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Admin rights lost, now only limited rights. Won't let me do anything - keeps telling me I don't have permission or see your administrator. User accounts only has me as limited a/c & Pick A Task only shows this. Set up 3yrs a go with me as administrator. Worked ok until now. Anyone got the answer?

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System restore wont work without admin rights im guessing? Do you remember when this happened as in what were you doing when it happened – Karthik T Dec 18 '12 at 17:08
Doesn't XP have a default "administrator" account? If you can you log-in using it? The password should be blank unless you changed it. – martineau Dec 18 '12 at 20:50

As long as your are in windows, as limited user, you should not be able to change this. If you could then there is no point in the whole security scheme.

However there is nothing that prevents you from booting from something else, mounting the harddisk which contains the windows files and changing the rights. There are many tools for this, e.g. locksmith on ERD, or my personal favourite, this disc.

Use either to:

  • Reset the password for the administrator account
  • Then reboot into windows
  • log in as administrator
  • Change the rights on the account you want to fix.
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If you are a local user you can use the Windows XP recovery disk to restore your machine. Otherwise your only option is to wipe the disk and start again.

By definition, limited users can't overrule or become administrative users, otherwise there wouldn't be any security added by making some users limited.

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No recovery disk,came with set up included. Can't restore - no admin rights now. Can't run updated version of virus scanner. – Pat D Dec 18 '12 at 17:20
In which case my suggestion to you is to backup all of the files you need and then flatten the OS and reinstall. You should take the opportunity to migrate up to a consumer-supported OS like Windows7 at the same time; Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and suffers from numerous security problems as a result of being a circa 2002-era OS. – SecurityMatt Dec 18 '12 at 18:16

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