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Disabled the Administrator Account in Windows 7 - now unable to use

Posted on 2015-01-04
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Last Modified: 2015-01-07
Long story short - Fiance flew in unexpectedly. Quickly made a brand new account and went to the Administrator account and checked the box "disabled" so it wouldnt show up on the login screen.

Windows 7 Enterprise - 64bit

1) Now I have no way to use or unlock or log into the Administrator account.
2) boot CD didnt work - offline password changer and Kron boot didnt work
3) http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/102552-built-administrator-enable-winre.html 
Didnt work either.
4) Anytime I try to use a program that requires admin privileges, "yes" is grayed out, I can only select no (so no admin functions can used).

Good news, Fiance is happy computer is clean
Bad news, no Admin account!

Replaced illegal CD with "Boot CD"

rindi,
EE Topic Advisor

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Question by:TheHappyTech
11 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40529955
Have you tried via the Use the Local Users and Groups MMC console? http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766343(v=ws.10).aspx

Change the properties of the Administrator account by using the Local Users and Groups Microsoft Management Console (MMC).
1. Open the MMC console and select Local Users and Groups.
2. Right-click the Administrator account and select Properties.
 The Administrator Properties window appears.
3. On the General tab, clear the Account is Disabled check box.
4. Close the MMC console.

Also try http://www.instructables.com/id/3-Ways-to-Enable-Administrator-Account-in-Windows-/
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Author Comment

by:TheHappyTech
ID: 40530025
I just tried all the steps, got as far as the part where is says to clear "Account is Disabled box"
but I keep getting the same error "Access is Denied."

I also tried all 3 ways too, all unable to work.

Regedit is denied, Local Security Policy is denied, anything the requires Admin is either grayed out or denied.

I appreciate your help.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40530072
Boot to the UBCD and look for the Offline NT passsword reset tool. With this tool you should be able to enable the Administrator account.

Once you logon to the Administrator, you can then enable your original Admin account again, and after that disable the administrator again.

Administrator is a built in account that is disabled by default, and it should only be enabled for emergencies like yours. You should also always have an active account on the PC with Administrator rights, but you should never use that for normal work. For that only use the standard account. Usually if something will require Admin rights, UAC will pop up and ask you to enter the Admin account and credentials.

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Author Comment

by:TheHappyTech
ID: 40530083
I tried the offline password tool with BootCD.. i will give UBCD a try.

Ill post results tonight or in the morning.

Edited out your CD again, please don't mention it on this site

rindi,
EE Topic Advisor

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Accepted Solution

by:
Eirman earned 2000 total points
ID: 40530092
Start System and press "F8" to enter Safe mode with Command Prompt.

Type
net user administrator /active: yes
and press Enter.

Take note of what rindi said. This gives you an emergency admin a/c which you should use to activate your regular admin a/c. You should reset it to it's deactivated state when done.

Full details here ......
http://www.lostwindowspassword.com/enable-windows-7-default-administrator-account.html
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40530648
The Happytech: you are only allowed to disable the admin if there's at least another active admin account, so you just have to use the right account and you can undo the deactivation without additional tools.
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Author Comment

by:TheHappyTech
ID: 40530688
So my fiance wouldnt snoop or ask questions, I disabled all Admin accounts. My bad.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TheHappyTech
ID: 40530697
Running that command in safe mode (instead of normal mode) was the solution.

Thank you Eirman!
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40530795
You said, all administrators are disabled - now you used what user to enable the administrator account? That user needs to be admin himself... so you had no problem, like my comment suggested.
What account did you use in safe mode?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40530817
Ok, I have to correct myself for the sake of completeness: safe mode does work...but only if you are not domain joined (and you still know the password for that account if it has one). More info: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/942956?wa=wsignin1.0
Behavior when you start the computer in safe mode
If the built-in administrator account is disabled, you cannot log on to a computer in safe mode by using the built-in administrator account if one of the following conditions is true: •The computer is a member of a domain.
•At least one active local administrator account exists.
However, you can log on to the computer by using any active local administrator account instead. Safe mode lets you log on to the computer by using the disabled built-in administrator account for system recovery if one of the following conditions is true:•You unintentionally demote the last local administrator account.
•You unintentionally disable the last local administrator account.
•You unintentionally delete the last local administrator account.
Before you restart the computer, create a new active local administrator account, or recover an old active local administrator account.

If the built-in administrator account is disabled, you cannot log on to a computer that is joined to a domain in safe mode by using the built-in administrator account.
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Author Comment

by:TheHappyTech
ID: 40536969
Yes, you are correct.

When I logged into Safe mode, the administrator account (even though disabled) appeared and I was able to log into it.
Now I didnt have rights to do anything, but I could run that script to enable it, and as soon as I restarted,
the admin account was on the logon screen and I logged in and enabled my other accounts.

Thanks everyone.
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