I have Windows 7 Home Premium, and would like to do some maintenance tasks such as running Disk Defragmenter. However, this and other programs and applications that I'm accustomed to using are now blocked.

For these programs, there is a shield icon next to their icons and nothing happens when I click on them. I notice that the screen blinks slightly, but I do not get prompted for a password and the program still does not run. It seems these programs may only be accessible through an Administrator account. However, right-clicking and selecting "Run As Administrator" does not work.

After some research, I found a way to enable the hidden built-in Administrator account.

  • I booted the computer into safe mode.
  • In the command prompt, I typed net user administrator /active:yes.
  • I gave the account a password.
  • I rebooted the system.

There is now an Administrator account on the home screen. However, the locked programs behave no differently for me when I use this account.

What could cause this problem? How can I fix it?

update :

I am able to now use a few things I wasn't able to before I activated the Administrator account, such as the defragmenter, but still most access is denied.

When I try to access programs the screen does not blink. The frame around the box that is open does and the cursor wait circle (which used to be the hourglass) pops up for a few seconds, but then nothing happens. There is no prompt for password. I assume I still don't have permission though I have gone through several routes to enable this.

I have disabled UAC as well by modifying in the registry the LUA setting value to 0. I have tried system restore with no results. I am unable to use the troubleshooters, updates, wizards etc. I keep getting error messages when I do so. This occurred before I modified the value as well.

This is my home computer.I received this PC as a gift from a . I have had it for about 2 months and it was working fine until a few days ago when I noticed my sound was no longer working. Another thing I have discovered are old program files as far back as 2006. My claimed he reformatted this PC. It had Vista on it and he put 7 on it. I don't believe he correctly reformatted and installed the Windows 7 OS if there are still old files on it. Am I right?

My installed Webroot as my anti-virus. I was using AVG, but he uninstalled it. I asked if this would be safe and he assured me that the Webroot would be sufficient because Windows has a security suite built in. I now believe that he was referring to Windows Defender and it is turned off. My brother recommended I try Advanced System Care, when I scanned my drive there were 11 system problems and almost 10,000 security issues. It claimed to resolved this, but I still have limited access and errors.

Is there anything I can do besides starting over and reformatting and installing better anti-virus, though I am unsure if security is even the issue here. My failed to give me the Windows 7 disk. We are not able to communicate at this time. What are my options?

  • 2
    Are you the system administrator and is this your machine or a company machine? – Metril Feb 12 '11 at 4:00
  • What happens when you right-click one of the icons with the 'shield icon' and choose 'Run as administrator'? – Uninspired Mar 17 '11 at 3:48

The screen blink you describe might be the UAC prompt on the UAC secure desktop. The secure desktop puts the UAC window on a darkened semi opaque background.

I have seen instances where the UAC prompt and secure desktop may not take focus from some window open. If that happens you'll see the UAC blue/yellow shield flashing on the task bar, once clicked it takes focus and is visable to allow the administrative function requseted.


Find out from your friend if he installed a legal copy of Windows 7, and if so, if he can provide you with the installation disk and license key. If the copy of Windows 7 he installed is not genuine, then it is possible he used some sort of activation crack, which could be causing this problem. Since you can't contact your friend right now, you may have to wait. In the meantime, you can try some of the other suggestions here.

Webroot sounds like a legitimate security software company, however, you might be better off using Microsoft Security Essentials, as it is supported by Microsoft and designed to work well with Windows 7. Windows Defender is not antivirus software, it is only capable of removing some problems and is not a substitute for a proper antivirus tool. There is not really any good reason to disable it.

If UAC is turned off, then there is no way to elevate a task to an administrator account. When UAC is turned on, you should be prompted to enter the administrator's username and password when doing administrative tasks. If turning UAC back on does not solve the problem, then there may be other problems.

If you can log in to the Administrator account, you should be able to do things like run the defragmenter from that account. The Administrator account is not restricted by UAC ever, so you should not have to worry about that. Administrative tasks should run without any problems.

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