Re: Zombie account

FM wrote:
Bruce Chambers wrote:
What is the name you're trying to use for this account? There are hidden user accounts (such as the built-in "Administrator" (which also cannot be deleted), and/or words reserved for OS use that cannot be assigned to user accounts. Also, if I remember correctly, WinXP will not permit a user account with the same name as the computer.
User name we're talking about here is "Dialup". Which is not the computer's name.

Um... the built-in Administrator is not hidden. Why did you say it is hidden?

I spoke imprecisely, and that was a mistake. While the Administrator account isn't really hidden, it's also not readily visible to the average user, as it doesn't normally appear on the Welcome Screen or from the Control Panel's Users applet. Hence, it's "hidden" from 95% of WinXP users. Over the years, there have been literally dozens of posts in these newsgroups from people asking why they can't create an account "Administrator," when there clearly isn't any such account on the Welcome Screen or within the Control Panel applet.

Or, um... did you miss my mention that this is Professional XP (not the Home edition).

No, but that wasn't relevant.

(FWIW, I've long ago renamed the built-in Administrator to a different name.)

That is a good thing. Since the days of WinNT, it's been one of the most basic security precautions one should take, but so very few people do so that I had no reason to think you might have been the rare exception. I commend your foresight.

I forgot to mention previously that I got an error when first trying to create the account "Dialup". I was using the "Users" section of "Computer Management" from Administrative Tools when trying to create the account. Although I had Computer Management running as the Administrator, I got a pop up error while trying to create it, to the effect that the Administrator did not have sufficient permissions for the operation. Furthermore, I've not had that error recur (either when again trying to add "Dialup", or when working with other accounts, including successfully adding them).

That, along with the user name, would have been a useful bit of information to have had in your original post. It would have saved time and prevented replies based upon anyone having to make a "best guess" as to what was occurring.

The above is my reason for guessing that the account was *partially* created. I theorize that the error occurred partway through the account creation process, and that some record of the account now exists, albeit all the things that make it a fully created logon do not.

You may be right, as sometimes things do go awry at the most inconvenient times, but I don't know how you'd go about correcting such an error. Have you tried searching the registry, particularly the HKEY_USERS and HKEY_CURRENT_USER hives, for the word "Dialup?" Perhaps there's a corrupted key left over from the original error that's causing your issues.

I'm curious now: Is there a public reference that you know of for those "reserved" names? (Google did not help me with this, it hit upon thousands of "all rights reserved" web pages.)

I was referring to the old DOS reserved device names, such as CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, CLOCK$, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9.

I don't know if there's a single source that lists all of these, though, but Wikipedia (Google is far too general) seemed a good starting place:

Also, according to Microsoft (, "It's not possible to compile an exhaustive list of all DOS device names, because third-party application developers can create their own device drivers and add their names to the reserved list."

While some of these are unlikely user account names, some of them could easily have been hit upon accidentally if one were naming an account after someone's initials. While these names aren't specifically "prohibited" as user account names, the fact that one cannot create files or folders using them might have caused problems partway through account creation as the user profile folders were being identified.


Bruce Chambers

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