctrl+alt+delete, Windows key+C, alt+tab), and it seems the computer is stuck there unless I restart the computer manually.

Now I realize this post is a little long-winded, but I want to include everything involved with this problem. Already a week has gone by and I have found nothing related to this through google. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 10:30 AM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Background: http://www.superantispyware.com/definition/stera/

IMO, that message usually pops up when Windows has a startup item that refers to something that is no longer installed on the system.

So, the first thing I would do is...ensure that the system does not currently have the malware described in the link above.

http://www.spywareremove.com/removesteraexe.html

http://www.spywareremove.com/removeWinAntiSpyware.html

If that is so...then I would use AutoRuns for Windows - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx to locate and remove the startup item I think is there. I would only look at the items displayed on the Logon tab of Autoruns, leaving all other items alone.

Louis

#3 Duke 2.0

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 02:01 PM

Ah, thanks for all the suggestions. Although doing them might be problematic as I cannot log in. Currently I am using an alternate computer to access this site and try to fix this problem.

Once I somehow log in I will try these suggestions, but first I need to get on. Then again, considering how old this computer is I'm likely to just copy important files onto a flash drive and get a new one. So really this is more of a "How do I get past this, even if temporarily?" thing.

And I suppose some more information on my tests would be good. Trying it in safe mode results with the same result, only with the safe mode background instead of the default blue. No keypresses work, no interaction other than the mouse.

Now after hearing of another person solving some startup problems by using chkdsk, I take out my XP CD and try it out myself. So I do the standard, setting the computer to boot from CD and pressing r when prompted. I press 1 on the next prompt(Only one windows installation), and then it asks for a password. Alright, I didn't set one, so I leave it blank and press enter.

It does not work. Three tries and it restarts. Which is odd, because no password is set for administrator.

So in summary: Cannot log in to accomplish any form of virus blasting or registry recovery. Thus I need some way of getting me on. Somehow.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 03:09 PM

Not a good sign when chkdsk /r won't run.

I'd download a diagnostic from the website of the hard drive manufacturer...and run it on that drive.

You could try a repair install of XP if you have a MS XP CD...35 minutes plus reinstalls. That would overcome anything but malware and hard drive problems...also would not do anything if your NTFS file system is the culprit.

Louis

#5 Duke 2.0

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 05:03 PM

Ah, thanks. I'll try that. Although what would a repair install do as far as replacing settings? I don't want to loose any data, and I fear doing anything with the OS that might effect my files.

Now to crack open the case and see what the hard drive is again.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 05:28 PM

How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=917964

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install (Stevens) - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Windows XP Professional Repair install from CD - http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winxppro/i...dexfullpage.htm

Louis




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