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Solved: Restoring a "lost" user account

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by krelle81, Aug 29, 2010.

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  1. krelle81

    krelle81 Thread Starter

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    I recently changed the user account settings on my PC, password protecting the main administrator account (the default "Administrator" setting) and adding a second account with administrator privileges, for my 8-year old to use (decided she was getting old enough I didn't want her to see everything on the administrator account).

    I came home today, turned the computer on, and the "Administrator" account did not appear on the log on screen. I have no idea what happened, and my mother and daughter (who were home all day), said it just appeared that way when they turned it on this afternoon. I went to the User Settings page from the Control Panel (logged into my daughter's account) and did not see it there either. However, just to see what would happen, I tried to create a new account with the title "Administrator" and a message popped up saying there is already an account with that name and I must choose a different name. This leads me to believe the account is still somewhere on the PC and has not been deleted.

    My main concern is accessing the files, folders and settings that were on the old "Administrator" account. I can access most of them while logged onto my daughter's account (since it has administrator privileges) by going through the Documents and Settings but there are some files I can't seem to locate, as well as protected files I cannot open.
    How can I restore the old "Administrator" account, along with all the saved settings? How can I access ALL of the files on that user account? Since the warranty on my PC is expired, HP apparently can't restore this for me.

    Thanks for any assistance you can offer!
     
  2. helpful

    helpful

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    You need to unhide the Administrator account:

    1. Launch Registry Editor.
    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList in the Registry Editor.
    3. Double-click the Administrator key in the right pane.
    4. If the Administrator key doesn’t exist, right-click on the above tree in the pane, choose New, DWORD Value, name it Administrator.
    5. Type 1 in the “Value data” box.
    6. Exit the registry editor and log-off
    You should now see the administrator account.
     
  3. krelle81

    krelle81 Thread Starter

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    I followed the instructions and it worked like a charm. ...never would have been able to figure that out myself!!

    Have a great weekend.
     
  4. TheShooter93

    TheShooter93 Malware Specialist

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    Please mark this thread as "Solved." You can find the button to do this in the top-left corner of the thread. A preview of the button is located below.
     

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  5. hrlow2

    hrlow2

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    My question is:
    Why give the power to install or remove anything on the machine to an 8 year old?
     
  6. TheShooter93

    TheShooter93 Malware Specialist

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    It's up to him to make that decision, though I would suggest some sort of parental control software. Not because you'd be over-protective, but it's what I would do. Viruses, malware, worms...tons of things on the net that may be downloaded unknowingly.
     
  7. hrlow2

    hrlow2

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    Definitely not the choice I would make, for sure.
    Theirs would be a limited user account. They can still surf the web and the machine would be much more secure.
    I would keep the password protection on the Admin account, though.
     
  8. krelle81

    krelle81 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have not put any parental controls in place because my child is not left at home alone and does not go on the computer without someone monitoring her. It is something I will consider in the future. I suspect the problem might have actually been caused by my techno-impaired mother who didn't know what to do when the password came up on the administrator account.
     
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