Windows 7 - I am the administrator but I don't have owner rights! Why?

Asked By buyslak on 18-Feb-07 01:19 PM
I am having several owner permissions rights problems with
Windows Vista.  I upgraded my Dell XPS M1210 to Windows Vista from Windows
XP Media Center addition on 2/14/2007.

I set up myself as the administrator. I am the administrator account.
However, on several occasions now I am unable to remove software, reinstall
software, install drivers etc. because it says I do not have permissions and
I need to re-logon as administrator.

For example I installed a Cannon Selphy CP730 compact printer driver while
it was in Windows XP mode.  Now I want to upgrade that driver to newer driver
supplied by Cannon for Windows Vista.   The cannon rep advised me to delete
the registry entry for the printer.  However I am not able to give myself
full rights and delete.  I looked to see who the owner is, it says
Administrators.   Now I am the Administrator but not the AdministratorS.
How did this administrators account get on my computer?  I never put it
there.  I did a Belarc Advisor analysis on the computer and it shows there is
an Adminstrator account that is marked as locked.  I understand I can not
lock or unlock an account with Windows Vista Home Premium.

Could someone please tell me how to get rid of the Administrators account
and give myself  (the owner of the pc and the person who set everything up)
the rights to remove/install programs or edit the registry!

I am unable to use my printer, connect my ipaq, run adobe professional
reinstall, etc.  because of this.

On more thing, when I look at the security tab for the registry edit entry for
Group or user names it has 3 enteries
1)	Everyone
2)	Owner rights
3)	System

I even tried to add myself through the advance tab and give myself
permissions through the usb and also enum and it won’t work!   It will not
give me full control.

This is unbelieveable, it is my computer, I purchased windows vista, loaded
my software and yet I am not the owner?  And it will not give me any control.

This really upsets me, what is wrong with windows vista?  How did this other
administrators account appear and take control of programs and owns them?

P.S.  I have looked in the Microsoft management console and there are no
groups set up.

Myweb replied on 19-Feb-07 04:44 AM
Hello buyslake,

Did you use the account that is setup after installation from Vista or did
you use the administrator account, that by default is disabled and you have
enabled it? The first one is still restricted for some tasks, even if it
is an administrator, that's a part of the new security concept from Vista.

Best regards

Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers
no rights.
Matt I. replied on 18-Feb-07 03:05 PM
Everyone keeps asking this...

Many others have encountered this problem. The problem is that many XP
programs need administrator rights to run, and their programming does not
make Vista ask to verify as an administrator. In Vista, like linux,
administrator accounts are basic users until they are "admined up". To run a
program that does not properly prompt for administrative rights, right click
on it and select "Run as Administrator"

Linux experience FTW!
buyslak replied on 18-Feb-07 11:25 PM
All I see when I open user accounts is Adam (administrator)  that is me.
That is the only account displayed.  If there is another Administrator
account how do I activate that?

Also, as I outlined before how do I get access give myself rights to remove
a regedit value so I can remove the cannon printer entry so I can restall it
so it will work.
buyslak replied on 19-Feb-07 10:43 AM
Hello my web,

I want to explain what I am seeing on my computer.  I am using Windows Vista
Premium Home.

I followed your path and I could not see anywhere that local users and
groups were listed in that area.  Therefore I went into Advanced System
Settings tab.  I found User Profiles listed.  I clicked on settings.  It
shows me two profiles
1) name of my computer\adam  (me as listed as administrator)
2) name of my computer\administrator

When I open user profiles from the control panel all I see is one profile
Adam Administrator

Where is this administrator account and how do I enable it?  There are no
groups set up on my computer.

I could not find anywhere where accounts were listed and shown in black.

As I said, I followed your path under system tools and I do not see any
Local users and groups shown any where there on my computer.
Jimmy Brush replied on 19-Feb-07 05:54 PM

Myweb is partially correct about there being a difference between "the"
administrator account and your account that was created for you; However,
your account IS an administrator account, and there is NOTHING that "the"
administrator account is allowed to do that your account CANNOT technically

In Windows Vista, even though you are an administrator, programs that do not
ASK to use your admin powers (through a "Windows needs your permission to
continue" prompt) CANNOT perform administrative actions.

This is a security feature that accomplishes two things:

1) Programs that don't need admin power, don't have it. This makes your
computer safer from those programs as well as malware that would try to take
over those programs.

2) Programs that need admin power, must ask you for it. You know exactly
when a program that has the potential to severely damage your computer runs,
and have the power to stop it from running if you did not intend for it to

All Windows Vista-compatible software will ask you for admin power when they
need it.

However, older programs that are not compatible with Vista won't do this,
and so you will need to explicitly give them admin power by right-clicking
them and clicking Run As Administrator.

So, the solution here is to run the programs that aren't prompting you for
admin power by right-clicking them and clicking Run As Administrator, which
will force them to run with admin power.

The "Administrator" account is no longer necessary in Windows Vista. It is
still there, in its locked form, in case of a dire emergency - you can use
it in safe mode if you lock yourself out of all of the other administrator
accounts on your computer.

As for the "registry editor" problem, Windows Vista has locked down many
system areas of the computer such that BY DEFAULT not even administrators
can manually modify them. That registry area you are attempting to modify is
one example; another is the Windows\System32 folder.

The reasoning is this: As an administrator, you generally won't need to
modify these areas manually; you will use a tool to modify them (i.e. an
install/uninstaller). So, since you will generally NOT need full access to
these areas, it is better for system security if these areas are locked down
by default, requiring you to take extra steps in order to get access to

I should also mention here that "AdministratorS" is the administrators
locked Administrator account AND your account.

If you cannot get the scanner uninstaller to work by right-clicking it and
clicking Run As Administrator, you can manually give yourself access to that
registry key by following these steps:

1- Find the key (folder) that is not giving you access
2- Right-click, click permissions
3- Go to the onwer tab. If Administrators is not the owner, make
Administrators the owner.
4- Add a permission giving Administrators full control
5- *CLOSE REGEDIT* and re-open it
6- Find the next key (folder) you need access to, go back to step 1

You will need to follow these steps on each key (folder) that you need to
get in to, starting with the first one that won't give you access.

You must close regedit after editing security due to a bug in regedit - it
doesn't recognize security permission changes that you make until you
restart it.

I hope this post explains to you why you were having problems and what you
can do to solve them - if you need clarification, please ask. :)

- JB
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User

Windows Vista Support Faq
buyslak replied on 22-Feb-07 11:56 AM
How I got to User Profiles set up on my computer.
1)	Open Windows Explorer
2)	Right click Computer, select properties
3)	Under Tasks in the left pane, select Advanced System Properties
4)	Now you will see User Profiles
5)	Click on User Profiles settings to see user accounts profiles.

In that window, it shows there is two profiles set up on my computer

1)	Name of computer\Adam (if I open user accounts in control panel, all I
see is this account and it shows it as a administrator account)
2)	Name of computer\Administrator
UCDJed replied on 22-Feb-07 09:47 PM
I have one folder on my desktop (using Vista Home Premium) that I can not
move, delete, alter, etc., also telling me I don't have permission, even
though I am the only account, and therefore the admin on this computer.
Thoughts?  It sounds like a similar problem to this posting thread...

David Craig replied on 23-Feb-07 12:39 AM
No, no, no, and no.  You are NOT the administrator on 'this' computer.  Not
on yours either.  You are logged in two times.  Once as a normal user and
once as an administrator.  UAC is the only way to get something to run, a
process as in CreateProcessAsUser(), in the context of the administrator
cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user) replied on 24-Feb-07 02:02 PM
On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 18:47:08 -0800, UCDJedi

It's most likely in what used to be default-path'd as All
Users\Desktop in XP, which is now Public\Desktop.

Four problems may apply...

The first is that the system or public desktop may be defended by UAC,
so you'd have some hoops to jump through.

The second is that if you're trying to navigate there via the old XP
All Users\Desktop path, you're going to run at a hoop that turns out
to be a solid wall (splat!) because those old XP paths are junctions
that software logic can follow, but interactive users cannot (as they
can go directly to the "real" path instead)

The third reason why something can't be deleted may be because it's
invalid or corrupted, e.g. illegal characters in file name etc.  Often
what fails due to such reasons is mis-reported as a "permissions"
issue, or the problem is mistakenly ascribed to "read only" etc.

For example, in earlier post-LFN Windows, use of pre-LFN tools to
extract LFN files from archives could create illegal raw 8.3 names,
such as This has.a s from "This has a space in it.txt" etc.

Dunno if Vista finally puts a stop to that?

The fourth issue involves files that are in use, or are actively
defended by running code, usually malware.

Saws are too hard to use.
Be easier to use!
buyslak replied on 26-Feb-07 02:25 PM

What version of Windows Vista do you have?   I have tried following your
path as you outlined but after System Tools, I DO NOT see any local users and
groups.  It simply is not there.
Jimmy Brush replied on 11-Mar-07 09:06 AM

- Click start
- Type: cmd
- Right-click cmd and click Run As Administrator
- Type the following commands exactly, pressing enter after each line:

cd %userprofile%
cd desktop
icacls "FOLDER"

(where FOLDER is the name of the folder that you are denied access to.
For example:
icacls "Bad Folder")

- Right-click the command window
- Click Mark
- Select all the text in the command window
- Right-click again
- Reply to this message, and paste in the contents of the command window

- JB
Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User

Windows Vista Support Faq
Jocke replied on 25-Jun-07 05:35 PM
I have the same problem only I bought my machine (Compaq, laptop) new with
Vista. I am the only set-up user. I am a password protected admin (the only
one, since the user manager won't let me make myself not an admin). I still
apparently do not have the appropriate rights to do things as simple as
update my anti virus. What gives? Is there a permission level higher than
administrator? cause it sure seems like it.
P.S. I've read through this thread and still cannot figure out how to access
this "default administrator".
Jocke replied on 25-Jun-07 05:51 PM
Thank you for explaining some of this; it helped me get past some of the
trouble I've been having with this issue.
However, the system still seems flawed. Instead of asking for permission
whan trying to perfoem an administrative task, my programs will frequently
give up/throw error/tell me to call my admin and simply NOT do what they're
supposed to. And yes, I experienced this when running a very new and
very-tied-to-the-windows-package program: Norton Antivirus (the version that
came with the new machine I purchased last week, which I'm guessing is the
most recent version).

Side note:
Oh the irony. I was trying to save this page so I can get back to it easily
and was given this message by Vista-
Vista Administration Accounts and Passords.mht
You don't have permission to save in this location.
Contact the administrator to obtain permission."
Painful irony FTL

Oh yes, and sorry for the double post; can't seem to find an "edit" option
in my entry
Jimmy Brush replied on 26-Jun-07 04:01 AM
Unfortunately, the security in Windows Vista is not "automatic"... it
requires third-party programs such as Norton to learn and follow the new
rules (as well as many old rules that they should have been following,
but many weren't).

If you run up against a problem where a program isn't asking you for
your admin power when you try to do something admin-y, this is either a
pre-vista program or the fault of whomever created the software.

While the new security model is pretty reasonable in most places, it
does have its rough edges, and you will mostly encounter these rough
edges while working with files and folders.

If you're the kind of person that doesn't like to save files inside your
user profile folder, or you have a multi-boot computer or use files that
you share between computers, you will probably encounter some issues
that will require modifying the security on the files.

I sincerely hope microsoft does something to make this experience much
less painful in the future.
Jocke replied on 26-Jun-07 09:55 AM
OK, fair enough. I was thinking though, do the new Vista security settings
have a "program whitelist" functionality, kind of like Windows Firewall
exceptions? Something like the option to "give this program permission
automatically in the future" when propted to give permission to a program.
This doesn't seem to be obviously implemented, if at all.
Jimmy Brush replied on 26-Jun-07 11:36 PM
No, there is no white list functionality.

UAC does two things:

1- Makes sure that you trust the program that is asking for full control
over your computer

2- Makes sure that you are the one starting that program

That #2 is the most important, and is what prevents a whitelist.

Even if you trust a program, UAC still needs to know that you are the
one starting it in that particular instance, because it cannot (yet)
determine this without asking you via the prompt.

This stops programs that don't prompt from starting a program that you
trust and using it without your knowledge to perform whatever admin
action that it performs, violating the whole point of UAC, which is to
make sure programs that do not prompt cannot perform admin actions, even
by proxy.

As an example, imagine you trust an admin program that you use to wipe
all data off of a hard drive. If that program stops prompting, then any
random program on your computer can start this program and use it to
wipe data off your computer, without you knowing about it. This is
because the OS cannot tell the difference between you starting a program
and a program starting a program, without asking you.

The idea here is for ONLY admin actions to prompt; everything else
should not prompt. There should be no situation where you have to go
through a UAC prompt to do something that does not require admin power.

In this way, the prompt is always guarding an admin action (which needs
the security), is relevent, and would only appear rarely (when you
actual perform an admin action, and not during general use).

However, this is dependent on third-parties to implement, because they
are in control of when their program prompts, not Microsoft.

If a program prompts too broadly (for example, every time the program
runs instead of only when you use the program to do certain admin
actions), it becomes less secure and more annoying to use.

Microsoft MVP - Windows Shell/User
Windows Vista Support FAQ -
Jocke replied on 10-Jul-07 09:12 AM
Ok, I get that, but why am I still running into problems with things like
Windows Task Manager?! That's frustrating. Unlike XP, I as an admin do not
have the privileges to log off, say, a guest user via Task Manager, though
the command button still exists. There is no reason for Microsoft's own
software to not integrate with Vista's new security/permission system. Any
suggestions related to, if nothing else, my specific case?
Jocke replied on 10-Jul-07 09:20 AM
Ok, so I get that; high security, manual permission, third party
integration, etc. and it even makes a little sense after a while. But why in
the world do Microsoft's own programs seem to also have trouble with the new
security. Case and point: Windows Task Manager. Unlike XP, I as an admin
cannot use it to log off, say, a guest user (although the command button to
do so is still there). Instead of asking for permission, it simply tells me I
don't have it and doesn't do anything. Any insight?
Ronnie Vernon MVP replied on 10-Jul-07 02:53 PM

It takes awhile to learn all of the different concepts for the new Vista
security model.

For your current problem, you need to elevate the Task Manager to the
administrator level. One clue that you are not elevated is to look for the
small Red Security Shield icon. When you start the Task Manager, click the
Processes Tab and you will see the icon on the "Show processes from all
users" button. If you click this button, then you will get the UAC elevation
prompt, click Continue and you will then have the admin privileges you need
for all operations with the Task Manager, including logging other users off.

Keep an eye out for this icon if you have similar problems with other


Ronnie Vernon
Microsoft MVP
Windows Shell/User
Angelseed0 replied on 26-Sep-07 09:31 PM
A problem that many of us are having is that we are unable to uninstall
certain programs.  I myself am running Vista Home Premium and continue to get
the error message "Administrator has not given permission, yadda, yadda..."
when I am trying to uninstall programs.  I've gotten this message with
programs that came with my computer (like Microsoft Works) and programs that
I installed myself (like iTunes).

I understand the process of selecting a program to RUN as an administrator,
but I am trying to UNINSTALL and Vista will not let me do it.  Any solutions?
Ronnie Vernon MVP replied on 27-Sep-07 04:09 PM

Are these programs that were installed on the system prior to the upgrade to
Vista? If so, see the following article for a step by step procedure to
resolve the problem.

You cannot uninstall a program after you upgrade to Windows Vista:


Ronnie Vernon
Microsoft MVP
Windows Shell/User
juleshernande replied on 08-Oct-07 12:29 PM
Hi! Can someone please answer the question? It's just a simple question, but
it seems that no one knows the real answer. The reason I'm asking is that I
have a similar problem. I'm trying to change the read-only properties for a
folder on my Vista Home Basic PC, but I can't. Why? When I'm actually a
member of the administrator group on my PC? If someone can answer this
question, I'd be very glad to hear it. As it is, this forum hasn't been of
much help at all.