Have you ever bought a used computer? Maybe from a company that was shutting down, or from someone who no longer needed theirs? Ideally, you just need to reformat your computer and start from scratch, right?
However, this is not always the case. Let’s say you have a computer with Windows already installed, but you don’t have the original CD or product key that came with your computer. Thus, you may not want to reformat your computer, as this could cause Windows to activate incorrectly.
So what’s the problem if you leave it as it is? Well, sometimes when you get a computer, it could be part of an Active Directory environment, which means it was subject to Group Policy.
Even if you remove the computer from the domain and move it to the workgroup, the modified local security policies will not be removed. This can be very annoying because local security policies include options such as preventing users from installing printers, restricting who can use the CD-ROM drive, requiring a smart card, limiting login time, enforcing a password, and more. !
All of this is fine in a corporate environment, but will cause a lot of trouble for the average computer user. What you can do to fix this problem is to reset your local security settings to their default values.
This can be done using the default security configuration templates that ship with all versions of Windows. It might sound too technical, but all you have to do is execute one command.
First click on Start, Run and then type CMD. On newer versions of Windows, click Start and type CMD. Then right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
Now copy and paste the following command into the window if you are running Windows XP:
secedit / configure / cfg% windir% repair secsetup.inf / db secsetup.sdb / verbose
If you are using Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista and need to reset your security settings to their defaults, use this command instead:
secedit / configure / cfg% windir% inf defltbase. inf / db defltbase.sdb / verbose
This is it! Now just wait for Windows to complete all the registry settings and reset them. It will take a few minutes and you will have to restart your computer to see the changes.
Now you can use your computer without any leftover local security settings from previously applied group policies. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!