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Lost administrative previliege in WIndows 7 account

Posted on 2014-11-17
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Last Modified: 2014-11-18
error 1Error 2Adding admin previlegeControl Panel - User AccountsHi,
 
 I have a windows 7 Pro PC where the current user account lost its administrative privilege all of a sudden.
 In compmgmt.msc, I tried to add "administrators" to its group, but it fails. Please see the screenshots.

 I tried to activate(unlock)  native administrator account in compmgmt.msc, I got an error "access is denied".
 When I tried to create a new account, I got an error  "access is denied".

 I opened control panel/User accounts and tried to add a new account "User" there, but I got an weird error like "The specified account name is not valid ...". Please see the screenshot above.

 What can I try next?

Thanks.
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Question by:sglee
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by:Adam Leinss
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Have you tried logging in as "Administrator" in safe mode and then add the account from there?
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by:sglee
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Like I said, the administrator account, by default, disabled. When I tried to enable it, I got an error.
So even if I can restart the computer in SAFE mode, how am I going to log in as administrator?
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by:jcimarron
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sglee--
Run a System Restore to a date before the problem started.

Concerning the last screenshot, are you certain the account name does not contain any of the unacceptable characters?
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by:sglee
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I just tried to open account type from Standard user to Administrator. When I clicked [Apply] after selecting Administrator, there was no error. However when I go back to the same screen, current account shows as "Standard user". It simply does not save the change.
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by:Adam Leinss
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Generally, you can use the Administrator account even if it is disabled in safe mode.
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by:sglee
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Advanced Recovery OptionI can't even go back to previous recovery point.

"Concerning the last screenshot, are you certain the account name does not contain any of the unacceptable characters? " ---> the new user name that I was trying to create was "user".
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by:sglee
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"Generally, you can use the Administrator account even if it is disabled in safe mode. " --->
If that is true, then I will go onsite tomorrow to try to log as Administrator in Safe Mode.
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Adam Leinss earned 500 total points
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May want to make a copy of this bootdisk "just in case" as well:

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

That will allow you to reset/enable the Administrator account as long as the disk is not encrypted.
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by:McKnife
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"Generally, you can use the Administrator account even if it is disabled in safe mode" - of course this is just a misunderstanding and not true. the bootdisk however would help.
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by:sglee
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@Adam,

  That article is long. Can you give me the link where I need to download the program and exact steps to follow to create a bootable password reset USB?
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by:Adam Leinss
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I apologize.  This trick only works for Windows XP in safe mode.  I just tried it on Windows 7 and it doesn't work anymore.   You will need to use the ntpasswd disc to re-enable the account.
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by:sglee
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can you give me specific steps for " ntpasswd disc"? I have not used it before.
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by:Adam Leinss
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Just unzip this, burn it as a CD image to a CD: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/cd140201.zip

You should be able to disable the Administrator account on a test computer (make a backup account first!) and then try it.  It is a bootable disc, you just boot to the disc and follow the prompts.
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by:sglee
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CD140210_ISOI burned the image to the CD. Let me try this on a test PC.
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by:sglee
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When I start the computer with this CD in CD-ROM, I see the following screen.
Initially I was looking at BOOT: prompt and after a while, it keeps saying "Invalid or corrupt kernel image". Am I supposed to type in something?
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by:jcimarron
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sglee--
"I can't even go back to previous recovery point."  You said that in an earlier post. http:#a40448536   And showed a screen shot of System Image.

 I suggested that you run System Restore--Not a System Image.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/system-restore
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by:jcimarron
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sglee--
"Invalid or corrupt kernel image "
Are you running Ubuntu/Linux?

There comes a time after so many different problems and error messages that you may want to consider a Repair Install.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
This will not affect your personal data or installed programs, but you may want to consider a backup first.
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by:Adam Leinss
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Hmm...that should have worked...maybe use IMGBURN to burn it as a bootable disc?

http://www.imgburn.com/
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by:sglee
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@jcimarron
this computer has windiws 7 pro. I will look into repair install if I can not get it going in safe mode.
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by:sglee
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@adam
Say I got in on the CD correctly and started the computer. What should I expect to happen or see?
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by:Adam Leinss
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Should look like a DOS type text based interface...it should ask you a bunch of questions about what you want to do.
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by:sglee
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@Adam,

  http://www.imgburn.com/
  I don't trust this website. It looks like it will try to download something else along with real program ... I will use what I have.
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by:sglee
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@Adam
Can I burn this ISO into USB?
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by:Adam Leinss
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This is from the author's site:

Copy all the files that is inside the usbXXXXXX.zip or on the CD onto an usb drive, directly on the drive, not inside any directory/folder.

It is OK if there are other files on the USB drive from before, they will not be removed.

Install bootloader on the USB drive, from command prompt in windows (start the command line with "run as administrator" if possible)

X:syslinux.exe -ma X:

Replace X: with the drive letter the USB drive shows up as (DO NOT USE C:)

If it seems like nothing happened, it is usually done.

However, a file named ldlinux.sys may appear on the USB drive, that is normal.
It should now in theory be bootable.
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by:sglee
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you know .. I did not think about this.
But even if I can reset administrator password, it won't help because the problem here is that current user account has been switched from administrator type to standard on its own.
Currently, by default, administrator account is "disabled". I can't enable it because "access is denied - error 5". So even if I manage to get the password changed to something else, as long as I can't enable administrator's account, it won't do any good.
Tomorrow if I can't do anything in SAFE mode, I will suggest that we restore the computer to the factory setting or re-install OS from the scratch.

Thank you all.
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by:Adam Leinss
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This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid local account on your Windows system.

Supports all Windows from NT3.5 to Win8.1, also 64 bit and also the Server versions (like 2003, 2008, 2012)

You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.

It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a CD or USB disk to do the password reset.

Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts!

There is also a registry editor and other registry utilities that works under linux/unix, and can be used for other things than password editing.
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by:sglee
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CD140201ISO@Adam
OK. I will try it one more time today on a test PC. Here is what I am going to do.
(1) Setup Win7 Pro on a test PC.
(2) Create default account "User" during setup process and assign a password.
(3) After installation, I will confirm that "Administrator" account is DISABLED by going into compmgmt.msc.
(4) Create a CD off http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
(5) Start the test PC from CD.

One strange thing is, now I have done this twice yesterday, whenever I burned a bootable CD off cd140201.iso, it stops at 50% and ejects the CD-ROM but the message in PowerISO software is "completed". That is strange. Maybe this file "cd140201.iso" is corrupted or not complete.
Can you confirm that when you uncompress this ISO file, you get the same file contents?
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by:Adam Leinss
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Hyper-V-Manager-2014-11-18-07-49-30.jpg  Works fine for me?
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by:sglee
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That is exactly what I get. So I created a bootable CD correctly then.
What do you do next?
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by:Adam Leinss
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Hit the enter key to boot the disc
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by:sglee
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That is when I get an error repeatedly. I will get the screenshot and post it.
My new Win7 PC is almost done.
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by:Adam Leinss
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Wow, you are right...try this one:

http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/cd110511.zip

Surprised no one reported that to the author yet...
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by:sglee
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@Adam,
 
 I was able to "enable" administrator's account and "reset" the password for the account.
 I also able to clear the password that I set for "User" account that I created during Win7 Setup process.
 The only thing that I did not see is "assigning a password" to the accounts.
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by:Adam Leinss
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Oh, just login and set a password from the full OS then.
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by:sglee
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@Adam,

  Thank you for your help and I appreciate it.
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