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4thpc
08-16-2011, 11:31 AM
Installed windows 7 two days ago and found the way that accounts were created is different from XP and prior versions of windows (never installed Vista). During the installation a user name was entered and password was assinged to it and this user is the first Administrator's account. It's not defaulting the user name as "Administrator" as other windows. There is no built-in administrator account named "Administrator", right? If there is such account "Administrator" what password is it going to be for it? I never put one for it and guess it hasn't been assigned. In XP we can press Ctrl+Alt+Del specifically to access the log on page of the built-in Administrator account. I tried the same on one Win 7 machine at office and it does not work that way.
So if another administrator's previlage account is needed it has to be created within the first user account. I had used Power user account in XP alot to be same while online but that's not convenient at all. Some programs can't work well under such account. I will be using administrator account. In this case do I have any means to protect another administrator account (built-in administrator account) other than they simply have different password. At the same privilage level these account are assume to be able to overwrite and reset each other.

PrntRhd
08-16-2011, 11:57 AM
Here are two links describing making user accounts in Windows 7:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Create-a-user-account

http://www.ghacks.net/2010/08/30/configure-user-accounts-in-windows-7-for-optimal-security/

Please note that this control panel is only available in Windows Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise and not Basic, Starter or Home editions.

Also it is not advised to always be a User as Administrator, you should run with least privileges that will still get the job done.

LochLomonder
08-16-2011, 12:13 PM
4thpc,


There is no built-in administrator account named "Administrator", right? If there is such account "Administrator" what password is it going to be for it?

There is a built-in Administrator account; it's just hidden by default. If you read this page (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/enable-the-hidden-administrator-account-on-windows-vista/), it'll show you how to activate and deactivate the account, so you can set a password on it.

PrntRhd
08-16-2011, 12:18 PM
Lochmonder is correct, this is also explained in my first MS link.

LochLomonder
08-16-2011, 04:29 PM
Sorry, PrntRhd - should've followed the links before posting mine. OOPS!

PrntRhd
08-16-2011, 07:20 PM
Not a problem, sometimes more links with different approaches are better to help explain things.

Paul Komski
08-17-2011, 03:08 AM
Some programs can't work well under such account. I will be using administrator account. In this case do I have any means to protect another administrator account (built-in administrator account) other than they simply have different password. At the same privilage level these account are assume to be able to overwrite and reset each other.
All Administrrator Accounts can run with the same privileges - there is no absolute Super Administrator Account.

If you have problems with specific programs needing increased privileges you can either turn-off UAC or right click the .exe or its shortcut and choose to run as Administrator.

From WinVista onwards some Program installers malfunction if the files are not placed, by the installer, in locations that the OS likes. These will then be problematic, particularly if run at start-up, later on.

azzey
08-17-2011, 11:46 AM
Basically, you want to use a regular use account for every day use. If you need to run a program with elevated privileges, you can use right-click and Run As, or use the compatibility settings to make a certain program always run as administrator.

It's a unix-like approach basically.

4thpc
08-17-2011, 11:54 AM
Thank you guys. I tried to edit my post after I posted it yesterday to make it more accurate and correct some typos but the forum would not take it for some reason (the Save button does not respond to me at all). Btw, points were clear.

While I was using XP pro, some programs didn't work well under power user account. e.g. Garmin Training Center (workout software with watch and heart rate monitor) only works under administrator's account when uploading data. I could view data under power user account. I tried to configure the software to make it work at all accounts but it did not work. I reported the issue to Garmin and never got any update on their software. I will be using Visual Studio 2010 for development work. If any part of work can't be done at accouts with less privilage I have to switch back to account with administrator privilage.

4thpc
08-26-2011, 10:05 AM
I happened to experience the similar accounts issue with XP Pro. The Administrator account does have a little advantage over other administrator privilage accounts. My XP was not booting after the boot.ini was modified. While I was using XP CD to repair it I needed to provide Administrator password. I installed it many years ago and wrote the password somewhere that I could not find it last night. So I went to another XP with similar configuration and made a restart floppy disk and booted the troubled XP. So I logged into an account with administrator privilage in both safe and normal mode attempting to changed the Administrator password. I could not do that because in the user accounts dialog the Administrator account was not available to any other accounts including those with administrator privilage. Is it because of my configuration or it's simply made that way?

In a Windows 7 at work a couple of administrator privilage accounts (not exactly Administrator) are available and I could change their pasword if I want. The machine was provided by IT department and I guess the built-in Administrator account was not listed here.

LochLomonder
08-27-2011, 09:53 AM
I could not do that because in the user accounts dialog the Administrator account was not available to any other accounts including those with administrator privilage. Is it because of my configuration or it's simply made that way?

It's that way by design. The security identifier (SID) of the Administrator account you used for the boot disk would not be recognised by this PC. After all, consider how easy it would be to commandeer a Windows PC if all one had to do was boot up in the manner you outlined.


I guess the built-in Administrator account was not listed here.

When I'm configuring PCs at work, I'll enable the Administrator account, set a password on it, and then disable it again. It's likely that's what your IT Dept did that.

4thpc
08-27-2011, 02:28 PM
It's that way by design. The security identifier (SID) of the Administrator account you used for the boot disk would not be recognised by this PC. After all, consider how easy it would be to commandeer a Windows PC if all one had to do was boot up in the manner you outlined.



I made a restart floppy from another XP machine with boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com. Because the troubled XP was stuck at BIOS and would not boot to the windows log-in window. With the floppy I made from another XP with similar boot configuration, the troubled XP could boot from the floppy to the windows log-in window. So I could use an account with Administrator privilage to log in and made any fix to make it boot successfully by itself on following startups. The floppy I made can't be used to commandeer another PC. I know a Linux utility CD can be used to get completely control of another windows PC by going into windows registry directly and then reset the administrator password. I don't know what Microsoft would think of this and what will they do about it. It's kind of on and off issue with these technologies advances and an endless game.

Paul Komski
08-28-2011, 01:24 AM
There are a number of floppies that can be used to boot WinXP when the existing boot.ini is inappropriate. Alternatively the existing boot.ini can be edited directly with utilities such as BiNG (in my sig) or indeed by any text editor from a live CD.

Once logged on to WinXP with any Admin account there are two possible ways to reset the System Administrator password.

1. Use the snapin by entering Lusrmgr.msc into the run box.

2. Use a command prompt and enter net user Administrator abcdefg where abcdefg is the new password you want to set.

I'm not entirely sure if the same approach works for both Pro and Home.