Solved Can't access Admin account

Dell XPS M140
January 4, 2008 at 09:08:09
Specs: Windows XP, Intel(R) Pentium(R) M pro
I am not able to log back into my Administrator account. I'm stuck in a limited user account and though my Administrator account is set w/o a password, I still can't login, even through my computer's Safe Mode (which is was the Dell service person suggested).

This problem occurred yesterday while I was trying to eliminate the login screen from my computer's startup. Initially, I used a tip from by entering "control userpasswords2" in the Run menu and turning off the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" option.

It didn't work, so I tried the second solution that listed. I installed TweakUI, opened it, expanded the "Logon" branch, clicked "Autologon," and then turned on the "Log on automatically at the system startup" option.

At some point in this process, I also created a new user account but realized later that it was only a limited account. This may or may not have to do with the problem. I also may have deleted another account from the computer that had Admin capabilities. But as of now, I am stuck in this limited, non-Admin account because it's the only account that has a password. When I try to log into my Administrator account (w/o a password, as I've always done), I get this error:

"The system could not log you on. Make sure your User name and domain are correct, then type your password again. Letters in passwords must be typed using the correct case."

...which is the same error I get when I try the same thing in Safe Mode.

One noticeable thing that has changed is that the login screen shows two fields for logging in: User name and Password. Before I started this process, it showed icons for each account, which I clicked to access the accounts.

I believe that it was a combination of the things above that set my computer to not accept my Administrator account w/o a password. Perhaps the "control userpasswords2" command, or perhaps the TweakUI setting. I have tried uninstalling TweakUI and seem to have succeeded but it hasn't helped. Unfortunately, now that I am kicked out of my Administrator account (or any account w/ Administrator capabilities), I no longer have access to the "control userpasswords2" prompt and cannot reinstall TweakUI. I also have no access to the System Restore. Ugh.

Thanks a million for reading and for any suggestions!

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January 4, 2008 at 10:12:03
If you're being prompted with a login screen, then the changes you made to Autologin are obviously not working.

What is shown when you click on the Options box on the login screen?

Life's more painless for the brainless.

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January 4, 2008 at 12:48:04
Unfortunately, the Options box only hides (or un-hides) the "Shut Down..." option.

From the way it looks now, I'll either have to try to make a bootable CD (by Googling "NTPASSWD" and somehow following the very complicated-looking directions) or formatting my drive and re-loading Windows. I'm gonna try the former as it sounds a little easier.

Thanks for your help, Jennifer. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

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January 4, 2008 at 18:48:31
✔ Best Answer
Try this...

This will make a bootable CD and allow you to choose the account you want to change the pw will NOT allow you to create a new pw...but it will change it to "no password" the next time you log in, you will not need a pw...

good luck

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Related Solutions

January 5, 2008 at 07:15:43
Thanks, Steven. Someone else suggested this on another forum and I'm really glad to hear it reiterated. In your opinion, do I have to be a totally techie DOS expert to do this?

Fingers crossed...

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January 5, 2008 at 11:31:33
Well, the good news is, the bootable CD worked and I got back into my Admin account.

The bad news is, before I got myself kicked out, while I was foolishly messing around with my user accounts (trying to get rid of the login screen), it appears that I accidentally deleted THE account that I'd be using for years, w/ all my data, docs, emails, photos, music, etc.

I know this is a long shot but ... does anyone know anything about recovering deleted accounts?

I know there probably isn't. Thanks anyway. I learned a lot from y'all!

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January 6, 2008 at 07:51:45
Before you do anything else...stop...
Leave your computer turned OFF...

Remove the HD from your computer...get to another computer and mount your HD as a SLAVE on the other computer...

Boot up the other computer...your HD should be recognized with some drive letter...assume drive F:\...

On your HD go to C;\ Documents Settings and see if your old account shows up...if so, expand it, is there a My Documents folder under your old account??? there anything in it???

IF not...Google for File Scavanger 2.0 or's about $30.00 but it is the best, easiest to use data recovery program out there that I have found...

Install File Scavanger on the C:\ drive on the other computer...Create a folder in the root of the C:\ drive and name it something like Recovered Files...

Open File Scavanger and do a deep scan on your HD...Drive F:\ or whatever it shows up as...Give it plenty of time...depending on the size of the drive and the amount of may take 2-3 hours...

It will come up with a BUNCH of files...most of them you are not interested in...but File Scavanger gives you options for the types of files your are looking for...Doc, JPG, MP3, etc....

It may take multiple scans...but if your files are there, there is better than a 50-50 chance File Scavanger will get them...

Once you have lost data you do NOT want to use that HD in your computer...because the placemarkers for the files have been lost, it will overwrite your old data making it more difficult, if not impossible to recover...

Good luck...take your the instructions carefully...

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January 6, 2008 at 09:57:09
No need to remove the drive. The files should be contained in the Documents and Settings for the old "Profile" (not account.)

From the OP's other thread, that's been confirmed that's where his lost files were.

Life's more painless for the brainless.

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