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I created an administrator user account (jeff) and then downgraded an existing account (jen) to a standard user. All was good I accomplished my goal except I didn't want the admin account to show on the login screen. So I used regedit to edit the following key:


Everything was still fine until I tried to log in to the admin user and realized CTRL-ALT-DEL no longer shows the alternate login screen (Windows Vista). Now I have a standard user account with no way to log into the admin account. Can someone point me to a solution?

I did try using runas to use regedit as an admin:

runas /user:jeff c:\windows\regedit.exe

I also tried run cmd.exe as an admin

runas /user:jeff c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe

I lastly tried the following command both with and without using runas:

net user jeff /active:yes

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What happened with your runas command? – AthomSfere Sep 13 '13 at 13:12
have you tried using the password with the runas command? – Frank Thomas Sep 13 '13 at 13:23
You can follow the instruction from here. Involves booting from Win7 DVD and then using regedit. – Rik Sep 13 '13 at 13:33
Rik's comment should be an answer actually.. – Sweet72 Sep 13 '13 at 13:45
@Sweet72 The answer was so short and simple, so i thought it would be best as a comment. But now i added it as an answer (for future reference) citing the source. – Rik Sep 13 '13 at 14:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The following instructions came from this site and are duplicated here in case this site goes offline.

If you would like to unhide the hidden Administrator account on Windows 7 Operating System, here's how you can do it:

  1. Boot Win 7 DVD, go to command prompt and type regedit -it, open registry editor

  2. Click on HKLM hive and next navigate File>>Load hive. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\config folder and choose SOFTWARE file load it and assign this hive any name for example REM_SOFTWARE

  3. Open key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
    and remove this account or better way remove the whole key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts

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