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Removed Hard Drive, Reinstalled, Computer Is Confused


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#1 yesyeah

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:41 AM

Dell 700m, XP Pro

Hope someone can help me with this, I appreciate in advance.
My computer power supply broke - before I shipped it off to get it fixed, I removed the hard drive (it's a Dell 700m).

Since I had to get some info off the drive while it was gone, I got a cable so I could use it as an external drive on my wife's computer. To acess the info, I had to "take control" of the drive, which I did and it worked.

Got the computer back last night and put the hard drive back in. I had to "take control of the drive" again to access the info and did, but here's the issue:

Normally on C drive docs and settings, I would have the profile name "Adam" and then the other normal ones, "all user" "default" etc. I had those, but I also had "Adam.xxxxx" (xxx was what I think the drive was named from when it was used as an external drive).

So now, I have both "Adam" and the other profile - and the other one is the one that has my info on it. But when I logged into my account, the desktop had gone back to a default setting - none of my info was the same. I wasn't quite sure what I was doing when I was working with this last night, but I backed up "my documents" thank goodness, just in case. Since "adam" had nothing in it important, I deleted it and just had the "adam.xxxx" but it regenerated itself so it's still there. It seems that the adam.xxx is the profile that it wants to use (ie. when I added a "text" document into the "desktop" of "adam.xxx" it showed up on the desktop, but when I did the same from "Adam" it didn't).

My other most important thing is Mozilla thunderbird settings. I copied a backup I had of it and pasted it into the mozilla of adam.xxx's mozilla thunderbird file, but that didn't change anything. In addition, most of my "programs" like Itunes, picassa etc, are starting like they never had worked before - ie. default, from the beginning.

So I think my computer's C drive (and I only have one drive) is confused and I am not sure how to rectify the problem, so I have just ONE, correct profile. I think in the process of messing around last night, I lost my "desktop/favorite" settings etc, and that's okay. But since I do have programs on there, I want to make sure they are working and looking in the right place.

Does anyone know how I may do that, what the problem may be and what I can do to fix it?

If I have not given enough information, please let me know. I am excited to have my computer back after 2 months, but am scared I can't get it to work properly again.

Thanks again!!

Edited by yesyeah, 20 February 2008 - 09:41 AM.


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#2 yesyeah

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:40 AM

Just thought of something in addition to my post.

I have never used XP System Restore, but would it work, if I restored it to a date before I pulled the hard drive? If I restored it to a week before the computer power broke and I pulled the drive, would I get all my settings back to that point? Or by pulling the hard drive, did I ensure that that is not possible?

I appreciate your help, thanks!

#3 hamluis

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:50 AM

Go to Start/Control Panel/User Accounts.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/s...p/accounts.mspx

I would either try to change the account I wanted to keep (to Administrator) or try creating a new account with Administrator privileges.

I don't normally play with User Accounts (I'm the only user/Admin) so maybe it's best to wait for guidance from someone who has encountered a similar situation or really knows how to solve this.

Louis

#4 yesyeah

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:09 AM

Thanks. Well, my original account has admin rights. The 2nd account, isn't even listed on the XP login screen as an account I can even get into. It's like, a duplicated account within my original one.

Do you know anything about System Restore? I have never used it before, but will it restore back to a point before I pulled the hard drive and magically work?? :thumbsup: Or will that not work because I actually pulled the drive and since messed with it?

#5 DaChew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:38 AM

I wonder if this whole problem is due to initially making my documents private on an ntfs partition?

Since I quit doing that I have never had a problem accessing data stored there, if you chose to make that folder private I would not keep anything saved there but sensitive data and then I would be sure and have it backed up

20/20 hindsite

take ownership seems to have some dangerous side effects
Chewy

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#6 hamluis

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:08 PM

I don't use System Restore (I do periodic backups with a 3d-party app), so I cannot comment on that.

Louis

#7 yesyeah

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:41 PM

I wonder if this whole problem is due to initially making my documents private on an ntfs partition?

Since I quit doing that I have never had a problem accessing data stored there, if you chose to make that folder private I would not keep anything saved there but sensitive data and then I would be sure and have it backed up

20/20 hindsite

take ownership seems to have some dangerous side effects


Yeah, Well all of it is backed up, the my documents stuff that is. not a problem at all. It's more of the "settings" that I cannot get right, so that the downloaded apps are pointing to the correct place etc.

If anyone has used system restore before, I would love some feedback.

Basically, having this somewhat dual identity on the one profile is posing some issues and I am trying to right the ship by consolidating now. Even when I tried deleting that extra "idenity", it wouldn't allow me because it is a crucial component. So I am confused as to where the computer is looking to get everything done.

#8 DaChew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:37 PM

there's hardly any program where the settings don't allow you to change a default data folder

I always rip my music to a data partition, using my doc/my music on my system partition is silly
Chewy

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#9 usasma

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 08:01 AM

Did you attempt to boot the hard drive into Windows at some point (after it was removed from the system)? Did you attempt to repair/reinstall the operating system at some point? These are usually (IME) what causes the accounts with the .xxxx after them.

Find and save the important stuff to a removable device - I suspect that you're in for a format and reinstall of Windows.
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