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Can't access Administrator account! Lost access to important folders!

    Question

  • Hello everyone

    I am desperate here. I have done something really stupid and I fear I have locked myself out of some folders that I MUST have access to.

    Here is the situation. I often have people over that use my computer for various purposes. Wanting to control access to certain folders, I changed the security permissions on several folders containing private information to only "Administrators" and "SYSTEM". Then I password protected these folders. Thinking that if I were to CHANGE MY ACCOUNT TYPE to a "POWER USER" if I then wanted access to these folders, Windows would ask me for the password. Well I was wrong! Horribly so! I changed my account to a power user and now I cannot access these folders. Even more of a problem is the fact that the ADMINISTRATOR account is NOT ACTIVE!!

    I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to activate the Administrator account, all with the same result: ACCESS DENIED!

    So right now I am pretty royally skrewed. There is literally no administator account on this computer, and I have no way of activating it.

    Here is what I've tried so far:
    - Activating Admin account through normal means (Local users and groups). Access Denied.
    - Running CMD as Administator and using the NET USER commands. Access Denied.
    - Running REGEDIT and trying to add keys to the HKLM WINLOGON directory. Access Denied.
    - Creating a new user and trying to add it to the Administrators group. Access Denied.

    Does anyone have ANY ideas out there that can help me get access back to those folders? Or even better to help me get access as an administrator?? I know I never should have done all that in the first place, but I am new to Vista and didn't know that the Administrator account was disabled by default! Doh! Please help if you can!
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 6:59 PM

Answers

  • If you have removed the last Administrator account on the computer, you should be able to boot into Safe Mode to access the Built-in Administrator account. Here's how.

     

    Restart the computer.

    As soon as the system starts to reboot, press and hold the F8 Key until you a black screen menu appear.

    Select the Safe Mode option and press the ENTER Key.

    When the login screen appears, you should see the Administrator account there.

    This account does not have a password associated with it, by default.

    Select this account and press ENTER.

     

    When Vista starts in Safe Mode, go to Control Panel/User Accounts and change your account back to an Administrator account. Reboot normally.

     

     

    ----------------------------------

    Ronnie Vernon

    Microsoft MVP

    Windows Desktop Experience

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:38 AM

All replies

  • If you have removed the last Administrator account on the computer, you should be able to boot into Safe Mode to access the Built-in Administrator account. Here's how.

     

    Restart the computer.

    As soon as the system starts to reboot, press and hold the F8 Key until you a black screen menu appear.

    Select the Safe Mode option and press the ENTER Key.

    When the login screen appears, you should see the Administrator account there.

    This account does not have a password associated with it, by default.

    Select this account and press ENTER.

     

    When Vista starts in Safe Mode, go to Control Panel/User Accounts and change your account back to an Administrator account. Reboot normally.

     

     

    ----------------------------------

    Ronnie Vernon

    Microsoft MVP

    Windows Desktop Experience

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:38 AM
  • windows 7 does not show the admin account on boot up, regardless if normal mode or safe mode. The UAC pops up telling you to sign in as administrator, but gives you no username or password field to fill in. Windows 7 professional. Login screen is ctrl + alt +del, and when pressed only shows the power user account.
    • Proposed as answer by abkaniki Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:07 AM
    Tuesday, April 06, 2010 2:16 PM
  • Just had a similar problem. [Apparently I must have deleted my Admin account after cancelling a sysprep procedure].

    In any case this could help someone with a similar problem, say your Windows 7 "does not show the Admin on/after boot up". Restart the machine in safe mode [restart, then hold F8 Key. Select Safe Mode with Networking] and go to User Accounts and select to add "New User", enter the initial admin name or id you used on initial account setup when you installed win 7, save and restart the machine. This will only work if you remember the Admin[strator] name you used.

    This should then go straight to your main Windows page when you restart the machine.

    Tips and Tricks, and hoep this works for you...

    Andrew

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:06 AM
  • Ronnie,

    I have a similar problem. I downgraded the user "User" on my PC from Administrator to Standard User and forgot to enable the Administrator account before restarting the PC.

    When I start the computer in Safe Mode (or Safe Mode with Networking either one), and start Manage Users, it asks me for the Administrator password (which is blank). It states "Please enter the Administrator Password and click OK." Except, in my case, OK is greyed out and unavailable. So, thinking this was a glitch, I press [ENTER] assuming windows will select OK button as default and accept my blank password. Not so.

    I have, also, used Vista Ultimate CD to boot into command prompt with networking. I, then, used the cmd line tools to activate Administrator account. I get Error 5: Access denied. (just to be sure).

    I understand 2 things. Windows does not boot with Administrative privileges as default safe or command line modes. And, UAC is enabled even in Safe Mode. I have the following:

    Administrator (Administrators Group) disabled with no password (by default)

    Admin (Users Group) enabled with no password

    USER (Users Group) enabled with no password

    Anything else you can suggest that I can do?

    Thank you.

    Monday, October 24, 2011 8:35 PM
  • Turning UAC off won't help. You still need administrative privileges to do
    anything.
     
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsvistasecurity/archive/2006/08/27/windowsvistasecurity-.aspx
    and
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942956
     
    This says that the Administrator account should appear in safe mode if it's
    the only administrators' account. You need to logon as administrator.
    --
    ..
    --
    "svm2" wrote in message news:95059744-4f64-431d-a8f3-b33d59624efb...
    > Ronnie,
    >
    > I have a similar problem. I downgraded the user "User" on my PC from
    > Administrator to Standard User and forgot to enable the Administrator
    > account before restarting the PC.
    >
    > When I start the computer in Safe Mode (or Safe Mode with Networking
    > either one), and start Manage Users, it asks me for the Administrator
    > password (which is blank). It states "Please enter the Administrator
    > Password and click OK." Except, in my case, OK is greyed out and
    > unavailable. So, thinking this was a glitch, I press [ENTER] assuming
    > windows will select OK button as default and accept my blank password. Not
    > so.
    >
    > I have, also, used Vista Ultimate CD to boot into command prompt with
    > networking. I, then, used the cmd line tools to activate Administrator
    > account. I get Error 5: Access denied. (just to be sure).
    >
    > I understand 2 things. Windows does not boot with Administrative
    > privileges as default safe or command line modes. And, UAC is enabled even
    > in Safe Mode. I have the following:
    >
    > Administrator (Administrators Group) disabled with no password (by
    > default)
    >
    > Admin (Users Group) enabled with no password
    >
    > USER (Users Group) enabled with no password
    >
    > Anything else you can suggest that I can do?
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
     
     
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:26 AM