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lost administrator rights on Windows XP

Discussion in 'Software' started by jizaref1, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. jizaref1

    jizaref1 Private First Class

    I am using Windows XP MCE SP3. For computer issues recently detailed in another thread, I needed to do a reinstall of my OS. I did it clean over the other install, without an entire HD wipe.

    Things are working much better now, without startup errors and a faster system.

    I have only one default user account, under my name, with full adminstrator rights assigned. But I am still getting an occasional error message when I try to change or delete some things, and I don't know why or how to change it. It even happens in Safe Mode.

    Three example:
    1. When I try to startup up iTunes it tells me "The iTunes library file cannot be saved. You do not have enough access privileges for this operation." So I cannot download new apps or save files into that folder.
    2. I have a bookmark on IE8 saved to my Favorites bar. I wanted to remove it and when I right click and select delete I get the message "Cannot delete [bookmark name]. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use."
    3. I moved some files into a new folder by drag and drop. Now when I go to delete the files or the folder, Windows tells me: "Cannot delete [bookmark name]: Access is denied Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use."

    Any thoughts on how to get full admin and editing access to my own OS?

    I already ran MBAM and SAS to be sure it wasn't malware.

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  2. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Hi

    The first thought that comes to mind is that you have the NTFS file permissions set from your previous installation.

    Try navigating to C:\ and right click Program Files, select the Security Tab, then Advanced, and Take Ownership. MAKE SURE that "apply to subfolders/files" checkbox is checked, and then click Apply. It will likely take awhile to complete. Do NOT interrupt the process, or the permissions could get really messed up. Also, take my instructions in a general manner, as I don't remember all of the specific wording used in the XP security settings process.

    Once you have taken ownership, close out the Security settings window, and re-open it, and ensure your Windows account user name is listed (if it's not, add it), and set permissions to Full.
     
  3. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    If you don't see the Security tab then you have to follow these steps first to make it visible.

     
  4. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Thanks, I forgot about simple file sharing!
     
  5. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Hello,
    sach2, I may be mistaken, but isn't MCE based on XP Home? If it is, then the only way to see the security tab is to log in to the administrator account in safe mode or use a software hack.
     
  6. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I'm pretty sure MCE is Pro with Media Centre.
     
  7. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

  8. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    Correct -
     

    Attached Files:

  9. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Thanks guys. :)
     
  10. Puppywunder58

    Puppywunder58 Master Sergeant

    On an unrelated topic to this one I want to apologize to Sach2 and give you a great kudo for the tireless, time consuming work you did with the OP regarding the Lenovo laptop.
     
  11. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Reset Registry and File Permissions

    The below is based on original info from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949377

    Important: This task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    How to back up and restore the registry in Windows]

    1. Download and then installSubInACL (SubInACL.exe)file from Microsoft.
    2. Click Start, Run and enter notepad and click OK to bring up the Windows Notepad program.
    3. Copy and then paste the following text into Notepad.

    Code:
    cd /d "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools" 
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose
    
    4. Save this Notepad file as Reset.cmd to your desktop. Be sure the Save as type is set to all files.
    5. Once you have save it properly, double-click the Reset.cmd file to run the script.

    * Note This script file may take a long time to run. Additionally, you have to run this script as an administrator.

    6. Now reboot your computer! You must do this before the above will take effect.
     
  12. jizaref1

    jizaref1 Private First Class

    So before doing that notepad registry suggestion, I did the prior suggestion and it definitely helped! Thanks so much!! I am able to download iTunes apps and delete some subfolders I was unable to previously. The only thing I currently wish to do (minor) is delete an Internet Explorer Favorites Bar shortcut where I am getting that same message.

    Should I still proceed with the registry edit, as I am always wary of major changes with so many warnings attached.
     
  13. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Yes, that registry fix looks like it should take care of the entire computer, fixing any remaining permissions issues.
     
  14. jizaref1

    jizaref1 Private First Class

    How can I be sure I am running it as administrator, there is no right click option to select.
     
  15. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Right clicking to run as administrator is only on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

    To run as administrator on Windows XP, you simply need to be logged into a user account with administrator privileges, which shouldn't be an issue for you, as the user account you created has administrative privileges.
     
  16. jizaref1

    jizaref1 Private First Class

    Trying to rum the Reset.cmd now and I get:


    C:\>cd /d "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACH
    INE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    'subinacl' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_US
    ER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    'subinacl' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_RO
    OT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    'subinacl' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>subinacl /subdirectories C: /grant=
    administrators=f /grant=system=f
    'subinacl' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>subinacl /subdirectories C:\WINDOWS
    \*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
    'subinacl' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>secedit /configure /cfg C:\WINDOWS\
    repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose
    Completed 9 percent (407/4093) Process File Security area
    [only this last part seems to be running]
     
  17. chaslang

    chaslang MajorGeeks Admin - Master Malware Expert Staff Member

    Not completely correct. In Win XP, you can right click and select Run As. And then choose the user you wish to run as. Entering Administrator and the password will run as the Administrator.
     
  18. chaslang

    chaslang MajorGeeks Admin - Master Malware Expert Staff Member

    Does the below folder exist?

    C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools

    In the above folder, does the subinacl.exe file exist?
     
  19. jizaref1

    jizaref1 Private First Class

    I reinstalled just to be sure and confirmed it is there.
    I ran Reset.cmd again from the C:/ folder where I confirmed I have owner and Admin rights as an added user.

    It runs through the black Cmd window rapidly and then opens a red-colored smaller Cmd windows where it is running through system files/processes one by one. It is keeping count and listing them all as Failed.
     
  20. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    True. I wasn't awake when I wrote that post. I MEANT that on an administrator account, you only need to use the right click, run as Admin, on Vista and 7. Thanks for the clarification for the OP.
     

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