I believe we have found a fix.
Thanks to MVP Jimmy Brush for doing the work on this procedure.
Here is his procedure:
You get this behavior because the "net" command is running in the context of
the recovery environment, which is its own little in-memory windows
installation. The net command is listing the recovery enviornment's
accounts, and not the target windows installation's accounts.
Using the Recovery Environment, you can open the registry in the target
installation of Windows in order to apply the fix:
Boot with Vista installation disk in the drive and select the command prompt
in the repair options.
From the R.E. command prompt:
- Type: regedit
- Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
- Click File -> Load Hive
- Browse to the target installation's \Windows\System32\Config folder
- Select the file named "SAM" and click Open
- Give it a name, e.g. "Target SAM" and click OK
- Expand "Target SAM" inside of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
- Expand into the following subfolder: SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4
- Double-click the item in the right called "F"
- You are now presented with a hex editor
- Change the 57'th position from hex 11 to hex 10. (I believe this is the
only spot in the data that contains a hex 11). To do this, click to the
right of hex 11 to make the insertion point there. Press backspace, and 11
disappears. Type 10.
On my computer, here's what the data looked like, up to the point that I
This should make the built-in admin account active, but we still need to
unhide it from the welcome screen.
**NOTE, the following key may not be present on all systems. If this key is
missing, simply exit regedit, exit the command prompt and restart the system
to the normal Vista installation.***
- Follow the same steps on loading a hive, but instead of loading SAM, load
- Give it a name such as "Target Software"
- Expand Target Software, and browse to the following key:
Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \
- Delete the entry in there named "Administrator"
- Close down regedit
Administrator should now be enabled and able to be logged in as or elevated
- JB - Windows Shell/User
***Note when you boot to Vista the administrator account should appear on
the login screen. If it does not, log on with your normal account and try
starting a program or application with administrator privileges, you should
get an elevation prompt.
Let me know how this works for you.
"Steve Midgley" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> "Ronnie Vernon MVP" <email@example.com> wrote in message
>> I haven't forgotten you, I'm still working on this and it's turning out
>> to be a tough one.
>> Ronnie Vernon
>> Microsoft MVP
>> Windows Shell/User
> Yes, a tough one , indeed. I plan on hanging on until this is solved -
> this machine is still operable for the most part and my laptop has a
> nearly identical setup if I were to get stuck.