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Aug 04, 2013 | PC Desktops
May 28, 2012 | E-Machines eMachines Desktop PC
This error can usually be fixed by following the steps below. Doing all this requires a certain level of computer skills. You know yourself best and whether taking the machine to a competent local computer tech (not a BigComputerStore/GeekSquad type of place) is the better solution for you.
1. Log into another user account with administrative privileges. If you neglected to make an extra administrative account do Steps 2-3. Otherwise continue at Step 4. Also see the general information about setting up user accounts in Vista at the end of this post.
2. Boot into Safe Mode. Do this by repeatedly tapping the F8 key as the computer is starting up. This will get you to the right menu where you can use your arrow key to select Safe Mode [enter]. The built-in Administrator account is disabled by default in Vista. However, if no other administrative accounts exist on the system it may be enabled. If it is, you will see an icon for Administrator on the Welcome Screen in Safe Mode. Log into Administrator.
3. If If you don't see the icon for the Administrator account in Safe Mode, then the built-in Administrator account is still disabled and you'll need to do some more work. If you have a Vista installation DVD (not a recovery DVD) you can boot the system with it. Select the default language, then choose "Repair your computer". Then select "Command Prompt". At the command prompt type:
net user administrator /active:yes [enter]
[Note: Do not type the brackets!]
If you don't have a Vista installation DVD (only have a recovery disc), the computer mftr. may have given you the Vista System Repair option (not a System Recovery!) on the diagnostic menu. This diagnostic menu is the same one where you can choose Safe Mode. Or you can make a bootable Vista Repair DVD from the file at this link:
which will cost you $9.75
Note: All the Neosmart recovery disc downloads are torrent files. There is a good explanation of torrent files at the Neosmart website. You will need a torrent client such as muTorrent to get the files. The torrent client will download the .iso file with which to create the bootable DVD. You will need third-party burning software such as Nero, Roxio, or the free ImgBurn (www.imgburn.com ) to burn the .iso as an image, not as data.
Now remove the rescue CD/DVD you made, reboot the system into Windows, and log into the built-in Administrator account you enabled.
4. Try a System Restore to when things were working. If you can log into your own user account, you're finished. Otherwise continue at Step 5.
5. The critical files are under %systemdrive%\users\user-account\ntuser. The ntuser.dat file is actually a registry hive. Run Regedit elevated and select HKEY_USERS and "load hive" from the menu. Now navigate to:
There is one line for each profile. If a profile is bad, check:
a) That the key name doesn't end in ".bak" (remove .bak if there)
b) That the RefCount value is 0 (change it if different)
c) That the State value is 0 (change if different)
Make any necessary changes, close Regedit and try to log in as that user.
6. If that doesn't fix your profile, it is corrupted. At that point you should make a new Standard user account and copy your data to it. Do not delete the old account until you have retrieved the data you need!
Once everything is working, log into the extra administrative account you will make per the suggestions below and disable the built-in Administrator account again for security purposes:
Start Orb>Search box>type: cmd
When cmd appears in Results above, right-click it and choose "Run as administrator" [OK]. Now you will get the command prompt. At the command prompt type:
net user administrator /active:no [enter]
Exit the command prompt.
General Recommendations For Setting Up Users In Vista
You absolutely do not want to have only one user account. Like XP and all other modern operating systems, Vista is a multi-user operating system with built-in system accounts such as Administrator, Default, and Guest. These accounts should be left alone as they are part of the operating system structure.
You particularly don't want only one user account with administrative privileges on Vista because the built-in Administrator account (normally only used in emergencies) is disabled by default. If you're running as Administrator for your daily work and that account gets corrupted, things will be Difficult. It isn't impossible to activate the built-in Administrator to rescue things, but it may be more work than you want to do. Best not to get into a bad situation to begin with.
The user account that is for your daily work should be a Standard user, with the extra administrative user (call it something like "CompAdmin" or "Tech" or the like) only there for elevation purposes. Running as a Standard user is best practice for security purposes and will help protect your computer from infection. After you create "CompAdmin", log into it and change your regular user account to Standard. Then log back into your regular account.
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