After a new installation of NT, I can logon but no shell starts.

A. A. Usually a normal user will have this problem, not an Administrator, as the problem is security on files. To cure this problem the security on the %systemroot% needs to be set so the Everyone group has RX access (Read, Execute)

If the shell does not start from any account try the following:

  1. Logon as Administrator
  2. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to start the Security dialog. Click 'Task Manager'
  3. Select the Applications tab. Click 'New Task'
  4. Select Browse and move to the %systemroot% directory
  5. Right click on Explorer.exe and select Properties
  6. Select the Security tab and click Advanced (if you have SP4 installed)
  7. Select the Ownership tab
  8. Take ownership
  9. You should now be able to start Explorer and fix the permission problem

If the above fails you will need to:

  • Reformat the drive and reinstall
  • Boot from another installation of NT that does not have this problem
  • Install onto another volume that does not have security set

For more information see

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