No Active Administrator Accounts in Vista


J

jslangetufwit

I've been playing around with Vista for a couple weeks now off and on.
This morning I decided to see what my user experience would be if I
"demoted" my user account from the Administrators group to the Users
group. I did so, rebooted (I had just loaded a new video driver as
well), and logged back in. At that point Windows popped up a bubble
saying that it had multiple security issues -- no AV and out-of-date
Windows Defender definitions. I opened Windows Defender and told it to
update it definitions at which point it popped up a dialog asking for
an admin password to continue...

At this point I realized that I had just been INCREDIBLY stupid. Not
only was there only one enabled user account on this machine (mine),
but I had just dropped that account out of the Administrators group.
That means that there is no admin password to give it of any sort.

Just to make sure I've been clear there are three users on the
computer: Administrator, Guest, and <mine>. Administrator and Guest
are disabled (just like when I first installed Vista), and my account
is currently only in the Users group.

Is there a way to recover from this or do I have to reload Vista?

TIA,
Jason
 
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M

Mike Brannigan

I've been playing around with Vista for a couple weeks now off and on.
This morning I decided to see what my user experience would be if I
"demoted" my user account from the Administrators group to the Users
group. I did so, rebooted (I had just loaded a new video driver as
well), and logged back in. At that point Windows popped up a bubble
saying that it had multiple security issues -- no AV and out-of-date
Windows Defender definitions. I opened Windows Defender and told it to
update it definitions at which point it popped up a dialog asking for
an admin password to continue...

At this point I realized that I had just been INCREDIBLY stupid. Not
only was there only one enabled user account on this machine (mine),
but I had just dropped that account out of the Administrators group.
That means that there is no admin password to give it of any sort.

Just to make sure I've been clear there are three users on the
computer: Administrator, Guest, and <mine>. Administrator and Guest
are disabled (just like when I first installed Vista), and my account
is currently only in the Users group.

Is there a way to recover from this or do I have to reload Vista?

TIA,
Jason

Unless you made the Administrator account active (it is disabled by default)
then you will not be able to recover from this error.
As you no longer have any admin level access to your PC.
 
M

Malke

Mike said:
Unless you made the Administrator account active (it is disabled by
default) then you will not be able to recover from this error.
As you no longer have any admin level access to your PC.

According to this:
http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistasecurity/default.aspx

"On non-domain joined computers, when there is at least one enabled
local administrator account, safe mode will not allow logon with the
disabled built-in administrator account. Instead, any local
administrator account can be used to logon. If the last local
administrator account is inadvertently demoted, disabled or deleted,
safe mode will allow the disabled built-in administrator account to
logon for disaster recovery."

So if I read this correctly, the OP can go into Safe Mode and log in
with the built-in Administrator account which will be enabled for this
session only.


Malke
 
M

Mike Brannigan

Malke said:
According to this:
http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistasecurity/default.aspx

"On non-domain joined computers, when there is at least one enabled local
administrator account, safe mode will not allow logon with the disabled
built-in administrator account. Instead, any local administrator account
can be used to logon. If the last local administrator account is
inadvertently demoted, disabled or deleted, safe mode will allow the
disabled built-in administrator account to logon for disaster recovery."

So if I read this correctly, the OP can go into Safe Mode and log in with
the built-in Administrator account which will be enabled for this session
only.


Malke
--
Elephant Boy Computers
www.elephantboycomputers.com
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User

Interesting and well worth a test.
The OP did not say if the machine was stand alone - but I assume so - so
maybe Safe Mode is his savior.
 
D

DevilsPGD

In message <[email protected]> "Mike
Brannigan said:
Interesting and well worth a test.
The OP did not say if the machine was stand alone - but I assume so - so
maybe Safe Mode is his savior.

If the machine is part of a domain, there is no problem at all, just
login using a domain account with administrative privileges, or
re-promote himself using another workstation, whatever is more
convenient.
 
B

BitzByte

According to this:http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistasecurity/default.aspx

"On non-domain joined computers, when there is at least one enabled
local administrator account, safe mode will not allow logon with the
disabled built-in administrator account. Instead, any local
administrator account can be used to logon. If the last local
administrator account is inadvertently demoted, disabled or deleted,
safe mode will allow the disabled built-in administrator account to
logon for disaster recovery."

So if I read this correctly, the OP can go into Safe Mode and log in
with the built-in Administrator account which will be enabled for this
session only.

Malke

Many thanks!! Your tip worked and I have created another user who is
in the Administrators group.
 
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M

Malke

BitzByte said:
Many thanks!! Your tip worked and I have created another user who is
in the Administrators group.

So, you're the OP? Thanks very much for coming back to confirm that this
worked.

Malke
 

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