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HP Media Center Desktop PCs - Administrator Account Is Missing or Software and Files Are Missing after Adding a New Account in Microsoft Windows XP

This document pertains to HP PCs that came with Microsoft Windows XP Pro or Media Center Edition.
By design, Windows XP removes the Administrator account when another logon account is created. Unfortunately, If you add a new account after you have been using the Administrator account for some time, the following problems occur:
  • The computer starts Windows into the new users account and not into the administrators account.
  • When logging off, logging on, or switching users, the Administrator account does not appear on the log on screen.
  • Software that was installed before the new user was added is not accessible from the start menu or desktop.
Perform the following steps until you are satisfied with the logon method.
Step 1: Log onto the original Administrator account
Use the following steps to logon to the original Administrator account:
  1. Start the computer and let Windows XP start.
  2. If Windows XP opens to the new user's desktop, click Start, LogOff, and then LogOff again. This will log off Windows XP and open a friendly logon screen.
  3. At the friendly logon screen press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys twice. A smaller logon window appears.
  4. Type Administrator into the Username field.
  5. Type in a password if one was used for the Administrator account (usually, there is no password).
  6. Click OK. Windows is now logged onto the original Administrator Account.
If you are satisfied by logging into the original Administrator account in this manner, stop here. If you want to go back to only using the original Administrator account, go to Step 2 and delete all the new accounts that were created. If you want to have the Administrator account appear with the other new accounts, go to Step 3.
Step 2: Delete the new account(s)
This step is optional. If you want to keep a new account, then stop here and do not perform the steps in this section. Remember that you will have to go to the log on screen and press Ctrl + Alt + Del twice in order to access your original Administrator account.
If you want to have Windows XP start directly to the desktop (the original Administrator account) without any other accounts, then the other added account(s) need to be removed. Use the following steps to delete the other account(s):
  1. After you have logged onto the Administrator account (as in Step 1), click Start, and then Control Panel.
  2. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then Administrative Tools.
  3. Double-click the Computer Management icon.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to Local Users and groups.
  5. Click the Users folder to highlight it.
  6. In the right side of the window, right-click the name of an account that was added and select Delete. Do not delete any other account other than accounts that were added. Do not attempt to delete the Administrator account.
  7. Read the message and click Yes to confirm that this is the account you want to delete. Settings and My Document files created on this account will be destroyed.
  8. Continue deleting any remaining accounts that were added until they have all been removed.
  9. Close all open Windows and restart the computer.
Step 3: Editing the registry to see all accounts
This step is optional. Use the following steps to edit the registry to make Windows XP display the Administrator account on the logon (Welcome) screen along with all other accounts that were added:
 note:
Editing the registry in the wrong manner can cause Windows to stop functioning. Be careful when editing the registry and make a backup as shown in the following steps.
  1. Click Start, Run, and type regedit into the Open field.
  2. Click OK, and then backup the registry:
    1. In the Registry Editor, click File, and then Export.
    2. Type in a filename that is easy to remember and describes the backup file, like registry_backup or regbackup_2-11-04.
    3. Make sure that All is selected under Export Range, and click OK to save the file to the My Documents folder.
  3. In the Registry Editor, click the plus sign (+) next to each item in the following path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
  4. Select the UserList key (folder) from the left side of the Window.
  5. Click Edit, New, and click DWORD Value.
  6. Select the new value in the right window and rename the value from New Value #1 to Administrator.
  7. Right click on the new Administrator value and select Modify.
  8. Type 1 into the Value data field and click OK.
  9. Click the minus sign (-) next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the left window.
  10. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
    The logon screen now displays the original Administrator logon with the other logon entries.
     note:
    If you need to restore the registry, open the Registry Editor, click Edit, Import, browse to the backup file that was saved earlier, and click OK.
Related support
 note:
One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside of the HP Web site.

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