Enable or Disable Elevated Administrator account in Windows 10  

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  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,206
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21354
    Thread Starter
       #140

    SeniorLearner said:
    Thanks for your tutorial and your help. It worked.
    I was able to get a list of all drivers, system information and installed programs onto a USB.

    However, it turned out that at the bottom of all the problems with the machine that I was trying to fix, were various MS updates that 'broke' the user's PC. All data had been wiped, lost access to user account, event logs full of errors. Finally got a clean OS install, but then more damage from an update that stopped Windows Defender from working. Downloaded the fix from MS, then hit again by the latest update of a couple of days ago. Kim Komando had the details, so I uninstalled the update and set the update delay for 32 days.

    Now I can get on with a clean machine that is working well, install all programs, and copy over the previously recovered deleted data files, that I had recovered at the beginning thinking this was going to be a straight forward fix.

    Thanks for all your help and attention to detail.
    You're most welcome. I'm happy to hear you're getting it back in working order.
      My Computers

  2. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,505
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.746
       #141

    What happens in 32 days when you get the next update, Sure hope you are doing regular image backups using Macrium Reflect!
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro v1909
       #142

    First let me say this is a very helpful How-To Guide and a necessary skill for those working in, or wishing to work in an IT related field.

    In my opinion and based on my experience, disabling the Built-in Administrator account is not the best way to go in regards to system security.

    There are situations where this may be necessary, but I wouldn't do this nor advise this to a regular user. In fact, I always advise my family, friends and collogues to enable the built-in Administrator and then password protect it. They need not even login with that account if they don't intend to perform a great deal of administrative tasks in a single session.

    Reasoning? System security. My own system is setup with the following:

    1. Built-in Administrator account Enabled and Password protected
      • Password stored in my password manager and sync'd across my primary computer, iPhone and iPad.

    2. My everyday User profile is a Standard account.


    System administration is performed under my Standard account. I run the appropriate programs as an administrator as needed. This helps reduce malware from running on my system. However, ransomware may be a concern but I use a Virtual Machine when I wish to experiment with questionable software or I just want to know how it works so I'm not fumbling with crappy software removal issues on my Host system.

    Either way, I'm not telling you to NOT disable the built-in Admin account, but I would strongly suggest you assess why you would. It's easier for someone to bypass it. Make changes and then disable the account again and you probably wouldn't notice.
    If the built-in Admin account is enabled and password protected, you will know it was compromised when you discover the password was actually changed!

    This is especially important when it comes to implementing Parental Controls on a child's computer. If you have Bitlocker enabled on the System drive (recommended) then they have know way of bypassing the Admin account using Hirens or a similar tool.
      My Computer

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,206
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21354
    Thread Starter
       #143

    Hello @zero269,

    Agreed 100%. The built-in Administrator should definitely be password protected to help protect it.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 5
    Windows 10 1909
       #144

    Ztruker said:
    What happens in 32 days when you get the next update, Sure hope you are doing regular image backups using Macrium Reflect!
    Thanks, I actually use Acronis for our own machines. I had downloaded Macrium Reflect for the friend whose machine I am fixing. I will have to check out how it works, and give clear instructions for the family to follow. They had a portable USB drive just to copy their data to, but it hadn't been updated for over a year. So it will have to be set up to automatically run on a schedule. After this scare, I think they will be keen to use it.

    When people use thin clients, all admin and security is done for them. When they get their own machines they don't really know enough to keep themselves out of trouble. Pity there isn't an online tutorial that we could point them to, so they could work through all the basics as well as admin and security. Buying a computer these days is not much different from buying a microwave, for all the support they get.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       #145

    I messed around with the built in admin account and I screwed up


    Hey Brink,

    I read through your tutorial and I was trying to change things around on my computer and I ended up going through the .cmd and activating my built in admin account.

    I went to restart my computer and now the system wonít even boot up. Itís keeps forcing me into Windows 10 auto repair screen and it doesnít matter what I do it keeps resetting and takes me right back to the same spot.

    What Iíve tried so far:
    - trying to change the accounts back from Admin in the .cmd (When my computer resets it reverts everything back)
    - change my account username in .cmd
    - system restore (fails every time)
    - deactivating admin and trying to use DefaultAccounts to reboot
    - Tried to create a new local user account
    - Tried booting into safe mode and all the other options Windows offered and Iíd end up right back where I started

    I realized that once I did this I lost my actual Windows Net User Account that I created when I first bought my computer. I had made myself and admin through the user settings but, I was still having tons of restriction issues and had problems downloading and installing programs and files. I thought this would help, it clearly made everything much worse.

    Is there a way I can fix this issue through the command prompt while Iím stuck in this Troubleshooting Screen? Or somehow I can revert back to before I started messing around with all of this?

    I miss Windows 7 I had my system like a well oiled machine. Stupid Windows 10 and their updates and making it impossible to enjoy the freedom of having your system custom to your liking. 😒.

    It is now 3am my time and I have been trying to make this work since about 8pm this (yesterday at this point) evening. You are my last hope. Please help me! Thanks for your time.
      My Computer

  7. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,206
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21354
    Thread Starter
       #146

    katz19 said:
    Hey Brink,

    I read through your tutorial and I was trying to change things around on my computer and I ended up going through the .cmd and activating my built in admin account.

    I went to restart my computer and now the system wonít even boot up. Itís keeps forcing me into Windows 10 auto repair screen and it doesnít matter what I do it keeps resetting and takes me right back to the same spot.

    What Iíve tried so far:
    - trying to change the accounts back from Admin in the .cmd (When my computer resets it reverts everything back)
    - change my account username in .cmd
    - system restore (fails every time)
    - deactivating admin and trying to use DefaultAccounts to reboot
    - Tried to create a new local user account
    - Tried booting into safe mode and all the other options Windows offered and Iíd end up right back where I started

    I realized that once I did this I lost my actual Windows Net User Account that I created when I first bought my computer. I had made myself and admin through the user settings but, I was still having tons of restriction issues and had problems downloading and installing programs and files. I thought this would help, it clearly made everything much worse.

    Is there a way I can fix this issue through the command prompt while Iím stuck in this Troubleshooting Screen? Or somehow I can revert back to before I started messing around with all of this?

    I miss Windows 7 I had my system like a well oiled machine. Stupid Windows 10 and their updates and making it impossible to enjoy the freedom of having your system custom to your liking. .

    It is now 3am my time and I have been trying to make this work since about 8pm this (yesterday at this point) evening. You are my last hope. Please help me! Thanks for your time.

    Hello katx19, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    Sorry I wasn't online earlier.

    Enabling the built-in Administrator account alone wouldn't have caused this, so you definitely have some other issue at hand.

    Do you have a system image you can restore?

    If you have backups of you files, it may be faster to either reset or clean install Windows 10, and restore your files afterwards.

    Reset Windows 10

    Clean Install Windows 10
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       #147

    Brink said:
    Hello katx19, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    Sorry I wasn't online earlier.

    Enabling the built-in Administrator account alone wouldn't have caused this, so you definitely have some other issue at hand.

    Do you have a system image you can restore?

    If you have backups of you files, it may be faster to either reset or clean install Windows 10, and restore your files afterwards.

    Reset Windows 10

    Clean Install Windows 10

    Hey Brink, Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately I donít have a recovery of my system. I was trying to do this yesterday before I started messing around with all of this. But it didnít seem to work.

    After further running through the .cmd it seems that there is and issue within my C:/ drive and windows just wonít boot. Iím currently in DISKPART and trying to see where that takes me.

    Volume 0 | C System Reset NTFS Partition 500MB Healthy (BOOT) is missing?

    I mean I donít know if what I wrote about really means anything?

    I just wanted to clarify something else. Yesterday before this all started. I had turned off basically all of Windows Defender to allow access for a file I was downloading and then I started messing around with User Accounts and then reset and thatís when my computer would start up or boot properly.

    So is this all happening because I messed around with Windows Defender and the Net User Accounts? Or is it more so one than the other?

    Would I just have to repair my C:/ drive so I can start my system up again? I donít know. I like to think Iím quite experienced with Windows Iíve just been learning more about .cmd over the last few years but clearly there is so much more to it. I just really hope I havenít totally screwed myself here and I end up losing everything on my computer.
      My Computer

  9. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,206
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21354
    Thread Starter
       #148

    katz19 said:
    Hey Brink, Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately I don’t have a recovery of my system. I was trying to do this yesterday before I started messing around with all of this. But it didn’t seem to work.

    After further running through the .cmd it seems that there is and issue within my C:/ drive and windows just won’t boot. I’m currently in DISKPART and trying to see where that takes me.

    Volume 0 | C System Reset NTFS Partition 500MB Healthy (BOOT) is missing?

    I mean I don’t know if what I wrote about really means anything?

    I just wanted to clarify something else. Yesterday before this all started. I had turned off basically all of Windows Defender to allow access for a file I was downloading and then I started messing around with User Accounts and then reset and that’s when my computer would start up or boot properly.

    So is this all happening because I messed around with Windows Defender and the Net User Accounts? Or is it more so one than the other?

    Would I just have to repair my C:/ drive so I can start my system up again? I don’t know. I like to think I’m quite experienced with Windows I’ve just been learning more about .cmd over the last few years but clearly there is so much more to it. I just really hope I haven’t totally screwed myself here and I end up losing everything on my computer.
    It would usually be from the last action before it happened that may have caused it.

    If you have another computer you can use for now, you could use the tutorial below to create a Peppermint live USB to use to at least back up anything you do not want to lose before doing a clean install.

    Peppermint Live CD/DVD/USB - Create for Emergency Backup - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       #149

    Iím going to try to do BOOTREC first and see if that works. Iíll have to go to my parents place and create a recovery there and try and fix the issue that way. Would you suggest trying to do the BOOTREC first or donít waste time with it?
      My Computer


 
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