How to access the computer after you disable the administrator account

You can disable the local administrator account in Windows Server in order to provide an additional level of security in your organization. Additionally, the default Remote Installation Services (RIS) installation disables the local Administrator account on the destination computer.

This article describes how to access your Windows Server-based computer by using the local administrator account when the local administrator account is disabled.

Original KB number:   814777

Log on to Windows by using Safe mode

To log on to Windows by using the disabled local Administrator account, start Windows in Safe mode. Even when the Administrator account is disabled, you are not prevented from logging on as Administrator in Safe mode. When you have logged on successfully in Safe mode, re-enable the local administrator account, and then log on again in normal mode. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Start the computer, and then press the F8 key when the power-on self-test (POST) is complete.
  2. From the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press Enter.
  3. Select the operating system that you want to start, and then press Enter.
  4. Log on to Windows as Administrator. If you are prompted to do so, click to select an item in the Why did the computer shut down unexpectedly list, and then click OK.
  5. On the message that states Windows is running in safe mode, click OK.
  6. Click Start, search for Computer Management, and open it.
  7. Expand Local Users and Groups, click Users, right-click Administrator in the right pane, and then click Properties.
  8. Click to clear the Account is disabled check box, and then click OK.

If the server is a domain controller, the Local Users and Groups are not available in Computer Management. To enable the Administrator account, follow these steps:

  1. Start your computer to Safe mode with networking support.

  2. Log on as the administrator.

  3. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press Enter.

  4. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter:

    net user administrator /active:yes

Log on to Windows by using Recovery Console

You can use the recovery console to access the computer even if the local Administrator account is disabled. Disabling the local Administrator account does not prevent you from logging on to the recovery console as Administrator.