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Windows 7: Unable to access user accounts as admin

19 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Unable to access user accounts as admin

Hi all,

I'm not really sure when this problem started, but as the admin account and only real user (I set up another account to test my problems) on my HP Laptop, I cannot access the user accounts on my computer. I've tried to access them multiple ways, including through the control panel and directly through the start menu, but when I try to click on anything having to do with the user accounts on my pc, nothing happens. So I am unable to change my password, change my picture, or add or remove other accounts. It's almost like I'm not an administrator. However, according to multiple places on my computer, my account is still an administrator. Also, some programs do not launch unless I chose to launch them as an admin by right clicking, is that normal?

So to summarize my situation, I don't think my admin account is giving me proper access to my computer, limiting the things I can do.

Does anyone have an idea of what has happened or how I can fix it?


- Sean

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

Try this:

Open an Elevated Command Prompt
Enable the hidden Administrator account: Enter net user administrator /active:yes

Reboot and got to safe mode (press F8 during boot).
Login as Administrator (no password).

Open Control Panel, User Accounts.
Check you account and make sure it's still setup correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

No Luck. I entered the prompt then went into safe mode. It never asked me to log in, it just went straight to my desktop. I was able to open the control panel but it wouldn't let me open the User Accounts. I would double click and nothing would happen. This is exactly what always happens. I tried on a different icon, and it worked perfectly fine. It appears to only be with the user accounts.

Any Ideas?

P.S. I am on a workgroup with my family's desktop, and I am connected to the home wireless interent network. I don't know if that makes any difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 10 Pro X64

When you entered net user administrator /active:yes, did you get a response of:
The command completed successfully.

If so then the Login (Welcome) screen is probably turned off, see here: Log On Automatically at Startup

See: 4. To Turn Off Automatic Log On

Now try Safe Mode again. You should get the Welcome screen where you can select your accou8nt or Administrator.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Yes I got the successful response from the cmd line. I enabled the log on (which I had previously disabled since I was the only user). I got into safe mode and used the admin account to go to the control panel, but ran into the same issue. I cannot access the user accounts. Out of curiosity, I tired all of the options and found I could not get into the Action Center or Display either. And the Credential Manager gave me an error (because I was in safe mode?). I don't really see any link between the three. Maybe somebody else does?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 10 Pro X64

Save yourself time and aggravation. Backup your data then either restore the laptop to it's factory new state or do a clean install.

Restore to factory can usually be done via the Start menu of by pressing a Fn key during boot. I don't know how to do either. If you fill out your System Specs (User CP / Edit System Spec) then I can see if I can find the manual at the HP web site. There advantages and disadvantages to doing this.

The big advantage is you will have the programs you are used to using.
The big disadvantage is you will have all the crapware HP forces on you.

Doing a Clean install, all you have is a good Windows 7. From there you install only what you want. Here is a good tutorial on doing this: Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

One other thing you might try before resorting to a restore is to run sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt:

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unable to access user accounts as admin

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