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Corrupt User Profile on Single User Machine?

Posted on 2014-01-23
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Last Modified: 2014-01-23
Client brought me a laptop that cannot get the user profile loaded. (It's this problem: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947215). However, there appears to only be a SINGLE user on this machine. (Admin account is either not present or disabled). CTRL+ALT+DEL at the login screen doesn't give me an alternate log on. I have no way (that I can tell ) to log in as a different user to create a new profile.

Am I missing something here?

My plan was boot up with a Linux CD, copy off all his files, then boot into Windows as admin, create a new profile, copy all the data back on, and be done.

But how do you create a profile on a Win 7 Home Premium computer that doesn't appear to have any alternate logins?
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Question by:DrDamnit
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comfortjeanius earned 500 total points
ID: 39803218
If the administrator account is probably disabled; from the elevated cmd prompt,
Type:
 net user administrator /ACTIVE:YES

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Plus if you have an installation CD you can enable the administrator account that way, here is an article that explains How to Enable the Hidden Windows 7 Admin Account Using the Registry
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by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39803221
By default the admin account is disabled in windows 7.  There are a few ways explained here which will show you how to enable the administrator account.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/507-built-administrator-account-enable-disable.html

If you are unable to proceed you could use windows offline NT password.  Here is a link, halfway down the page there is where you can download the bootable disk that will allow you to enable the administrator account.

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

by:tmx84
ID: 39803230
There are several things you can do in this situation, how i personally would do this, is to manipulate the "Accessibility" button on startup.  If you boot into a live version of linux and rename some files...

Rename utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
cp cmd.exe utilman.exe

You will now be able to access a command prompt at the login screen... Since it is before you login, this command prompt has system access which means you have full administrative privileges... From here you can use the net user commands to re-enable the administrator account, create an administrator account etc..

Hope this helps..

Heres a link to a guide if it helps.. you can also do this through sticky keys etc...

http://www.technibble.com/bypass-windows-logons-utilman/
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Expert Comment

by:ienaxxx
ID: 39803236
You can boot with a linux live distro and swap some sys files to get access to a shell without loging in.

in brief:
start from a recent live distro (that is able to mount NTFS. fast all modern onse are).
mount the win disk (if not already)
Swap the DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe with a copy of the cmd.exe using theese commands:

mv DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe.bak
cp DISK\Windows/System32\cmd.exe DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe
then switch linux off with
shutdown -h now

then boo windows again but instead of logging, press the SHIFT key 5 times, a cmd windows should open.
in the command prompt write:
net user administrator /active yes

i can add that if you don't remember the Administrator's password, you can reset it, since you'llbe SYSTEM, within that command prompt.

net user Administrator <theChoosenPassword>

if you want to restore the system help, reboot in linux and then use theese commands:

del DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe
mv DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe.bak DISK\Windows/System32\sethc.exe

Hope this helps.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DrDamnit
ID: 39804173
Booted up with the install CD, did the reg hack. Great suggestion.
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Expert Comment

by:comfortjeanius
ID: 39804262
No problem
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