How do I create a limited user without creating an admin user first?

Posted on 2009-02-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a fresh Windows XP SP2 load, which was performed via an unattended installation.  I have an Administrator account which is fine, and I have installed all apps, printers, etc.

I wanted to copy the administrator to  the default profile, and then create the user account which would become the only account showing on the welcome page, and the administrator account would be accessible through ctrl-alt-del ctrl-alt-del (which brings up the alternate authentication dialogue box).

However, when I try to copy the administrator profile it won't let me - grayed out.  When I try to  create a User (Limited) Account, it will not let me make the new account anything other than administrator, and I can't change the account type afterwards.   So,  I created another administrator account, and after that I can then create a limited user account (but haven't yet).  This would leave me with three accounts, and of course the original ADMINISTRATOR would (I think) be hidden on the welcome page, so only two would show.

Can anyone clarify this for me?
Question by:bataviacomputer
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    The admin account you are refering to is created by default and no it wont be on the welcome screen this is true but it also can not be logged into in normal boot mode.  The only way to access this account is through safe mode it is really used as a fail safe.  The normal mode will also require a usable admin so thats why you have to create the admin account first and then you are able to create the guest account.  This is by design and really cant be changed if you dont want the account names to show you should switch the log in to windows 2000 mode.  Goto start control panel click user accounts (if your in classic view) change the way users log on and off then uncheck welcome screen and apply settings.  Then they will have to type in the username and pass thats about the best you can do.

    Author Comment

    Ok, so if I understand this correctly, in order to get one admin account and one user account that are share the same settings, I have to copy the original ADMINISTRATOR account to the default user profile, then create another admin account which will NOT inherit my settings because I haven't copied them yet and then log in as this new admin account and copy the administrator to default user and then create another administrator account so that I can delete the admin that did not inherit the administrator settings and then I will have two accounts which are both administrator accounts but one of which can't be used and then and only then I can create a  USER limited account which will inherit the default user settings that I copied from the original but now unusable administrator account and I will end up with three accounts that look and feel the same but one of which can't be used and another of which can't be deleted unless I create a third admin account to be the new admin account placeholder so I can delete the previous (second) admin account or I could have made the user account an admin account and then changed it to guest but only if I had not deleted the second useable administrator account.  Is that correct?

    ....long pause....

    Is it permissible to ask why Microsoft products suck so bad but still make so much money?

    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    You cant copy the original administrator to the default acount it wont work you have to first create your new admin account and then you can do the rest.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    You cannot copy a profile that is in use, so you must create the profile while using one account and then copy it using another.

    Set up a dummy user account, log on using this account and set up the desktop, menus shortcuts, screen savers, map drives etc and all the other stuff that you want to standardize for new users. When all is to your liking, log off from the dummy account.

    You can then copy the profile you have just created so that it becomes the default for all new users. To do this you need to log on as an administrator, You will first need to go to the Control Panel, and in Administrative tools, Folder Options, on the View Option make sure that the option to Show Hidden Files and Folders is selected. It is also a good idea to make sure that the Hide Extensions for known file types is NOT selected so you can identify files more easily later on. Then exit the control panel. Right click on My Computer and select Properties, Advanced, and click on SETTINGS under User profiles. Select the dummy profile and then COPY TO another user option. Copy the dummy profile to C:\Documents and Settings\Default User making sure that you change the 'Permitted to use' option to 'Everyone' so that the new users will have the necessary permissions on the profile. Confirm the action replacing the existing default profile when prompted.

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