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Article ID: 960837 - Last Review: January 16, 2015 - Revision: 2.0

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


On a Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based computer that has Windows SteadyState installed, all user accounts may be disabled, or the computer may restart repeatedly.


This problem occurs for one of the following reasons:
  • Windows Disk Protection encounters an error and cannot start correctly.
  • Windows SteadyState disables all users when it does not perform Windows updates.


To work around this issue, start Windows in safe mode, and then log on as the Windows SteadyState administrator. Then, you can create a new cache file to repair Windows Disk Protection. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method for Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, click the arrow next to the Lock button, and then click Restart.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts.

      Note You have to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shut down and restart your computer.
    • If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system that you want to start in safe mode, and then press F8.
  3. In the Advanced Boot Options window, select the Safe Mode option, and then press ENTER.

    For more information about options, see Windows Vista Help and Support.
  4. Log on to the computer again by using a user account that has the Windows SteadyState administrator rights.

    Note When your computer is in safe mode, you see the words "Safe Mode" in the corners of the display.
  5. Start Windows SteadyState.
  6. In the Windows Disk Protection Error dialog box, click Create a new cache file, and then click OK.
  7. To exit safe mode, restart your computer, and then let Windows start as usual.
Method for Windows XP
  1. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart under What do you want the computer to do?, and then click OK.
  2. When you see the message Please select the operating system to start, press F8.
  3. Use the ARROW keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
  4. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, select the installation that you want to access by using the arrow keys, and then press ENTER.
  5. Log on as the Windows SteadyState administrator.
  6. Start Windows SteadyState.
  7. In the Windows Disk Protection Error dialog box, click Create a new cache file, and then click OK.
  8. To exit safe mode, restart your computer and let Windows start as usual.
When you create a new cache, the operation resembles installing Windows Disk Protection for the first time. Windows Disk Protection calculates the size of your hard disk and then creates a cache file that is equal to 50 percent of the free hard disk space. For example, if you have a 40-gigabyte (GB) hard disk, and your operating system and programs use 10 GB, you have 30 GB of free space that is available. Therefore, Windows Disk Protection will use 15 GB of the free space.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
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