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Issues following Windows 8.1 refresh


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#1 Swegnson

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 06:20 PM

We are having the following set of issues following a Windows 8.1 refresh. Let me first explain how we got here - the machine in question is a Lenovo laptop about 2 years old, just out of warranty. It would not turn on at all so we took it to a local repair shop. They replaced the power-on "whatever" but when we got the machine back the software seemed "all hosed up".  We did a "system refresh" using the option that, as I understand it takes the machine back to how you got it initially, removing apps that had been added but retaining data, photos, etc. The machine now looks normal (before the restore, for example, you couldn't read the icons in the task bar). However when you try to select a photo for the desktop background it won't take it. You can select a color, but not a photo. Worse, when you try to get to "Change PC Settings" off the Charms bar it throws you back to the start page. Finally, when you go to the Apps listing, next to PC Settings (and next to Camera, Photos, OneDrive, and Store) is the word Error.
 
I ran the System File Checker and it says "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations". So no help.
 
How do we best move forward? A factory reset is still, I guess, the "solution" of last resort, but is there no other alternative?
 


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 07:11 PM

Do you get these problems when you create a new user account?



#3 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:15 AM

In order to add a user account it appears one must have access to PC Settings, which I do not. When I go to user accounts through the Control Panel there is no option to add a user except "Add a new user in PC Settings". Clicking on this just takes me back to the start screen. 



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:30 AM

Add the Hidden Administrator Account. Open an elevated command prompt. Press the Windows key + X. Select cmd as admin.

 

Type the following command.

net user administrator /active:yes

If the command was successful then logout and login to the Administrator account to create a new user account. If Administrator is not shown see if it will appear on reboot.



#5 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 10:09 AM

Seems to be working. The new Administrator account appeared no problem. The PC Settings were available on the Administrator account. I changed the former administrator account to a standard user, but it is no better. Should I delete that account and create a new one?



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 10:17 AM

Don't delete it yet as you have data on that account you may want to transfer. Create a new administrator account using the enabled hidden Administrator account. If that works then you can disable the hidden Administrator Account in your new administrator account using the following command at an elevated command prompt.

net user administrator /active:no

The hidden Administrator account should not be enabled as default as it is considered a super user account. You want to have one regular administrator account. All other accounts should be user accounts unless you prefer otherwise. 



#7 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:00 PM

So forgive me. I feel we are almost there but I am confused. I have not yet done anything more with the Administrator account. What I have currently are 3 accounts as follows

 

1) the Administrator account we created from your direction above

2) the account I'll call Original; this was the Admin account / the only account when all this started. When the above Admin account was created I changed the account type to "Standard User"; this account still doesn't work properly; I can't get to PC Settings here

3) a new account I'll call New; this was created using my email address and PW vs the Original uses my daughter's email and PW; this account does seem to work properly; I can get to PC Settings for example, and changes to the desktop background take

 

You are saying that from the current Administrator account I can/should create another Administrator account? That can be done?

When I go to create a new account I'm asked "How will this person sign in? Can I use my daughter's email address, that is already in use for Account Original?

 

You indicated, re the account Original "Don't delete it yet as you have data on that account you may want to transfer." Is there a way to transfer it apart from saving it to a portable hard drive, or the cloud, and then saving it back under the new account? 



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:12 PM

Is the New account an admin account. If it is then you do not need to create another admin account. I usually recommend two accounts. One being an admin account and the other a User account for browsing the internet. 

 

On the account that is not working you probably have data in My Documents and also Downloads. Also favorites and bookmarks that should be saved. You can copy and paste the data between accounts if the New account is an admin account. Or you can copy the data to a USB flash drive and transfer it to the New account. In any case any critical data should be backed up to two separate locations. Once you are sure all data has been recovered from the non-working account you can remove it in Control Panel.


Edited by JohnC_21, 03 October 2016 - 02:13 PM.


#9 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:38 PM

The New account was created as a standard user account, not an Admin account.

 

Can a New Admin account use the same email address and password as a standard user account? That's the real crux of my question. The initial account, the one that does not work properly, is my daughter's. This is her computer. I only created a new account using my email address to see if it would work properly and it appears to. I can manage moving the data, no problem, but I come back to - Can a New Admin account use the same email address and password as a standard user account?



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 02:59 PM

I don't have much experience with these Windows Live Accounts. I only use local accounts. This is for Windows 10 so I assume the same holds true for Windows 8.

 

I did find this and it seems that you cannot have two accounts on the computer using the same email and password.

 

Also here.

 

http://www.tenforums.com/user-accounts-family-safety/38813-can-i-have-two-microsoft-account-users-same-microsoft-account.html

 

I have to assume the way to approach this is to copy all the data from the non-working account to a flash drive. Delete the account then recreate it with the email and password. Because the account was created with an email, it will still be on Microsoft servers. The below link shows on how to delete the account completely which you do not want to do. Just delete the account off the computer and and create a new one. 

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/227763/how-to-completely-delete-your-microsoft-account/



#11 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 03:15 PM

My next computer will be a Mac. There is no reason for Microsoft to make things this hard.

 

So let me ask you this. The Administrator account you had me set up says it is a local account. It shows up every time I boot the computer. Nothing about it appears to be hidden. I am able to add a password for it. Any reason not to just leave it be?



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 03:23 PM

The hidden Administrator account we enabled has more permissions than a normal admin account you create. It's usually not advisable to have it enabled but if you wish to do so with a password it will not affect the computer. 

 

Personally, I avoid these Windows Live Accounts that require an email account like the plague. I stick to local accounts.



#13 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:04 PM

Thanks for all your time on this John, I really appreciate it. Its odd to me that the issues we experienced seemed to stem from user accounts and permissions. On the Microsoft Community Forum the advice I got was to do a factory reset which seemed like overkill. I'm glad you proved "them": wrong.



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:17 PM

No problem, glad to help. Are you going to delete the non-usable account and create a new one with your daughter's email and password after recovering the data?



#15 Swegnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:20 PM

Yes, that is what I did.






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