How to Fix “Cannot Log on to Windows After Removing from Domain”

August 1, 2013 updated by Admin Leave a reply »


After you change a computer’s membership from a domain to a workgroup and restart the computer, you cannot log on with your previous user name and password. You may also receive the following error message:

The system could not log you on. Make sure your user name and domain are correct, then type your password again. Letters in passwords must be typed using the correct case. Make sure that Caps Lock is not accidentally on.


This problem occurs because the user name and password that you previously used are available for logon only to a domain. Your computer is no longer a member of a domain. Therefore, your logon attempt must be validated on the local computer by using the local security database. To log on to your computer, you must use the local user account existing in the Security Accounts Manager (SAM), not the domain user account.

If you do not know the local user account and password, you cannot log on to the computer. To resolve this issue, the easiest way is to use PCUnlocker Live CD to blank your local admin/user password. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Download the zipped ISO image of PCUnlocker using another computer you have access to. Unzip the download file and burn the pcunlocker.iso file to a blank CD using ISO2Disc program.

2. Put the PCUnlocker Live CD into the CD drive of the locked computer that you’re trying to gain access to. Have the computer to boot from PCUnlocker Live CD.

3. After booting from the Live CD, it will start the PCUnlocker program after a while. Choose the local administrator account and then click on “Reset Password”. The program will blank the local administrator password instantly.

4. Restart the machine and remove the PCUnlocker Live CD, you can then log on to Windows with the local administrator account, without being prompted to enter a password!