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Windows 7: Can't elevate to administrator privileges

14 Oct 2015   #1
higgins

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Can't elevate to administrator privileges

Hi all!

I've run into a weird issue where some of the computers I administer work fine, but some don't. For example, whenever I need to perform a task that requires admin privileges while logged into regular account (usually because it's the most convenient way of doing things), the computers that work fine just ask for the password and off the 3rd party software update goes.

Then again, some other computers ask for the password, and then fail to install 3rd party software updates, referring that I need admin privileges... despite me just having given them a password, and the OS accepting it. The only way around this is to actually log in with the admin account to apply the updates. Not a major hassle, but this is completely random and I'd like to determine the root cause.

Running Windows 7 Pro x64 on basically all the rigs in question (a single exception).

Any ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Oct 2015   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

When you say, "this is completely random", do you mean that the 3rd party app fails to update sometimes but updates at other times on the same computer?

You might want to watch what happens via Process Monitor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2015   #3
higgins

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Ah, good point of clarification! I mean that on some computers, 3rd party apps install fine with just a provided password, but on others they simply won't and I need to log in to the admin account to install things.

As far as I can tell, the behavior is consistent within a single rig, but I can't tell what's set up differently in the rigs that refuse to install from under regular account (when I provide the admin password).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2015   #4
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Does this failure happen with something less complex... say, an elevated command prompt?

What security apps are installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2015   #5
higgins

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Does this failure happen with something less complex... say, an elevated command prompt?
Ugh, not sure what commands I could try to test this. Tried shutdown, but that doesn't need admin privileges, apparently.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
What security apps are installed?
Kasperstky Endpoint CORE 10. And that's both in the compliant and noncompliant rigs. IIRC, the issue was present before I switched from G-DATA as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2015   #6
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

To test the elevated command prompt:
Start > search for cmd > right click and select run as admin....

Elevated Command Prompt

You want to see if you get a window with "Administrator: Command Prompt" in the title bar:





The admin account might have a problem. You could create a new/fresh admin account (just as a test). You that account from the regular account to do admin stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2015   #7
higgins

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Solution found!

Log in with any administrator account. Run cmd with: net user administrator /active:yes

Log in with that account.

Go to User Account Control settings and pick the recommended setting (the highest and most strict).

Reboot.

You can now once again receive password prompts when attempting an elevated task from under a standard account.

To disable the built-in Administrator account, run an elevated cmd with: net user administrator /active:no

Done!

Edit: Okay, I just reread my original post and realised that I solved a different problem I had on some PCs -- which was me not getting the password prompt at all. I'll try this method on the original problem as well and hope I remember to report back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2015   #8
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by higgins View Post
Hi all!

I've run into a weird issue where some of the computers I administer work fine, but some don't. For example, whenever I need to perform a task that requires admin privileges while logged into regular account (usually because it's the most convenient way of doing things), the computers that work fine just ask for the password and off the 3rd party software update goes.

Then again, some other computers ask for the password, and then fail to install 3rd party software updates, referring that I need admin privileges... despite me just having given them a password, and the OS accepting it. The only way around this is to actually log in with the admin account to apply the updates. Not a major hassle, but this is completely random and I'd like to determine the root cause.

Running Windows 7 Pro x64 on basically all the rigs in question (a single exception).

Any ideas?
As your edit to the post quoted below indicated:
If the UAC is turned off - then W7 will not prompt a standard (non-admin) user for an admin password.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by higgins View Post
Solution found!

Log in with any administrator account. Run cmd with: net user administrator /active:yes

Log in with that account.

Go to User Account Control settings and pick the recommended setting (the highest and most strict).

Reboot.

You can now once again receive password prompts when attempting an elevated task from under a standard account.

To disable the built-in Administrator account, run an elevated cmd with: net user administrator /active:no

Done!

Edit: Okay, I just reread my original post and realised that I solved a different problem I had on some PCs -- which was me not getting the password prompt at all. I'll try this method on the original problem as well and hope I remember to report back.
Once you "Log in with any administrator account", you can turn on the UAC using that account. There is no need to enable the built-in administrator account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't elevate to administrator privileges




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