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Control Panel - Cannot Access


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#1 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:47 PM

HP Pavillion
Windows XP 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2
Spy Sweeper AntiVirus With AntiSpyWare

I have been working with Spy Sweeper techs to clean up my son's computer. In the midst of all this I had to do a system restore. We are now getting clean sweeps and seem to have resolved all the previous problems. However, I now cannot access the Control Panel.

Prior to all the problems we had several user accounts. Due to the restore we are down to one user "HP Owner". This user should be the administrator by default. We have never set up a password for this user. When I click on Start, the Control Panel is not even an option. If I try to change the properties for the desktop I get a message "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." I am unable to remove unwanted programs, add users, etc.

How do regain my administrator privileges? Your help is appreciated.

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:12 PM

Hi Hillster, welcome to BC! :thumbsup:

Try this:

Start The Computer
At The Welcome Screen, press Control+Alt+Delete twice in rapid succession. This launches the old syle login prompt
Type Administrator ins the username area and press enter.

This should log you in under the default Administrator account which is normally not shown on the Welcome Screen. From here, you can create/delete users as well as add a user to the Administrator user group, etc.

Post back your results!

#3 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:46 PM

I tried the "Administrator" in the username area and received the message "Unable to log you on because of an account restriction". It was worth a try!

#4 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:03 PM

That error message is caused by the account (Administrator) having a null password. Try this:

Log on as HP owner
click on Start the click Run...
In the Run... box, type cmd
This will launch the command shell (looks like DOS)
In the command shell, type the following:

net user Administrator *

It will then ask you to set a password for Administrator, enter a new password and press enter. It will ask you to retype the password, do so and press enter.

Now log back off and retry my first suggestion.

#5 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:21 PM

I got to DOS. It asked me to enter a password - I entered a password (however, nothing displayed on the screen not even spaces). It asked to confirm - I entered the password again (again nothing displayed on screen). I logged off and tried to log on using Administrator and typed in my "new" password. I received the message "Unable to log you on because of an account restriction." I followed up (did not do DOS again) by typing in the word "password " where it asks to enter a password. This time I got the message "The system could not log you on. Make sure your User Name and Domain are correct, then type your password again. Letters in password must be typed using correct case."

Thanks for the suggestions.

#6 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:51 PM

*EDIT*

Okay, new strategy; let's log on in Safe Mode.

To do so, do the following:
Windows XP

Using the F8 Method
  • Restart your computer.
  • When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.
  • Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
  • Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode.
  • Do whatever tasks you require and when you are done reboot to boot back into normal mode.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 08 November 2007 - 07:00 PM.


#7 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for your help. I did net user Administrator - it matched your code, I also did net user HP_Owner and the code was the same as what you had input. I hope this is good news!

#8 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:20 PM

Yes, good news.

I hope you noticed (I PM'd you also) that I changed my last post from suggesting what you just completed to a new suggestion (sorry if their's any confusion). So, try my new suggestion and let me know!

#9 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:30 PM

Thank you! Success at last. When I came up in SAFE MODE two users were available - HP Owner and Administrator. I was able to access the Control Panel!!! I checked out the Administrator under USERS and it indicates it will only display in Safe Mode or if there are no other users present on the Welcome screen. How do I get it to display so I won't always have to be in Safe Mode?

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

#10 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:34 PM

No problem!

The easiest way o add Administrator to the Welcome Screen in normal mode would be to download Microsoft's TweakUI utility (it's free!) Get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloa...ppowertoys.mspx

Once you've installed it, launch it and go to the section marked Logon. Then, tick the box next to Show "Administrator" on Welcome Screen, then click Apply the OK.

What about the control Panel, are you able to access it from the HP Owner account?

#11 Hillster

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:45 PM

I just double checked. I still cannot access the Control Panel from HP Owner, even in Safe mode. I logged back into Administrator, and under USERS check HP Owner. I is supposed to be Computer Administrator also. Another mystery. I think that from what I saw that both Administrator and HP Owner are both Computer Administrators. The only difference is one is password protected and one is not. Very odd. I will download the utility as you suggested and see what happens. Thanks you for all of your help.

#12 Andrew

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:49 PM

Little test:

In HP_Owner (normal mode) click Start then Run... then type (or copy & paste) rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL and press enter. That should launch the Control Panel.

#13 Hillster

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:23 PM

I just tried the rundll32.exe.... I'm still getting the "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." I guess this will continue to be a mystery. Thank you again for all of your help. You are truly amazing!

#14 Andrew

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:24 PM

Try logging is as Administrator then create a new user. make that new user an Administrator. Now Log in under the new user and see if the control panel is accessible.

#15 usasma

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:02 PM

It's possible that the infection has changed the permissions on the file system or the registry - and that's what's causing the errors. There are different methods to reset each to default, but they may not be needed here.

I'd first suggest creating another Administrator type account and seeing if you can access Control Panel there. If so, then use this link to transfer the information from the HP_Owner account to the new account - and then delete the HP_Owner account: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=811151
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