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Get back administrator privilege

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by karbo, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    I just noticed I wasn't really the administrator on my computer and I thought I were. I can see in Documents and Settings that there are 3 different folders: Administrator, All users, and My name. Can you tell me how to change my account to Administrator, so I only get 2 folders: Administrator and All users? The store who installed my XP Pro SP2 had told me before, that they proceeded that way because it's safer not to have complete access to system changes. But it's MY computer! Let me do what I want with it!:mad: Funny thing though, when I go in the Control Panel to look at the User Accounts, it says I'm the computer's administrator. I'm all confused!!!:confused:

    Thanks
     
  2. johnsonwk2

    johnsonwk2

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    You are an Administrator, but you are not THE administrator :)

    Only way I can think of is just start logging on as the Administrator and delete the account you are using now.
     
  3. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    I think I'm a user with administrator privilege. Why the hell create that kind of account?!?

    Anyway, if I delete this account, will I lose personal settings, like desktop layout and start menu programs?

    I'm logging the classic way, with no name or password asked.
     
  4. johnsonwk2

    johnsonwk2

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    Just go to documents and settings and copy everything over to the administrator file. you can move your documents, desktop, favorites, few other things.

    Even though it says admin, there are probably a few things you can't do.
     
  5. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    And, can you tell me why some programs I installed (and showing in the start menu programs), are showing in Documents and Settings under All users, and others, under My name? I've always installed them under my account!
     
  6. johnsonwk2

    johnsonwk2

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    Kinda confused about what your asking :) ...but All users would include anything done on the Admin account and your account.
     
  7. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    Well, for an unknown reason, some of I my desktop icons are in the All user account, and others are in My name account. Why? Is it because programs you install decide wich account to install an icon or a start menu shortcut.
     
  8. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    Can somebody tell me why some programs install themselves shortcuts for the start menu in the account of their choice? Why not all at the same places?
     
  9. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Some programs give you a choice of installing for current user only (goes into your start menu) or for all users (goes into All Users Start Menu).
    Other programs decide for themselves if they are for all users, or only the current user.

    Their choices don't seem to make much sense to me. For example, you probably don't want your financial/tax program to show up on your 6 year olds account, but Turbo Tax and MS Money install themselves to the All Users menu. I think programs like this should go to current user if they aren't going to give you a choice.

    As far as the built-in Administrator account; A Computer Administrator account has the same privileges as the Administrator account; Doesn't matter what the actual account name is (unless restrictions or policies have been set). The Administrator account was not intended to be used for everyday use by Microsoft. You can use it, but be aware that if you are using the Welcome screen, and you ever create a 2nd account, the Administrator account will vanish from the Welcome screen -- Microsoft designed it that way.

    You can copy your current profile over following this article: How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile
    Note that you will have to redo any customizations, i.e. wallpaper, colors, Folder Options, Cursors, etc.
    This is best only used if you actually have a corrupt profile as there are some problems with doing this:
    Shortcuts will stop working - Shortcuts in the Recent Documents folder will stop working. Any shortcuts you've created to items in the My Documents folder probably won't work either, as the target is probably C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\My Documents instead of C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents or %userprofile%\My Documents
    Same thing for playlists if you have music stored in the My Music folder under your profile instead of the All Users profile.
    Programs store data in C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Application Data\ and C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Local Settings\Application Data\.
    Any programs that didn't use the %userprofile% format to set the path to these folders will lose their option settings. When you reset them, they may recreate the C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Application Data\ or C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Local Settings\Application Data\ instead of using the Administrator folder unless you go through the registry to change the path settings.
    Outlook and Outlook Express sometimes don't play nice when you just move the pst/dbx files -- you may have to export then import the data, or setup the accounts first to create the files, then import the old ones. I've had Outlook insist on re-creating the old profile folder to put pst files for hotmail accounts. Had to import from the old file to get the emails I had saved locally.

    Probably easiest to just keep using the account you are now using.

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  10. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    So, this has to be done at the beginning only when installing Windows (safer).
     
  11. lordmiggyd

    lordmiggyd

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    you have 2 accounts because when and initail install of xp happens it requires you to put in a minimum of one user name with no way around it. It also keeps admin for password resets in safe mode...
     
  12. karbo

    karbo Banned Thread Starter

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    On my old computer, I only had All users and Administrator. On this one, I have Administrator, All users and My name. So I have 3 now. I specifically asked the guy to install Windows so I could be THE Administrator like on my other computer but this is what he did. I don't feel like asking him to reinstall Windows now that I've worked so hard to install everything back on my computer. But I'm sure going to let him know that I was the one paying for the service!!! Next time, I'll do it myself!
     
  13. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Sorry for the delay in getting back. Seems I missed a couple of email notifications.

    XP doesn't force you to create an account during the install; you can always bypass that screen without entering any names, so if you do want just the built in Administrator account it is best to do it during the install.

    You can copy your profile over, but it just takes a while to fix the few glitches. I recently renamed one user folder. Took me about 3 hours to go through everything:
    First, clear History, Internet Cache and recent docs from both accounts
    Export/backup/note emails/address book/account info from Outlook and Outlook Express.
    Copy profile from the old folder to the Administrator folder, including the ntuser.* files to copy over user/program settings. This must be done from a third account
    Note that this will overwrite any files in the Administrator profile that have the same name
    Log in to the Administrator account, then manually search the registry for the old name and change it to the new. (I found about 25-30 entries)
    Then used Norton's WinDoctor to scan the system and find the entries that are not in plain text (Unicode and Binary entries) and went through the repair steps one at a time to make sure it was making a correct correction -- it wasn't always correct, and it didn't find everything, notably the path to the Outlook pst files. As this is stored as a binary value a search of the registry won't find it either. It's stored at this key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Office Explorer under the Namespaces value
    Note that the number in red will depend on the installed version of Outlook.
    Went through each shortcut WinDoctor found and checked each repair.

    I made the mistake of starting Outlook before editing the path in the registry, and it recreated the old folder with empty PST files. I had to delete them, edit the path in the registry. Even so, I ended up having to import my emails from my backup to recover the ones I had saved on the PC from 3 hotmail accounts.

    After copying the profile, if you first go into Outlook from the old account and edit the path to the PST files to point to the new location, you might not have that problem, but I can't guarantee it. Just be sure to export/backup everything first just in case.

    You change the path (in Outlook 2003) from Tools | Options | Mail Setup Tab | Data Files... button. Highlight each account, then click the Settings... button. Edit the path in the Filename: box (It doesn't look like it's an editable field, but it is)

    I didn't have to re-install any programs, the above steps seemed to get them all working.
    There are other programs besides Norton that can scan the registry and shortcuts for the "Changed Path" type of error, and some of them might find the Outlook info Norton missed -- just don't let them fix things automatically -- check each one to be sure.

    Note that some programs that install them selves for a particular user instead of for everyone may fail to uninstall if they use either of the Application Data folders in the user profile. The log file they created during the install will point to the old profile instead of the new. They should just note that they were unable to delete the info, but if poorly written may fail at that point and not complete the rest of the uninstall. A re-install followed by an uninstall would then be necessary to remove them.

    You may want to just start using the Administrator account, copy over your documents, then recreate any shortcuts to documents that you need. You may need to re-install one or two programs to get them to re-appear on the start menu, or to be able to uninstall them, as the uninstall info in the registry may point to the old profile.

    And keep in mind that if your system is set to use the welcome screen, even if you automatically log on, if you ever create another account, the system will stop at the Welcome screen (or autologon to the new account) but the Administrator account won't appear (only appears in Safe Mode). When you log off the new user, only that account will appear on the Welcome screen. If that happens, just hit CTRL+ALT+DEL twice to bring up the classic login box.

    Had that happen to a friend, relatives came over for the holidays, and she created a standard user account for her 8 year old niece so her niece couldn't mess things up. Soon as she did, her Administrator account vanished from the Welcome screen. Wasn't something she expected:eek:

    HTH

    Jerry
     
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