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My company gave me a old used computer for my personal use at home. But I am not able to access any external drives(USB) . I receive an error message as access denied. Being a local admin to that computer i was not able to change the setting as only the domain admin has the security rights. Since I have moved to another company I was not able to contact he system admin. Further I am not interested in re-installing the operating system as all the software's & applications are original licensed versions. Is there any other way being a local admin to change the setting???

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Is it still a member of that old domain? (I really think whoever let you take home a domain workstation without blowing it clean first did a big mistake though - get the software licenses and reinstall would be my primary recommendation) –  Oskar Duveborn Jan 26 '10 at 10:51
    
What operating system? –  Oskar Duveborn Jan 26 '10 at 11:23
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Also, who is the software licenced to? If its licenced to the company, and your not working there any more then it's more than likely that they are no longer licenced. –  Sam Jan 26 '10 at 12:09
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If it's still a member of the old domain you will sooner or later run into more problems than you want to - wipe and reinstall the thing is really the only recommendable course of action.

You're using a machine that someone else is in control of, even if it's not actively connected to the company anymore all the policies and software is still theirs and may do things you won't sign off on. It cannot be trusted, even for home use.

For the record, the company that let you take a domain computer home for non-company use without wiping it and reloading it with a non-company-related installation certainly did something wrong.

You can reset the security policies though, but make sure it's removed from the domain first, then refer to this article.

Windows XP: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose
Windows Vista: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
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The computer is still a member of my company's domain and all the applications are registered under my company's name. But now I am using at my home {not connected to the domain} and I am the machine local system administrator account. OS: Windows XP3 As I have mentioned earlier I do not want to re-install the OS as I cannot afford to buy all the original licensed applications. I wonder if somebody could at least help me to access my External drives {USB}. Being the local admin of the PC, I think there should be a way to do it. –  Arun Jan 27 '10 at 12:56
    
Have you tried the security policy reset described last in my answer? (with a reboot) Also, generally, even if you're denied access - with local admin access you should be able to take ownership and then grant yourself access on most Access Control Lists/objects in Windows. Though, if you do not remove it from the domain, such ACLs controlled by domain policies will reset themselves at the next policy refresh. –  Oskar Duveborn Jan 27 '10 at 15:43
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I am not 100% sure about this, but....be sure, at the login screen, that you are logging into that computer and not still logging into the domain. Although the domain isnt available at your home, the machine will remember those settings and let you log into whatever account you were using on the domain. Make sure the field 'log on to' is the local machine and not the domain.

If you have the administrator login and password for this machine and not domain admin credentials, then it may work.

If you do not have these credentials, then run an ophcrack CD to get them.

EDIT - going to test this at work this morning...will remove if not accurate...

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Thanks but actually I am logging in to the PC with local admin account and I am not logging into the domain in anyway. Eventhough I am the local admin, when I insert a pen drive I get access denied message and the security tab doesn't even indicate my local admin profile. It only shows the Domain admin profile only. I think the domain admin should have set the policy in such a way that nobody should have access to the external drives except them. –  Arun Jan 27 '10 at 13:01
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