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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Admini Account Vanishes (XPHome, SP1)

    Had a call from a friend earlier this evening, saying his PC was acting up. Went over and found it heavily infected with spyware. Had to drop into Safe Mode to get Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D to install and run properly. A pass with Ad-Aware and 2 passes with Spybot knocked out a couple hundred pieces of c**p.

    Noticed the PC was only at SP1, so I tried to use Windows Update to bring it up-to-date. That failed, with a 0x800B0001 error. Used Regsvr32 to re-register some DLL's, per Microsoft's advice, but still no joy. Then I found I had SP2 on a CD and tried to use it. THAT failed, with Windows saying it couldn't verify Update.inf.

    When I first sat down at the PC, there were two accounts showing on the Login screen: Administrator and Owner (with Owner also identified as Computer Administrator). After the removal of the spyware, the Administrator account no longer shows up. And I'm seeing some indications that the Owner account does not really have Administrator privileges, in spite of what the Login screen says (or maybe the account is damaged). How can I get the Administrator account to re-appear and work?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Admini Account Vanishes (XPHome, SP1)

    Given the state of this PC, you could consider copying all the data, then doing a clean installation of Windows SP2 and your applications, and then restoring the copied data.

    StuartR

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Admini Account Vanishes (XPHome, SP1)

    StuartR,

    >> Given the state of this PC, you could consider copying all the data, then doing a clean installation of Windows SP2 and your applications, and then restoring the copied data. <<

    Ahh, the "nuclear war" approach <grin>. I'd like to save that until I've exhausted all other possibilities. I did some reading on the Microsoft XP site last night, after posting my message here, and found out that the Administrator account is NOT supposed to be visible in XP Home in Normal mode: just in Safe Mode. But when I first started working on the PC, the Administrator account was definitely showing in Normal mode. No one in the family has a clue about how to make the PC boot in Safe Mode, but they did tell me they had used F10 (Restore) in the past, so maybe that's why the account was showing up. I think I'll head back over there today and try 1) running Windows Update in Safe Mode, using the Administrator login, and 2) a Repair install, if No. 1 fails. If they both fail, it'll be time for your idea.

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Admini Account Vanishes (XPHome, SP1)

    If any computer has been hit that severely, you do not know if anything is left. Installing a Service Pack will not cure everything, indeed a SP should only be installed on a stable machine that works properly. I have seen many try to install a SP as if that would cure the machine.

    I think that you will find that most loungers are not recommending the "nuclear war approach"; instead we all try to solve the problem. But there are situations were one must realize that the best is to save data and start over.

    I now see, in your answer to Stuart, that you have found out about the Administrator account on a Home machine; it is not supposed to show up in Normal mode. The other account, "Owner", indicates some sort of OEM version, i.e. an original account (CA) set up by setup program since no other account was specified.

  5. #5
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    Re: Admini Account Vanishes (XPHome, SP1)

    Argus,

    >> I now see, in your answer to Stuart, that you have found out about the Administrator account on a Home machine; it is not supposed to show up in Normal mode. The other account, "Owner", indicates some sort of OEM version, i.e. an original account (CA) set up by setup program since no other account was specified. <<

    I spent 3 hours yesterday working on the PC, with good results. Using the Admin account, I applied SP2 from a CD, then ran Ad-Aware and Spybot again. Also found out the copy of McAfee AV on the PC was dead (probably a time-limited version that came with the PC). Tried to install AVG, but it wouldn't. Resorted to a trial version of McAfee, and it's scan found 5 Trojan Horse infections. McAfee was able to neutralize 4 of them, and after that Windows Update started working partially (some updates would install, others failed). New passes with Ad-Aware and Spybot blew out some more c**p, and when I got to the point that all but 1 Windows Critical Update would install, I called it a day. On top of everything else, it appears their Cable Internet connection is running very slowly (115 kbps down, for instance)! But the PC is running well, so they're happy.

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