Error Message: Unable to Log You on Because of an Account Restriction, Windows Could Not Find c:\windows\system32\migpwd.exe

Symptoms

When you start Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, you may receive the following error messages:
Unable to log you on because of an account restriction
Windows could not find c:\windows\system32\migpwd.exe

Cause

This issue may occur because of a value in the registry is not valid and permits users to log on automatically as a member of the Administrators group. For example, it may not be possible to log on automatically as an administrator if the Administrator account has been set aside to be used in Safe mode when an Owner account is not available.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Start Windows, and then log on to an account that is a member of the Administrators group.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. In Registry Editor, locate the following subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  5. In the right pane, click AutoAdminLogon under Name.
  6. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  7. In the Edit String dialog box, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.

    Note If there is a DefaultPassword entry, make note of the value. You may need it to log on the system if it is set to a random password. The password will be listed in plain text, and is case-sensitive.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.
  9. Restart your computer.

More Information

For additional information about how to automatically log on to Windows, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

310584 HOW TO: Enable Automatic Logon in Windows

290109 Error Message: Unable To Log You On Because Of An Account Restriction
For additional information about how to repair a corrupted registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

307545 How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry

Properties

Article ID: 316385 - Last Review: Oct 23, 2008 - Revision: 1

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