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Multiple "documents And Settings" Owners


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#1 dpskala

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 06:51 PM

I'm running Windows XP Pro, SP2 as a single user system. I am the administrator and only user, using my full name as login. When I open C:\Documents and Settings, besides a directory with my name, there are 8 other ones, including my first name, "owner", "guest", "all users", etc. Moreover, to add to the confusion, most of my stuff is in the "owner" subdirectory. Can I just copy all the files in the superfluous subdirectories (and delete them) to my administrator directory without causing problems? I guess "guest would not be superfluous, assuming I created a guest account.

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#2 madman6510

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

The all users folder is important, as it contains most of the normal start menu items.

#3 usasma

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 06:51 AM

The Administrator account is the primary account for administering the computer - without it, you may have difficulties later on. It's best to leave it be (Don't delete it).

The All Users account is used for any user that logs on. In effect (?affect?) your Desktop and Start Menu are composed of your profile and the All Users profile. So getting rid of the All Users profile will cause you to "lose" a lot of stuff. Don't delete it

The Default User profile is the base from which profiles are created - it's what's used to create a new profile. Don't delete it.

The Guest profile has special restrictions in effect - and it can be disabled rather than removing it (in the Users applet in Control Panel). At times it's needed for networking and shouldn't be deleted.

The Owner profile is usually setup by the computer manufacturer or the folks who setup your computer the first time it was turned on and is usually an Administrator account (but not always). This can "probably" be safely deleted - but I won't guarantee it.

The other profiles are used by the system to take care of it's "needs" and should not be messed with unless you know the consequences. You can hose your system's ability to do things without them.

If you're going to mess around in the system files, then I'd suggest you become familiar with repairing XP ( http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm ) and that you back your data up (in case a clean install of XP is necessary). I learned about this stuff the hard way - and have many reinstalls (and lost data) under my belt because of it.

Good Luck!
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#4 dpskala

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:08 PM

The Administrator account is the primary account for administering the computer - without it, you may have difficulties later on. It's best to leave it be (Don't delete it).

The All Users account is used for any user that logs on. In effect (?affect?) your Desktop and Start Menu are composed of your profile and the All Users profile. So getting rid of the All Users profile will cause you to "lose" a lot of stuff. Don't delete it

The Default User profile is the base from which profiles are created - it's what's used to create a new profile. Don't delete it.

The Guest profile has special restrictions in effect - and it can be disabled rather than removing it (in the Users applet in Control Panel). At times it's needed for networking and shouldn't be deleted.

The Owner profile is usually setup by the computer manufacturer or the folks who setup your computer the first time it was turned on and is usually an Administrator account (but not always). This can "probably" be safely deleted - but I won't guarantee it.

The other profiles are used by the system to take care of it's "needs" and should not be messed with unless you know the consequences. You can hose your system's ability to do things without them.

If you're going to mess around in the system files, then I'd suggest you become familiar with repairing XP ( http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm ) and that you back your data up (in case a clean install of XP is necessary). I learned about this stuff the hard way - and have many reinstalls (and lost data) under my belt because of it.

Good Luck!


OK, thanks for the info. I started with a clean install of XP, and I didn't put the 'owner' subdirectory in there. The subdirectory with my first name makes me suspect that some of these directories came from a Norton restore from data saved before my last (non-clean) install (that used to be the administrator name, now it's my full name). Do you know if I can just use Windows system save/restore to protect myself while incrementally changing stuff?

#5 usasma

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:02 AM

I doubt that System Restore will save everything (there is a way to check what it saves somewhere on this site: http://bertk.mvps.org/ )

The safest thing to do is to "Move" (not copy) the data elsewhere on the hard drive - then test to see if everything is where it's supposed to be. Then, after you're done moving it all, save the moved stuff to a CD/DVD/external drive and then delete the stuff off of your system.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 dpskala

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:38 AM

I doubt that System Restore will save everything (there is a way to check what it saves somewhere on this site: http://bertk.mvps.org/ )

The safest thing to do is to "Move" (not copy) the data elsewhere on the hard drive - then test to see if everything is where it's supposed to be. Then, after you're done moving it all, save the moved stuff to a CD/DVD/external drive and then delete the stuff off of your system.


Yeah good point. I have a D drive. I can just move the whole furshluginer "documents and settings" directory to it. Gotta check if I have room. I guess it's pretty unlikely that I would lose complete control to the point where I couldn't move it back.

#7 dpskala

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:40 AM

Yeah, that makes sense. I'm just trying to organize things in a logical way here.




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