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  1. #1
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    Missing administrator

    My old laptop still runs XP Home, and although I don't use it very often, I try to keep it updated. A strange thing happened when installing Secunia PSI today.

    The app installed and scanned and updated the programs needing it. But then later, after I'd closed it, I tried to open is again, and a window popped up saying it could only be run as an administrator.

    I'm the only user. Looking at my account, Windows says I'm the administrator. But Secunia, and some other programs, tell me that I need administrator privileges, which they indicate I don't have.

    What's up here? How can I make sure programs see me as administrator?

  2. #2
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    Are you sure you have admin privileges? Are you a member of the group Administrators? Right click on My Computer and select Manage. Scroll to Local Users and Groups > Groups. Open Administrators and check for your account.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Are you sure you have admin privileges? Are you a member of the group Administrators? Right click on My Computer and select Manage. Scroll to Local Users and Groups > Groups. Open Administrators and check for your account.

    cheers, Paul
    Thanks for the reply, Paul.

    After clicking on Manage, there is no "Local users and groups" visible, nor anything to scroll down.

    In Control Panel/user accounts, it gives my name and says Computer Administrator, password protected. I assumed that meant I was logged in as administrator, but obviously not, because then I should have administrator privileges.

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    Another longer way to get to where Paul was sending you is ....
    Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>System Tools>Local Users and Groups>Groups>Administrators

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    Quote Originally Posted by joro View Post
    After clicking on Manage, there is no "Local users and groups" visible, nor anything to scroll down.
    That is bad, mkay. You should always have a view of users and groups in Computer Manager.
    Try this: Start > Run > lusrmgr.msc
    If you still can't see the users and groups you may have a slightly corrupt installation. Time to backup and re-install?

    cheers, Paul

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    joro (2011-02-21)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Try this: Start > Run > lusrmgr.msc

    cheers, Paul
    This is whaI get when I tried lusrmgr.msc:

    lusrmgr-msc.jpg

    And when I use Control Panel, User Accounts, I see my name (blanked out here for security reasons), as Administrator.

    user.jpg

    But some applications tell me I can't run them because I don't have Administrator privileges.

    All suggestions so far are greatly appreciated, but I still could use some expert help.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    You get the error message when trying to access Local Users and Groups because you need XP Professional to use that feature. Try right clicking the shortcut icon for the programs you have not been able to run and select Run as. You should see your username and another entry for the Administrator. Select the Administrator and see if the program starts. Even if this works for you, it should be a temporary measure. There is most likely a problem with your user account.

    There may be some corruption in your XP user account. Try creating another Administrator account and see if you are able to run the programs you have had difficulty with.

    Check this MS Support article about how to change Security permissions in XP Home. Follow the directions regarding booting to safe mode in XP Home and log in as Admininstrator. Then you will be able to see the Security tab when you right click files and select properties. Evidently some permissions problem has affected your setup. Hopefully this will help. The article has other steps you can try if needed.

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    joro (2011-02-23)

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    Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions.

    Rather than look for problems in this XP Home edition and maybe never finding them, maybe I should upgrade to XP Professional. I have that retail installation disc from from an old PC that long since died.

    The reason I didn't do this before is because the Sony Vaio laptop has oem XP Home and all the drivers in the recovery partition of the hard drive and because I'm not sure about one question:

    Can I install a full (not an upgrade) version of XP Professional over XP Home without losing my applications and settings?


    If so, when the installation is complete and all functions are verified OK, I can make an image backup and then delete that recovery partition.

  11. #9
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi joro,

    There are two things here to consider.

    First, do you have an XP Pro Full Retail CD or is it an XP Pro OEM CD? Your can tell by the markings on the CD. If XP Pro came installed on the old PC that died, most likely it is an OEM version. It is still a full version, not an upgrade version, but its license is tied to the original computer, and is not transferable. It would be a violation of the EULA as well as inappropriate to install it on another PC.

    If you indeed have a Full Retail CD, then it can be transferred to any PC as long as it is installed on only one PC at any given time.

    Second, if you have an XP Pro Full Retail CD, you can upgrade your XP Home and preserve your settings and apps, etc. You would have to choose the upgrade option rather than a clean install.

    But consider this...If you choose the upgrade route, it is very possible that any problems you are having now could survive and affect your new XP Pro installation. Even if everything is fixed by the upgrade, doing a clean install and reinstalling your applications will give you a fresh start, and you would be amazed at how well your new installation runs. I am assuming your XP Home has not been reinstalled over the years.

    It is well worth the time and effort to start from scratch and do a fresh clean install.

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