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Lost Access to Administrator Profile in Windows XP Pro SP2

by nemolar / August 3, 2005 4:29 AM PDT

I had been using the Administrator Profile as my only user access to my computer: the place where I would surf the Internet, create documents, etc. (I now know that this is not recommended and that I should have been using my User Account for this purpose.) There are also two User Accounts on my computer: the first account is my own (which has exactly the same password access as the one I use for the Administrator Profile - which I now realize is also probably not a good idea) and the second account is for another person (who has a different password). Both User Accounts have "administrator privileges."

While I was doing some "tuning up" on the computer (working under the Administrator Profile, as usual), I had restarted the computer a couple of times in Safe Mode, and I suddenly found myself in my User Account instead of the Administrator Profile. I don't know exactly how or when this happened because, as I mentioned before, both have exactly the same password and, although they have different Desktops, I did not see the Desktop because I was going in and out of Safe Mode.

I then discovered that EVERYTHING that had been in the Administrator profile had been transferred over to the User Account: the Administrator's Desktop (which was different from my User Account's), the Administrator's documents, Administrator's e-mail, Administrator's Internet Explorer settings (including Adminstrator's Favorites list), etc., so my User Account now looks exactly like the Administrator Profile had looked.

As well there is now no way I can access the Administrator Profile again. When I try to access it now, I get the following message: "The system could not log you on. Make sure your User Name and domain are correct..."

Immediately leading up to the loss of the Administrator Profile (which actually happened in May), I had done the following (in the order listed): successfully completed a System Restore, updated both Windows XP and Office 2003, and installed the new MS Anti-Spyware program. After I had installed that new program, I was investigating its features and decided to try its "Advanced Tools". I used these tools to delete some things ("which" things, I don't exactly remember). At some point (as I mentioned previously), I logged in to "Safe Mode" to perform a scan (either an AVG Anti-Virus scan or an MS Anti-Spyware scan, I'm not sure which). It was while I was in "Safe Mode" that I realized I was in my User Account and not the Administrator Profile.

In any event, after I discovered the loss of access to the Administrator Profile, I decided to try a System Restore to correct the problem. However, to my dismay, I discovered that all my System Restore points had been deleted. I suppose this could have been due to the restore points' file being too full and the system automatically deleted everything there, or it could have been due to my use of the Advanced Tools feature in the MS Anti-Spyware program to erase things (at the time, I seem to remember seeing an option in the program or somewhere which allowed for the deletion of System Restore points - but now when I go back to check the program for this feature I can not find such an option).

In order to regain access to my Administrator Profile, I realize I might have to do a complete re-instal of Windows, but I would prefer not to have to resort to that. Therefore, I have the following questions.

First, does anyone have any idea what might have gone wrong? (So I don't do it again!) As a matter of note, I have no intention of again using the Administrator Profile as my main access to my computer, and I do not intend to again use the same password to access different Profiles on my computer.

Second, is there anything else I can do to try to regain access? (Remember all the System Restore points up to that time are gone.)

Third, does someone know if it is, indeed, even necessary that I regain access to the Administrator profile and why? (Considering that the two User Accounts both have "administrator privileges.")

Thanks so much for any assistance anyone can provide.

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While you have an admin capable account.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2005 4:51 AM PDT

Create a spare admin account, then remove the failed account after you migrated what files you want from the failed account.

Now delete that failed user, create a new one and move on.

No. Microsoft doesn't offer any tool to repair a failed account but notes methods to move to another account, then delete the failed account.


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Sorry Bob
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 3, 2005 4:54 AM PDT

Mousearoma alerted me to this thread here and wondered if it should be in the XP forum, hence my post and link.


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2005 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry Bob

I can imagine how stressing it is when this befalls an owner. Hopefully they can recover.


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This discussion
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 3, 2005 4:52 AM PDT
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