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Admin Accounts Fail to Open

by thyde337 / August 21, 2009 4:21 PM PDT

My Dimension 4500 (XP) has developed a serious fault and fails to log-in to accounts with Admin rights, ie password protected. There are two other accounts which do not need a password to log-in and these open correctly and I am able to use them to run some programs and for some limited use of the internet. But I cannot access my E-mails on that computer. Using Acronis, the C:drive is separately backed-up on an external hard drive which I can also interrogate from my Inspiron computer. I cannot use the LAN to contact the faulty computer from my other computers although the LAN operates satisfactorily between them. The breakdown could extend to the other computers if a fault occurred to the router since this is controlled from the Admin accounts which cannot be opened.

Please can anyone tell me how I can open the accounts with Admin rights?

I am aware that I could reformat the C: drive, re-load Windows XP etc but I would be grateful if someone could suggest another, less drastic, approach to solving this problem.


My System

Dimension 4500, 2.53GHz processor, 1024Mb, XP, 160Gb hard disk, 80Gb hard disk, Roxio CD R/RW, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN, Dell Photo All-in-One printer. Iomega 500Gb hard disk
Dimension 4100, 1GHz processor, 256Mb SDRAM, ME, 20Gb hard disk, Adaptec CD R/DW, HP Deskjet 840C, Scanjet 3300c, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN.
Inspiron 8600, 1.4 Ghz processor, 512Mb SDRAM, XP, 40Gb hard disk, Philips CDRW/DVD disk drive, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN.
Netgear Router.

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If you have setup your own Admin capable user accounts
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 9:32 PM PDT

then you may be in luck.

First of all, tell us why you cannot access these existing Admin accounts. What error messages?

When you set up your own Admin capable account in XP, the pre-installed System Administrator account, (the one that allows you to access the system as an administrator in the first place), goes into hiding. It disappears from the Welcome Screen.

But that System Administrator account will reappear if you boot up the computer into Safe Mode. Guidance for doing that, using the F8 method, here.

Once at the Safe Mode list of options, select the top one, then select the System Administrator account. It originally has no password set, so either select and click, or if you made it a passworded account, enter the password and click.

If you get in, then you have more options, depending what caused the loss of access in the first place. For example;

1] If malware caused this, scan with your anti-malware utilities.

2] If the other accounts became corrupted, you can create a new Admin account, and copy the data and settings from the old profile to the new one;
How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile.

I hope that helps.


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Admin Accounts Fail to Open
by thyde337 / August 24, 2009 8:19 PM PDT

To MarkFlax: thank you for your reply which I have read and tried to apply but without success. I still cannot log-on to password protected accounts in either Normal or Safe Mode. The Administrator account appears to be password protected but I am not sure of the password and it will not open without a password. There have been error messages shown during several log-in attempts but they are not shown every time. For example:

?A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

Technical information?
STOP 0x00000050 (0Xffddfff8, 0X00000000, 0x8054B5B2, 0x00000000)

then the computer proceeds to check drive C: and dump the physical memory.

I had tried to use Safe Mode before I contacted Cnet and your approach was no different to the one that I applied. In fact, there appears to be no way of creating a new Admin account without access to any of the others. It is interesting to note that I can use the computer to browse the internet and to look at many of the saved files using one of the other non-password protected accounts. But I cannot store any changes.

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You could fix that password issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 24, 2009 10:22 PM PDT

Google NTPASSWD WALKTHROUGH for a free tool to reset passwords.

If you feel that's too hard to use then pay up at

You can overcome the password issue. Let's get that off the discussion table.

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Fixing password issue.
by thyde337 / August 25, 2009 8:13 AM PDT

To R.Proffitt: Thanks for your reply but the references to NTPASSWD WALKTHROUGH were not helpful. Firstly, many of the references applied to Windows Vista and my operating system is XP SP3. I did find a reference which described how I could carry out a Repair reinstallation of XP but the options I was offered did not correspond to thse in the reference.

I want to avoid a total hard disk reformat and Win dows XP reinstallation if I can avoid it since I am concerned that it will corrupt the LAN network installation which was carried out on the faulty computer.

I have thought of a different approach, the current C:drive was installed on a new hard disk in November 2008 by cloning the contents of the older, smaller hard disk which I have in store. Do you think that it would be possible to clone the original disk again to the one with which I am currently having problems after reformatting the faulty disk? The cloning to the current hard drive and its backup were carried out using Acronis.

Finally, I don't understand what you mean by the last two sentences of your message "You can overcome the password issue. Let's get that off the discussion table."

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Sorry it didn't help.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 25, 2009 10:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Fixing password issue.

I've used NTPASSWD for years to fix the lost password issue. If that didn't work for you then the people at have an easy to use albeit not free solution.

Let me be more blunt. The password issue is not something that would stop any of the moderators here or most members. The problem I find is that many want a step by step and won't continue if one word differs. That is why you may end up paying for the password reset.

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I will try again.
by thyde337 / August 25, 2009 4:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Sorry it didn't help.

To R.Proffitt: thanks for your continuing help. I will try again to follow the steps again in detail and make a note of any discrepancies. Please do you have any comments on my final paragraph in my last message?


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Your last paragraph was.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 26, 2009 12:59 AM PDT
In reply to: I will try again.

"Finally, I don't understand what you mean by the last two sentences of your message "You can overcome the password issue. Let's get that off the discussion table.""

It's a simple issue. Fixable by NTPASSWD or if some feel that's too hard with I prefer the NTPASSWD since it's free and gets the job done but I can see where many don't want to see all that text flying by when it boots or where some may want every line of text that it emits explained. That's why I offer TWO solutions.

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Admin Accounts Now Open
by thyde337 / September 1, 2009 7:32 AM PDT

To R. Proffitt. I have managed to overcome the problem in a unique manner. The hard disk with the problems was a 160Gb disk which I installed last November by cloning the contents of the old one 20Gb!!! which came with the computer. I reinstalled the old one into the Dimension as the primary and the larger, newer disk as the slave. The old disk worked correctly after the Windows updates had been downloaded and I was able to backup much of the contents of the larger disk to an external disk. I then cloned the 20Gb disk to the 150Gb disk, removed the smaller one and reinstalled the larger as the primary. I can now log on as administrator and run most of the programs. I still need to copy some of my programs and data from the backup disk. Also some of the Windows programs are not working correctly, for example, Search causes the computer to break down and I need to find a solution to that difficulty. I intend to create a new thread in the Forums to investigate that.


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When windows gets that wonky. My advice changes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2009 11:39 AM PDT

From repairs to "forget it."

What I do next is find a fresh empty drive to install a clean new untroubled XP then add the old drives to get the owners files back in.

Given the price of drives and the hours lost, the decisions are easy. Once you do the math.

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