All admin accounts deactivated; how $^&#ed am I?

HoosierDaddy

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May 28, 2013
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Based on reports that Windows 10 may disable the Administrator account during updates, I decided it was time to stop using Administrator as my only admin account. So I logged onto Administrator and created a new account with the intent of making it an admin account. I then deactivated Administrator assuming that would take effect at logoff time. I then switched to the new account to let it create the environment but I had not yet made it an administrator account. You guessed it, when I clicked to switch back to Administrator to make the new account an admin, it would not do the switch despite still showing as logged on.

And apparently I may not even be able to restore an earlier backup because the backup program (O&O Diskimage) won't run without admin authority which is no longer possible.

I'm leaving the administrator account still logged on just in case someone knows some trick I can use while it is.

But am looking for any way out of this.

And if anyone who answers happens to be responsible for Windows not warning someone about deactivating the ONLY admin account, do not mention that fact or I will hunt you down like the dog you are.
 

TechFreak1

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May 15, 2013
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Based on reports that Windows 10 may disable the Administrator account during updates, I decided it was time to stop using Administrator as my only admin account. So I logged onto Administrator and created a new account with the intent of making it an admin account. I then deactivated Administrator assuming that would take effect at logoff time. I then switched to the new account to let it create the environment but I had not yet made it an administrator account. You guessed it, when I clicked to switch back to Administrator to make the new account an admin, it would not do the switch despite still showing as logged on.

And apparently I may not even be able to restore an earlier backup because the backup program (O&O Diskimage) won't run without admin authority which is no longer possible.

I'm leaving the administrator account still logged on just in case someone knows some trick I can use while it is.

But am looking for any way out of this.

And if anyone who answers happens to be responsible for Windows not warning someone about deactivating the ONLY admin account, do not mention that fact or I will hunt you down like the dog you are.

This sounds like that the hidden admin account may be still active.

Q: when you set up the pc/laptop did you specifically create an account and called it Administrator or are you using the built-in admin account?

- If you are not using the built-in admin account try the following:

Do you have a windows install usb to hand as it involves tweaking the registry?

{Prior to doing so disconnect from the internet to prevent auto updates incase another update disables the built-in account as you're using it to fix the disabled admin account... best not take any chances with W10 updates... given the number of silly bugs we've seen in the past.}

Launch the windows recovery environment and open command prompt.

1) Type in: regedit

2) In regedit go to File -> Load Hive

3) In the open dialogue box paste / type in C:\Windows\System32\config

4) Choose SAM (Security Accounts Manager) and click open.

5) You may be prompted to create a new key so the hive can be saved choose a name that you find easy to remember and then click ok.

6) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\[Whatever name you gave]\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4 key and double click on string F.

7) This should load a table of hexadecimal numbers.

8) In that table, look in the first column for 0038 and in the second column the value should read as 11. Change only that value to 10. (11 is disabled, 10 is enabled)Click okay and restart the computer, you should be able to login to the built-in admin account. Once you have re-activated your disabled admin account - disable the hidden admin account by going through the above steps but this time changing the value back to 11 from 10.

Hope this helps.
 

spicypadthai

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Looks like Techfreak has you covered. Assuming the suggestion works and this is now a funny story, why didn't you simply make the new account an admin account when you created it? And why disable the current admin account? If an update does it, so be it, but proactively doing doesn't make sense. While I agree a warning would be nice, seems like your overthinking is mostly to blame.
 

HoosierDaddy

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May 28, 2013
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This sounds like that the hidden admin account may be still active.

Q: when you set up the pc/laptop did you specifically create an account and called it Administrator or are you using the built-in admin account?

- If you are not using the built-in admin account try the following:

Do you have a windows install usb to hand as it involves tweaking the registry?

{Prior to doing so disconnect from the internet to prevent auto updates incase another update disables the built-in account as you're using it to fix the disabled admin account... best not take any chances with W10 updates... given the number of silly bugs we've seen in the past.}

Launch the windows recovery environment and open command prompt.

1) Type in: regedit

2) In regedit go to File -> Load Hive

3) In the open dialogue box paste / type in C:\Windows\System32\config

4) Choose SAM (Security Accounts Manager) and click open.

5) You may be prompted to create a new key so the hive can be saved choose a name that you find easy to remember and then click ok.

6) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\[Whatever name you gave]\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4 key and double click on string F.

7) This should load a table of hexadecimal numbers.

8) In that table, look in the first column for 0038 and in the second column the value should read as 11. Change only that value to 10. (11 is disabled, 10 is enabled)Click okay and restart the computer, you should be able to login to the built-in admin account. Once you have re-activated your disabled admin account - disable the hidden admin account by going through the above steps but this time changing the value back to 11 from 10.

Hope this helps.

I was using the built in Administrator account.

But before your post, I found another way with a search. The PC dual boots into Windows 7. So I booted that and then replaced UtilMan.exe with a copy of CMD.exe in the Windows 10 partition and tricked Windows 10 into running it by booting and clicking on accessibility options before logging on. That ran the renamed CMD.exe in admin mode and I simply reactivated Administrator account. Then I logged onto it, made my new account an admin and restored the original UtilMan.
 

TechFreak1

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May 15, 2013
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I was using the built in Administrator account.

But before your post, I found another way with a search. The PC dual boots into Windows 7. So I booted that and then replaced UtilMan.exe with a copy of CMD.exe in the Windows 10 partition and tricked Windows 10 into running it by booting and clicking on accessibility options before logging on. That ran the renamed CMD.exe in admin mode and I simply reactivated Administrator account. Then I logged onto it, made my new account an admin and restored the original UtilMan.

Good to hear you sorted it out :).
 

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