I don't know why or when this happened, but the only logon account on this
computer is a member of "users" and "Debugger Users" only - it was a member
of administrators, as well, but something got changed. I can't elevate the
account at all, for any reason. Any attempt to "Run as Administrator"
results in "Access Denied"
Running "net user Administrator /Active:yes" from the command prompt gives
me access denied.
Booting from the Vista disk and running the same command as above "seems" to
work but I still have no administrator logon in safe mode, as I should.
I've done several searches and have found others that have the same problem
but no solutions.
Does anyone have any advice as to what I might try next. Remember, I can't
do anything that requires an administrative account, elevated from a user or
I could easily reinstall Vista but I work as a computer tech and would like
to have the solution in case it comes up again.
Thanks in advance for any assistance,
We are trying to track down exactly why this problem is occurring. Can you
give us some history on the problem?
Was this an upgrade over XP or a clean install?
If an upgrade, what was the status of the user accounts in XP prior to the
Had any accounts been hidden in XP?
Were you using the built-in administrator account as your everyday account
Did you ever rename the built-in administrator account in XP?
Did all of the user accounts on XP appear in Vista after the upgrade?
What was the first indication you saw that there was a problem with the user
accounts in Vista?
What happened just prior to this discovery?
Was User Account Control enabled or ever disabled?
Boot from the Vista DVD and access the command prompt option.
net user (press enter)
Post the results back here.
PS. If you would rather take this to email, replace invalid with mvps.
"Steve Midgley" <smid...@com.net> wrote in message
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ronnie Vernon MVP" <r...@invalid.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:03 PM
Subject: Re: No Administrator Account
> We are trying to track down exactly why this problem is occurring. Can you
> give us some history on the problem?
> Was this an upgrade over XP or a clean install?
> If an upgrade, what was the status of the user accounts in XP prior to the
Everything was working normally
> Had any accounts been hidden in XP?
> Were you using the built-in administrator account as your everyday account
> in XP?
> Did you ever rename the built-in administrator account in XP?
> Did all of the user accounts on XP appear in Vista after the upgrade?
Yes, everything was working perfectly
> What was the first indication you saw that there was a problem with the
> user accounts in Vista?
The first indication that something had changed was that I was being
required to enter my password at logon .
> What happened just prior to this discovery?
I can't identify any changes to the system right before this started
happening. This machine is seldom rebooted, so it could have been a while
before I noticed.
> Was User Account Control enabled or ever disabled?
UAC was disabled
> Boot from the Vista DVD and access the command prompt option.
> net user (press enter)
Command completed with one or more errors."
My everyday user account is not listed here.
2 more quick questions.
What name did you give to the built-in administrator account in XP when you
Boot with the DVD again, access the command prompt and type:
net user administrator (press enter)
Post back the results.
net user administrator:
User name Administrator
Comment Built-in account for administering the
Country code 000 (System Default)
Account active Yes
Account expires Never
Password last set 5/30/2007 10:14:51 PM
Password expires Never
Password changeable 5/30/2007 10:14:51 PM
Password required Yes
User may change password Yes
Workstations allowed All
Last logon Never
Logon hours allowed All
Global Group memberships *None
The command completed successfully.
"Ronnie Vernon MVP" <r...@invalid.org> wrote in message
Did the Steve Midgley account ever appear in Vista after the upgrade?
What account are you logging on with now?
Is the account you are logging on with now the same one that inexplicably
Getting late, we can continue tomorrow.
Yes, the Steve Midgley account worked normally in Vista for months.
Steve Midgley is the only account I can log on with and yes, it's the one
Thanks for making the effort to get this figured out, Ronnie.
I haven't forgotten you, I'm still working on this and it's turning out to
be a tough one.
Yes, a tough one , indeed. I plan on hanging on until this is solved - this
machine is still operable for the most part and my laptop has a nearly
identical setup if I were to get stuck.
I believe we have found a fix.
Thanks to MVP Jimmy Brush for doing the work on this procedure.
Here is his procedure:
You get this behavior because the "net" command is running in the context of
the recovery environment, which is its own little in-memory windows
installation. The net command is listing the recovery enviornment's
accounts, and not the target windows installation's accounts.
Using the Recovery Environment, you can open the registry in the target
installation of Windows in order to apply the fix:
Boot with Vista installation disk in the drive and select the command prompt
in the repair options.
From the R.E. command prompt:
- Type: regedit
- Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
- Click File -> Load Hive
- Browse to the target installation's \Windows\System32\Config folder
- Select the file named "SAM" and click Open
- Give it a name, e.g. "Target SAM" and click OK
- Expand "Target SAM" inside of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
- Expand into the following subfolder: SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4
- Double-click the item in the right called "F"
- You are now presented with a hex editor
- Change the 57'th position from hex 11 to hex 10. (I believe this is the
only spot in the data that contains a hex 11). To do this, click to the
right of hex 11 to make the insertion point there. Press backspace, and 11
disappears. Type 10.
On my computer, here's what the data looked like, up to the point that I
This should make the built-in admin account active, but we still need to
unhide it from the welcome screen.
**NOTE, the following key may not be present on all systems. If this key is
missing, simply exit regedit, exit the command prompt and restart the system
to the normal Vista installation.***
- Follow the same steps on loading a hive, but instead of loading SAM, load
- Give it a name such as "Target Software"
- Expand Target Software, and browse to the following key:
Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \
- Delete the entry in there named "Administrator"
- Close down regedit
Administrator should now be enabled and able to be logged in as or elevated
- JB - Windows Shell/User
***Note when you boot to Vista the administrator account should appear on
the login screen. If it does not, log on with your normal account and try
starting a program or application with administrator privileges, you should
get an elevation prompt.
Let me know how this works for you.
Thanks so much, I owe you guys big time!
Kudos goes to MVP Jimmy Brush for coming up with this fix.
Thanks for sticking with me on this, and thanks for letting us know how it
turned out. :)
If anyone else is experiencing this problem, I have created a small
program that automates the process of editing the registry from the
Windows Recovery Environment.
Here are the updated instructions:
- Download the following file and save it to your desktop:
- Click on the start orb. Write down your username (the name listed
right below your picture on the start menu).
- Place your Windows Installation DVD into your DVD drive
- Restart your computer
- When prompted, press a key on your keyboard to boot from the DVD
- Select your language options and click Next
- Select the option at the bottom to repair your computer
- Select your Windows installation from the list. Make sure you notate
what drive letter it is installed on.
- Select the last option from the list to open a Command Prompt
- Type the drive letter that you notated, type a colon (:), and then
press enter. For example, if your Windows installation was on drive C,
you would type
- Type the following command, and press enter:
- Type cd, a space, your username that you wrote down, and then press
enter. For example, if your username is jimmy, you would type
- Type the following command, and press enter:
-Type the following command, and press enter:
- You should receive a message telling you to restart your computer.
Close the command prompt window and click on the 'Restart' button on the
window that gives you the list of options.
- When your computer restarts, log in with the account named
'Administrator'. Use this emergency Administrator account to fix your
normal administrator account by using the user accounts control panel.
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User
Windows Vista Support FAQ - http://www.jimmah.com/vista/