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Blank screen when logging on as administrator

For security reasons, I recently changed the administrator password. Now, whenever I try to log on as the administrator user, all I get is a blank screen. The background color is correct, but there are no icons, taskbar -- basically nothing. This happens locally or via terminal server. Also, logging in as myself, and looking at the terminal server management applet, I can see that the administrator has been logged in.

I made sure the administrator was logged out completely, logged in as myself, and tried to delete the administrator profile, but access was denied. I have every possible right on the server and domain. Delete is also grayed out in the system applet in control panel. In this regard, it acts as if the administrator is logged in somewhere, but I do not believe that to be the case. It doesn't show up anywhere. I also checked into the possible problem of the "everyone" group losing read rights to the systemroot, but that is not the source of the problem. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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If all you did was change the password before the problems occurred, then the problem is a corrupted AD database. Attempt an authoritative restore from backup. If that fails, you may need to rebuild the system (if not the whole domain) in order to re-establish normal activity for the admin. You do have a recent backup, right?

This was first published in August 2004

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