Account types Windows Vista

By TechClint ยท 15 replies
Jul 30, 2010
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  1. We have a Dell E521 with Vista Home Premium in the shop that has 4 users on it. One of which is a Guest account. The other three users are standard account type and the Guest account is set as Guest and Administrator account type.

    I have tried everything I could think of to try to change the account types to what they should be, but when ever i do it tells me "Access denied." I have booted to Safe Mode and no Admin account. I can't even create another user because no matter what I name the user it tells me that it has invalid characters in the name, when all I was trying to name the new user account was "Test."

    Any help would be appreciated.


    I ahve already scanned all users with MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware so I think its clean.
  2. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    Just the fact that Guest is the only available Administrator account means that you have to log in as Guest and set one of the other standard account types as the main Administrator account. Once you do that, log off as Guest, log on as the new Administrator account, then change the Guest account to the Standard account. At no point, whatsoever, should you have a Guest account as the Administrator.

    Let me know how it turns out. :D
  3. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    I'm a little confused here. If you go to Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users, is the guest account that's listed as an administrator account have a description of "Built-in account for guest access to the computer/domain"? Or is there another account with that description? Are there two Guest accounts in the location listed?
  4. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    What he did is that he made the Guest account as the only usable Administrator account, under Control Panel > User Accounts, and had the other three accounts as Standard accounts.

    TechClint, try this link and see if it solves anything that I haven't covered already in my previous posts.

    Vista 4 Beginners - Manage User Accounts
  5. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    Well, that's not necessarily the case. It could be that whoever created the computer put Guest as the original User, so what he sees as the Guest account could actually be an Administrator account that's named "Guest".

    Because I think the Administrator and Guest accounts are both disabled by default, which is why he can't see the local Administrator account.
  6. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    That could also be the case. You're right. The Administrator is disabled by default, the Guest not so much as it could still be accessible.
  7. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    Well, I know the guest account is disabled upon install for Windows 7, I'm pretty sure it is for XP, and I'm also fairly certain it is for Vista as well. So unless someone undisabled it, it shouldn't be available.
  8. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    I shall correct myself. The Guest account is not disabled by default, but is turned off. However, unlike the Administrator account that is created upon installing Windows and is kept disabled under normal boot, the Guest account can be turned on as a Limited/Standard account after logging on.
  9. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    Ah, I understand. Hopefully we're talking about an Administrator account that's named Guest, rather than an account that's in both the Administrators and Guests group.
  10. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    We'll find out soon enough.
  11. TechClint

    TechClint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies.

    The Guest account is actually in both account groups guests and administrators. When I login to the Guest account and try to change one of the other accounts to administartor, I get an error that states..."Access Denied"
  12. TechClint

    TechClint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh!! btw in computer management the local users and groups snap-in doesnt exist
  13. TechClint

    TechClint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have tried running netplwiz as administrator to change the account types but that said access denied also.

    I didn't do this. It is something I'm trying to fix.
  14. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    This is something I'd have to replicate to come up with a solution to. Unfortunately, I don't have a Vista machine. All I can think of is to reinstall windows, but I should think you'd want to wait until you've exhausted all other options.

    I'm thinking that you'll want to probably try removing the Guest group from the Guest account, and see if it works then.

    To open up the Local Users and Groups MMC directly, you'll want to run "lusrmgr.msc". From there, you'll want to try to remove the "Guests" group from the user "Guest"

    You can also use the net localgroup command in the command prompt.

    This is quoted from here, an article I found looking here. It's the syntax for what you type into Command prompt.

    You'll also want to make sure that you right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as
    Administrator" to do this. Then you'll enter

    net localgroup guests guest /delete

    or some variation on that. I can't tell you for sure, since I'm at home running OSX, but that looks to be correct. Just make sure the syntax matches what's in the section I quoted for you.

    And if none of this works, I really don't know what you can do.
  15. TechClint

    TechClint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I do thank you for all the help. The customer had actually installed vista themselves. They said it was ok to just put it back to XP.
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    interesting thread.

    To clarify Account Types in Windows/*:
    • Any account with Admin status can change anything and is a member of the Administrators group (note the trailing 's')
    • the Administrator account is a built-in account and a member of Administrators
    • the Guest account is frequently used for Print/File Sharing & should be set as disabled (meaning ONLY that keyboard login is disallowed)
    • any other account name will be a Limited Account and frequently is a member of the Users Group
    In addition, there is the <everyone> NTFS group which controls the permissions of shared folders.

    With Fast User Switching enabled, (b) & (c) do not appear in the login Splash screen
    and to get to the (b) account, you boot into Safe Mode (especially in the Home editions).
    However, any (a) account will be visable in the list of logins

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