This article was previously published under Q318026
When you upgrade or install Microsoft Windows XP, passwords may be assigned to user accounts that previously had no password or you did not assign passwords to any user accounts during the installation process. As a result, you cannot log on to the computer.
This behavior occurs if Windows XP Setup does not complete properly. Setup assigns temporary passwords to user accounts during the upgrade process, and is supposed to remove the passwords when Setup is complete. The temporary passwords are written to the Setupact.log file that is located in the folder in which Windows is installed.
To resolve this behavior, retrieve the password from the Setupact.log file, and then use the password to log on to the computer. You must search the Setupact.log file for the following line, where Username is the name of the user account and xxxxxxxxxxxxx is the password for that account:
Random password for Username is xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To do this, use one of the following methods, as appropriate to your situation.
Windows XP Is Installed on a FAT32 Partition
To retrieve the password from the Setupact.log file if Windows XP is installed on a FAT32 partition, follow these steps:
Insert a Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) startup disk or a Microsoft Windows 98 Startup disk into the computer's floppy disk drive, and then restart the computer.
NOTE: If you do not have a Windows Me or Windows 98 Startup disk, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
186300 How to Create a Windows 98 Startup Disk from MS-DOS