netplwiz Catch22


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Soon after upgrading this PC from Windows 7 back in February, I tried moving the User Shell; My Music and My Video Folders from their default location on C drive to another drive on the same computer. I did so by changing the location in "Properties". This had very bad consequences, and I met with no end of frustration trying to undo these changes. I found a reg. hack (w1-_usf_defaults.hkcu{&lm}.zip) on a "Windows 10" site that promised to fix the problem. I'm sure the precursory warnings about editing the registry were given, but in my haste for a solution, I ran the files and it seemed to fix the problem. There were some posts about the problem resurfacing after Updates, but it wasn't until recently that I noticed any issue.
I purchased and installed WinX DVD Copy this past Sunday and was quite upset to see that the output and temporary folders were installed on C drive which is a small SSD that I intended to use exclusively for programs. I have a 2TB HDD for multimedia files. On further investigation, I noticed that the path to the Video Folder where these folders were installed showed the old username associated with my Microsoft account. This account was set up at installation, and I had long since changed to a local account. I researched the problem and found an article on opentechguides.com. It said the only fix was to edit the registry from an admin account other than the one with the problem. "Netplwiz" was the tool they recommended to make the user account changes. I ran it, and created the admin account and named it "admin". I decided to use this account for any future system changes. I'd be safer (from myself) if my local, "Raymond", were a standard user account so I went ahead and made this change before signing off, restarting, and logging back on.
That's when I started to realize that I paralyzed, if not completely ruined, this computer by making these simple changes. I hadn't even gotten to regedit! When I tried logging in to the admin account, I got the message that it failed the login and the Profile could not be loaded. I can still sign in as "Raymond", run some programs, and get online, check email etc., but I can't make any changes whatsoever. That means I'm powerless to undo the changes that brought this mess about. Anything setting related to User Accounts brings up a dialog box and request to enter the (now only) admin password. What's really infuriating about this is that Windows does, in fact, recognize this password at some level because entering an incorrect password elicits a different response than entering the correct one. If I give it an incorrect password, it tells me the username or password is incorrect. Depending on what I'm trying to accomplish, entering the correct password either does nothing at all, or tells me the resource I'm trying to access does not exist. From the Login Screen, I get the message about "unable to load profile". I can't start in Safe Mode, I can't change any User Accounts or Profiles, Netplwiz is claimed to be missing altogether. I can enter run commands, and the one for 'regedit' brings up Registry Editor, but I can't edit anything.
I've been through dozens of instructionals, tutorials, and forums and none have provided me with a viable fix. Unfortunately, I didn't set up any System Restore Points, and I'm vehemently opposed to reinstalling Windows. In all likelihood, I'd lose about $100 worth of programs, and meltdown my computer. The HPE270f overheats massively and immediately when installing from bootable media. About 8 minutes into the installation, I'll lose the monitor so I can't initiate the next step. After the monitor goes, I have about 4 minutes and the motherboard starts beeping. By this time the fan is spinning so fast it seems like the chassis will take flight. I get a final series of beep tones, then it's lights out... The only reason I was able to get Windows 10 installed is, back in early February, I could open the window and blow some 20 degree air over the CPU and northbridge heatsinks. Even then, it took 4 attempts. I won't try it again.
I was hoping, against hope, that someone might know of a slick way to: access the hidden Admin. account, force a regedit, or somehow get Windows to admit that it recognizes the password. Although I won't deny some hasty actions on my part, I really feel that this type of "Catch 22" represents an egregious fault on behalf of Microsoft software engineers. Oh wait, I'm sure they're busy putting together a foolproof fix as we 'speak'. Either that, or trying to figure out how to get a billion devices connected by 2020!
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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You might be able to rescue your computer by enabling the normally hidden / disabled Administrator account and use that to possibly fix the password problem on your local user account.
You'll need to boot from the installation media. If you do not have the installation media on hand you can download the ISO from here
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/techbench
Once you have the ISO, you can use ImgBurn to burn it to a DVD or Rufus to burn it to a USB ThumbDrive, either of which you can use to boot your computer.
THEN...
Follow the steps outlined here
http://pureinfotech.com/2015/11/20/how-reset-windows-10-forgotten-password-regain-access-computer/

Another option that I have used successfully is a third party software boot disk.
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

NOTE.... IF the computer is UEFI with "Secure boot" enabled, I don't believe you will be able to boot from the CD you create from the ISO (Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD, the pogostick link immediately above) unless you enter the System Setup Utility (BIOS) and turn off Secure Boot and change the boot option from UEFI to Legacy or UEFI + Legacy or UEFI + MBR depending on what's avaialble and how robust your BIOS might be (if it even supports changing turning off secure boot, some newer ones do not.
 
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I'm afraid that booting from the optical drive or usb stick would yield the same results as trying to install from it.
I have boot media, but this machine overheats when I install from it. I lose the display about 8 minutes into the process...
No UEFI
 

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