Hidden Admininstrator Account?

By threedoves ·
Doesn't Windows XP "hide" an administrator account? I have a friend that asked my help with something I've never run across, but I would love to learn the solution anyway.
She said a friend was "fooling around" on her computer and somehow changed her primary account (it's the only one that the computer powers up to)to need a password, but in doing so also changed it to a limited account accidentally. Now she can't make any changes including reset the access. There are critical updates that she can't even download.
She said when she clicks on the user account, there is NO option to change the access, only the picture.
Can she access an administrator account to correct this or does she have to reinstall?
Thanks in advance,

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Looks like your friend

by Kiltie In reply to Hidden Admininstrator Acc ...

needs to login as


Use those letters, and use whatever password was set up for the admin account, once in there change user privileges for the account she normally uses, although many will argue against being admin all the time.

I do, even in Linux, but with sufficient protection as support, I have no problems.

Another way is a rebuild, but there is a non destructive way of doing this.

Basically what you do is a normal Windows setup (assuming XP here) but when you get to the part when it sees other operating systems and partitions, type R instead of its displayed suggestions.

That is a hot reinstall that doesn't lose any programs or data.

Try this link for an idea:

EDITED to make link a TinyURL and correct typos

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XP Home?

by pc21geek In reply to Looks like your friend

If this is XP home, you can boot into safe mode. Then choose administrator as teh account to login. Then you can change the account you normally use. If its XP Pro, there is software freely available on the net that will reset the admin password for you. Good luck.


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Thank you!!

by threedoves In reply to XP Home?

I really appreciate your quick response!
I thought this was an option, but she kept telling me it wasn't. I am thinking she just didn't get into safe mode like I told her.
I'll get her to try again. This is a big help, knowing I had the right track at least.

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Thank you!!

by threedoves In reply to Looks like your friend

Thank you so much for your quick response. Glad to know I was on the right track. Forgot how to do the repair and rebuild though.
You helped a lot!!

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