Unable to edit group membership for a Windows XP user

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Earlier this evening, I was creating a local user on a Windows XP computer using Local Users and Groups from the Computer Management MMC snap-in (compmgmt.msc). Strangely, clicking on the Member Of tab produced the following error:

Local Users and Groups

The following error occurred while attempting to read the properties for the user accountname:

The Server service is not started.

I’ve seen this before and this time I thought I should did a little deeper. Running net start server from a command prompt returns:

The service name is invalid

I quickly found a workaround – instead of editing the user properties to make them a member of a group, edit the group properties to add the user as a member. Quite why it works this way around but not the other is a mystery to me!

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