Err Msg: "Workstation Is Locked" with Invalid Screen Saver Program

This article was previously published under Q229687
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SYMPTOMS
After you restart a computer running Microsoft Windows NT Server and no one has logged on, you are unable to log on to the computer (locally or to the domain) and the following error message is displayed:
This workstation is in use and has been locked.
The workstation can only be unlocked by \ or an administrator.
Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to unlock this workstation.
If you try to unlock the computer, the following error message is displayed:
This workstation is locked. Only \ or an administrator can unlock this workstation.
Or, if a user has logged on and off, you are unable to log on to the computer (locally or to the domain), and the following error message is displayed:
This workstation is in use and has been locked.
The workstation can only be unlocked by domain\user or an administrator.
Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to unlock this workstation.
If you try to unlock the computer, the following error message is displayed:
This workstation is locked. Only domain\user or an administrator can unlock this workstation.
CAUSE
This problem occurs in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 when you change the default screen saver program to a nonexistent screen saver program or to one that is corrupted.

The registry location for screen saver program information is HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this problem, use another screen saver program (such as Logon.scr) that has password functionality.

To work around this problem and still be able to log on when the error message states that it is locked by \:
  1. When the logon screen appears, clear the Username box.
  2. Clear the Domain Name box, and then clear the Password box.
  3. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and log on normally.
To work around this problem and still be able to log on when the error message states that it is locked by domain\user:
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to unlock the computer.
  2. Type the logon information for the last logged on user, and then click OK.
  3. When the unlock computer dialog box disappears, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then log on normally.
NOTE: If you do not use one of these methods to log on, you must restart the computer and log on before the screen saver program starts. You can use the Shutdown utility in the Windows NT Resource Kit to shut down the computer.
STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
REFERENCES
For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
99590 How to Activate the Screen Saver During Logon
Properties

Article ID: 229687 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 14:14:09 - Revision: 1.1

Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition

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