How to add an existing non-Administrator to the Administrators group?


A friend popped round their family laptop after discovering that his wife's user account fails to logon with the following error message (it's a Dell Inspiron N5050 running Windows 7 Home Premium Edition):

The User Profile Service failed the logon

His wife's user account is the one created when Windows was first setup during the initial Dell OEM first-time Out of Box Experience. This account is a Windows administrator and is the only administrator. There is another account used by their son which does not have administrator rights.

I followed the steps that apply to this scenario described in this article to try to enable the regular Administrator account using net user administrator password /active:yes:

I receive error message: The user profile service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded

i.e. I've booted from the Windows installation disk, launched the recovery tools and started a command prompt. I then typed net user administrator [some_password] /active:yes which tells me the command ran successfully. However when I restart Windows (in safe mode or normally) I don't see an Administrator account at the logon screen.

I have to do this because for some reason I can't boot to a Safe Mode command prompt, Windows just boots straight to the logon screen.

As already mentioned there is another account on the machine but it's not a member of the Administrators group but I can logon. Using this account I have tried to runas a new command prompt as both Administrator and his wife's account but get an error message saying that the username or password are invalid.

I think something has clobbered his Wife's user account because when I navigate the filesystem using the recovery console command prompt I don't see this account's folder in the user profile folder but do see one for the other non-administrator account.

I've also tried to restore to a previous system recover point (via booting from the Windows DVD and starting the recovery tools). There was in fact one created on the morning that this problem manifested itself after a Windows Update. However after around 10 or so minutes of telling me it was Finalizing the Restore I was then presented with an error dialogue stating that:

System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed.


An unspecified error occurred during System Restore (0x80070002).

I also tried an earlier one but end up with the same result.

I've also tried creating a new Windows account in the command prompt launched by the recovery tools but I can't add that user to the Administrators group because the Workstation service isn't running (and won't start in recovery mode).

Is there anything else I can try or am I going to have to flatten rebuild this machine? Is there any other way for me to elevate the existing non-Administrator account to become a member of the Administrators group?

asked on Super User Aug 19, 2013 by Kev • edited Jul 14, 2017 by Journeyman Geek

1 Answer


It's very easy to create a new administrator account by booting your computer from Hiren's Boot CD. This article Using Hiren's Boot CD to Create Admin User Accounts details all the steps.

answered on Super User Aug 19, 2013 by Tomas Stout

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