Deleting user profile Windows 7, and how to do it safely

August 29, 2018 at 15:04:07
Specs: Windows 7, P4 2.6GHZ/PC3200 1.5gig
Hi,
I bought this laptop, used, some time ago, and would like to remove the previous owner's profile. But when I tried to delete it, I noticed that the 'delete' button is greyed out.
I suspect that the previous user's profile is the one I'm currently using, since only one other profile shows up in the profile list (the default profile), and it's only a couple of mbs in size.
.... john



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#1
August 29, 2018 at 15:07:51
Can you login as an Administrator; or create a new account for yourself with Admin privileges?


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#2
August 29, 2018 at 16:33:26
Better to wipe the HDD & install a fresh copy of Windows.

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#3
August 29, 2018 at 16:56:24
Both are true.
By creating a new profile and setting it as admin, then logging in as the new account you can delete the old one.BUT make sure that you resave any personal files from the original documents folder (and other places) to the new user first or you may loose the ability to see them again.
It also is very true that you should seriously consider doing a factory restore which wipes the drive and loads windows fresh as a new system. Safer.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
August 29, 2018 at 19:30:41
Hi trvlr,
Yes, and yes. I can create another account, and it works.
I'm a little confused about the profile vs account thing. What's the difference?
The name on her profile is not on the administrator account, which, besides the default account (a couple of mbs) is the only account showing.

Hi riider,
Right. Well, I don't have any installation disks, so .......

Hi Fingers,
A factory restore eh?
Does that require installation disks?
I assuming I would have to do all the updates, and customizations?
...... john


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#5
August 29, 2018 at 21:26:20
If it is a factory built system and no one has done anything to the restore partition, it is all self contained in the system. Google the brand name of the system and adding the words 'accessing factory restore' and you should get your instructions.
A factory restore brings the system back to the day it was shipped exactly. You will need to do a serious amount of Windows Updates, remove unwanted factory installed programs, install your antivirus program as well as any other programs you want/need. Then you will have to replace your personal files on it. A factory restore begins by wiping the entire drive except the locked recovery partition (all personal stuff, other junk and any infections are wiped) and reinstalls the entire copy of Windows as the machine was shipped.
If the recovery partition is not intact then nothing will happen, neither good or bad.
If the recovery partition is not available but you have the Windows key sticker, you will be able to download the Windows 7 ISO image and you will be able to burn a DVD set or bootable flash drive to reinstall from. You would begin the install but choose the custom options and delete all partitions, create a new single partition and begin the install. This would be the same as a factory restore except the version of Windows may require slightly less updates and you will have to activate Windows with the key from your genuine Windows 7 sticker. This also can be done with a new hard drive if you have problems with that or want an upgrade there.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
August 30, 2018 at 00:22:33
If you do go the reset,restore routine which resets the system to as delivered from the factory gate, ensure you save all personal files to external storage. Typically an external hard drive, or DVDs - perhaps both; especially the latter (both) if there are photos involved?

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#7
August 30, 2018 at 04:38:13
enable the hidden admin account

start cmd.exe & type:
Net user administrator /active:yes

i belive the default password is either nothing or admin

you can disable it again by typing:
Net user administrator /active:no

a reboot might be required.

i5-6600K[delid]@4.8GHz/4.3GHz@1.4v LLC=6 | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2133CL15@14-14-14-28 1T 2700MHz@1.35v
MSI Armor RX 570 4GB@1340Mhz core@1.110v/1865MHz BiosModded


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#8
August 30, 2018 at 05:56:54
Hi Fingers,
Thanks for the 'very thorough' explanation. I think this will be a last resort. In fact .... the system is going to have to deteriorate in performance significantly before I choose this option. But, thank you very much for the primer.
Hi trvlr
....... Thanks
Hi hidden,
Why would I do this?
....... john


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#9
August 30, 2018 at 06:04:24
Fair point, haha

Well that way you'd have admin rights, alowing you to make a new profile & delete the old non admin profile, like suggested in #1.

Maby i should have explained that a little better, I tend too leave stuff out that is obvious to me.
with the result being an answer without context.

i5-6600K[delid]@4.8GHz/4.3GHz@1.4v LLC=6 | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2133CL15@14-14-14-28 1T 2700MHz@1.35v
MSI Armor RX 570 4GB@1340Mhz core@1.110v/1865MHz BiosModded


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#10
August 30, 2018 at 06:41:35
Hi hidden,
Thanks for the reply; but I do have an account now that says 'administrator' showing. The problem is that, I think it's the account I want to remove. But I don't seem to be able to make a connection between profiles and accounts.
I have two accounts, administrator and guest. I also have two profiles, Amy and default. What is the difference between an account and a profile? I want to get rid of the Amy profile. But the option to delete it is greyed out. And even if I could, I'm not so sure it's a good idea.
...... john

message edited by shakushinnen


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#11
August 30, 2018 at 09:29:27
The profile is the detail of what that user can/cannot do; including restricting their access to things if not also an Administrator.

The account is the user's name and password; the profile being the list of their privileges as it were under that account/user-name.

You can create a full Admin account for yourself; and them delete and/all other accounts if you wish. I can't recall just now if you can (in win-7 etc). delete the default Admin account. I think you can... But generally it's wise(r) to leave that alone; possibly change the password for it though (and keep a note of it somewhere...).

Presuming I am correct that you "can" delete the default Admin account then you could simply change the name of it slightly; or else create a specific new one with whatever user-name/password - with "full" admin access; and then dump the default one.

I seem to recall in the days when I used windoze various that I had two accounts for myself; one non-Admin access and another - slightly different name with full Admin access. I left the default there regardless. Using the non-Admin for general day to day purposes ensured I didn't effect any changes unknowingly to the system; especially if installing download software....

These days I'm mostly on Macs and have similar arrangements

Keeping the default Admin account is I suggest a better approach; even if you have your own account with full Admin access.


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#12
August 30, 2018 at 09:43:13
Personally, I would never buy a used computer & then proceed to use it as-is. Creating a new profile & deleting an old one doesn't correct anything the previous owner may have done. Sure, wiping the HDD & starting from scratch will take some time & effort, but IMO, it would be well worth it.

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#13
August 30, 2018 at 09:52:47
Thank you all for your help.
.... john

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#14
August 30, 2018 at 12:05:31
Ah the problem with posting via an iPhone...

Thus edited to read:

Agree fully with riider in his #12

Thanks for the nudge...

trvlr

message edited by trvlr


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#15
August 30, 2018 at 13:45:08
edit #12 :)  

i5-6600K[delid]@4.8GHz/4.3GHz@1.4v LLC=6 | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2133CL15@14-14-14-28 1T 2700MHz@1.35v
MSI Armor RX 570 4GB@1340Mhz core@1.110v/1865MHz BiosModded


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#16
August 30, 2018 at 18:58:49
The default admin account is hidden by default in Windows 7, easy to activate in Pro and more complicated in Home Edition (command line required). The default admin account is not necessary for a home machine unless you are accidentally stuck without an amin. level account.

I do agree that a factory restore is the smartest path when purchasing a used machine.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
August 30, 2018 at 19:10:26
Hi,
Yes, alright. I just don't want to go through all the work. The system works reasonably well now. I think I'll simply create another admin account, and delete the current one, if I can figure out how.
.... john

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#18
August 31, 2018 at 06:17:49
"I just don't want to go through all the work."

Work? I guess pressing a few keys is considered work, but it's not like re-shingling a roof kind of work, lol. It's your call. You'd better hope the previous owner wasn't into anything "nasty" because I'm sure the remnants are still there & will be traceable back to your IP address.

message edited by riider


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#19
August 31, 2018 at 17:29:37
Yes. OK.
Thanks again for your help.
...... john

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