We have a Windows XP workstation we cannot login to (with any account). The old admin for the system left.
At first we ran a linux live CD with a password reset tool. This appears to have reset the password of the admin account to blank, but when we booted into windows and tried to login we get an invalid login prompt.
Then we tried resetting another users password to something that was not blank and elevated his account to admin, same issue, cannot login.
Then I tried the hack where you rename cmd.exe to utilman.exe, bootup into windows and then press Windows + U to bring up the command prompt... nothing happens. We get a beep, and then nothing, even after letting it sit for a while (I figured it may take a while to bring up the command prompt). utilman.exe does normally execute with this key press so I know it is not disabled.
I also tried renaming cmd.exe to magnify.exe and I tried renaming explorer.exe to utilman.exe, neither of those bring up anything.
So what is wrong with the system? Why can we not execute cmd.exe from the login window?