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Windows 7: No longer have administrative rights to the system.


26 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit
 
 
No longer have administrative rights to the system.

Hi all,


I have a unique problem. I noticed today that my user account (the only active account on the system), for reasons unknown, no longer has administrative rights to the system. If I try to launch an application as administrator or perform any administrative tasks I am presented with the User Account Control window. The dialog says “To continue, type an administrator password, and then click Yes.” but there are no text fields to enter username/password and the “Yes” button is grayed out (cannot get screenshot). Even if I could enter username/password I would have nothing to type because the default administrator account is disabled and there are no active accounts with administrative access. I consider myself an advanced user and, therefore, have tried a number of different tactics to activate the default administrator account. I have booted off the Windows 7 DVD and launched regedit from the command prompt. I have booted off a live Linux distro and tried to use the chntpw tool to manipulate the SAM database. The problem?... The Windows system disk is encrypted with truecrypt so I cannot access the disk from outside the system (so-to-speak). And I cannot remove the encryption because I need administrative rights to do that. It is a catch-22 problem. Cannot fix the problem until the disk is decrypted, cannot decrypt the disk until the problem is fixed.


Any thoughts? I would appreciate any opinions. I'd rather not re-install my system.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Nov 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Have you tried this? User Account Type - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2013   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit
 
 

Thanks Jacee for your quick response. You'll notice that the "Change your account type" option has a 'shield' icon beside it. Because I do not have any administrative access I cannot complete any administrative tasks. I actually just managed to resolve the problem using an impressive little hack I found online.

Even though my account was not a member of the 'administrators' localgroup any longer I still had write access to C:\Windows\System32 for some odd reason. So I copied cmd.exe and renamed the copy to 'sethc.exe'. sethc.exe is that annoying program that launches when you tap the [Shift] key 5 times (sticky-keys). I logged out and tapped the [Shift] key 5 times and cmd.exe launched with administrative privileges. I entered 'net user administrator /active:yes' and got a System error 1359, no dice. Then I entered 'net localgroup administrators darhtpenguin /add' and the command completed successfully. I now have administrative control again. But, howcome I still cannot activate the administrator account? I don't need it any longer but still... WTF? and why, if my account ceased to be a member of the administrators localgroup, did I still have write access to C:\Windows\System32? Why did it break in the first place? Now that I have administrative access I can open 'Change Your Account Type' under 'User Accounts' but it show me as a standard user... and if I select the 'Administrator' radio button in this control panel the 'Change Account Type' (aka 'Apply') button grays out... I... I just don't get it... I hate Windows. Linux is so much simpler.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Nov 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Is this a business computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2013   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit
 
 

It is not a business computer. But I feel I have to use Windows to run certain applications and games. Plus I need to be familiar with Windows as my day job is tech support and I am the 'techie guy' in my family and circle of friends. The laptop came with Windows 8 but I downgraded to Windows 7 because I just can't subject myself to that kind of torture. Win 8 UI is infuriating.

However, this hack (overwriting sethc.exe with cmd.exe) is a rather concerning one. I administer a large number of desktop PCs at work. Could someone use this hack to get administrative local access to one of the business workstations? Hmmm... I better check.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Quote:
The laptop came with Windows 8 but I downgraded to Windows 7 because I just can't subject myself to that kind of torture. Win 8 UI is infuriating.
I'm with you!

You might check with Brink here: http://www.eightforums.com/general-support/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 No longer have administrative rights to the system.




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