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Windows 7: sysprep deletes hidden admin account

10 Feb 2010   #1

sysprep deletes hidden admin account

i do a sysprep and in the process i have to delete the temporary user account.
after ootb > rebooting > creating fresh account > the superadmin (hidden admin) is gone.

does anyone have a clue whats causing this or what i might do wrong?

thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #3


system32/sysprep/sysprep.exe ; )

WARNING: don't play around with this if you don't knwo what you are doing. it will erase you account and bring you back to a fresh system!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

Oh boy. SysPrep.exe, great controversy! You either love it or hate it. Admins or Companies that need to deploy many machines that are alike use some sort of cloning software to clone the machines or they use Microsoft’s system to image and sysprep.exe. The biggest issues with sysprep.exe are: 1) It resets the default user back to default after you have put your special settings in that profile. 2) It sets the Administrator account back to the way Microsoft set it OUT-OF-THE-BOX. I our case this is a mess because after you sysprep.exe and image the machine then put the image on another machine you have to go back and run through the mini setup and then remember to fix the Administrator account then fix the default user and fix a few other things. If this takes 60 minutes to do then you are wasting a bunch of time per machine. 60 minutes x 200 machines is a lot of time. So we use Symantec Ghost and make the first machine exactly like we want it then clone it to many other machines and they are all exactly like the first machine! No need to go back and setup the Admin account or fix other settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #5


in this case i have no choice. the machine HAS to start with ootb when it is tunrend on for the first time.

well, I am not a real expert in this... i have done a lot of tests with it during the last few days and the funny thing is that a few times it worked like i expected.
today though when i finally got everything together it started again with this problem - removing the admin account.
i had it NOT doing this before, but i have no clue what i did different

at first i did not even realize what was going on.... i just noticed that something is wrong when i created a new account (after booting the "fresh" system) and at the next boot had the choice to log on as "another user" although there should have been only one account. when i clicked "different user" i saw just a "empty frame" with no username and image.
once i was logged in with the normal account i checked and saw that the admin account was gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

Couldn't you do a normal clean install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #7


no, the whole point of all this is that it's not exactly a "clean install" ; )
it's like a clean install but with some stuff already installed and configured.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

I'm dealing with sysprep as i type now, to let the build choose Classic start Manual (XP) these automatic unattended install is killing me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #9


hopefully someone still reads this....
after some reading and testing during the last few hours i figured out (to my surprise) that in any case the sysprep-ootb process removes the admin account!
WindowsStar mentioned this in his answer... but i did not fully understand it at first. I thought it was just doint something wrong!

now i have two other questions that came up
1.) if i just go on and leave it the way it is (without the admin account).... what kind of problems could arise later? is the hidden admin account actually necessary for a windows installation to run properly? i am thinking that some functions might not properly run if it's not there. in case that it is "just another account" with elevated user rights i would just hand over the machine without it.
2.) in case it is not a good idea to run windows without this account still existing, how can i get it back after doing the sysprep-ootb but still get the "welcome and create your first account" on first start?

here is the situation:
i have prepared the installation in the way that it is needed and when i hand it over it has to start with the windows welcome... the same way it does after a fresh install. is there any other way to accomplish this? or what would i have to do to "fix" what i have already?

what i did was following the steps in this microsoft document
it did not mention anything about that the process removes the admin account!

in other related documents i often noticed the mentioning of "answer files" and "unattended.xml" but i thought i would not have to bother with these for now. do I?

another problem is that i am on a timelimit and all the gurus that i know personally are no experts at this particular topic.

I hope someone of you can help me : )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

My question would be why are you doing this?

You would only need to go this route if you are 1) you are a system builder and you want to have your machines go out the door with a special setup. (like: BestBuy does where they install their anti-virus software and some games). 2) you work for a large company and you need to install special software and need all the machines to be alike.

If you are a home user and have just 2 or 3 machines doing a clean install on each and installing the AV software and Office or something is not very time consuming. However if you want all your machines to be the same it is much faster to just setup one machine and then use imaging software to clone to the other machines. Plus you will have a back up of a clean machine incase a catastrophe were to happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 sysprep deletes hidden admin account

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