Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Lost access to Admin account - urgent help pls

  1. #11


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    +x to get the management menu then select Command Prompt (Admin)

    type

    net user

    then <enter> to see what user accounts are available on your system

    If there is one called Administrator, then the hidden Administrator account is still available.

    type

    Net user administrator /active:yes

    then <enter>

    If all is ok, the hidden administrator account (not passworded) is activated, and then the next commands you type at the prompt will allow you to manage the user accounts:

    type

    netplwiz

    then <enter> should bring up the user accounts 2nd dialog window with administrative privileges.
    Click image for larger version

    At the command prompt, also type

    lusrmgr

    then <enter> to bring up the local users and groups dialog window, where you can create a new user with admin rights:Click image for larger version
    select user and then the Action menu and New User... option to create a new user and password.

    (Write the username and password down in a safe, secure place, be imaginative, but not too obscure, but not associated with the PC itself. I have an old but usable dictionary containing passwords starting on page 100 and corresponding usernames on page 200 etc, written in the margins.)

    You can use the command prompt to activate the new administrative account with the net user command

    first deactivate the Administrator account

    Net user administrator /active:no

    <enter>

    Net user username password /active:yes

    with your new username and password

    On the user accounts dialog, you can change the way you log on - Although you don't need to use your password often on a machine only you use, it is important nonetheless to have a strong password associated with your username. A strong password contains uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and even spaces and punctuation characters in some cases. The length of the password is important - the longer it is, the longer a brute force cracking attempt will take. Don't use single words that are found in a dictionary list.

    You can uncheck the "Users must enter a username and password..." box in netplwiz - you need to enter your password twice on the next dialog after clicking OK, but logon will thereafter be automatic - your password will be stored in a readable form in your registry (you will need to alter your Power Options to not require a password on wakeup, too if needed).

    You can also type netplwiz and lusrmgr at the start screen, but you may not be able to access them unless logged on with an administrative account.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    @fafhrd
    +x to get the management menu then select Command Prompt (Admin)
    I am not sure if he can login at all or if he can with a non admin user account, I would think the command prompt(Admin) would not be available.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Neither do I, but until the OP tries, and lets us know, who can tell? The "lost" Admin account might present itself.
    I agree that with a maker and model, we might be able to advise the OP how get to a recovery state.
    Refresh or Reset or System Restore options - are they available now? Reset would probably do it.
    The bootmanager is another thing to try - is it possible to get to the troubleshooter or other options menu, perhaps by the route of F8, F9 or F10 to alter the boot options menu? then to create a recovery entry in the boot menu - a WinRE installation that can be used to run WinRE regedit for offline editing of the SAM hive on the Windows 8 registry to enable the administrator account once again as per Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8 perhaps?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    @fafhrd
    Neither do I, but until the OP tries, and lets us know, who can tell? The "lost" Admin account might present itself.
    This would be a big security hole if Windows allows a non admin account to run an elevated command then any regular user can turn on/reset admin account.

    a WinRE installation that can be used to run WinRE regedit for offline editing of the SAM hive on the Windows 8 registry
    Unfortunately, there is no way you can open the SAM Hive. Those 2 options (load hive, unload hive) are disabled offline. Again, it's another big security hole if they are enabled then anybody with a Win RE can boot up your PC and modify the registry to turn on/reset admin account.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Unfortunately, there is no way you can open the SAM Hive. Those 2 options (load hive, unload hive) are disabled offline.
    I just booted from a win 8 repair disk dvd, opened the WinRE command prompt, ran regedit and loaded and opened the SAM hive offline as in option 2 here: Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8

    I don't have a preinstalled Windows 8 though, just one installed from the downloaded upgrade.

    What is it that disables the ability to edit the SAM Hive?

    I don't know if a UEFI bootable USB installation iso can do the same as I did.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    What is it that disables the ability to edit the SAM Hive?
    I don't know if a UEFI bootable USB installation iso can do the same as I did.
    My bad, I forgot to high lite the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. However, I did change the value from 11 to 10 but when I reboot, I did not get the login screen for Builtin Admin, just my regular local admin user then I check the Local users and Group (lusrmgr.msc) and it indeed enabled the built in Admin account. It would be interesting if you can try it yourself and let us know. Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    this is really useful i read all the instraction and its. .so far so good. .thanks anyway
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    I forgot to high lite the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
    LOL - I do this 9/10 times too!

    I get cold feet at this point - I have a happily working single Windows 8 Setup that I am loth to muck about with too much - for one thing I have autologon enabled, and I know from experience the time it takes to get a system "just so" again if you get to the point where you have to reinstall everything because of tinkering, I just don't want to go there at the moment!

    The default policies in Windows 8 are set to make access to a system that apparently locks the standard user out extremely difficult, and rightly so, but there is almost inevitably some obscure back door available - offline registry editing is a case in question. Long before this is undertaken, most users would cut their losses and perform a reinstallation.

    Possibly whilst performing the offline editing, changes could be made to some other registry values so that the built-in administrator account becomes the default account at the next startup. I am sure that that would then allow new user accounts to be created without problems, or existing accounts to be elevated or demoted etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Lost access to Admin account - urgent help pls
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