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Changing Limited User Account

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a pc running Vista Home Premium with two user accounts, one is an administrator account which I can't access as it will not start when I click on the login screen and the other is a limited account that I can access normally.

I can't change the limited account to an admin one as although I get asked for the administrator account password when I attempt it nothing happens, probably due to the admin account corruption.

Currently I have the hard drive in another computer while I backup the user data. Is there a way of converting the limited account to an admin one while I have the drive out or would the simplest thing be to use something like the UBCD4WIN to create a new admin account when I return the hard drive to the original pc?
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Question by:alfaro
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Accepted Solution

by:
Lordy123 earned 400 total points
ID: 35217123
Rename the profile folder of the admin account while you have the HD in another PC. Then attempt to login after putting the HD back, let me know what happens.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 100 total points
ID: 35217270
Do not try what Lordy123 suggest, the user profile will be corrupted after you do the change.

Instead the boot disc of Offline NT Password & Registry Editor from the link below and burn the iso file to a CD.

http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

Boot your computer from the boot disc and apply the user promotion feature to promote the limited user to the local administrator (i.e. putting user into admin group).

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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35217285
Also read the link below to get more info of Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.

http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/walkthrough.html
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35217305
When you are promoted with the user menu below.

  - - - - User Edit Menu:
   1 - Clear (blank) user password
   2 - Edit (set new) user password (careful with this on XP or Vista)
   3 - Promote user (make user an administrator)
  (4 - Unlock and enable user account) [seems unlocked already]
   q - Quit editing user, back to user select
  Select: [q] > 1
  Password cleared!

Select  3 - Promote user (make user an administrator)
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Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35217499
By renaming the admin account it has now booted into it, albeit not a temporary rather than the original one. However, that's not a problem as it has now given me admin rights.

I have now found out that somehow the entire original admin user account was marked as hidden. i am removing this attribute and will see what I can do after that. Hopefully at worst all I will need to do is create a new admin account and then move all the user data to it.

Does anybody know how the hidden attribute could be activated for the entire user account?
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Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35219144
I think a virus or some sort of malware had caused the problem. I ran Combofix, Malwarebytes and HitmanPro and they all found a few dodgy looking files and removed them.

I just unticked the hidden attribute on the admin user account, changed its name back to its original name and could boot into it ok. It needed a bit of tidying up but seems to run fine now..

thanks for the help..
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Author Closing Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35219161
I've split the points as the renaming advice was what helped me to get into the computer with an administrator account. However, the Offline password  remover tool is very useful. I've tried it and can remove passwords in no time at all.

Thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:Lordy123
ID: 35219729
Glad you got it working!

jackieman is right, changing the name of a profile folder will corrupt that profile, but in this case your profile was already corrupt. My solution just gets you back on the machine with admin access, then you can just pull the data out of the old profile folder.
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