I recently worked on a laptop that every time I wanted to uninstall a program or do an administrative privilege on a standard user account it would ask me to “insert a smart card”. I didn’t have a smart card but normally you can enter the administrator credentials. However the administrator login box wouldn’t appear.
This issue was quite annoying but there is a relatively easy fix.
Restart your computer and tap F8 to get into Safe Mode. You can choose regular Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking. Once you log into Windows using Safe Mode, you should see a Windows Administrator account. Log into the Administrator account.
Click on the start menu and type in “cmd” and right-click on command prompt and run as administrator. Type this command: net user administrator /active:yes This command will enable the hidden built-in administrator account in Windows. Reboot your computer.
Conclusion: The Windows administrator user account must have been hidden. Since the administrator account was hidden, when I tried to do an administrative task on a standard user account only the “insert a smart card prompt” would appear. I enabled the hidden built-in administrator account and I could then enter the administrator credentials.
This was posted by techspeeder.