Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8

How to Enable or Disable Built-in Elevated "Administrator" Account Windows 8 and 8.1

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the hidden built-in elevated Administrator account in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
Standard user (Users) - The standard account is an unelevated restricted user account then can be a local account or Microsoft account. It can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work. It is recommend to create a standard account for each user instead of an administrator account for the user. When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if a standard user wanted to do something that requires elevated rights that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows will give the standard user a UAC prompt to enter the password of an administrator account for approval and confirmation before allowing the action.

administrator user - Is an unelevated administrator account that is created by default during the installation of Windows 8 or 8.1, or is already setup for you on a OEM (ex: Dell) computer. This account can be a local account or Microsoft account. An administrator account has complete access to the computer, and can make any desired changes. To help make the computer more secure, this administrator account type will be prompted by UAC by default to give confirmation before allowed to make any changes that require elevated administrator rights. Such as those that affect the system, other users, or when running anything elevated (Run as Administrator) since running elevated will allow it to have access to the entire computer.

Built-in "Administrator" - Is the hidden elevated local administrator account that has full unrestricted access rights and permission on the computer. By default, this elevated "Administrator" account is not prompted by UAC by default to provide confirmation before allowed to make any changes that require elevated administrator permissions since it is an elevated account.

warning   Warning

  • You will not be able to open and run modern Store apps while signed in to the built-in Administrator account.
  • The built-in Administrator account is a local account that cannot be switched to a Microsoft account.
  • The built-in Administrator account's C:\Users\Administrator folder will not be created until the first time that it is signed into.
  • If you enable the built-in Administrator account, it is recommended that you create a password for it to help prevent unauthorized access of it.
  • For better security purposes, it is not recommended to leave the built-in Administrator account always enabled, or used for everyday purposes. The built-in Administrator account should only be used as needed instead.


EXAMPLE: Built-in "Administrator" Account Enabled in Windows 8
NOTE: This is for the Sign in screen and Switch User. If you do not see an option to select another user account at sign in, then click/tap on the back arrow button.

Sign-in.jpg
Switch_User.jpg






OPTION ONE

To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Command Prompt



1. Open an elevated command prompt, and do either step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.

2. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below and press Enter, then go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
If you had previously renamed the built-in "Administrator" account's name, then you will need to substitute administrator in the command below with the new name instead.

If your Windows uses a different language than English, then you would need to substitute administrator in the command below with the translation for your language instead.





net user administrator /active:yes


CMD_Yes.jpg


3. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below and press Enter, then go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
If you had previously renamed the built-in "Administrator" account's name, then you will need to substitute administrator in the command below with the new name instead.

If your Windows uses a different language than English, then you would need to substitute administrator in the command below with the translation for your language instead.





net user administrator /active:no


CMD_No.jpg



4. Close the elevated command prompt.

5. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.






OPTION TWO

To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Command Prompt at Boot


NOTE: This option is great for when you are unable to sign in to Windows 8.

1. Open a command prompt at boot.

2. In the command prompt, type regedit and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 3)

3. In the left pane of Registry Editor, click/tap on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key. (see screenshot below)

boot-1.jpg

4. Click/tap on File (menu bar) and on Load Hive. (see screenshot below)

boot-2.jpg

5. Open the drive (ex: D ) that you have Windows 8 installed on, and browse to the location below. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: The drive letter (ex: C) will not always be the same as it is from within Windows 8.

D:\Windows\System32\config


boot-3.jpg

6. Select the SAM file, and click/tap on Open. (see screenshot below)

boot-4.jpg

7. In the Load Hive dialog, type REM_SAM and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

boot-5.jpg

8. In the left of Registry Editor, navigate to and open the key below. (see screenshot below)


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SAM\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4


boot-6.jpg

9. In the right pane of 000001F4, double click/tap on F to modify it. (see screenshot above)


10. Do step 11 or 12 below for what you would like to do.


11. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) In the 2nd column and 8th row, change 11 to 10, click/tap on OK, and go to step 13 below. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You would do this by clicking to the left of 11 to place the cursor there, press the Delete key, then type 10.

boot-8-enabled.jpg


12. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) In the 2nd column and 8th row, change 10 to 11, click/tap on OK, and go to step 13 below. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You would do this by clicking to the left of 10 to place the cursor there, press the Delete key, then type 11.

boot-7-disabled.jpg


13. Close Registry Editor and the command prompt. (see screenshot below step 3)

14. Click/tap on Continue to Windows 8, or restart the computer. (see screenshot below)

boot-9.jpg


16. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.






OPTION THREE

To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Local Users and Groups


NOTE: This option is only available in the Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise editions.

1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type lusrmgr.msc and click/tap on OK.

2. In the left pane, click/tap on the Users folder, then in the middle pane, double click/tap on Administrator. (see sceenshot below)

lusrmgr.msc-1.jpg

3. Do step 4 or 5 below for what you would like to do. (see sceenshot below)

lusrmgr.msc-2.jpg


4. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) Uncheck the Account is disabled box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

5. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) Check the Account is disabled box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

6. Close the Local Users and Groups window. (see screenshot below step 2)

7. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.





OPTION FOUR

To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Local Security Policy


NOTE: This option is only available in the Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise editions.

1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type secpol.msc and click/tap on OK.

2. In the left pane, click/tap on the Local Policies folder to expand it, and click/tap on the Security Options folder. (see screenshot below)


secpol.msc-1.jpg

3. In the right pane of Security Options, double click/tap on Accounts: Administrator account status. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do. (see sceenshot below)


secpol.msc-2.jpg

5. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 4)


6. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

A) Select (dot) Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 4)



7. Close the Local Security Policy window. (see screenshot below step 2)

8. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.





That's it,
Shawn


 

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Hi Shawn / Brick
It was nice to write you after a very long time here i applied the above steps but i am unable to run sfc/ scannow error again is you must be administrator running a console session
Kindly help me

Waiting for you kind reply
Regards

Hello mate, :)

Just to verify, are you running the command in an elevated command prompt like below?

 

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Hello mate, :)

Just to verify, are you running the command in an elevated command prompt like below?

Hi M8
Thanks fr you reply is the cmd is opening is cmd prompt system cmd
 

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System One

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Hi M8
Thanks fr you reply is the cmd is opening is cmd prompt system cmd

Did you do anything like disable UAC that may be causing this?

Did you right click on the cmd.exe, and click on "Run as administrator"?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
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    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Did you do anything like disable UAC that may be causing this?

Did you right click on the cmd.exe, and click on "Run as administrator"?
I tried enabling UAC everthing this is clear kindly guide me m8
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
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    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6
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I tried enabling UAC everthing this is clear kindly guide me m8

Just to verify, did you right click on the cmd.exe, and click on "Run as administrator"?

Is UAC still set to default like below?

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
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    Antivirus
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    Other Info
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    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Just to verify, did you right click on the cmd.exe, and click on "Run as administrator"?

Is UAC still set to default like below?

Tried doing it after i moved UAC and clicked on OK i was prompt Yes it is default
 

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My Computer

System One

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    Windows 8.1 x64
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    Graphics Card(s)
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    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6
    Browser
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Tried doing it after i moved UAC and clicked on OK i was prompt Yes it is default
Odd issue. Do you see the same thing in other administrator accounts?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Odd issue. Do you see the same thing in other administrator accounts?
Nope m8 even i was searching the same but no only one account pls suggest the best thing i can do or try resetting OS ?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba C850-i2011
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD / Intel
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6
    Browser
    Firefox / IE
Nope m8 even i was searching the same but no only one account pls suggest the best thing i can do or try resetting OS ?
If you haven't already, test in another administrator account. Create one to test in if needed.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
If you haven't already, test in another administrator account. Create one to test in if needed.
Hi m8
Tried creating another admin account but error remain the same :( any other suggestions
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    Toshiba C850-i2011
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    AMD / Intel
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6
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Hi m8
Tried creating another admin account but error remain the same :( any other suggestions
M8 have tried many steps finally getting same error cant run chkdsk and sfc scannow :(
 

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    15.6
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:thumbsup:
 

My Computer

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    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Hello all,

I have to work on some documents from an old notebook and I forgot my user password from... 2015 :-( I would like to try to activate the built-in administrator account by modifying the SAM hive but I have a hex value of 15 instead of 11. Would it be OK to change it to 10 without the risk of messing up my Windows installation?
I could at least retrieve the documents and work on them in another PC but I have specific software installed on the W8.1 laptop and things would be far easier while working on the W8.1 laptop.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
Hello all,

I have to work on some documents from an old notebook and I forgot my user password from... 2015 :-( I would like to try to activate the built-in administrator account by modifying the SAM hive but I have a hex value of 15 instead of 11. Would it be OK to change it to 10 without the risk of messing up my Windows installation?
I could at least retrieve the documents and work on them in another PC but I have specific software installed on the W8.1 laptop and things would be far easier while working on the W8.1 laptop.
Thanks in advance for your comments.

Hello Peter, :)

Yes, it will still be safe to change to 10 to enable.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Hello Brink, thank you for your prompt reply and sorry for my late responsiveness.

In the meantime due to the overseas time shift and before your answer I had managed to use an alternative method by replacing utilman.exe with cmd.exe and launching a command console with administrator privileges in a WinRE environment through the Ease Access button.

This did the trick: I could activate the Administrator account then change my user password. I should have beenn able to change my user password directly from the WinRE command console with the command "net.exe user <username> <new_password> but I was not 100% sure. Can you please confirm that it would have work?

One thing interesting: once I had recovered my user account, I left the built-in Administrator account activated and I did check the hex value of the byte at offset 0x0038 in the value F of the subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Offline\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4. This value was 14 and not 10 as expected. For recall, when this account is inactivated, the value is 15 and not 11 as mentioned in any tutorial I have read. As my system seems working fine, I will not modify these values of 14 or 15.

Thanks again.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
Hello Brink, thank you for your prompt reply and sorry for my late responsiveness.

In the meantime due to the overseas time shift and before your answer I had managed to use an alternative method by replacing utilman.exe with cmd.exe and launching a command console with administrator privileges in a WinRE environment through the Ease Access button.

This did the trick: I could activate the Administrator account then change my user password. I should have beenn able to change my user password directly from the WinRE command console with the command "net.exe user <username> <new_password> but I was not 100% sure. Can you please confirm that it would have work?

One thing interesting: once I had recovered my user account, I left the built-in Administrator account activated and I did check the hex value of the byte at offset 0x0038 in the value F of the subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Offline\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4. This value was 14 and not 10 as expected. For recall, when this account is inactivated, the value is 15 and not 11 as mentioned in any tutorial I have read. As my system seems working fine, I will not modify these values of 14 or 15.

Thanks again.
Great news. :party:

The 14/10 will often change after booting depending on the account state. 10 is just the default to enable.

Agreed. You could have also changed the password in the command prompt from WinRE using the net command.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
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