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Unable to login a standard user on my Windows 8.1 PC

SA Jack

New Member
Hi Brink:

My Problem:
My son is no longer able to logon to his standard user account on my Windows 8.1 U1. I am unable to switch users following a cold start of the computer. Also, I am unable to switch users while logged on to my account.

My System:
Dell XPS 8100 with Intel i5 processor and 6GB DDR3 ram. The desktop initially included Windows 7 Home Premium. I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro as a $40 Windows Store purchase. I've since updated to Version 8.1 and the first update following the release of 8.1. At time of upgrade to Windows 8, all prior updates to Windows 7 were current and successful. Since upgrading to Windows 8, all updates are current and I only experienced 1 update “Failed” (KB2919355), which upon a reinitialization after the failure, was successful. Until this problem, the PC and operating system have run very well with no real problems.

As noted above, there are 2 users on this PC. Myself (administrator), and son (standard user). I can't pinpoint an exact date when my son was no longer able to logon to his account; however in checking the registry I find that the last notation of his login activity under error reporting was a successful login and logoff done on April 30[SUP]th[/SUP]. And even though attempts have been made since that time to login to his account, there are no notations of this in the error reporting log that I can find. Most likely that's because I can't get to a point that will allow me to “initiate” a login for his account. It's as though his account does not exist.

What Happens When:
Boot – When the computer boots, it only presents a login screen for my account. There is no right-arrow allowing me to switch users. Switching to a secure login via Ctrl Alt Del yields the same results.

After I'm logged in - If I click to switch users, once again I will get a login screen with my account only and no way of switching users. If I wake the computer from sleep or from screen saver mode, I'm presented with my user picture and password, however, this time I “do” get a right-arrow to switch user. When I click the arrow, the screen goes black for about 5-7 seconds, at which time I'm presented my user login and no switch user arrow.

Efforts to Resolve:
I've researched this issue the the past month or so and have checked and/or tried just about everything that's out there from Microsoft, Windows 8 Forum, The Windows Club, and a few other sites as well. As I follow the suggested fixes, everything seems to be as it should be. I've yet to find anything that does not appear to be “right”. For example: SFC /scannow says everything's OK. If I go to User Accounts, both accounts are present. If I go to C:\Users\my son's account\, it is there. I am able to create another account with name and password. However, I am unable to open that account for the same reasons that I'm not able to open my son's account. The new account created is NOT reflected under C:\Users\New Account, so I'm unable to copy files from my son's account to the new account.

Because of the time delay from when my son first informed me that he's been unable to open his account, my restore points are all following when it probably occurred. I do have a Macrium image from late March that is available. However, I'm wondering if I brought the PC back to a state from this past March if I would be able to install all updates to get the system current. I know Microsoft was imposing time constraints associated with updating to Update 1 following Windows 8.1

In my simplistic view of this, it seems that there are just a couple of dots that are not connected and I'm hoping that there is some setting that needs to be changed to resolve the problem. I'm hoping that from what I've shared, you can suggest something that may resolve this. If there are any items or settings you want me to check and give you the results, please let me know.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and hopefully for suggesting possible solutions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8100
    CPU
    Intel I5 (3.25 GHz)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 310
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 22" Untra Sharp 1080p
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 1TB Internal & WD Elements 1TD Network
    Keyboard
    Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere Mouse
    Internet Speed
    20 Mb sec
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Comodo Internet Security 7

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Does your sons account name still show under C:\Users? If yes then create a new account for him, have him login then logout top create the directory structure under C:\Users, then copy everything from the old account to the new one.

This is a good Youtube video of how to do this. Fix Corrupt User Profile in Windows 8 - YouTube
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

SA Jack

New Member
Ztrucker:
Thank you for responding.
My son's name "does" show up under C:\Users as well as all files associated with the account. I've created a new account for him with the intent of copying files from his old account to the new one. However, there is no indication of a new account being created under C:\Users. I read on some post somewhere that the files are created when the new user first logs on to his/her account. Unfortunately, that can't be done.

No matter what I do, I'm simply not permitted to get to a switch user screen that will display other users. As noted in my original post, I get "NO" back arrow on initial boot. However, after I'm logged on, if I click to "switch user" or my computer wakes from sleep or exiting from screen saver, I "DO" get a back arrow to "switch users". However, after clicking the arrow, I get a blank screen for about 5-6 seconds and the login screen returns "without" the back arrow, allowing me to login to my account. When I log in this way, my home screen comes up occupying only 2/3 of my monitors width. After a second or two, it reverts to full screen, and then all is well with respect to my account.

I wish there was a way to logon to my son's or a new account in a way that bypasses the switch user procedure.

Hope this clarifies my problem. Thanks again. -SA Jack
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8100
    CPU
    Intel I5 (3.25 GHz)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 310
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 22" Untra Sharp 1080p
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 1TB Internal & WD Elements 1TD Network
    Keyboard
    Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere Mouse
    Internet Speed
    20 Mb sec
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Comodo Internet Security 7

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Can you just log out, not switch users?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

SA Jack

New Member
Yes. And when I do, I'm brought back to the log in screen showing only me, and no left arrow for switching users. My account works perfectly as long as I don't try to switch user or try to log on as another user during boot.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8100
    CPU
    Intel I5 (3.25 GHz)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 310
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 22" Untra Sharp 1080p
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 1TB Internal & WD Elements 1TD Network
    Keyboard
    Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere Mouse
    Internet Speed
    20 Mb sec
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Comodo Internet Security 7

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
What about in Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking?

Enable the real hidden Administrator account as follows:

Open a Elevated Command Prompt. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories. Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

Enter net user administrator /active:yes and press Enter
Type exit and press Enter to close the Command Prompt window.

Note: /active:no will disable it again.

If you can't do this from a booted Windows 7 then you can do it from a Command Prompt window of a booted Windows 7 installation DVD, see here:
How to Change the User Account Password if Unable to Login to Windows

The press F8 during boot and select Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking.
What accounts show on the login screen now?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

SA Jack

New Member
I activated the "real" hidden administrator account then rebooted into safe mode w/networking. I was presented with my user account at login. From the Windows start screen, I had "NO" switch user option, but after clicking "lock", I came to my login screen with the right arrow indicating switch user. However, clicking the right arrow brought me right back to my login screen.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8100
    CPU
    Intel I5 (3.25 GHz)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia 310
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 22" Untra Sharp 1080p
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 1TB Internal & WD Elements 1TD Network
    Keyboard
    Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech Anywhere Mouse
    Internet Speed
    20 Mb sec
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Comodo Internet Security 7

Ztruker

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Sounds like restoring to the March image is the way to go to fix this.

Shouldn't be any problem applying updates after doing that.

Make sure you back up anything that you don't want regressed to the March time frame.

Once you get this fixed, keep your Macrium backup up to date :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH

topgundcp

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
You might want to try:

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/8169-switch-user-add-remove-windows-8-a.html

  1. Win+R->gpedit.msc
  2. Go to: Local Computer Policy/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Logon
  3. On the RHS, double click on: Hide entry points for Fast User Switching
  4. If Enabled, select Not Configured then click on Apply
  5. Win+R -> gpupdate /force
  6. Open your start screen to see if you can switch the user.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Brewed
    CPU
    I7 4970K OC'ed @4.7 GHz
    Motherboard
    MSI-Z97
    Memory
    16 GB G-Skill Trident X @2400MHZ
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
    Sound Card
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual HP-W2408
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1200
    Hard Drives
    256 GB M2 sm951, (2) 500GB 850EVO, 5TB, 2 TB Seagate
    PSU
    Antec 850W
    Case
    Antec 1200
    Cooling
    Danger Den H20
    Keyboard
    Logitech
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance Mouse MX
    Internet Speed
    35/12mbps
    Browser
    Firefox

green92

New Member
I have exactly the same issues. I followed all the directions described in this post and no result.
In my case, only my account shows up (with admin privileges). Neither guest, regular accounts nor admin account appears on the logon screen. I do not have the back arrow either.
There is no way I have to restore my system to a previous version. Such an issue should not occur, and I cannot believe 30 years of Windows development still leads to reset a system with this kind of basic issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus 550JV
    CPU
    Core i7
    Memory
    6 Gb

miksem

New Member
same issue cant use standard user accounts

same issue with my Win 8.1 - cant login with newly created standard or child account, login keep looping back to login screen.

This is a major flaw that originated after upgrading from Win 8 to 8.1

Its been 5+ months and no fix from MS !! ridiculous


I have exactly the same issues. I followed all the directions described in this post and no result.
In my case, only my account shows up (with admin privileges). Neither guest, regular accounts nor admin account appears on the logon screen. I do not have the back arrow either.
There is no way I have to restore my system to a previous version. Such an issue should not occur, and I cannot believe 30 years of Windows development still leads to reset a system with this kind of basic issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1

frozenreads

New Member
Hi,

Exactly the same issue, any idea of a fix?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7 3820 @ 4.3ghz
    Motherboard
    Asus Sabertooth X79
    Memory
    16gb 4 x 4gb Ripjaw @ 2100mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GTX 780 OC
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Internet Security

adwww

New Member
Standard user login solved (for me)

It appears this often happens when OEM's change the userinit key in the registry, this is what worked for me:


This issue occurs if the Userinit key in the Windows registry has been modified. Navigate to the following registry.
Backup the registry: How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
In the right pane, find the value Userinit, make sure its data is: C:\Windows\System32\userinit.exe
If the issue persists, please check if any event is logged regarding this issue. Also try to run System File Checker.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833
To get to event viewer in Windows 8.1:
a. Go to the Start Screen. Type in Event Viewer.
b. This will bring up the Event Viewer box. Click to open the event viewer.
c. In the left pane, expand out Windows Logs.
d. Click on Application log. Highlight the first event in the log and use your arrow keys to scroll down. Most of your event will be Information. You may see Yellow Warnings or Red Errors. If you see a red error, you can double click on it to bring it up and copy the contents to a document.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1
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