User Management Question

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

I have a "User" management question that I cannot find the answer to:

I have one user login whose name is "Admin" - and another user login
whose name is "Bob".
Currently, both users have Administration Rights - and when I view their
profiles in the <My Computer\Manage\Local Users and Groups\Users> page -
both the "Name" and "Full Name" fields display "Admin" and "Bob"
respectively.

So it looks like this:

Name | Full Name | Description
--------------------------------------------------------
Admin Admin
Bob Bob

For the past year, and for reasons that are too complicated to describe
here, I have primarily used the "Admin" login for my general computing -
and my "Bob" account for administration purposes. My goal is to
flip-flop these user names. Now, I want my general computing login to be
"Bob" and my administration login to be "Admin" - but I have spent so
much time customizing the software, documents and settings in my "Admin"
account that I need to retain all those settings after I change the name
to "Bob". The same goes for the current "Bob" account; I want all the
software, documents and settings to remain intact after I change the
name to "Admin".

So, I basically want to rename "Admin" to "Bob" --- and "Bob" to
"Admin". I have gone into the User Control Panel and used the name
change feature and this is what I have found:

1. It does change the login name - but it only changes the "Full Name"
field in the <My Computer\Manage\Local Users and Groups\Users> page --
not the "Name" field.
2. Surprisingly, it does not affect the names of the "Admin" or "Bob"
folders in the <C:Documents and Settings> folder. I would have thought
that the account name and the <Documents and Settings> folder had to
match so that they could be linked together. I don't understand how
these folders are linked and why the names don't change when you change
the user name.

You could imagine that this would become very complicated. My account
names and <C:Documents and Settings> folders would never match.

So, the question is: How do I change "Admin" to "Bob" and "Bob" to
"Admin" -- and have the "Admin" and "Bob" folder names in the
<C:Documents and Settings> folder change accordingly so that I don't
drive myself crazy trying to remember which folder is linked to which
user. I'm just not sure I can just rename those folders without doing
irreparable harm to Sharing and Security Permission settings - as well
as however they are linked to the User Account names.

___________________________________

Also, here is an unrelated question:
When you establish a XP User Account, you are asked if you want your
files to remain private. Assuming you have selected this option when you
setup the account - how do you make them Un-Private at a later time?


Thanks very much for your feedback.
4 answers Last reply
More about user management question
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Everything you describe is normal and by design. Including the fact that the actual User's folder tree is not renamed. Additionally, XP has a built-in Administrator account that you should use to Administer the computer and nothing else. For day to day use, you should run as a Limited User, if at all possible. Virus files and other malware usually need to run under an Administrator account in order to write to restricted folders and certain portions of the Registry.

    To accomplish what you want:

    1) Log in on the Admin account
    2) Create 2 new accounts, TempBob and TempAdmin
    3) Copy the Bob account to TempAdmin
    4) Log off Admin and Logon to Bob
    5) Copy the Admin account to TempBob
    6) Delete the Admin account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    7) Re-create the Admin account
    8) Copy the TempAdmin account to the new Admin account
    9) Log off Bob and log onto Admin
    10) Delete the Bob account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    11) Re-create the Bob account.
    12) Copy the TempBob account to the new Bob account.
    13) Delete the TempBob and TempAdmin accounts.

    Copy a User Profile:

    Open System in Control Panel. On the User Profiles tab, and under Profiles stored on this computer, click the user profile you want to copy, and then click Copy To.

    In the Copy To dialog box, under Copy profile to, type the location for the new profile, or click Browse to select the path.
    Click Change to open the Choose User dialog box, click a new user from the Names list, and then click Add. The new user name will appear in Add Name. Click OK to add the user as a new user profile on your computer.

    Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to the local computer to copy user profiles. To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151
    How to Copy User Data to a New User Profile

    Note: You cannot copy to/from a profile that you are logged onto.

    To make user folders accessible after account creation, you need to modify the permissions on the account. You cannot password protect individual folders in XP. You restrict access by assigning permissions to drives, folders and files.

    XP PRO: In Windows Explorer, go to Tools, Folder Options, View and uncheck Use Simple File Sharing. Now, when you right click on a drive, folder or file (on an NTFS partition) and select Properties, you'll see a Security tab. Here you can assign or deny permissions based on user name or user group membership.

    XP Home: By default, you can only make files and folders under My Documents "private". This is done by right clicking a folder or file and selecting Properties, Sharing. To change the permissions on other folders, you need to boot the computer to Safe Mode and log in on the built in Administrator account. In this mode, you'll see the Security tab in Properties, and you can assign permissions based on user name or group membership.

    HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308418

    HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove Special Permissions for Files and Folders
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;308419

    HOW TO: Disable Simplified Sharing and Password-Protect a Shared Folder in Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307874

    --
    Doug Knox, MS-MVP Windows Media Center\Windows Powered Smart Display
    Win 95/98/Me/XP Tweaks and Fixes
    http://www.dougknox.com
    --------------------------------
    Per user Group Policy Restrictions for XP Home and XP Pro
    http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_securityconsole.htm
    --------------------------------
    Please reply only to the newsgroup so all may benefit.
    Unsolicited e-mail is not answered.

    "stevems@stevems.com" <user@domain.invalid> wrote in message news:uHJvnhjyEHA.2040@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    >I have a "User" management question that I cannot find the answer to:
    >
    > I have one user login whose name is "Admin" - and another user login
    > whose name is "Bob".
    > Currently, both users have Administration Rights - and when I view their
    > profiles in the <My Computer\Manage\Local Users and Groups\Users> page -
    > both the "Name" and "Full Name" fields display "Admin" and "Bob"
    > respectively.
    >
    > So it looks like this:
    >
    > Name | Full Name | Description
    > --------------------------------------------------------
    > Admin Admin
    > Bob Bob
    >
    > For the past year, and for reasons that are too complicated to describe
    > here, I have primarily used the "Admin" login for my general computing -
    > and my "Bob" account for administration purposes. My goal is to
    > flip-flop these user names. Now, I want my general computing login to be
    > "Bob" and my administration login to be "Admin" - but I have spent so
    > much time customizing the software, documents and settings in my "Admin"
    > account that I need to retain all those settings after I change the name
    > to "Bob". The same goes for the current "Bob" account; I want all the
    > software, documents and settings to remain intact after I change the
    > name to "Admin".
    >
    > So, I basically want to rename "Admin" to "Bob" --- and "Bob" to
    > "Admin". I have gone into the User Control Panel and used the name
    > change feature and this is what I have found:
    >
    > 1. It does change the login name - but it only changes the "Full Name"
    > field in the <My Computer\Manage\Local Users and Groups\Users> page --
    > not the "Name" field.
    > 2. Surprisingly, it does not affect the names of the "Admin" or "Bob"
    > folders in the <C:Documents and Settings> folder. I would have thought
    > that the account name and the <Documents and Settings> folder had to
    > match so that they could be linked together. I don't understand how
    > these folders are linked and why the names don't change when you change
    > the user name.
    >
    > You could imagine that this would become very complicated. My account
    > names and <C:Documents and Settings> folders would never match.
    >
    > So, the question is: How do I change "Admin" to "Bob" and "Bob" to
    > "Admin" -- and have the "Admin" and "Bob" folder names in the
    > <C:Documents and Settings> folder change accordingly so that I don't
    > drive myself crazy trying to remember which folder is linked to which
    > user. I'm just not sure I can just rename those folders without doing
    > irreparable harm to Sharing and Security Permission settings - as well
    > as however they are linked to the User Account names.
    >
    > ___________________________________
    >
    > Also, here is an unrelated question:
    > When you establish a XP User Account, you are asked if you want your
    > files to remain private. Assuming you have selected this option when you
    > setup the account - how do you make them Un-Private at a later time?
    >
    >
    >
    > Thanks very much for your feedback.
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Doug,

    Thanks so much for your comprehensive reply.

    I actually do operate the computer on a regular basis in a user profile
    whose account type is set to "Limited" - as opposed to "Administrator"
    for security reasons. Resolving my naming convention problems is one of
    the goals in this convoluted scheme I find myself in.

    I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind:

    ______________________________________________________________
    If I am not mistaken, each process you describe seem to consist of two
    steps:
    Your instructions 1-13 refer to actually copying the contents of the
    Document and Settings "User" folders from old to new (assuming I have
    the appropriate permissions to do so)
    While your "Copy a User Profile", on the other hand, is more of a user
    preferences copy process and not a document or setting copy process

    I think this must be correct because when I only perform the "Copy a
    User Profile" step, the respective Documents and Settings folders are
    not the same size. Am I correct?

    And, according to this link you sent me
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151 I should
    not be copying the Ntuser.dat, Ntuser.dat.log, Ntuser.ini files when I
    do so ....right?
    ________________________________________________________________

    Regarding your instruction that reads "... type the location for the new
    profile, or click Browse to select the path" - are you referring to
    browsing to the specific new user folder in the Document and Settings
    folder?

    ________________________________________________________________

    I must admit that I don't full understand the function or necessity of
    the following process:
    "Click Change to open the Choose User dialog box, click a new user from
    the Names list, and then click Add. The new user name will appear in Add
    Name. Click OK to add the user as a new user profile on your computer".
    If I have already copied the files in step 1, and I am pathing the user
    profile to the new account in the Documents and Settings folder in step
    2 - what exactly is this process accomplishing?

    ________________________________________________________________

    Finally, I would be very happy to use XP's built in "Administrator"
    account - instead of the "Admin" account I created but:
    a) That account does not seem to exist on all of my XP machines
    b) It doesn't show up in the User Account Profile page so I don't know
    how to change the password for that account.
    c) I understand from my enterprise level IT friends that it is a mistake
    to use such a predictable name for the Administrator account, in terms
    of security - so I would want to change the name of that account to
    something else anyway. But I can't change something that does not seem
    to show up in the Account Profile page.


    Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Looking forward to your
    response.


    Doug Knox MS-MVP wrote:
    > Everything you describe is normal and by design. Including the fact that the actual User's folder tree is not renamed. Additionally, XP has a built-in Administrator account that you should use to Administer the computer and nothing else. For day to day use, you should run as a Limited User, if at all possible. Virus files and other malware usually need to run under an Administrator account in order to write to restricted folders and certain portions of the Registry.
    >
    > To accomplish what you want:
    >
    > 1) Log in on the Admin account
    > 2) Create 2 new accounts, TempBob and TempAdmin
    > 3) Copy the Bob account to TempAdmin
    > 4) Log off Admin and Logon to Bob
    > 5) Copy the Admin account to TempBob
    > 6) Delete the Admin account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    > 7) Re-create the Admin account
    > 8) Copy the TempAdmin account to the new Admin account
    > 9) Log off Bob and log onto Admin
    > 10) Delete the Bob account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    > 11) Re-create the Bob account.
    > 12) Copy the TempBob account to the new Bob account.
    > 13) Delete the TempBob and TempAdmin accounts.
    >
    > Copy a User Profile:
    >
    > Open System in Control Panel. On the User Profiles tab, and under Profiles stored on this computer, click the user profile you want to copy, and then click Copy To.
    >
    > In the Copy To dialog box, under Copy profile to, type the location for the new profile, or click Browse to select the path.
    > Click Change to open the Choose User dialog box, click a new user from the Names list, and then click Add. The new user name will appear in Add Name. Click OK to add the user as a new user profile on your computer.
    >
    > Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to the local computer to copy user profiles. To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
    >
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151
    > How to Copy User Data to a New User Profile
    >
    > Note: You cannot copy to/from a profile that you are logged onto.
    >
    > To make user folders accessible after account creation, you need to modify the permissions on the account. You cannot password protect individual folders in XP. You restrict access by assigning permissions to drives, folders and files.
    >
    > XP PRO: In Windows Explorer, go to Tools, Folder Options, View and uncheck Use Simple File Sharing. Now, when you right click on a drive, folder or file (on an NTFS partition) and select Properties, you'll see a Security tab. Here you can assign or deny permissions based on user name or user group membership.
    >
    > XP Home: By default, you can only make files and folders under My Documents "private". This is done by right clicking a folder or file and selecting Properties, Sharing. To change the permissions on other folders, you need to boot the computer to Safe Mode and log in on the built in Administrator account. In this mode, you'll see the Security tab in Properties, and you can assign permissions based on user name or group membership.
    >
    > HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308418
    >
    > HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove Special Permissions for Files and Folders
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;308419
    >
    > HOW TO: Disable Simplified Sharing and Password-Protect a Shared Folder in Windows XP
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307874
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    The NTUSER.DAT is where the user's settings are stored. That is the CURRENT_USER portion of the Registry when that account is logged on.

    If in doubt, copy the contents of the Documents and Settings folder as well. There are some things like the TIF and other information that may not be copied when you "copy" the user account. The link to the KB article is the recommended method for copying one user profile to another account. It was my impression that all of the relavent files would be transferred as well.

    I did the write up that way, so that it would be harder to accidentally delete an account too soon in the process. There really should be an easier way, but unfortunately, there isn't.

    --
    Doug Knox, MS-MVP Windows Media Center\Windows Powered Smart Display
    Win 95/98/Me/XP Tweaks and Fixes
    http://www.dougknox.com
    --------------------------------
    Per user Group Policy Restrictions for XP Home and XP Pro
    http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_securityconsole.htm
    --------------------------------
    Please reply only to the newsgroup so all may benefit.
    Unsolicited e-mail is not answered.

    "stevems@stevems.com" <user@domain.invalid> wrote in message news:%23Mw2edqyEHA.3996@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Doug,
    >
    > Thanks so much for your comprehensive reply.
    >
    > I actually do operate the computer on a regular basis in a user profile
    > whose account type is set to "Limited" - as opposed to "Administrator"
    > for security reasons. Resolving my naming convention problems is one of
    > the goals in this convoluted scheme I find myself in.
    >
    > I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind:
    >
    > ______________________________________________________________
    > If I am not mistaken, each process you describe seem to consist of two
    > steps:
    > Your instructions 1-13 refer to actually copying the contents of the
    > Document and Settings "User" folders from old to new (assuming I have
    > the appropriate permissions to do so)
    > While your "Copy a User Profile", on the other hand, is more of a user
    > preferences copy process and not a document or setting copy process
    >
    > I think this must be correct because when I only perform the "Copy a
    > User Profile" step, the respective Documents and Settings folders are
    > not the same size. Am I correct?
    >
    > And, according to this link you sent me
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151 I should
    > not be copying the Ntuser.dat, Ntuser.dat.log, Ntuser.ini files when I
    > do so ....right?
    > ________________________________________________________________
    >
    > Regarding your instruction that reads "... type the location for the new
    > profile, or click Browse to select the path" - are you referring to
    > browsing to the specific new user folder in the Document and Settings
    > folder?
    >
    > ________________________________________________________________
    >
    > I must admit that I don't full understand the function or necessity of
    > the following process:
    > "Click Change to open the Choose User dialog box, click a new user from
    > the Names list, and then click Add. The new user name will appear in Add
    > Name. Click OK to add the user as a new user profile on your computer".
    > If I have already copied the files in step 1, and I am pathing the user
    > profile to the new account in the Documents and Settings folder in step
    > 2 - what exactly is this process accomplishing?
    >
    > ________________________________________________________________
    >
    > Finally, I would be very happy to use XP's built in "Administrator"
    > account - instead of the "Admin" account I created but:
    > a) That account does not seem to exist on all of my XP machines
    > b) It doesn't show up in the User Account Profile page so I don't know
    > how to change the password for that account.
    > c) I understand from my enterprise level IT friends that it is a mistake
    > to use such a predictable name for the Administrator account, in terms
    > of security - so I would want to change the name of that account to
    > something else anyway. But I can't change something that does not seem
    > to show up in the Account Profile page.
    >
    >
    > Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Looking forward to your
    > response.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Doug Knox MS-MVP wrote:
    >> Everything you describe is normal and by design. Including the fact that the actual User's folder tree is not renamed. Additionally, XP has a built-in Administrator account that you should use to Administer the computer and nothing else. For day to day use, you should run as a Limited User, if at all possible. Virus files and other malware usually need to run under an Administrator account in order to write to restricted folders and certain portions of the Registry.
    >>
    >> To accomplish what you want:
    >>
    >> 1) Log in on the Admin account
    >> 2) Create 2 new accounts, TempBob and TempAdmin
    >> 3) Copy the Bob account to TempAdmin
    >> 4) Log off Admin and Logon to Bob
    >> 5) Copy the Admin account to TempBob
    >> 6) Delete the Admin account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    >> 7) Re-create the Admin account
    >> 8) Copy the TempAdmin account to the new Admin account
    >> 9) Log off Bob and log onto Admin
    >> 10) Delete the Bob account (including its files, don't worry, they've been copied).
    >> 11) Re-create the Bob account.
    >> 12) Copy the TempBob account to the new Bob account.
    >> 13) Delete the TempBob and TempAdmin accounts.
    >>
    >> Copy a User Profile:
    >>
    >> Open System in Control Panel. On the User Profiles tab, and under Profiles stored on this computer, click the user profile you want to copy, and then click Copy To.
    >>
    >> In the Copy To dialog box, under Copy profile to, type the location for the new profile, or click Browse to select the path.
    >> Click Change to open the Choose User dialog box, click a new user from the Names list, and then click Add. The new user name will appear in Add Name. Click OK to add the user as a new user profile on your computer.
    >>
    >> Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to the local computer to copy user profiles. To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
    >>
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811151
    >> How to Copy User Data to a New User Profile
    >>
    >> Note: You cannot copy to/from a profile that you are logged onto.
    >>
    >> To make user folders accessible after account creation, you need to modify the permissions on the account. You cannot password protect individual folders in XP. You restrict access by assigning permissions to drives, folders and files.
    >>
    >> XP PRO: In Windows Explorer, go to Tools, Folder Options, View and uncheck Use Simple File Sharing. Now, when you right click on a drive, folder or file (on an NTFS partition) and select Properties, you'll see a Security tab. Here you can assign or deny permissions based on user name or user group membership.
    >>
    >> XP Home: By default, you can only make files and folders under My Documents "private". This is done by right clicking a folder or file and selecting Properties, Sharing. To change the permissions on other folders, you need to boot the computer to Safe Mode and log in on the built in Administrator account. In this mode, you'll see the Security tab in Properties, and you can assign permissions based on user name or group membership.
    >>
    >> HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308418
    >>
    >> HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove Special Permissions for Files and Folders
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;308419
    >>
    >> HOW TO: Disable Simplified Sharing and Password-Protect a Shared Folder in Windows XP
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307874
    >>
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Thank you very much for all of your help Doug.


    Doug Knox MS-MVP wrote:
    > The NTUSER.DAT is where the user's settings are stored. That is the CURRENT_USER portion of the Registry when that account is logged on.
    >
    > If in doubt, copy the contents of the Documents and Settings folder as well. There are some things like the TIF and other information that may not be copied when you "copy" the user account. The link to the KB article is the recommended method for copying one user profile to another account. It was my impression that all of the relavent files would be transferred as well.
    >
    > I did the write up that way, so that it would be harder to accidentally delete an account too soon in the process. There really should be an easier way, but unfortunately, there isn't.
    >
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