I disconnect my windows 7 computer from the domain and now I all I have is a STANDARD user account(no administrator local account). And I lost all the data of that account. When I tried to access that particular USER folder using this standard account I got a message that I need an "administrator account privilege". How can I have an administrator account so that I can take ownership and access the data I lost when I disconnected to the windows 2008 r2 domain? Thanks

  • Doesn't it explicitly warn you about needing to have a local admin account? Use a BootCD to hack an account in. – NULLZ Jun 26 '13 at 0:45

Enable and/or unlock Administrator account in Windows

If the normal option of booting to safe mode doesn't give you access to the administrator account, or if you don't know the password, then linux is your answer.

The utility you'll be using is chntpw. It's a linux program designed specifically for enabling and unlocking accounts on Windows. It's usage for Ubuntu is detailed here, but it can be installed on other distributions too.

To avoid a long download and complex setup, I recommend the chntpw-specific USB or CD image (~3MB) of the Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor by Petter N. Hagen. The latest release is 05/11/2011, but I can verify it works on current software. I created 2 dummy accounts on Windows Server 2012 (essentially Windows 8, just server-fied), and I was able to successfully blank the passwords on them both as well as enable the one I'd deliberately disabled.

In order to make a USB disk mountable, you'll need Administrator access. So if you don't have access to a friends computer, you're stuck going the live CD route. In addition, many user accounts are blocked from burning CD's by default and either need permissions enabled for it or require a program that was installed prior to losing the Admin account. In short, you might still need a friends computer.

A summary of his USB creation instructions:

• Copy all the files that is inside the usbXXXXXX.zip onto a usb drive, directly on the drive, not inside any directory/folder.
• It is OK if there are other files on the USB drive from before, they will not be removed.
• Install bootloader on the USB drive, from command prompt in windows (start the command line with "run as administrator").

X:syslinux.exe -ma X: 

• Replace X: with the drive letter the USB drive shows up as (DO NOT USE C:).
• If it seems like nothing happened, it is usually done.

A summary of his CD creation instructions

• Unzipped, there should be an ISO image file (cd??????.iso). This can be burned to CD using whatever burner program you like. Often double-clikcing on it in explorer will pop up the program offering to write the image to CD.
• Once written the CD should only contain some files like "initrd.gz", "vmlinuz" and some others. If it contains the image file "cd??????.iso" you didn't burn the image but instead added the file to a CD. I cannot help with this, please consult you CD-software manual or friends.
• The CD will boot with most BIOSes, see your manual on how to set it to boot from CD. Some will auto-boot when a CD is in the drive, some others will show a boot-menu when you press ESC or F10/F12 when it probes the disks, some may need to have the boot order adjusted in setup.

Once you've created the CD or USB disk and have booted from it, you just have to follow the on-screen instructions to get through it. Take your time and read the prompts (there are several), and you'll get your Admin account back.

If you need help with the more specific instructions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll go into more detail.

Link to USB image: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/usb110511.zip
Link to CD image: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/cd110511.zip
Full installation instructions: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html
Chntpw tutorial: http://whatisgon.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/chntpw-tutorial-resetting-windows-passwords-editing-registry-linux/


Boot the system into safemode (Hold F8 before the Windows logo appears) and select the Administrator account (I don't think it should have a password). From there, you can flag your other account as an administrator through the control panel.

  • I tried that before and on windows 7 this is not working. – David Jordan Jun 26 '13 at 0:24
  • 2
    What specifically is not working? You can't get into safe mode? There's no administrator account? The administrator account has a password? The local user doesn't show up in the control panel? – Darth Android Jun 26 '13 at 0:36

My advice would be booting the machine using the bootable ERD65 LiveCD, which take ownership of the local administrators' profile, then enable the administrators account.


Theoretically if you don't have any administrator account, the built-in Administrator account should be available in safe mode. Sometimes due to any identified reason, the built-in Administrator may not to be available in safe mode.

  1. Open a command prompt at boot. (Safe mode with Command prompt)

  2. In the command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. regedit

  3. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (or HKEY_USERS - your choose. In this example I've chosen HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) .

  4. Go to File menu and choose load hive option

    it will open new window and in that navigate to drive where your OS is installed and go to <boot partition>\Windows\System32\config

    in this example it is C:\Windows\System32\config

  5. Choose SAM file and click Open

  6. Next appear Key Name box,type the name whatever you want i.e REM_SAM

  7. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SAM\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4 key and double click on string F,

    it will open table with hexadecimal numbers

    Build-in Administrator is disabled

  8. In this table find 11 number (8th line,first column in table -images),click to the right of it,press backspace and the 11 disappear and insert the 10 in this place

    Build-in Administrator is enabled

  9. Close box,the whole regedit and restart computer.

  10. Log on to build-in Administrator account and now you can try to fix problem depends on your situation -fix your account, reset password for your account or create new admin account.

I haven't tried this on computer on your situation, but give it a try.

  • 2
    Did you just post a way for any standard user to upgrade their account? – Jon Apr 24 '14 at 23:24

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