A. This error message might appear if you originally installed XP from a Sysprep image or if you ran Sysprep 2.0 on the computer at one time. Sysprep.exe changes the way the registry stores password keys. As a result, these changes aren't compatible with the XP recovery console logon routine. To resolve this problem, follow the instructions in the Microsoft article "'The Password Is Not Valid' Error Message Appears When You Log On to Recovery Console in Windows XP" ( http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308402 ).