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I am trying to fix a friends computer which is constantly going to sleep on them and sometimes not waking up.

Trying to launch power configuration from the control panel does nothing, and launching powercfg.cpl from the command line results in no output or action.

I have tried powercfg /RestoreDefaultPolicies and I get an access denied error message telling me to try again as an administrator. I am logged in as the only account on the PC, it is administrator, UAC is off, CMD.COM is "Ran as Administrator" and the PC is not part of a domain.

I also get the access denied error while running most of the powercfg, including powercfg -l.

What can I do to get powercfg to give me permissions again?

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Create a new user account with admin privileges, log into it, see if you get the same behavior. – Moab Dec 2 '11 at 5:16
It looks as if it is something wrong with powercfg itself if it doesn't start normally from Control Panel. Maybe you try to do system restore and roll-back to previous good known configuration? – Alexander Galkin Dec 21 '11 at 16:23

Like Moab had suggested, create a new user in the Admin group and then try it. If you still have problems, you got corrupted system files.

After scanning for malware, try running sfc /scannow.

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