On a WinXP SP3 laptop, any time I make a change in msconfig, I receive the following error:

System Configuration

An Access Denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an Administrator account to make the specified changes.

The user account I am logged on with is an administrator account, but is the fact the username is not "administrator" causing the problem?

The changes are saved; though the errors occur whenever I hit click Apply or OK. I don't receive similar errors any other time I make software/hardware/OS changes.

Update: the error occurs with either Startup items or Services. All of them generate the error. Services.msc shows the majority of services have Log On As "Local System"; the rest are "Network Service". These are the only entry types under Log On As.

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    Just a guess but the service you are trying to modify probably isn't using the admin login... What exactly are trying to do. And if it's stop a service/process from starting check said service in services.msc and see what it's set to log in as. – Supercereal Dec 19 '11 at 13:41
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    My admin is certannly not called admin , that gives the hackers the first password :-) it has never caused a problem (that i know of). – Psycogeek Dec 19 '11 at 13:48
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    Have you run full anti-virus and malware/spyware scans? Some are nasty and can "hijack" services and remove admin privileges. – CharlieRB Dec 19 '11 at 13:59
  • See above, services are either logged on using Local System or Network Service. If I tick the box to "allow service to interact with desktop" it makes no difference. – Steve Dec 20 '11 at 23:44
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    @Psycogeek: yeah, I agree. All anti virus, firewall etc runs without a problem. The PC is not part of a domain, but I have edited group policy for minor things like IE8 settings et al. I may have edited global security settings also, after receiving a scathingly poor security score from Belarc Advisor, not that it really matters. – Steve Dec 22 '11 at 7:25

Signs of a virus which removed some of your services from (services.msc) You will have to find out which services are missing and replace them by using their *.dll file. Learn how to replace services either manually by extracting its *.dll from SxS or just use your original OS cd and choose recovery + repair mode once it prompts at fresh reboot with cd in tray.

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  1. The fact that you are logged in as administrator does not mean that you are running a task with administrative privileges.

    Press [Windows] + R, type in msconfig and hit [Enter]. That should run msconfig with the necessary privileges.

  2. System services can get disabled by malware (or improper use of msconfig and service.msc).

    To remove common restrictions set by malware, you can use the Antirival Toolkit (RRT) from Sergiwa.

    Run it, click Check All and then Remove. The DEMO version will do just fine for this.

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  • If this does not work you can also try going to the icon for the command prompt in your start menu and you can choose "Run As Administrator" and try that :) – OG Chuck Low Dec 19 '11 at 16:38
  • If I run either cmd or msconfig with my administrator account, I receive an error: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. – Steve Dec 20 '11 at 23:40
  • I have updated my answer. – Dennis Dec 21 '11 at 13:06
  • @Dennis: Maybe they have changed the options available in the demo version, because if I click Check All, only "file extensions" is checked; the rest are greyed out. I am 3/4 though a full scan with this though (in Scan mode), and it has found some files reported as malware-win32.classid-60785. Malwarebytes Anti Malware, AVG Anti Virus, and Mcafee Stinger don't find issue with the file in question. Other files are reported as malware-win32.classid-61348, malware-win32.classid-61241, Trojan.Win9x.Reboot.a, malare-Win32.classid-60790. – Steve Dec 22 '11 at 12:51
  • @Steve: If the options are greyed out, it's because there's nothing to fix. Hopefully, removing the malware will remove the restrictions. – Dennis Dec 22 '11 at 12:53

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