you say you have never set any local policies.
My PC is running WinXP SP3. When I run MSConfig and deselect items from my startup a message "access denied message was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to logon using an administrator account to make the specified changes" is displayed and I'm logged in with an account that is in the Administrators Group. The changes are made but it always displays this message when I try to make a change. If I remove Norton Internet Security Suite 2010 the problem is resolved. Symantec Support is aware of the problem and is currently investigating this. Norton Internet Security Suite 2010 has been reinstalled on the PC.
As a result of the problem from above, I was curious if my security was affected in any way and when I accessed my secpol.msc and also the User Rights Assignment and Security Options folders (only) in Secpol.msc the following message comes up ...
The group policy security settings that apply to this machine could not be determined. The error returned when trying to retrieve these settings from the local security database (%windir%\security\database\secedit.sdb) was: The parameter is incorrect. All local security settings will be displayed, but no indication will be given as to whether or not a given security setting is defined by group policy. Any local security setting modified through this User Interface may subsequently be overridden by domain level policies.
If you remove Norton Internet Security Suite 2010 the problem still exists. Norton Internet Security Suite 2010 has been reinstalled again.
I'm able to still create a user account, login and install an application with that account. I can also install apps with my account which is an admin account. I've never used the Secpol.msc. Do I need to be concerned with the group policy error message in the Secpol.msc described above? It appears to have not affected the security of the PC at least for the main functions that I use on the PC. Is there anything else that I should test on the security of the PC since I'm receiving this message in the Secpol.msc? Does anyone have any solutions to this problem?