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Removing 1 Windows User on XP Professional


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#1 WilliamBuell

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 06:33 PM

My boss gave me his old XP after his company closed. There are two users on it, his name, and my name.

Is there any danger if I delete his user name, and just use mine. I am not certain if there is some administrator password.
I know that I have full admin rights. I have removed most of the old data and archived it on a USB Mybook and on a USB Scancor 64 gig. I feel it would free up some resources if I delete his old profile. On the other hand, I would regret it if I deleted his profile and the machine stopped working properly, since I do not have the original install disks for Windows XP, and there is no real problem in leaving his user profile there and just never using it.

Also, I dont really have the expertise to reinstall Windows. And his machine also has some software that we find useful, like Quick Books, which would be difficult for me to reinstall. I suppose I am really answering my own question, namely, it is better to leave well enough alone, and, if it aint broke, dont fix it.

We did have a second XP at work that had all sorts of problems with the 4 of the user accounts. We had to give that machine to someone who purchased parts of the old company. But I did not dare delete those other user accounts, I just changed the name to DO NOT USE, and put a password on them, to discourage someone from accidentally getting into them.

I also had one strange experience with that particular machine. I purchased a CHEAP USB extender, and installing it seemed to mess up the machine. I think if I had purchased a Belkin, or some quality brand, then the problem would not have happend. But ever since that experience, I am hesitant to try a USB port extender, fearing that it will mess up a machine.

One machine we have at home, a Dell XP professional, is five or more years old. I was always afraid to mess around with it, fearing it would stop working. When I got 2 extra machines, I felt like I should take courage and try to really fix up the first machine, and take some risks. I had always used AVG by Grisoft free antivirus, for about 8 years, on an old Compaq which became useless, and then on this XP. It did seem to give some false positives. ANd what was HILARIOUS, when I installed malwarebytes, it flagged it as MALWARE! Ha ha! I had an old copy of free Sygate firewall, which was great in its day, but had stopped working. And I had a Norton firewall which we never updated because it would have cost money.
So, I decided on Avira Antivir FREE, and their forum was VERY helpful in giving me the courage to take some risks and clean up that machine. I uninstalled AVG, Sygate and Norton. Then they pointed me to two different uninstall utilities provided by Norton and McAfee to remove ALL traces of those programs left behind by normal uninstall methods, since those traces might interfere with Avira. So many people praised malwarebytes.org that I started using it all the time, and it was NOT malware as Avg claimed. The Avira forum directed me to Online Armour free firewall which works great.

Many at the Avira forum also swear by Ccleaner which has a registry cleaner. You can analyze the registry, make a copy of it which I have successfully used to RESTORE, and then, do things in tiny steps. You dont want to tell it to repair everything at once. If you have to restore then just boot into save mode, right click on the registry backup and it offers you the option to MERGE those entries back into the registry.

I must say that the older a machine gets, and the more you install and uninstall (plus the occasional virus or trojan), the flakier the operating system gets, until one reaches the point where the only option is to do a fresh install of the original operating system, or make it a pure Ubuntu machine.

I have always felt more comfortable with a desktop that comes with a RESTORE DISK, than with some laptop (like the old Dell laptops of 8 years ago, that had NO restore disk, and required a skilled technician to spend an hour or two reinstalling drivers). I am looking forward to the day when I can do everything with something like Ubuntu, and can always REINSTALL to the latest version and start over with a clean slate. AND the more that we have in the Internet "CLOUD" and not tied to some expensive proprietary software on our hard drive, difficult or impossible to reinstall, then the easier it is for us to resort to an OS reinstall as a solution to our problems. AND if we regularly back up everything, and plan ahead with libraries of what we installed and how we installed it, then recovery is perhaps only a weekend's worth of work for "the weekend warrior".

I am finding delicious.com book mark utility combined with a wordpress blog and clipperz.com for password storage to be a great tool to document everything I am doing, and also to share what I have learned with others who are trying to accomplish the same sorts of things.


Thanks in advance for your advice!

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:50 PM

Make sure the at least one of the account that you do not delete, is the administrator account.

Go to Control Panel > User Accounts for an admin account you would see Computer Administrator written under the user name. Make sure you do not delete one of such accounts.

Best way to do this is to logon to Windows as an administrator and delete all other accounts. You cannot delete the account you are logged in to, so final account left would an administrator account you are using.

Edited by Romeo29, 15 November 2009 - 10:32 PM.





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