That "System Administrator" account is created by Microsoft to allow users to access their new machines as an Admin user. If it wasn't there, users would be locked out of administrative options.
It is always recommended, at least in these forums, for users to, immediately, create their own Admin capable account for normal use. As soon as they do that, the "System Administrator" account then disappears from the Welcome Screen. It is accessible in Safe Mode. Why do we recommend that? If that System Administrator account became corrupted, the user would have absolutely no access, and no recourse but to re-install XP.
We also recommend that users then create a 2nd Admin capable account. if their own admin account becomes corrupt, they can still access the system without having to use the System Administrator account.
So, this is where you are now. A new Admin capable account, and the System Administrator account is hidden from view. To get that back you would have to delete that new admin account, but you cannot log in to XP using that account to delete it. You would have to load XP into Safe Mode, log in using the System Administrator account, then delete the new account whilst in Safe Mode.
How to start XP in Safe Mode.
But I would not recommend that!
What you could try is Microsoft's guidance for recovering from a "Corrupt Profile". If we assume, for the sake of argument, that the System Administrator account is corrupt, then that guidance steps you through how to create a new Admin capable account, and copy all data from the corrupt account to the new one. The guidance is in the link below;
Please be aware that;
1] I do not know if this will transfer all data across from the System Administrator account properly. I have never done this for that account, and there may be peculiarities with that account as opposed to a normal Admin account. But the theory is good.
2] If you use Outlook Express for your email management, this procedure may not transfer all the email data to the new account. Microsoft mentions that, so you may want to look at their further guidance for finding those data files and copy them across. That link is http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313055/
3] This is not foolproof. It is a method to get out of a sticky situation. But no data from the hidden account is lost, so you may consider this worth an attempt.
I hope that helps.
I am unsure why you were not able to create a limited account, except that, since the System Administrator account is designed to disappear when a new account is made, perhaps this is a safety feature to prevent users creating a limited user account, then having their only admin capable account disappear. With your new admin capable account you created for your wife, perhaps you will be able to create that limited account.
You asked for simple. Sorry, but that is not always possible.
I'm using an HP Compaq laptop with XP Pro, bought a year ago, and set up for me by the vendor. The logon screen has always shown Administrator in a box, and I simply clicked on that to log on - over time it became routine and I thought no more about it.
Now, my wife expressed an interest in using the laptop herself, and I created an account for her using the normal channels via Control Panel.
Having only limited knowledge of the workings of computers, I was a little puzzled to find that I didn't have an option to set her account to 'Limited', but proceeded anyway. Her account was, of course, set up as an Administrator.
I now find that I am completely unable to access my own account, and now understand that all this time I have been using it as System Administrator - fine on my own, but now.....nightmare to a not -too-savvy (computerwise) guy like me.
How do I get my account back, please, and furthermore how can I set it up as a 'normal' Administrator account, so I can set my wife's account as a second User.
As I'm not exactly familiar with the terminology, please, if possible, keep it simple!