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I have an installation of windows XP, and it's not part of a domain. Previously, it just had only the administrator account, and upon creating a different user account, all access was lost to the administrator account. When the machine starts up, only the new local account is offered for login, which seemed strange.

I've checked that the administrator account was not disabled, nor are any rights missing from the local security policy. Furthermore, the administrator account is accessible via remote desktop, where an opportunity is given to type the desired account. REALLY strange.

Upon deletion of the new local user account, the administrator account appeared again. Can anyone tell me what's going on?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

That's the expected behavior. The Administrator account is only available on the Welcome screen if there are no other user accounts. Once you create a user account the Administrator account is removed from the Welcome screen. If you want to log on as Administrator when another user account exists you need to disable the Welcome screen.

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That explains very well what was going on. Thanks! –  bwerks Jun 21 '10 at 18:26
    
Glad to help... –  joeqwerty Jun 22 '10 at 19:30
    
I thought if you press ctrl+alt+del twice from the welcome screen you can then log in as the administrator, it's been awhile though. –  Chris Disbro Apr 17 at 17:22
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or you can press ctrl+alt+del and get the login box

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Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete twice at the welcome screen to bring up the login box. You can type in administrator there.

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