After my Windows Server 2008 machine has been running for a couple of hours as a web server, I can no longer log into the machine. I've tried using remote desktop, and I tried using a keyboard/mouse/monitor set directly connected to the machine.

Ctrl-Alt-Del brings up the sign-in screen, and I can enter a user id and password, but when I type enter to log in, it comes immediately back to the sign-in screen.

This machine is running a web service that continues with no apparent problems when this log-in failure scenario occurs. And that's good, but I'd prefer not to have to power cycle the machine to install new versions of the web service software.

I've been using this machine and this web software for a year with no problems. The "can't log-in" scenario started a few days ago.

  • Just found this, but I guess it isn't relevant, as you state it immediately goes back to the logon screen. support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/en-us - Edit: this is a quite an old question. Did you resolve it? – Bryan Jul 11 '11 at 6:16

Sounds possible that the last time you were logged in, you either didn't logout correctly or your logout didn't process correctly. Try logging in using remote desktop to the IP address /admin, eg. " /admin" and see if it lets you in. If it does, disconnect any other logged in users and try again. Although it does seem strange that you cannot login physically either.

If this doesn't work, a reboot may well fix the issue (and allow you to investigate further).

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