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Windows 7: Lost administrator access via registry


11 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Lost administrator access via registry

Hey guys,

I set up a netbook for my mother with Windows 7 Professional x84. She's a complete beginner.

I altered the registry so that:
  1. It hid my 'Chris' (admin) user account, leaving just her 'Mum' (restricted) account, and
  2. it would automatically log in to Windows with her account.

Now I can't seem to find a way to regain Administrator privileges / log into my account. I've tried:
  1. Changing the registry back - I can't as no admin privileges on her account.
  2. Booting to Windows Repair - I can login as myself, then I've tried various options such as:
    1. System Restore - doesn't go far back enough.
    2. Using the Command Prompt to make changes (e.g. Registry Editor, net user administrator /active:yes) - however the changes only affect the temporary (X:\) Windows Repair, not the actual Windows 7 installation, even when changed directory to C:\.
  3. Re-installation of Windows 7 via DVD (keeping files/settings as they are) - however to perform this it can't be run from boot, and you need to be logged in to an administrator account.
  4. Safe Mode - No help, the same problems occur.

Other than formatting and reinstalling the OS, are there any other options you can think of to regain admin access?

Thanks,

Chris

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

It's a great pity you didn't backup the registry before you edited it.

Really, you didn't need to hide your admin account, just give it a password so that no-one else can use it.

I'm hoping that others will have fresh ideas, but other than a format and reinstall I can't see any other way out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

It's a great pity you didn't backup the registry before you edited it.
Indeed. I didn't realise I'd be so difficult to change it back. I'll know for future.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
Really, you didn't need to hide your admin account, just give it a password so that no-one else can use it.
I hid it so it was easier for her to get started with Windows, didn't require clicking on her account that way. Regret doing that now though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

If you know which registry key you deleted/changed, we could perhaps e-mail the correct one to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
If you know which registry key you deleted/changed, we could perhaps e-mail the correct one to you.
I wouldn't be able to import them on a restricted user though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

You could enable the Administrator account through the Recovery Environment (RE) and change the registry that way. Built-in Administrator - Enable from WinRE
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Post #5: True, never thought of that one.

It seems a format and re-install is the only way out. Did the computer come with a recovery disc?

On the other hand, writhziden's idea seems a good call.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
You could enable the Administrator account through the Recovery Environment (RE) and change the registry that way. Built-in Administrator - Enable from WinRE
It worked! Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

You're welcome. I am happy it worked.

Oh, forgot to mention: Make sure you disable the built-in administrator account when you are done getting things set up the way you want them.

Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Oh, forgot to mention: Make sure you disable the built-in administrator account when you are done getting things set up the way you want them.

Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable
Already done
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

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