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Windows 7: locked out - a couple of questions

27 May 2009   #1

locked out - a couple of questions

hi all. first of all let me say that i don't have much experience with multiple user accounts in windows as winxp never seemed to work that good with normal user accounts. i've been trying to setup my win7 system to use mainly a standard user account without any issues so far, and i'm impresed with the simplicity. so, i have the user that was created when i first installed 7, the default administrator and guest accounts that have not been enabled, and a standard user that i created for everyday use.

now, i've been trying to find a way to hide my administrator from the logon screen and i found that i could add the user name under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList in the registry and it would remove it from the logon screen without completely disabling it, or at least it would work like that in vista. it didn't however, so i'm locked out of my system. there is no option to access this account from the logon screen and if i try to run anything as administrator from my standard account, UAC pops up without an input box for a password, and with the "yes" button grayed out.

my first question then is, what did i do wrong? even though i didn't find any win7 specific reports about this issue, it seems that in vista you can still run an application as an administrator if the administrator is in the special accounts user list. is it my fault or is it something they changed in 7? would it be any different if the ctrl+alt+del shortcut was enabled at logon?

my other question is about the repair tools that i also never used before so please bear with me. booting with f8 and selecting the repair option gives me the option to logon with both of my accounts (the standard and the administrator) so i thought it would be an easy fix to run the registry editor and remove the user name from the special accounts list, but the key is not there. the winlogon key is there, but the SpecialAccounts subkey that i created is not. trying to find another solution to this problem i noticed that whatever changes i make they are lost when i restart and logon with my standard account. so once again, what am i missing here?

just to clarify, i do have a recent restore point so this is not a "help i'm locked out" post, but more of a "help i'm trying to find my way around win7" kind of thing. i just feel there must be an easy and straight forward way to clear up my mess. btw, this is an x64 7077 build installed (clean) without the 200mb recovery partition.

any comments/ideas are greatly apreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

You could try...

As your std user ...

typing regedit into the search bar and Shift-Right Click on the listed regedit.exe - this will give you the option to "run as another user" - enter your administrator details and you should be able to find and remove your changes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #3

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello nObRaIn, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Since your only administrator account is disabled, you may be able to boot into Safe Mode logged in as the built-in Administrator account to be able to change the registry setting back to unlock your default administrator account again.

This tutorial may also help guide you with the registry settings, or other options to try to unlock (unhide) the account.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 May 2009   #4


this was quick! thank you both guys. the shift+right click was what i was missing then. the tutorial at vistax64 was the one i was reading that confirmed that you could still log on with the hidden account. unfortunatelly ther was no mention of the shif+right click thing.

with that out of the way, any ideas about my other issue? the changes that i make through the cmd in repair tools are not permanent. again, there must be something i'm doing wrong.

also, Shawn, my built-in administrator account has never been enabled before. is there a way to enable it in safe mode even from a standard account?

thanks again for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #5

64-bit Windows 10 Pro


Without a default adminstrator account availble to log on to, Safe Mode should boot into the built-in Administrator account by default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #6


i thought it sould, but it didn't. now that i think about it though, i guess it didn't because my administrator account was not really inacessible. thanks for clearing this up.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 locked out - a couple of questions

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