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lost administrator user - only 1 user with limited access

by Abjam / June 11, 2009 5:16 AM PDT

Operating system: XP home.

When creating a user account for my husband with limited access, I lost my user account as administrator. My guest account has also disappeared.

I cannot download or do anything because of the limited access that my husband has.

Question: How do I get back/show my user accountwith administrator access?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 5:39 AM PDT

(see google if you forget how to boot safe mode)

2. In SAFE MODE create a new admin capable account.

Now that you have your new admin account, log in there and look for your old files. If you get an access denied, google XP TAKE OWNERSHIP.

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Have tried safe mode
by Abjam / June 11, 2009 5:48 AM PDT
In reply to: 1. Boot SAFE MODE

I have tried that, by pressing F8 on restart, but it comes up with my husband's account. How do I bypass that?

PS thanks for your help.

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It looks like you are not in safe mode yet.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 5:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Have tried safe mode

If you are in safe mode and auto logged in, log out and then the administrator account will show.

Some have trouble getting to safe mode. Be sure you have researched how.

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will again
by Abjam / June 11, 2009 5:55 AM PDT

Thanks. Will shut down then retry. Will be back in 10 mins to thank you if it works! Or, for you to think again.


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Bob. safe mode - no good
by Abjam / June 11, 2009 6:11 AM PDT

Hi Bob

Pressed F8 for safe mode, husband's account came up, tried administrator but no joy. Could only go in on my husband's limited access account.

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Tell more about "try"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 6:48 AM PDT

This to me means the administrator account is fine but you may need a little more help. Remember that in XP Home it's hidden unless we are in safe mode.

Tell a little more. If you had written that it asked for a password and you didn't know it I would write to look at NTPASSWD to reset it but the details are a little light still.

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Hi Bob
by Abjam / June 11, 2009 7:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Tell more about "try"

Soz, missed you. Actually, it's my friend's computer. You didn't answer, so am home now.

She created a user account for her husband and gave him limited access.

When she next logged on to her machine, her access was denied. She could only get in via her husband's user account. In User accounts, only her husband is showing (with limited access). Somehow, she has lost herself + guest account? She said she created herself with admin rights. When you do that, the admin account is hidden.

Anyway, I rebooted the machine and pressed F8, it came up her husband's account, I deleted that and tried Administrator (she said she did not put a password in that) and it will not accept it.

How do I bypass so that the user does not come come when I try Safe Mode? Also when I looked in Control panel, Admin etc, I can see her but do not know how to get her back when I look in her properties?

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No need to bypass.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 11:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

Just log out and in safe mode XP home will reveal the hidden administrator account.

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About the admin password.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 11:45 AM PDT
In reply to: No need to bypass.

Google NTPASSWD. They have a step by step on the web page.

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Tell us more about that.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 11, 2009 8:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

You have mentioned a few times that, booting up into Safe Mode, that takes you directly to the husband's 'limited user' account.

It shouldn't. It should take you to a list of Safe Mode options, the first of which is "Safe Mode". Highlighting that, (it should already be highlighted), and pressing Enter on the keyboard, should display a list of available accounts on the Welcome Screen. What accounts are displayed on that screen?

The other thing perhaps you can explain in more detail please. You said that you booted into Safe Mode and it came up her husbands account, then you deleted that. How did you do that? As far as I am aware you would need to be logged in as an Administrator to be able to delete any other account. A user cannot delete an account they are currently logged in to, and they cannot delete accounts from a limited user account.

One more. When you looked in the Control Panel. Does this mean you have been able to log into XP as an Administrator?

If you have access as an Administrator, then what is preventing you from creating another Admin account for your friend?

In My Computer, can you navigate to the C drive, Documents and Settings? If so, can you see your friends Account folders there? If you can, can you access those folders?


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windows screen appears
by Abjam / June 15, 2009 6:02 PM PDT

When I boot up in safe mode, the windows login screen appears (like as on a network)and I can only type in the user with the limited access. It will not allow me to do anything else.

Do you know another way to get me back the admin account

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If you are sure that ...
by Kees Bakker / June 15, 2009 6:10 PM PDT
In reply to: windows screen appears

the username "administrator" (without quotes) and password blank won't work to login, all you can do is a repair install of Windows from the CD. That should recreate this secret last-resort user, I think. That's not the admin account you used to use, it's a standard Windows account that always should be present.

But you didn't explicitely say you tried it. So maybe ...
What happens if you do?


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by Abjam / June 16, 2009 1:56 AM PDT

In windows log in box can only put in the limited user account when going in at safe mode. Will not accept nothing else.

Think I will have to go with the reinstall xp disk. However, what files should I back up? Is the administrator in Documents & Settings? Know I can back up Program Files, anything else?

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How did NTPASSWD fare?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 16, 2009 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: kees

I don't see where NTPASSWD was run and that account reset.

"Know I can back up Program Files" is an odd one. For over a decade we have found that while you can back that up, when you restore it, nothing runs that was restored.

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by Abjam / June 16, 2009 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: How did NTPASSWD fare?

Hi Am going to borrow a floppy external drive and will try that. I have copied the instructions. Will try that on Weds and get back to you.

I still don't understand why there is not an easier way of doing this. Surely lots of people with limited IT skills have done this in the past? Why has this not been flagged up before?

Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.

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Hi Bob, again
by Abjam / June 11, 2009 7:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Tell more about "try"

I have also tried the command prompt to get into msconfig. Bit rusty on dos now, but needs admin rights!

I can see her in admin tools in control panel, but do not know how to reconnect her when I go into properties. Can also see Administrator.

Tried to download Tweaky UI but had no admin rights!!!

I might copy that, and see if I can run it from her computer, but don't feel confident that it will work.

When I first went for Safe mode before talking to you, she had a .dll problem (hal.dll. No I could'nt download that either. I went to system32/hal.dll and looked at the properties, but it said it was OK.

She has had XP service pack 3 on her machine for a while, so it cannot be that.

Question: how do I get admin rights when the only user in User Accounts is her husband with limited access?

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Steps concerning "SAFE MODE" booting is not being followed
by Cursorcowboy / June 12, 2009 12:32 AM PDT

1. For information and procedures for starting any computer in "Safe mode", click Start, Help and Support, then type safe mode in the Search box, press ENTER, and then click the Start Windows in Safe mode topic.

2. Further reading and guidance can be obtained at this "SITE"

Good luck.

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Yes there is an easier way.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 16, 2009 7:20 AM PDT

If you insist then look at but I have never paid them since the tutorial, step by step at and other places show you EVERTHING you might see using this tool.

Some get confused over the displays and give up. This is where may be the answer (for a price.)

For the 10 minutes it takes me to reset that password I can't see why I'd pay up.

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I've got admin again - BUT want the list not windows login
by Abjam / June 17, 2009 8:11 AM PDT

Hi guys

Thanks very much for perservering with me. I really appreciated your help.

I did the NTPASSWD thing and got Duncan (limited access) to admin rights, got Admin but not Christine. So I created Angie (Admin) copied christine's document & settings. Deleted her (cause it would't let me set her again as admin) and copied her back again when I recreated her.

NOW!!! how do I get the machine to start with the list of users? Chris said she has always logged in with the Windows login screen. I want it to start with all users showing and clicking on the relevant one. Please try and explain in English the easiest way for me to do that. After 2night, I feel like a computer geek! But do feel rewarded that with your help I achieved the objective of getting everyone admin rights.

Once again, a big thanks to you all.

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Let's say you want the new XP friendly login?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 17, 2009 9:45 AM PDT
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lost administrator
by mrtike / June 17, 2009 1:38 PM PDT

try hitting ctrl-alt-delete twice in a row. login box should appear .

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lost admin
by mrtike / June 17, 2009 1:50 PM PDT

press ctrl-alt-delete(warm boot) twice in a row Login box should appear

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