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Xp: My Admin Account Is Defective

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Apparently something is interfering with my XP Home Admin account. I have my notebook set up like this for 2+ yrs:

XX has a limited permissions account for surfing

I have a limited permissions account for surfing

I have a full permissions Administrators account for maintenance

I was advised that doing my surfing on a limited permissions account was a secure way to help safeguard my computer in case I run into a hostile script on the web. The theory being that installations would not be as possible if the PC is accessed via a limited permissions user account. Not sure how valid this is but I was given this advice by the manager of a community college PC dept who is responsible for 700+ user PCs on campus so I figured it could not hurt.

Here's the problem:

I thought I downloaded a new version of Skype into my downloads folder last week, with the intent I'd manually install it later. (That's my usual MO - download the program into the download folder and then later scan and install it, doing any remove needed at that time. But I keep getting the prompt on boot up that there is a new version of Skype available, so I figured I'd better get it installed and stop the annoying prompt.

Today I used my Admin account to uninstall the older version in Add/Remove programs. To my surprise there were actually 2 versions of Skype installed, so somehow this new version was installed rather than just being downloaded to my pending folder for manual install later. When I tried to uninstall on the Add/Remove programs list, it tells me I need to be an Administrator to do that! Duh! I am already an Administrator.... but my computer doesn't seem to know that!

Frustrated, I figure, heck, I'll just make a new Admin account with full permissions for myself and fix this little problem. No deal, I got the same shut down prompt refusing me admin privileges using the brand new Admin account as well.

I have no idea what to do and I'm hoping someone here will have some advice. I haven't tried to find anything at MS because every time I search there I find nothing applicable to my problem and when it does return some result, it's almost undecipherable to me.

Fingers crossed someone here will have a lead for me on this....

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