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I have a machine running Windows XP Home SP3. I have a script that I run regularly on other Windows XP pro boxes that calls the Administrator account to do something. For security purposes, I won't go into how it gets its credential information.

Anyway, when I run this script on XP Home, I get the good old

Unable to log you on because of an account restriction

message and the script fails.

Microsoft says

This behavior is by design. This issue occurs because the Administrator account has been set aside so that it can be used in Safe mode when the Owner account is not available.

Is there a way to enable logging in to the Administrator account in normal mode using Windows XP home so that this script will run?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's possible to trick Windows XP Home Edition into giving you a usable Administrator account for scripting purposes.

This is accomplished by using a trick I found on TechRepublic, and then going one step further:

Press Windows+R to access the Run dialog box. In the Open text box, type

control userpasswords2

click OK to access the User Accounts dialog box.

Select the Administrator Account from the list and click the Properties button. In the User Name text box, type a new name, and click OK.

After doing this, log out and back in.

Go to the Control Panel, then User Accounts. You are now able to make a new account with the name Administrator, which works with scripts when given the password they are expecting. You can even log into the new Administrator account in normal mode.

This works because Windows limits the Administrator account by using its SID, not its user friendly name. This does have the side effect of making your "Whoopadoop" (or whatever you named it) account restricted to being loaded in Safe Mode only.

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+1 Nothing better than a simple workaround to get past stupid windows xp home restrictions. –  Moab May 15 '12 at 17:40

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