Re: in trouble

Neyth wrote:

I have somehow messed up permissions and now cannot access c:drive and
everything I try and change has access denied. There is no obvious
administrator and I can only see log in as a owner.
This is a real problem as I cannot even move all my files to back up!
I have tried run as administrator but comes back with
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe 'the parameter is incorrect'
Can anyone help?

1. Back up your files to an external hard drive or USB thumb drive with
enough capacity using a Linux Live CD (Ubuntu, Knoppix).

2. Enable the built-in Administrator account using either Method 1 or Method

Method 1 - If you have a Vista installation DVD (not a recovery DVD) you can
boot the system with it. Select the default language, then choose "Repair
your computer". Then select "Command Prompt". At the command prompt type:

net user administrator /active:yes [enter]

If you don't have a Vista installation DVD you can either make a bootable
Vista Repair DVD from the file at this link:

Method 2 - Or you can use NTpassword to enable the built-in Administrator.
In both cases you will need third-party burning software such as Nero,
Roxio, or the free ImgBurn ( to burn the .iso as an
image, not as data.

Remove the bootable media and allow the computer to boot into Windows. Now
you will see an icon for Administrator on the Welcome Screen. Log into that
account. From there, either undo whatever it was you did and/or run System
Restore. Reboot and try to log into your account.

3a. If all is well, follow the recommendations for setting up user accounts
in Vista below. Log into the extra CompAdmin account referenced and disable
the built-in Administrator again for security purposes:

Start Orb>Search box>type: cmd
When cmd appears in Results above, right-click it and choose "Run as
administrator" [OK]. Now you will get the command prompt. At the command
prompt type:

net user administrator /active:no [enter]

Exit the command prompt.

3b. If you still can't do anything in your user account, log back into
CompAdmin and create a new Standard user account for your daily work. Log
into it and see if everything works. If it does, log back into CompAdmin
and delete your original messed up user account.

3c. If nothing avails, do a clean install/restore to factory condition.
Purchase an external hard drive and imaging software such as Acronis True
Image. TI does incremental backups too. Then the next time you want to
tinker, you'll have an easy fallback position. Restoring your system from
the image will only take a relatively few minutes.

General Recommendations For Setting Up Users In Vista:

You absolutely do not want to have only one user account. Like XP and all
other modern operating systems, Vista is a multi-user operating system with
built-in system accounts such as Administrator, Default, All Users, and
Guest. These accounts should be left alone as they are part of the
operating system structure.

You particularly don't want only one user account with administrative
privileges on Vista because the built-in Administrator account (normally
only used in emergencies) is disabled by default. If you're running as
Administrator for your daily work and that account gets corrupted, things
will be Difficult. It isn't impossible to activate the built-in
Administrator to rescue things, but it will require third-party tools and
working outside the operating system.

The user account that is for your daily work should be a Standard user, with
the extra administrative user (call it something like "CompAdmin" or "Tech"
or the like) only there for elevation purposes. After you create
"CompAdmin", log into it and change your regular user account to Standard.
Then log back into your regular account.

If you want to go directly to the Desktop and skip the Welcome Screen with
the icons of user accounts, you can do this:

Start Orb>Search box>type: netplwiz [enter]
Click on Continue (or supply an administrator's password) when prompted by

Uncheck the option "Users must enter a user name and password to use this
computer". Select a user account to automatically log on by clicking on the
desired account to highlight it and then hit OK. Enter the correct password
for that user account (if there is one) when prompted. Leave it blank if
there is no password (null).

Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!