Microsoft KB Archive/929825

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When you try to log on to a Windows Vista-based computer, you briefly receive a "Welcome" message, and then you are logged off

Article ID: 929825

Article Last Modified on 1/23/2007


  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Starter

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry


When you try to log on to a Windows Vista-based computer by using an account that does not have administrative permissions, you briefly receive a "Welcome" message, and then you receive a "Logging off" message. Additionally, you may receive a warning in the Application Windows log that resembles the following:

The Windows logon process has failed to spawn a user application. Application name: . Command line parameters: c:\windows\system32\userinit.exe.

Source: Winlogon 
Event ID: 4006 
Level: Warning 

This issue does not occur if you log on to the computer by using an account that has administrative permissions.


This issue occurs if the Userinit key in the Windows registry has been modified. For example, this issue may occur if the Userinit key has a value but no binary data.


Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.To resolve this issue, modify the Userinit key. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to the computer as an administrator or by using an account that has administrative permissions.
  2. Start Registry Editor. To do this, click Start[GRAPHIC: the Start button], type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  3. [GRAPHIC: User Account Control permission]Click Continue.
  4. Locate and then click the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  5. In the right pane, right-click Userinit, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type hard_disk:\Windows\System32\userinit.exe, and then click OK.

    Note The hard_disk placeholder refers to the disk on which Windows Vista is installed.
  7. Close Registry Editor.


You may experience this issue if the file path that is specified in the Value data box for the Userinit registry key does not exist.

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