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Deleted Administrtor Profile

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Lolly G, Jan 10, 2003.

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  1. Lolly G

    Lolly G Thread Starter

    Jan 10, 2003
    MS Win 2000 Prof; Deleted Administrator Profile; I can see my files but am unable to open. Old data, e.g. tax filings, grandchildren photos are no longer accessible. Found the file with the purge commands to delete the Administrator profile but is there a way I can get at my old data? How can I "hack" into my old data? Am really a neophyte when it comes to computers; obviously!
    Thank you for taking the time and effort to eval my "whopper of a blunder.":(
  2. BlackHorseman


    Apr 27, 2002
    Hi Lolly G,

    A few questions that will make it easier for me (and for the more proficient guys here) to help you.

    1.What Operating System (OS) are you using? (ie - Windows 2000, XP, NT).
    2.Have you other user accounts on that OS? Maybe even another account with administrative privileges?
    3.Have you tried using this other account (if it exists) to undelete the profile folder and all its contents?
    4. Was your OS installed on FAT32 or on NTFS?

    There are also programs that may enable you to recover lost data, but I am not very experienced with such.

    My advice: don't panic, wait for the advice of the experts. Fiddling with the machine when you don't know exactly what you are doing, or what you SHOULD do might lessen your chances to recover your data.

    Another thing, but this is for the future: do not keep stuff you need in 'My Documents', 'My Pictures' and all those other folders that are designated for this purpose by Windows. In the case of a system failure the only solution is sometimes re-installing the OS (without format), and then those folders ('My Documents' etc) get overwritten. Create a special folder on your CD, like 'C:\Files' in which to keep it all. Better still - on another partition. Then you can format & install without losing data. If you have no need for high securuty and stuff, make your data partition FAT32. Harder to make fatal blunders with FAT.

    Hope I've been of some help,
  3. BlackHorseman


    Apr 27, 2002
    I forgot:

    2.a. Can you load your OS at all?
    3. I meant: restore files using the 'Restore' option in the 'Recycling Bin'.

    Best of luck,
  4. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Jun 8, 2001
    "Found the file with the purge commands to delete the Administrator profile"

    "I can see my files but am unable to open"

    Lolly G,

    Can you tell us what you mean by "you see the files"? I guess what I'm asking you is where are these files at?

    and "unable to open" ... I take it that you're refering to the files that you want to access correct?

    How are you trying to open the files? and are you able to move the files elsewhere?

  5. BlackHorseman


    Apr 27, 2002
    "Last edited by Lolly G on 01-14-2003 at 03:33 AM"

    Lolly G,

    I'll risk saying that the damage is not irreversible, the way it looks from what you describe. I'd rather wait for some of the great brains here to join the thread, but meanwhile, have a look at the recycling bin. Can you access it? If so, try right-clicking the folder that's been deleted, and selecting 'Restore'. After this you'll have to restart (maybe logging off & then logging back on will do) for it to take effect.

    Also, right-click your 'C' drive (or, if the folder you've deleted was on another drive, right-click that drive) in 'My Computer', select the 'General' tab and see what it says under 'File System'. Is it NTFS or FAT32?

    How many derives do you have? (I have a 20GB HardDrive, split into 3 drives (partitions): C, which is FAT32, D-NTFS, and E-FAT32).

    We'll work this out.
  6. JackC


    Dec 27, 2002
    If you can't retrieve the folders and files that was left behind from the original administrator, try creating a new profile and give it administrative rights and then change ownership to the new profile.

    excerpt from Windows 2000 Help:

    Default security settings
    The default security settings for Windows 2000 can be described by summarizing the permissions granted to four default groups (Administrators, Power Users, Users, and Backup Operators) and three special groups.


    Members of the Administrators group can perform all functions supported by the operating system. The default security settings do not restrict administrative access to any registry or file system object. Administrators can grant themselves any rights that they do not have by default.

    Ideally, administrative access should only be used to:

    Install the operating system and components (such as hardware drivers, system services, and so on).
    Install Service Packs and Windows Packs.
    Upgrade the operating system.
    Repair the operating system.
    Configure critical operating system parameters (such as password policy, access control, audit policy, kernel mode driver configuration, and so on).
    Take ownership of files that have become inaccessible.
    Manage the security and auditing logs.
    Back up and restore the system.
    In practice, Administrator accounts often must be used to install and run programs written for previous versions of Windows.
  7. Lardog


    Dec 25, 2002
    There seems to be some confusion going on here. Profiles are not tied to file access unless the files themselves reside within the profile directory.

    If you delete you administrator profile, simply logging on again as administrator will create a new one, based upon the default user profile. Your profile has nothing to do with your password or file access. The exception being with encrypted files, but that is another story.

    Also, you cannot delete the administrato account itself within NT/W2K/XP. The system will not let you do it.

    So, I am not really sure what your problem is. However, if you can log on with administrative access (with or without using the actual administrator account), you can, as JackC indicated, take ownership of the files, thus replacing the access permissions (NTFS only).
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