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How do I regain administrative privileges over user accounts?


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#1 CLWICLWOI

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 11:42 AM

Very recently, while looking for information about how to get to an account with Administrator privileges on my desktop, I read that one should have at least one Administrator-level account in addition to the Administrator account that's hidden by default.  Wish I'd known this awhile back, when I was reading a lot of articles about security that suggested that one should never use an administrator account for day-to-day operations. Nowhere in the articles I was reading did it say anything about keeping one non-hidden admin account, and not realizing that I was doing something that was going to mess me up later, I changed my original account from Administrator to  Standard User.  Now, I find that by doing that, I have lost administrative access to all user accounts. 

 

I have tried, from both my Standard account and the hidden administrator account, to change my Standard account type back to Administrator, but the "Change Account Type" button grays out and it defaults back to Standard User. I have tried creating a new Admin-type account; same result. I am the only user of this computer, and it is in a home setting. How do I return my Standard account to Administrator (or create a new account with Administrative privileges, i.e., a non-hidden Administrative privileges account) that doesn't entail removing and reinstalling Windows?  The change took place too long ago to simply revert to the pre-change state.  Googling how to do this has yielded no info, except to suggest things that only work if one has not already deleted or changed that original non-hidden admin account.  Can anyone tell me how to do this, or point me to where I might find such info?



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 11:49 AM

Maybe two ways to do this.

 

Not sure if this will work but type CMD in the search box. Right Click and select Run as Administrator.  Type the following command

 

net user administrator /active:yes

 

Logout.  If you do not see the Hidden Administrator account reboot.

 

Edit: you can disable the Hidden Administrator account by typing the following at an elevated command prompt

 

net user administrator /active:no

 

The second way is to use a bootable disk and enable the Administrator Account Offline. See this guide and video. Do not reset a password but only enable the administrator account.

 

Edit: I read your post again. If you have access to the Hidden Adminstrator Account I have no idea why you cannot change your non-admin accounts to admin. The Hidden Administrator Account is considered a super user account and should allow you to change your accounts. The newest version of the program listed in my links also allows you to upgrade your accounts to admin.


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 January 2016 - 12:07 PM.


#3 CLWICLWOI

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 03:02 PM

John C_21,

 

I know -- I was so sure I'd be able to add an account using the "hidden" admin account, but when I tried it (and I've done so at least 3 times), as soon as I click on "Administrator," the "Change Account Type" button grays out.   I don't think the newest version of the password program will help, as this is not a case of a forgotten password (I changed the account type before doing sufficient "homework" -- my own darn fault).  I can't believe I'm the first that's done this (and probably won't be the last, either!), so I don't understand why Microsoft has to make this (and everything else related to ownership, permissions, etc.) so damned difficult!  But I will try to do this from the command prompt -- can't hurt, and it might just work...


Edited by CLWICLWOI, 17 January 2016 - 03:12 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 03:41 PM

The newest version of the program will upgrade an account to admin. You may want to see this page on methods to change the account. See options 3 and 4

 

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/103538-user-account-type-change.html



#5 CLWICLWOI

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 08:07 PM

John C_21,

 

I have tried each option in the sevenforums tutorial from the "hidden" Admin account, all without success.  No matter what I do, when I go into Control Panel/Users and check the appropriate account, it's still a Standard User, and any attempt to change it to Administrator results in "Change Account Type" key being grayed out.  Since this is not, and never has been, a password issue, I am reluctant to try any additional add-ons.  Wish I knew if there was a way to do this in the registry -- would certainly try it, as nothing else has worked.  Maybe next option is to call Microsoft to ask them why they didn't have a popup warning for making this change, as they seem to have one for most everything else -- and also to yell at them for awhile -- might not solve the problem, but might make me feel less frustrated with this Mickey Mouse runaround.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 09:51 PM

I am really at a loss as to why you cannot change the password using the hidden Administrator Account. Hopefully somebody else on the forum can give some ideas.

 

What if you add a new user as admin and use that to change the other accounts instead of using the Hidden Administrator Account.



#7 CLWICLWOI

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:20 AM

John C_21

 

Thank you for the idea -- I tried adding a new user as admin - made new user a member of admin group, but not of users group, thinking this might force it somehow to change account to admin.  Shows new user as part of admin group, but when I look at the user, account type is still standard user and can not be changed -- when I try, "Change Account Type" button grays out and nothing changes.  Did this in hidden admin account  -- was sure it would work, but it did not.  I find myself wondering what good an admin account, even a hidden one, is if one can't use it to make this change like this??? 



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 10:20 AM

I am really at a loss as to why this is happening. Maybe some kind of permissions issue but I am not comfortable giving advise on changing permissions on a computer. Have you tried doing a System Restore before the problem? If you have any files added to the desktop after the System Restore data then move those to My Documents.

 

Have you tried the bootable disk to elevate a user to admin? This basically edits the registry. See #2 here. You would need the latest version. 

 

I think somehow the SAM registry hive has been changed. There is a SAM registry backup in C:\Windows\system32\config\Regback. See what date is attached to the SAM hive. If it was before this problem then you can rename the SAM hive to SAM.bak in the config folder and copy the one in Regback to config. You would need to do this offline using a live linux disk or Hirens. I would try doing a System Restore first if not tried and then using the bootable disk mentioned in the above link. 

 

Other than than, I am out of ideas.



#9 creekster

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:11 PM

In an effort to work out BUILT-IN ADMINISTRATOR, INHERITED PERMISSIONS, UNKNOWN ACCOUNT, WHY as well as the inability to Return to Administrator from standard, I seem to have created a bigger problem. In every situation which requires a permission I get the popup from USER ACCOUNT CONTROL :do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer. To continue, type an administrator password

and then click YES.

Sadly the Yes is grayed out and there is no place provided to type anything.

I am a 15 year novice at this . This is my first post. This is in regard to my Windows 7



#10 Adam Pollard

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:58 PM

IIRC, Windows 7 requires at least one user account (not the built in account) to be an admin account. This is by design, and if the account has been downgraded, something is seriously wrong. Perhaps malware?






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