I have a box running Windows Server 2012. I have been playing with this box for a bit and have two admin accounts set up: administrator and my account. I recently had to change my password due to policy. I set a new one, updated in my password manager, logged out, and tested. It all worked for a couple weeks. Not today. I cannot log in through Remote Desktop or through the Launchpad from my machine as either account, using the domain or server name with the account. But, there's a catch.

Through RDC I can plug in the administrator credentials and get to the machine, but it's login screen says my user and password are incorrect. Why would RDC connect? Of course, I figured I'd just log in as the administrator account and reset my password. So much for that. I hope I'm missing something simple and obvious.

  • Keyboard layout ? as the remote desktop let you type the password over yout computer (thus your keyboard layout).
    – yagmoth555
    May 7, 2015 at 3:16
  • Yeah, that's not it. I've viewed the password and can log in as non-admin users just fine. I'm wondering now if something is failing big time. I was trying to get in because the DHCP server wasn't running and wouldn't start. I have access to remote command prompt via my RM tool, so maybe I can finagle a password change that way. (This just dawned on me) So strange. Need to figure out what's wrong with it, but have a full day. Never good timing...
    – djoyce
    May 7, 2015 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


Not sure what happened, but as I posted a response to yagmoth555's comment, I realized I have CLI access via my RM. Just change my user password manually and can get in. Can't believe I didn't think of that when this first came up.

Now to fix the server...


Test your domain credentials on your local computer (assuming they are both joined to the same domain) by holding down the shift key while right clicking an application such as notepad and then click the option 'Run as different user'. Enter the credentials of the account you are attempting to use to access the server. If the application launches successfully, you know your account is ok.

Could a group policy or another user have removed you from the local administrators group on the server? If you connected through to a remote desktop connection/session where you could enter credentials, its not likely that remote desktop has become disabled.

If the remote server is a VM, can you connect to the console and try your credentials there? Hyper-V and vSphere both support this. If it's a physical computer, can you try logging in locally? If you can login locally/using console it would point to a permissions issue around remote desktop. If you can not login locally/using console and you are 100% certain that you are entering valid credentials it would indicate the account does not have permission to login.

If there's a possibility that the keyboard layout is set differently, the best way to check if to type your password into the username field so you can see whats actually going through - the @ symbol causes trouble with passwords.

If you can't remember a local admin password and domain credentials are not working, you can use a tool like Hiren's Boot CD (attach ISO to VM or insert disc locally) to reset the password of the local admin account, it takes about 5 minutes.

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