removing user profiles without losing access

March 4, 2011 at 03:34:20
Specs: Windows XP
A family member wanted to install his own wallpaper on his user profile and somehow, in doing so, seemed to have wiped out mine. He couldn't tell me what he had done, in order to fix it. Luckily, my documents on D drive were not affected but they were no longer linked to my existing user profile. In a panic because I was only at home for a day before travelling again (and at the time didn't really understand user profiles), I tried to get my user profile working properly again. Somehow in doing that, I managed to create a new profile.
I have read quite a bit now about user profiles but am concerned that if I eliminate the "new" user profile which seems to be linked to a large number of files, I will cut off the access to those files from my existing user profile, which doesn't seem to have access to many files. I haven't read anything in the advice that exactly addresses this.
So my questions are:
1) How do I delete the "new" profile without removing my "old" profile's access to documents?
2) How do I change the data on the user profile so I get back the "old" profile's wallpaper and desktop links without wiping out the new links etc I had to create on the new profile?
I hope this is clear enough. I am not a very tech savvy person so I find myself unsure about how to proceed here.
I would really appreciate any advice and guidance that the knowledgeable people on this list can offer.
Thanks in advance,
Rosemary

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#1
March 4, 2011 at 06:43:42
You don't have to do all that. Use the new profile. Just move your files to wherever you want them & modify the settings to your liking.

Now you know why they call them "personal computers" & not "family computers". Each person should have his own machine.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
March 4, 2011 at 08:29:57
Very normal and part of the system design is to have multiple users on a single pc. That is what fast user switching is all about.

Seekingadvice a couple of suggestions;

1. your family members should be on limited not admin accounts. This would have prevented what happened to your profile.

2. under a admin account you can copy the contents of the old profile and overwrite your new profile files. This will make your present profile like your old one. For example you could copy the contents of your former profile My Documents to your new profile My Documents

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's


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#3
March 4, 2011 at 15:39:54
Wanderer, how many people use your machine at home?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#4
March 4, 2011 at 16:08:13
family uses the family pc but no one uses my pc.
its not realistic for most families to have each member own their own computer.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's


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#5
March 4, 2011 at 18:50:35
"A family member wanted to install his own wallpaper on his user profile and somehow, in doing so, seemed to have wiped out mine.Luckily, my documents on D drive were not affected but they were no longer linked to my existing user profile."

If he was using his own user profile that can't happen to your user profile.
He must have been using your user profile.

Do you have a Logon password that only you know for the old user ?

"....am concerned that if I eliminate the "new" user profile which seems to be linked to a large number of files, I will cut off the access to those files from my existing user profile, which doesn't seem to have access to many files."

Are those "large number of files" of any concern to you, or to any other user ?

Do you have a Logon password that only you know for the new user ?

"1) How do I delete the "new" profile without removing my "old" profile's access to documents?"

You said ".... my existing user profile, which doesn't seem to have access to many files."
Which files do you not have access to ? Does that include the documents ?

What do mean by "doesn't seem to have access to many files." ?

Can you see the files and folders but you get "Access Denied" messages when you try to access them ?
That easy to fix, if your old user has administrator rights.

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...

NOTE: you probably have to reboot the computer before the settings you change actually take effect!


Or, are you not seeing some of the files at all ?

"2) How do I change the data on the user profile so I get back the "old" profile's wallpaper and desktop links without wiping out the new links etc I had to create on the new profile?"

Is there anything wrong with the old profile other than what you've already mentioned ?

Is it okay except for that ?

If yes, you don't need the new profile.

You could fix whatever is wrong with the old profile,

and you can copy your desktop links (shortcuts) in the new profile, to the old profile, by booting the computer into Safe mode and Logon as The Administrator user to do that,

then delete the new profile.
.........

When you attempt to delete a user, a brief message pops up that says something like "Are you sure ? All the data for the user will be deleted !"
If you continue and delete the user....
EVERYTHING for that user listed in C:\Documents and Settings\(that user)\(all that users files and folders), and the C:\Documents and Settings\(that user) folder, are deleted and they DO NOT appear in the Recycle Bin.
That includes everything for that user in
- My Documents and all it's sub folders - My Music, My Pictures, etc.
- if that user was using an email program that's installed on the computer, all the saved emails, attachments, the saved email addresses or contacts, etc.
- all personally placed shortcuts, files, and folders that were on the desktop screen
- all personal Favorites for Internet Exporer (saved links to web sites)
- many programs also store personal info and settings there. E.g.other internet browsers, other email programs.

If you delete a user and then make another one with the same name, those files and folders ARE NOT restored.
........

If the files you are concerned about are NOT in
C:\Documents and Settings\(new user)\(all that users files and folders)

then they will NOT be deleted when you delete the new user.


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#6
March 6, 2011 at 02:00:30
Thanks all for your kind advice. After this happened, I did change the permissions on the other account so this couldn't happen again, but I had created his account a long time ago, before I understood about permissions and so on. Live and learn :)
My new user profile seems to work well and I gather I could leave the other profile as it is. My Documents on my new user profile doesn't bring up my existing documents but I have a shortcut on the desktop that takes me there. So while it is a little more awkward, it works, but I can't copy my files to my external hard disk as it automatically goes to My Documents to find the files and they are not there. I will think some more about your advice and when I fully understand the suggestions, I will see what I can do. Thanks again.

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#7
March 6, 2011 at 10:56:33
"My Documents on my new user profile doesn't bring up my existing documents "

The personal files in My Documents are unique for each user, and are stored in
C:\Documents and Settings\(that user)\(that users files and folders)

"So while it is a little more awkward, it works, but I can't copy my files to my external hard disk as it automatically goes to My Documents to find the files and they are not there."

That's just the current place on the hard drive whatever you used it is set to where it looks for files.You can always change the location of where it looks for files.


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