New hard disk-reloaded XP ghost (?) second user

  Trikie 23:58 27 Nov 04

Reloaded XP behaving stangely. Used standard set up, one user, but although there is no second user shown I get the following intermittent happenings.

1. From Start> turn off computer I sometimes get a screen with 3 options - log off, shut down or switch user (or words to that effect) From this last I get a screen asking for password, but none has ever been allocated. From the log off option it freezes at the Saving your Settings screen and then does not respond to the power off button. Alt/control/delete shows that nothing is running. The only way to get out is to use the reset button after which Start>turn off operates correctly.

2.Sometimes when calling up a document (reloaded from a back-up CD from the previous hard disk) I get a message "filke being used by Lee (my surname). I can delete this message and continue OK.

3. Sometimes Add Hardware option tells me I am not the administrator and at other times it does not.

4. When I try to look at User Accounts I get the message Unspecified Error.

Are all these related and what can I do (as an almost computer illiterate user)

  Danoh 01:03 28 Nov 04

Trikie, I have not experienced the problems you report. However, until someone reads this and has had a similar experience and a resolution to try and help, I'm suggesting a process of eliminating possiblities.

I presume your PC setup has not been changed significantly from new? Do you have broadband access and firewall and anti-virus installed? This behaviour could be down to a trojan pgm downloaded and running on your PC unknown to yourself.

  hugh-265156 01:41 28 Nov 04

are you clicking 'start/turn off computer' or 'start/log off'?

if clicking 'log off' that is why you are seeing this and its because 'fast user switching' is enabled.

to turn it off if you are the only user click: 'start/control panel/administrative tools/services' scroll down to 'fast user switching' double click it and select 'disabled' from the drop down list then restart your computer by clicking 'start/turn off computer/restart' and this will now take effect.

shut down your computer by clicking 'start/turn off computer/shutdown'

ps. i would, just to be on the safe side as suggested by Danoh above, run an up to date antivirus program and an up to date spyware program and delete anything the find. (if a virus is found you may have to disable system restore temporarly and then run a full scan again)

if you dont have any antivirus software try free avg antivirus click here and adaware click here update them after install.

if all is well here then update windows. if you have done a fresh install of windows you will need to do this click here click 'custom install' and install everything listed as critical. leave service pack 2 alone for the time being if you want and see if that helps.

  Trikie 00:16 02 Dec 04

Thanks Huggy71. Only just back following monitor failure.

From Start>Turn Off Computer the next screen is Are you sure you want to log off (the only alternative is Cancel. Using Log Off it freezes at Saving your settings etc as above.

I had Norton and Ad-aware installed and they have found nothing. I have just followed your links to AVG which has found nothing and installed 3 critical updates. I have also disabled the fast user switching.

Is there anything else that I can try?

  Trikie 12:21 02 Dec 04

I can see a bit of a pattern now. Sometimesa when I start up and am not recognised as the administrator the computer does not recognise the printer. When trying to leave I can only log off and it then freezes so I have to use the restart button. On restarting I am recognised as the administrator and can print!

Sometimes when I call up a document I get a message that the other identity is using it and do I want to make a copy.

Does that give any clues?

  Trikie 22:49 02 Dec 04

When working in my non-administator mode Norton antivirus is switched off and I cannot alter it. When I then close down via logoff and reset (shutdown is not accessible ) on restarting I am in administrator mode and Norton AV is already switched on!

Its beginning to drive me crazy. WQould uninstalling and then reinstalling XP be a possible cure? If so do I need to remove the other programmes first?

  Trikie 23:06 02 Dec 04

Just noticed another symptom. On initial start up I have administrator access, but 10 minutes later, not having logged off, access is denied - I seem to have switched to the second untraceable identity.

  Danoh 18:18 03 Dec 04

Sorry I don't have any idea what might be causing your intermittent problem.

When you say you have "reloaded XP", did you reformat the new HDD and then installed XP from scratch? If that installation went without any errors or hitches, none of this should be happening.

If no one else has any ideas then you might have to consider repairing or reinstalling XP back on top of itself. The ultimate would be to reformat and do another clean installation, but you will then have to install all your programs and do Windows updates, etc, again.

  Trikie 23:28 06 Dec 04

Thanks Danoh. It was a new hard disk so it was formatted and XP installed from scratch.(By a computer literate friend, but he is equally puzzled).

I'll try a reinstall on top - do I just put the XP disk in just like loading any other programme? I will copy my data to a CD first.

  Trikie 00:40 07 Dec 04

Another complication. I've installed the free version of AVG7 anti virus and keep getting a message that e-mail scanning is not operating. The AVG website forum seems to have eatablished that this is a so far unresolved problem for all second and subsequent users on XP.

I now know when my ghost user takes over as I get AVGs warning!

Until this is resolved can anyone suggest another good free av program?

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