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Deleted Windows Account and now everything is gone.


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#1 mrdave100

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:53 PM

I'm running XP-Home on our machine. I recently set up an administrator account for my wife and limited access account for my son. They changed the passwords without my knowledge. I rebooted into safe mode, ran 'control userpasswords2'. I noticed there were other accounts there. I think something like HP owner or maybe something else. I deleted them all, including my wife and son's accounts but not the default Administrator account. Rebooted the computer and now all my wifes documents, pictures, and programs are gone. When I go into Windows Explorer and click HP_Owner under the Documents and Settings folder it says this folder is not accessible and it has zero bytes. I pulled the hard drive out and tried to access the documents that way but only got the same error message. There must be some way to access these pictures and documents, I didn't delete them, I apparently deleted the account they were under.

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#2 Queen-Evie

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 11:50 PM

When you delete a user account, there are 2 options:

Keep the files of the account on the computer Or delete files. It sounds as if you chose the second option, which deleted your wife's files when you deleted the account.

Keep files would have deleted the account, but the files would have been kept on the computer. These files could have been moved to new accounts for your wife.

You might be able to recover the files with recovery software. Since I have no experience with recovery software, someone else can recommend programs for you to try.

The HP owner account is set up as a default account by HP. I've successfully deleted the owner account in the past-and have no clue why it still shows on your system if you deleted it.

#3 lowtek_otc

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 02:33 AM

When you delete a user account, there are 2 options:

Keep the files of the account on the computer Or delete files. It sounds as if you chose the second option, which deleted your wife's files when you deleted the account.

Keep files would have deleted the account, but the files would have been kept on the computer. These files could have been moved to new accounts for your wife.

You might be able to recover the files with recovery software. Since I have no experience with recovery software, someone else can recommend programs for you to try.

The HP owner account is set up as a default account by HP. I've successfully deleted the owner account in the past-and have no clue why it still shows on your system if you deleted it.


Are you sure it gives you those options when you are in control userpasswords2 ??
In the regular control panel user settings and you delete the account it gives you the option that you are speaking of, not sure if it works the same way in control userpasswords2.




However, by default on HP computers... the user account HP_Owner, HP Owner, or Owner are the default user accounts on the machine. The default administrator account is called one of those names. Regardless of if the account is called "Mom" or "Sally" etc it still will show the folder as HP Owner. I bet you erased the account thinking it was a different account because it was control userpasswords2 instead of the regular user control panel. Nevertheless it seems that data is missing and you need to recover it. I have had good luck with Power Data Recovery however I have never used another tool besides the Seagate commercial tool that I use at work. I have had great luck with both. I am sure there are other good ones out there.

Somebody please correct me about the control userpasswords2 not giving the option to delete the files or keep the files? I may be wrong but I do not want to test it on my machine :thumbsup:

#4 usasma

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

If you cannot access the files in Windows Explorer, you may be getting the Access Denied error. To fix this, you'll have to take ownership of the files. Here's an article on how to do it: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/42756/how-to-fix-an-access-denied-errors/
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#5 Tehsplink

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 08:56 AM

a good tool for file recovery is Recuva. I believe you can download it at recuva.com (Or you can google it).

its made by Pirisoft who also make CCleaner and Defraggler
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#6 Queen-Evie

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:30 PM

mrdave, I created an account I called Test and made it password protected.
I then followed the procedure you went through-rebooted into safe mode, logged in on my account.
Ran control userpasswords2
When accounts screen opened, I noticed several options. One was REMOVE, the other Reset Password.
I chose to Remove the test account. After it was removed, a reboot, then a quick check for any files for Test.
I found the files still on the computer. The path to get to the files:

Open My Computer.
Drive C/Documents and Settings.
Under docs and settings Test folder still exists.
Have you used this process to see if the files are still on your computer?

You said you deleted the accounts. Did you use the Remove setting in 'control userpasswords2'?

#7 Gstick

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:44 PM

Are you sure it gives you those options when you are in control userpasswords2 ??
In the regular control panel user settings and you delete the account it gives you the option that you are speaking of, not sure if it works the same way in control userpasswords2.


However, by default on HP computers... the user account HP_Owner, HP Owner, or Owner are the default user accounts on the machine. The default administrator account is called one of those names. Regardless of if the account is called "Mom" or "Sally" etc it still will show the folder as HP Owner. I bet you erased the account thinking it was a different account because it was control userpasswords2 instead of the regular user control panel. Nevertheless it seems that data is missing and you need to recover it. I have had good luck with Power Data Recovery however I have never used another tool besides the Seagate commercial tool that I use at work. I have had great luck with both. I am sure there are other good ones out there.

Somebody please correct me about the control userpasswords2 not giving the option to delete the files or keep the files? I may be wrong but I do not want to test it on my machine :thumbsup:


Are you sure? I am on an HP computer, and it came with two administrators: HP_Administrator and Administrator (the default hidden one)

What he is saying seems like: 1. HP_Default (whatever came with it) + Administrator 2. Created account for himself. 3. Created 2 other accounts, 1 who is Admin. 4. Deleted 4 accounts, leaving only the default hidden Administrator account.

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#8 hamluis

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:49 PM

I believe that HP installs a user account for future troubleshooting/control purposes...and the Owner account is the normal XP account for the actual system administrator.

I've seen both on HP systems...and I am reminded that MS.NET does this same sort of thing when installed on a system.

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#9 mrdave100

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:15 PM

Thank you everyone. I took ownership of the folder and everything was there. Thanks!!!




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