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Error message, Can't access ANY administrator accounts.

Posted on 2007-11-15
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Error message: This operation has been can canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please your system administrator.

I'm not at the PC right now and won't be for a while but decided i should get the ball rolling on this as soon as possible. Its using Windows XP Home Edition.

My mom's computer, at some point, started giving this error message when trying to go to control panel and adjust some other things. the way you log in has changed from the icon based system to a kind of form where you have to type in both the username and password. there were 3 accounts on the computer, "Kids", "Cherie" and "Nick". "Nick" and "Cherie" had administrator privileges while "Kids" was Limited. Now it seems everyhing is under the KIDS account. Even if I log in to "Nick" wit hthe right password it is still limited and some things still say KIDS. Seems to me some how a group was made called KIDs and all the other users were put under it.

another odd thing is even in Safe mode, when I log into any of the accounts or Administrator those accounts are just as limited. I apparently have no access to a administrator accoutn that I know of on that computer.
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Question by:Dionysus187
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9 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:imitchie
ID: 20295779
some one has been playing (or an unauthorised app) and changed your local security policy

to resurrect the Welcome screen,
http://www.pchell.com/support/welcomescreen.shtml

if you get access to a My Computer icon, right click on it and Manage. from the tree, Computer Mgmt, Local Users and Groups, Groups. on the right, double-click on Administrators.  Add the users back

it is also possible a registry file was run which affected multiple user accounts
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295781
Double-click Ctrl+Alt+Delete at the logon screen and try to enter administrator here (probably with no password)
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295786
You may try this as well to see if it works if you are able to edit the registry:

obtain from url: http://www.theeldergeek.com/missing_administrator_account.htm

Add Administrator Account to Log In Screen
When Windows XP is first installed it requires you to enter at least one name of a user who will access the computer. Once you create this name the default Administrator account vanishes. To access it, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete twice at the Welcome screen to retrieve the standard Windows 2000 logon dialog. Log on as Administrator from this point. To log the Administrator off, click [Start] [Log Off] and [Log Off] when the [Log Off Windows] selection box appears. The Log On screen with the available users will be displayed.

To Make the Administrator Account Always Visible on the Login Screen

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: DWORD// Value Name: Administrator
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Disabled / 1 = Enabled]
Exit Registry and Reboot
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295854
Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about for easy reference.

url: http://img3.pictiger.com/511/13093757.jpg?u=1195186188
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Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295858
My bad, wrong post for last comment
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Author Comment

by:Dionysus187
ID: 20335983
Well I am currently at the computer and can now tell you what each proposed solution resulted in.

-I can't access "local users and groups" in computer management because I am using XP home, you are thinking of XP Pro I believe.

-When I try logging in as administratorwith no password after trying the ctrl+alt+delete it says "Unable to log you in because of an account restriction"

-When I tried editing the registry the value was already set to 1, so it was enabled already.

Any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Author Comment

by:Dionysus187
ID: 20340722
Well I have seemed to fix it myself. I did it before but apparently it "stuck" this time.

I went into safe mode as administrator. Used spybot and only things that showed up were entries windows usually puts in, but I removed those as well. Restarted in safe mode again as administrator and had access to the control panel. So I made sure the users were administrators which they were. And changed how users logged on so it was the Welcome screen.

Restarted again in normal mode and everything seemed to work fine. Problem fixed.
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