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Local Admin login - Access Denied

Posted on 2016-11-28
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Last Modified: 2016-11-29
We recently had junior IT software tech { if i should call him that } run maintenance on various machines on one of our client networks.
One specific machine as outlined below is experiencing local admin right issues.
Even though we know the local admin password, we cannot login as the local admin { machine_name\adminusername }, machine responds with access denied.

Details are:

Dell XPS 13 running Windows 8.1 Pro that is attached to a domain. Works perfectly on the domain however it looks like the Local admin profile has been tampered with (Local admin “user” folder deleted under “C:\Users\”)
I cannot log onto the Local admin profile but I can however log onto domain all profiles.
Logged on as Domain Administrator { Super users } I cannot edit anything under “Computer management”, Local users and groups show that the Local admin user is there but the PW cannot be reset, no new user can be added as it keeps saying “access denied”.
In Computer management I cannot access “Disk management” it says “You do not have access rights to logical Disk Manager on (Pc name)”
 
Cannot reset, refresh, repair or even reinstall windows. Keeps saying certain windows file missing.
Cannot Copy specific file over to the C:, just says “you need administrator permissions to copy to this folder”
Cannot install or update programs even after Admin credentials are prompted and filled in, popup says “elevated rights required”
 
Seems as if the C: drive is restricted.
Cannot edit C: drive permissions either.

Please can someone provide a solution?

Thanks
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Question by:aNaLyz3R
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by:William Fulks
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Sounds like he may have disabled the local admin account and it screwed up your permissions.

Open up a command prompt and type "net user administrator /active:yes" and hit enter. This should turn the account back on.
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by:John Hurst
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it looks like the Local admin profile has been tampered with (Local admin “user” folder deleted under “C:\Users\”)

That will certainly cause the issues you have.

Can you log into this machine as Domain Admin (you not the tech) and make a new local admin user and profile?
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akosinoah earned 500 total points
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Just use wondershare Live Boot create a bootable USB and reset the password for any account. As long as there is no encryption running on the hard disk.
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by:John Hurst
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It the admin profile has been deleted as said above, then I do not think you can just reset the password,  The profile needs to be re-created.
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by:aNaLyz3R
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@ William Fulks - We have tried the command, still doesnt work.
Please note, under computer management, it shows that the administrator account is disabled.
We do however have a secondary full admin account and definitely know what the password is. But we cannot login with that password.
It seems as though the idiot { to put it bluntly }  disabled the local admin account.

@ John Hurst - We can login as domain admin but cannot make local admin changes via computer management
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by:John Hurst
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You should be able create a new profile, make that an administrator account and then login locally and make the changes you need - possibly delete the existing admin account.
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by:aNaLyz3R
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@ John Hurst - When logged in as domain admin - Access Denied when trying to create local admin user under computer management.
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by:John Hurst
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I would then suggest at this point you back up the data on the computer and reinstall Windows 8.1 fresh (or better, install Windows 10 Pro).
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by:aNaLyz3R
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@ John - Thanks, i was hoping this would'nt be the solution but everything is pointing in that direction. Problem is we sitting with about 15 machines that have the same problem....
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by:John Hurst
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How would you have 15 machines with screwed up local admin profiles?  Somebody has screwed something up or you have a virus outbreak.
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by:William Fulks
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When you login as domain admin, will it let you create a regular user account without any kind of admin privileges? If it does, then you could try leaving and then rejoining the domain via that account.

Also, in my suggestion above about using the command, did you restart after entering the command?
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by:aNaLyz3R
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@ John - Network is definitely not infected with a virus, definitely permission changes on the machines.
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Author Closing Comment

by:aNaLyz3R
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Just use wondershare Live Boot create a bootable USB and reset the password for any account. As long as there is no encryption running on the hard disk.

This solution worked 100% in resolving the issue in question.
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