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Account Troubleshooting

The administrator account does not appear on the Windows Vista Welcome screen

By default, the following conditions are true in Windows Vista:
  • The built-in administrator account is disabled.
  • The built-in administrator account cannot log on to the computer in safe mode.
Note In some cases, Windows Vista may determine, during an upgrade from Microsoft Windows XP, that the built-in administrator account is the only active local administrator account. In this situation, Windows Vista leaves the built-in administrator account enabled. Additionally, Windows Vista puts this account into Admin Approval mode.
The changes to the built-in administrator account in Windows Vista

By default, the built-in administrator account is named Administrator. Additionally, the built-in administrator account is assigned the relative ID (RID) 500. In Windows Vista, the default user account type is a standard user. A standard user is a user who has limited account rights and limited Windows permissions. The following sections detail how the built-in administrator account has been changed to better reduce the potential attack surface of the built-in user accounts in Windows Vista.
The local fax account is inaccessible after you rename a Windows Vista-based computer

You create a local fax account on a Windows Vista-based, and then you rename the computer. Then, when you try to start Windows Fax and Scan, the local fax account is inaccessible.
You cannot use Computer Management to delete multiple local user accounts

You can use Computer Management to delete only one local user account at a time.
Certain Windows XP-related user accounts and groups remain on the computer after you upgrade to Windows Vista

After you upgrade a Windows XP-based computer to Windows Vista, you experience the following symptoms:
  • One or more of the following Windows XP-related groups appear in the "Local Users and Groups" Groups folder:
    • HelpServicesGroup
    • Offer Remote Assistance Helpers
    • RS_Query
  • One or more of the following Windows XP-related user accounts appear in the "Local Users and Groups" Users folder:
    • SUPPORT_388945a0
      Note: The 388945a0 part of this user account represents a combination of numbers and letters. This combination may differ on your computer.
    • HelpAssistant
    • WIIS_ComputerName
You expect only Windows Vista-related users and groups to remain on the computer after you upgrade to Windows Vista.
You encounter unexpected behaviour when you perform tasks as a standard user and the User Account Control feature is disabled in Windows Vista

You log on to Windows Vista as a standard user and then you try to perform one of the following actions:
  • You right-click a program or a task and then click Run as administrator.
  • You start a program or a task that usually requires elevated administrator permissions to continue.
When you perform either of these actions, the task may not be completed successfully, and unexpected behaviour may occur. The unexpected behaviour may include the following:
  • The User Account Control window does not appear as expected. You are not prompted for the administrator password to continue.
  • You do not receive an error message that states that you do not have sufficient permissions to perform the action.
You receive a message that states that the account has expired and you cannot change your password when you unlock a computer that is running Windows Vista

When you unlock a computer that is running Windows Vista, you receive a message that states that the account has expired and the logon process cannot continue.

This issue occurs after a domain administrator resets your password and configures your account to require that you change your password the next time that you log on. However, you are not given the option to change your password.
How to use System Restore to log on to Windows Vista when you lose access to an account

If you cannot log on to Windows Vista, you can use the Windows Vista System Restore feature. You may be unable to log on to Windows Vista in the following scenarios:
  • Scenario 1: You recently set a new password for the protected administrator account. However, you do not remember the password.
  • Scenario 2: You type the correct logon password. However, Windows Vista does not accept the password because the system is corrupted.
  • Scenario 3: You delete a protected administrator account. Now, you cannot log on to another administrator account.
  • Scenario 4: You change a protected administrator account to a standard user account. Now, you cannot log on to another administrator account.
How to enable the built-in Administrator account in Windows Vista

This step-by-step article describes how to enable the built-in administrator account by command-line in Windows Vista. This may be useful if you want to enable the built-in administrator to do some automation work without UAC elevation prompt.
Error message when you try to modify the Parental Control settings in a 2007 Office program on a Windows-Vista based computer: "The user account does not have permission to save your changes"

When you try to modify the Parental Control settings in a 2007 Microsoft Office program on a Windows Vista-based computer, you receive the following error message:

The user account does not have permission to save your changes. You must log on as an administrator or other account allowed to modify Parental Control settings.

Note: The Parental Control tool contains settings to help users control the Research task pane in the 2007 Office programs.
 
After you log on to Windows Vista by using the Guest account, the network icon indicates that the network is either disabled or disconnected

After you log on to Windows Vista by using the Guest account, the network icon in the notification area indicates that the network is either disabled or disconnected. Additionally, you may receive the following error message:

Connection status: unknown. The service to detect this status is turned off.
How to use User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista

This article describes the User Account Control (UAC) feature in Windows Vista. This article also describes how to run a program as an administrator in Windows Vista.
How to create and use a password reset disk in Windows Vista

This step-by-step article describes how to create and use a password reset disk in Windows Vista. If you forget your user account password, you can use a password reset disk to create a new password. Create a password reset disk so that you are prepared if you forget your password. By using a password reset disk, you can avoid losing access to the files and to the information on your computer.
Error message when you try to log on by using an account name that contains an "at" sign (@): "The system could not log you on"

When you try to log on to a Microsoft Windows-based computer by using a user name that contains an "at" sign (@), you receive the following error message:

The system could not log you on. Make sure your user name and domain are correct, then type your password again.
You cannot modify user environment variables in the System Properties dialog box if you log on by using a standard user account in Windows Vista

If you log on by using a standard user account in Windows Vista, you cannot modify user environment variables in the System Properties dialog box. For example, if you try to access the System Properties dialog box by clicking Advanced system settings in the System item in Control Panel, you are prompted for administrator account credentials. If you type the credentials for an administrator account, the user environment variables that you can access are for that administrator account only.
After you turn on User Account Control in Windows Vista, programs may be unable to access some network locations

After you turn on User Account Control in Windows Vista, programs may be unable to access some network locations. This problem may also occur when you use the command prompt to access a network location.
You must create a password hint when you install a version of Windows Vista that includes Service Pack 1

When you install a version of Windows Vista that includes Service Pack 1 (SP1), you are prompted to type a user name as the last step of the setup process. This is the first account that is created on the computer.

When you are prompted to type a user name, you are also prompted about whether you want to create a password for the account. If you decide to create a password, you must also create a password hint.
You do not have access to folders or to files after you upgrade the computer to Windows Vista

Consider the following scenario:
  • In a version of a Microsoft operating system that is earlier than Windows Vista, you create two users, User A and User B.
  • You add the two users to the local Administrators group.
  • You use the User A account to log on to the computer, and then you create a new folder. For example, you create Folder F. Then, you add files or subfolders to Folder F.
  • You grant Read access to Folder F only to the User A account.
  • You log off the computer, and then you use the User B account to log on to the computer.
  • You upgrade the computer to Windows Vista.
  • You use the User A account to log on to the computer.
In this scenario, the User A account no longer has Read access to Folder F.
A temporary profile is loaded after you log on to a Windows Vista-based system

After you log on to a Windows Vista-based system, you may notice that a temporary profile has been loaded instead of the profile that corresponds to the current user. Therefore, any changes that you make to the current desktop are lost after you log off the system. Additionally, the notification area may display the following error message:

Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.

Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

When you try to log on to a Windows Vista-based computer, you briefly receive a "Welcome" message, and then you are logged off

When you try to log on to a Windows Vista-based computer by using an account that does not have administrative permissions, you briefly receive a "Welcome" message, and then you receive a "Logging off" message. Additionally, you may receive a warning in the Application Windows log that resembles the following:

The Windows logon process has failed to spawn a user application. Application name: . Command line parameters: c:\windows\system32\userinit.exe.

Source: Winlogon
Event ID: 4006
Level: Warning

When you try to perform a task that requires elevated user rights, you do not receive a response in Windows Vista

You do not receive a response when you try to perform any one of the following tasks in Windows Vista:
  • Click any of the buttons on the sidebar in Backup and Restore Center.
  • Modify the settings for Windows Firewall.
  • Modify the settings for Offline Files.
  • Additionally, you do not receive a message or an error.
This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:
  • The following Group Policy setting is configured to automatically deny elevation requests:
    Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\
    Local Policies\Security Options\User Account Control:
    Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users
  • You tried to perform a task that requires elevated user rights.
You may receive a warning that your password will expire soon when you unlock a Windows Vista-based workstation to which you are logged on by using cached credentials

When you unlock a Windows Vista-based workstation to which you logged on by using cached credentials, you may receive a warning message. This warning message states that your password will expire soon and advises you to change it.
An updated password is not saved for all users when you change the password for an all-user network connection in Windows Vista, and you receive the following error message: "Error 5: Access is denied"

Consider the following scenario:
  • You use the Windows Vista Get Connected Wizard to connect a Windows Vista-based computer to a destination network.
  • The user name and password that is configured in the network connection is saved for all users. For example, when you create the network connection, you click to select the Allow other people to use this connection check box.
  • The password for the network connection expires on the destination network.
In this scenario, when you next use this connection to connect to the destination network, you are prompted to change the password as expected. However, when you enter a new password for the network connection, you experience the following symptoms:
  • You receive the following error message
    Cannot delete saved password.
    Error 5: Access is denied.
  • The new password is updated on the destination network. However, the new password is not saved in Windows Vista. Therefore, you must enter the new password again when you try to reconnect to the destination network
You encounter unexpected behaviour when you perform tasks as a standard user and the User Account Control feature is disabled in Windows Vista

You log on to Windows Vista as a standard user and then you try to perform one of the following actions:
  • You right-click a program or a task and then click Run as administrator.
  • You start a program or a task that usually requires elevated administrator permissions to continue.
When you perform either of these actions, the task may not be completed successfully, and unexpected behaviour may occur. The unexpected behaviour may include the following:
  • The User Account Control window does not appear as expected. You are not prompted for the administrator password to continue.
  • You do not receive an error message that states that you do not have sufficient permissions to perform the action.