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We're facing some trouble with our Windows Server 2008 R2 installation.

The passwords expired and we're prompted to change the password.

After changing it, we get following error message:

Configuration Information could no be read from the domain controller, either because the machine is unavailable, or access has been denied.

But we aren't even using a domain controller.

So we tried running the server in Safe Mode where we get following message after changing the password:

An attempt was made to logon, but the network logon service was not started.

Are there any other things I could try?

All help is more than appreciated!

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Is this the password for the service account which has expired? – Rob Sanders Mar 9 '10 at 8:07

Yes, it's working now!


We got it to work by just rolling back the BIOS clock.

This has reset the password expiration date and everything worked like a charm!

Thanks for all the help!

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More context needed.

  • Single server, no domain you say

  • Have you tried a restart?

  • Have you tried WAITING after server start? It can take some minutes until the SAM is loaded and the local passwords are available.

  • What is the server name, what do you enter into the user name field? Not interested in the password - just validating there really is no domain involved.

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- Yes, it's a single server - Several times, no difference - Well, we made it so that the server does logon automatically - therefore we are prompted to change the password every time - The user is selected by default already, - due to auto logon -> is there a way to logon using the administrator account? – Shaharyar Mar 9 '10 at 7:54
No idea then, too. never do auto logon - dont know it like that. After logon failure you should sort of be able to log in manually, or? – TomTom Mar 9 '10 at 8:00
I thought the same. It doesn't allow you to change the user... – Shaharyar Mar 9 '10 at 8:01
Hate to say so... happy reinstallation. You got a password recovery disc? if not.... next time you have. Sucks, but I also have no idea what else to do. – TomTom Mar 9 '10 at 8:02
Found out, how to do it. Wasn't that hard :-], no reinstallation required. – Shaharyar Mar 9 '10 at 13:27

Are you not able to F8 during reboot and go safe mode or safe mode command line, then remove auto logon? (roll back on restore point perhaps?)

Auto logon to a server seems like a bad idea... if you have stuff you need to run automatically, then run it as a service:

How about loggin on remotly via RDP? Could easily specify administrator then.

Guess you could try using a password hack disc as a last resort, or mount the HD in a different box (could be hard if it is rack server). I use one regularly on non-domain deadlocked clients.


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Thanks for your answer. Even loggin in in safe mode with command prompt didn't work -> it required the password first. – Shaharyar Mar 9 '10 at 9:42
It was very easy, provided the answer / solution as an answer here :-) – Shaharyar Mar 9 '10 at 13:28

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