`Administrator' fix is tricky, but effective

Ask Jim

Plugged In

May 17, 2007|By Jim Coates | Jim Coates,Chicago Tribune

I purchased a Logitech Webcam so I could video-call friends and family. I've had it about a year and a half and have yet to get it to work. When I download the video-call software from the Logitech site, I get a message saying I don't have the privileges or permissions to perform the task. I have tried every "Administrator" log-on I know but to no success. My computer is a Gateway running Windows XP Pro. I am trying to uninstall and reinstall the software. I don't know what else to do. Logitech support says it is a problem with my computer.

- Dorella M. Cambio, cox.net

There is a fix that usually works when the owner of a computer logs on using the main administrator-privileged account in Windows XP and encounters error messages that say "you must be logged on as the administrator" to continue a given action. It's kind of tricky, but what you need to do is activate a hidden administrator account built into XP that is independent of anybody's log-on identity.

This hidden administrator account is an emergency fallback to solve problems when accounts get garbled among other users, and calling it up often gets one past this fairly common error message about the user needing to be the administrator.

To activate the fallback administrator account, you can reboot Windows XP and wait for the "Welcome" screen to appear. Then press Control + Alt + Delete two times, in quick succession. You'll get a log-in as administrator with no other accounts registered.

With this administrator account running, go back through the Logitech driver installation and software set-up routines for that video camera, and you should be able to fix things up nicely.

It's worth noting that a Microsoft program called TweakUI also can be used to enter this hidden administrator account without trying to time double keyboard sequences.

Use the term TweakUI as an Internet search term, and you will find numerous listings pointing to the PowerToys site run by Microsoft Corp., where TweakUI is one of several offerings.

With TweakUI running, go to the heading for Log-on and you will find a check box that lets you change from logging on with your own master account to logging on in the hidden universal administrator role.


Jim Coates writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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