Windows Vista administrator account locked down
Here¡¦s the details:
Windows Vista Home Premium
I am not experienced with Vista, however am pretty comfortable with XP
and am used to managing computers through admin rights, can do minor,
simple registry tweaks and fixes, and have always been able to recover
from my mistakes. I ain¡¦t scared to run a machine from an
administrator account. Once upon a time, I could access administrator
rights in Vista. That is not to say I really know what I¡¦m doing ¡V I
apparently do not know enough to recognize the advantages of Vista.
Originally I set up the machine and Vista to have only one account,
and that account was set up as an administrator. I think ¡V it¡¦s been
a while and I don¡¦t normally use this machine, it is my wife¡¦s. Well,
she¡¦s my wife for now, but she¡¦s not too impressed with my buying her
a Vista machine. Much is at stake.
Since the last time I worked with the administrator account the
following events occurred that may be relevant:
¡E The machine was out of my control for about a month. Belongs to my
wife who has it at another location and I can only get at it
intermittently. I am confident she could not wander into security
settings by accident.
¡E The problem was discovered during the installation of Linksys
software to install and configure a new .811g router. The software
installed, and was able to achieve a connection through wireless
networking. An internet connection could not be achieved however.
This behavior was very reminiscent of experiences with Live Onecare
(or was it a Windows Update???) arbitrarily and without warning
setting my wireless network connections to ¡§Public.¡¨
¡E This appeared after the machine was hooked up to a cable modem by a
technician from the cable company, and was done out of my presence.
My wife, who was present, does not remember that the installer asked
any questions about the account, but¡K
¡E It also appears Microsoft may have pushed out some updates prior to
the installation of the Linksys software and attempt to create a
The only security software on this computer is Microsoft Live Onecare.
Security settings show Windows Firewall is turned off when accessed
directly. Live Onecare indicates Firewall is turned on. (no problem,
that¡¦s how my two smoothly operating XP machines indicate).
The administrator account (the only account) is locked down as though
it were a severely restricted user account. Note the consequences:
¡E Can not access Live Onecare or Windows wireless networking security
features to assign the wireless network as ¡§Home or Office.¡¨
¡E Can not use the right click menu item ¡§Run as Administrator.¡¨ This
results in the program or feature starting and hanging. Windows
itself continues to run and other programs can operate. Task Manager
reports it as failing to respond.
¡E Security settings can not be accessed from ¡§Run¡¨ command line. .cpl
files retrieve an error message that access is denied. No security
settings can be accessed
¡E Can not access Live Onecare firewall settings.
¡E Following instructions on using Safe Mode to get to administrator
rights failed with similar denials of access.
At this point, I am stumped. I have scoured forums and discussion
groups and have not found a problem that resembles this one. All of
the issues that are similar provide solutions of the ¡§Run as
Administrator¡¨ or running secpol.msc or .cpl files from the run
command line. Those return ¡§access denied.¡¨ Following instructions
on how to log in as an administrator just logs into the same account
with the same restrictions. Windows does label this account as
So I¡¦m thinking this fine OS has me in a corner and I¡¦ll have to
reinstall. Are there less severe options or something that will
redeem me in my wife¡¦s eyes?
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