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But I AM the administrator!

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Kraken
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But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:00 pm

Civ VI insists that I update my display drivers. I've had a couple of random crashes and some in-game graphical flickering.

Windows 10 won't let me access the device manager. Says an administrator has blocked access for my protection. I'm the only user and only administrator on this machine. Right-click and "Run as administrator" doesn't help. Tried to change file permissions for Windows/System32/mmc.exe without success (the check box is grayed out).

How do I get access to the device manager? Or, how can I update the drivers without it?

The AMD Catalyst Control Center does not appear to have a driver update interface, so I don't think I can bypass device manager.

UPDATE: Malwarebytes found a "potentially unwanted program" called SlimWare Utilities/Driver Update. Sounds like something that might have hijacked driver updates. I quarantined the files and rebooted, but I still can't run device manager.
Last edited by Kraken on Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:05 pm

Kraken wrote:Windows 10 won't let me access the device manager. Says an administrator has blocked access for my protection. I'm the only user and only administrator on this machine. Right-click and "Run as administrator" doesn't help. Tried to change file permissions for Windows/System32/mmc.exe without success (the check box is grayed out).

How do I get access to the device manager?
Try using an elevated Command Prompt (i.e. right-click Command Prompt link > Run as administrator), and running "Windows\System32\mmc.exe" from there.
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Rip » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:07 pm


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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:33 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Kraken wrote:Windows 10 won't let me access the device manager. Says an administrator has blocked access for my protection. I'm the only user and only administrator on this machine. Right-click and "Run as administrator" doesn't help. Tried to change file permissions for Windows/System32/mmc.exe without success (the check box is grayed out).

How do I get access to the device manager?
Try using an elevated Command Prompt (i.e. right-click Command Prompt link > Run as administrator), and running "Windows\System32\mmc.exe" from there.
That just opened a window called Console1. It shows an empty folder called Console Root.
Gonna take me a long time to go through all that, but I'll see if I can do it tonight.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:42 pm

Kraken wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Kraken wrote:Windows 10 won't let me access the device manager. Says an administrator has blocked access for my protection. I'm the only user and only administrator on this machine. Right-click and "Run as administrator" doesn't help. Tried to change file permissions for Windows/System32/mmc.exe without success (the check box is grayed out).

How do I get access to the device manager?
Try using an elevated Command Prompt (i.e. right-click Command Prompt link > Run as administrator), and running "Windows\System32\mmc.exe" from there.
That just opened a window called Console1. It shows an empty folder called Console Root.
Sorry, I was just quoting from your OP.

To run the Device Manager from the elevated Command Prompt, type devmgmt.msc or mmc devmgmt.msc.
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Kraken wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Kraken wrote:Windows 10 won't let me access the device manager. Says an administrator has blocked access for my protection. I'm the only user and only administrator on this machine. Right-click and "Run as administrator" doesn't help. Tried to change file permissions for Windows/System32/mmc.exe without success (the check box is grayed out).

How do I get access to the device manager?
Try using an elevated Command Prompt (i.e. right-click Command Prompt link > Run as administrator), and running "Windows\System32\mmc.exe" from there.
That just opened a window called Console1. It shows an empty folder called Console Root.
Sorry, I was just quoting from your OP.

To run the Device Manager from the elevated Command Prompt, type devmgmt.msc or mmc devmgmt.msc.
This workaround was buried in Rip's link:
Right click on this pc > properties > system protection > choose Hardware tab > Device Manager

That got me around the access block, but clicking the Device Manager does nothing beyond a brief wait cursor.

Using the command prompt also fails to open device manager. The window refreshes and nothing launches.

It's like device manager isn't even there.

IDK when this might have happened; I haven't tried to update drivers in ages, so a restore point probably isn't going to help. Is there a way to repair windows without reformatting/reinstalling it? I really really don't want to have to do that. Is there a way to see if Device Manager even still exists?

The internet tells me that Slimware Utilities/Driver Update was not a virus, but merely an unnecessary program. Could quarantining that have messed up device manager?

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:53 pm

A CCleaner registry cleanup fixed 129 issues; none of those affected my problem. I am still getting the same warning popup and still can't launch device manager.

The devmgmt.msc file is right there where it ought to be.

A Windows Defender full scan turned up nothing.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:57 pm

Non-IT guy chaotic tinkering, but have you tried creating a new (temporary) user with admin rights and seeing if that account can access it? Then perhaps turn your old account to limited and back to admin? It might help clarify if it is an account/privilege issue or a Windows issue.
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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:27 pm

I think I solved my immediate problem by downloading the latest installer and driver from AMD. Hard to say for sure because it replaced the old familiar Catalyst Control Center with something called AMD Gaming Evolved, and I can no longer see the driver details. It does report that my driver is up to date, though, so I'm going to call that a win...at least until I play Civ VI tonight. Then we'll see if my issues were fixed.

I've run out of tinkering time for now. Will try the admin permissions tricks later on to see if I can solve the larger device manager problem. I'm reluctant to try the more radical solutions from Rip's link because my machine is running fine otherwise and I don't want to risk screwing up any other permissions.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:35 pm

In terms of regaining Device Manager access without reinstalling your OS, if nothing else has worked, try this solution:
social.technet.microsoft.com wrote:If nothing else has worked I may have a solution. It seems to me that Windows has given all of the same privileges of the 'Built-In Administrator Account' to the 'Administrators Group'. However in the 'Local Security Policy' the default installation setting is to 'Run All Administrators in Approval Mode'. This forces all accounts other than the 'Built-In Administrator Account' to essentially run as 'Standard Accounts' and in essence using the 'Built-In Administrator Account' as a proxy to access administrative privileges. I'm not sure why the error is occurring but it seems to me a good place to start looking.

That being said if you're on Windows Professional or higher you can use the 'Administrative Tool', 'Local Security Policy', and navigate to 'Local Policies'->'Security Options', and select 'User Account Control: Run All Administrators in Approval Mode' and set it to 'Disabled'.

If you are on a Home version of Windows open the 'Registry Editor', and navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System'

Select 'EnableLUA' and change the value to '0' instead of '1'.

Close the 'Registry Editor' and restart the computer for it to take effect.

Doing this will strip away the extra layer of security provided, but it should also remove the issue.
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:13 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:In terms of regaining Device Manager access without reinstalling your OS, if nothing else has worked, try this solution:
social.technet.microsoft.com wrote:
If you are on a Home version of Windows open the 'Registry Editor', and navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System'

Select 'EnableLUA' and change the value to '0' instead of '1'.

Close the 'Registry Editor' and restart the computer for it to take effect.

Doing this will strip away the extra layer of security provided, but it should also remove the issue.
I saw that elsewhere. How nervous should disabling LUA make me? Doesn't that essentially allow any exe to run without confirmation? Because it's probably going to come to that.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:31 pm

Disabling LUA is just going to mean that Windows (UAC) will no longer bombard you with its nagging confirmation dialog window whenever programs try to make changes to the OS, as illustrated here:

Image

Turning it off should make your experience in Windows slightly less obnoxious, and a bit more like the old days of Windows XP.
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Victoria Raverna » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:00 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:Disabling LUA is just going to mean that Windows (UAC) will no longer bombard you with its nagging confirmation dialog window whenever programs try to make changes to the OS, as illustrated here:

Image

Turning it off should make your experience in Windows slightly less obnoxious, and a bit more like the old days of Windows XP.
And increase the chance of installing more malware.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:14 pm

Yeah, the whole point of that annoyance is to make sure that you are 100% aware when something is trying to install on your system.
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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:31 pm

...hence the "Doing this will strip away the extra layer of security provided" part, and why it was offered as a solution if nothing else has worked.
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Victoria Raverna » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:05 am

Anonymous Bosch wrote:...hence the "Doing this will strip away the extra layer of security provided" part, and why it was offered as a solution if nothing else has worked.
Fair point. In addition to that, the UAC didn't stop his computer from being infected by SlimWare Utilities/Driver Update.

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Re: But I AM the administrator!

Post by Kraken » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:43 am

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:...hence the "Doing this will strip away the extra layer of security provided" part, and why it was offered as a solution if nothing else has worked.
Fair point. In addition to that, the UAC didn't stop his computer from being infected by SlimWare Utilities/Driver Update.
The internet tells me that slimware isn't malware, just crapware. It probably piggybacked on something else I installed. No idea what or when.

Consensus seems to be that my device manager bug was introduced by a windows update, probably the creator's build (or whatever it was called).

On the plus side, the driver update I got from AMD fixed my Civ problems.

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