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Need to Change or Delete User Folder under Docs & Settings


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#1 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

I just bought a used computer (quite new though) from a longtime friend, who’s a tech for a local shop. He did a fresh install of XP Pro w/SP3, and it’s a very clean system. Now it turns out that when he did the install 2 months ago, he intended to give this to his father-in-law, so therefore named the folder under C:\Documents & Settings to “Kevin.” Unfortunately I didn’t discover this until after installing several programs and changing preferences, and now read that you cannot change or rename this folder – which is created at the time of the OS installation.

I have read that one can copy data from one User Profile to another, so I’m wondering if I can copy everything from the “Kevin” folder into my new one – which I’ve set up with Administrator privileges – and then delete “Kevin?”

Initially I considered uninstalling everything that was installed today, and then reinstall it all again while logged on as me, yet that still won’t get rid of that stupid Kevin folder! Is there seriously no way out of this but to reinstall XP Pro, drivers, updates, and all the rest?? That means starting over from scratch, and I seriously hope that’s not the case. Thanks~

*edited to correct typo in topic title~Queen-Evie*

Edited by Queen-Evie, 17 February 2012 - 09:20 PM.


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#2 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

The title is supposed to read, "Need to Change OR Delete User Folder under Docs & Settings," but of course that can't be corrected, apparently. Spotted that right after posting, but can't find any way to change it...oh well.

#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

Yes, you can set up a new user account, then copy or move anything you want to the new user account.

After you check, double check and triple check to make sure you have copied/moved everything the new user account can delete the Kevin account.

If you have an email client set up, make sure you back up the mail in the client and your address book. It will be lost when you delete the Kevin account.

Also don't forget to copy favorites/bookmarks.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 17 February 2012 - 09:22 PM.


#4 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:17 PM

Thanks for the reply, Queen-Evie! I just want to be sure I was clear enough that although the folder was named "Kevin" by the installer/tech guy, it's actually the folder that would normally be titled "Administrator" as found under Documents & Settings. It's created during the XP installation process and is a Windows system folder. I've been reading all afternoon and everything I've found says it can't even be renamed because there are so many "things" in the OS/ Registry that point to that particular folder.

Here's where I'm confused as to the suggested fix: (1) If I copy everything that's in the Kevin (primary Admin) folder into the new one I've created (named Michael), how would doing that technically be any different than simply renaming Kevin --if that were possible, which it isn't? In other words, how will everything initially created deep in the OS/ Registry now point to the new "Michael" folder and all work fine? (2) It would seem that all the data in the Kevin folder, especially considering it's a system folder w/system data, would be info all linked to the Kevin folder...including all his User Info. (3) Would the data copied to the new Michael folder just be shortcuts to the Kevin folder?

If this "copy to new folder" tactic works, can I then safely delete the Kevin folder once and for all?? Ultimately, that's what I want to do without reinstalling XP. Thanks again~~

#5 hamluis

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:23 PM

You can change the name...by going to User Accounts in Control Panel and right-clicking on said account...if the name is your only complaint.

That should change the Docs & Settings folders to match.

Louis

Forget the above...only changes name on Start and Welcome screens.

You will have to treat it as if the profile is damaged, IMO. Copy Data from a Corrupted User Profile to a New Profile in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811151

Any other method that I see outlined...cautions against possible Windows problems as a result of trying them.

Edited by hamluis, 17 February 2012 - 11:11 PM.


#6 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:06 PM

hamluis,

No, that won't work at all, and were it that simple I'd have been done hours ago. :crazy: This is NOT just any User Profile folder, but the one normally titled Administrator that is created during the installation of XP. While you can change the name of that User Profile, which will show up at Login or in Control Panel/User Profiles, that will still not change the name of the folder linked to it under Documents and Settings. I've read volumes about this issue today, as there are numerous links all over the net about this.

Given the explanations as to why even the name on the folder can't be changed, I find it difficult to fathom how simply copying data from that folder and placing it into a new one titled something else, would then work. That seems to contradict all aspects of the explanations as to why not even the name or folder location can be changed. Were it that easy, you'd think many would've posted the fix or their success story by now.

I really don't care for having everything under a folder named Kevin when I'll be logging on under my own name...or having some software installed in that folder, and some in mine. I've only begun to install a mountain of software, so I'd rather fix this now - even if that means to reinstall the OS - especially if this is something that cannot be fixed later.

#7 noknojon

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

Hi Mike -

Can you please list the problems that would arise if you just left the setting to "Kevin" ??

Would the name of this folder actually matter if it was called Mike, Fred or Kevin ??

Is the information in that folder so vital as to warrant a major comcern over the name ??

Regards -

#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:54 AM

You shouldn't have any problems after copying to a new folder.

All the folder contains are things specific to one user account-pictures, favorites, desktop, music, etc.

Deleting the user account simply wipes out anything specific to Kevin.

What you could do is create a new user account. Copy your things to it. Use it for a few days and if there are no issue delete the Kevin account.

#9 NorCal_Mike

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:56 PM

Bama Belle, et al:

Sorry for the delay in replying, but was out of town for a funeral this weekend, and am now trying to get caught up. Meanwhile, I spoke with my tech friend/systems administrator about this, who said there's a built in Admin account accessible only in Safe Mode if all else fails. Nonetheless, it was still impossible to rename or delete the "Kevin" account, the sole visible user account. I'd already read all the info re copying data to a new account, which seemed to apply to user accounts - not the primary account - and there's plenty of info out there about how that one cannot be changed. Again, this was a used system and I didn't know exactly what they'd done in terms of account creation, so this was new to me. Some things were installed under one name, others under my name, and that just wasn't acceptable to me - not in the long run.

Since I was prepared to backup and reinstall XP, and therefore had nothing to lose, I did the following: I created a new temp acct w/ admin privileges, meaning there were now three: Kevin, Michael, and TempAdmin. Log on with TempAdmin, copy everything from Kevin into Michael, reboot, and then delete Kevin & TempAdmin after a few tests. That worked, although 3-4 programs no longer did, and those had to be reninstalled. Still, this was a lot easier than a full reinstall of XP + drivers, and I'm now well into installing all my software, updates, etc. All's well that ends well, and perhaps this will help another out of a similar jam?

All the replies and efforts to assist are most appreciated; this is a great site with a stellar group of members.

Be well, Michael

Edited by NorCal_Mike, 20 February 2012 - 08:58 PM.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

I'm glad you were able to solve it :).

The primary account...is the owner/admin/user account.

All other accounts created after that...are either accounts granted admin privileges (which have the same privileges as the as the original user/owner account) or limited privileges.

None of this has anything to do with Docs & Settings...other than the fact that Windows creates D & S folders for each user, whether limited or admin privileges accrue to that user.

Because D & S folders are system files...Windows will not allow you to just delete them or rename them.

Deleting the user account may allow such...since then there would be no user account to attach the files to. Once the cord is cut, the files should cease to be system files and either disappear with the profile...or be capable of being deleted.

Happy computing :).

Louis




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