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Windows XP/group policies - reg edit


group policies is not an available choice on this winxp home PC I am working on - I have 25 PC's all pulled from a now closed Internet Cafe - I want to know how I  can change group polcies in the registry
the account I can log on as is server-04 * which in control panel shows as a admin account- however - it is NOT able to uninstall anything or even change the time on the PC

I am totally comfortable editing the registry if I just knew what to do to change this user "server-04" the "real deal" admin on this PC

Hi Nina,

You are correct, the Group Policy Editor is not available in the Home version of WindowsXP. To make changes in the Registry that would be effectively the same, there are a few things you can do:

One thing you can do is, if you are familiar with the Registry and it’s entries, is manually adjust the Registry to configure the options as you want them. If you are not familiar with the Registry entries and what settings would change which options, here is one website that lists each category and effective changes that would (should) take place changing each of the entries:

Another thing you can do, it download and install a utility that would allow you simply ‘checkmark’ or change the options you want to adjust via a toggle with an interface, such as this utility here:
(While helpful, always be careful downloading and installing programs onto your systems)

Yet another thing you can do, especially if you plan to adjust your recently acquired systems a lot, is to simply format the system(s) and reinstall Windows XP Home (or whatever OS the systems had previously). This would create an entirely new Administrator account, which would let you adjust anything you wish on the systems. Although you would lose anything that is installed currently (backup what you wish to keep), it is usually the best option when acquiring a new system, for security purposes. All it requires is the Recovery Disc(s) from the equipment vendor, or the original Operating System installation disc.

If the Operating System disc did not come with any of the systems, you used to be able to download the WindowsXP installation disc for free from Microsoft (and just use the Product Key that came with the system). Since WindowsXP has now reached it’s ‘End Of Life’ with Microsoft and isn’t available anymore, you can do other things, such as borrow the Operating System disc from someone (for instance, who has WindowsXP Home) or you can go to your local computer repair store and if you explain your situation and that you have the legal ownership of the machine now (and have your own Product Keys for the system(s) ) they can usually make a copy of their version of the installation disc for you (for a small charge, the cost of the disc itself).

Once you have the WindowsXP installation disc that matches your systems (including matching if they are OEM or Retail versions), you can then boot up with the CD in the drive and simply install Windows, allowing it to utilize the entire drive and format it (erase it and get it ready to use ‘new’ – this will also get rid of any viruses/etc that are on the system). If you are unsure if the systems had OEM or Retail versions of WindowsXP (the installation disc must be of the same type (OEM or Retail)) here is a MS forum thread with information on how to tell which one it is:

Once you have the installation done, you should then have a fresh, clean computer and an Administrator account all set and ready to go! Whichever path you choose, I hope that everything works out for you in the end.

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Troy M. MCSE, CNA, MCP, CST, IC3, Aplus


Hi there! Even though I am relatively new around here, I have been having great fun with PCs for over two decades now, becoming familiar with Windows through versions 3.x/9x/Me/2000/XP/2003/7/8/10. I enjoy helping others with what I feel is an exciting industry - computers are always changing, improving and offering new opportunities for learning. I look forward to assisting you with questions concerning Windows, how it interacts with your PC Hardware, configuration/settings or just general tips and ideas. Besides troubleshooting questions, feel free to ask the basics, as well. I will always start there, and I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question - we are all ‘Beginners’ at one time or another!


I am an A+ Certified, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with Computer Service Technician and LAN Administration diplomas and over 15 years direct experience with PCs including assembly, troubleshooting/support and upgrading. I have worked for retail outlets, schools and businesses, and have been an Instructor in the past as well – helping others, just like you, understand and enjoy computers!

MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), CNA (Certified Novell Administrator), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), CST (Computer Service Technician (Formerly Computer Engineering Technician)(Hardware/OS servicing Diploma), IC3 (Internet and Core Computing Certification)(Hardware/OperatingSystem/Internet Fundamentals Certification), A+ (Computing Technology Industry Association Hardware/Operating System Certification)

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