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Old 26th October 2003   #1
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Why so many user folders?


Okay experts here is one for you--under C:\Documents and Settings I have many "user" folders. And I am the only user.
Here is what is there:
Administrator
Administrator.HOME
All Users
All Users.WINDOWS
Default User (this folder has a lighter color)
Default User.WINDOWS (this folder has a lighter color)
Gene (This is the one that I use)
Gene 1
Owner

So why are all these here and is it safe to delete some of them, it appears that some of the files/folders within these folders are duplicated. They are not causing any problem, but I don't like extra files taking up space if they are not needed. If I go to control panel and then user accounts all that shows is "Gene" (administrator) and "guest".
Thanks for any help--Gene

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Old 27th October 2003   #2
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Hi Gene!

Are You on Home or Pro? I believe there is a difference.

My Pro has the following accounts:

Administrator, All Users and "My User Name".

Administrator is the account I get to when starting in Safe Mode.

All Users is for shared applications and documents.

"My User Name" also has administrative rights and is the one on the Welcome Screen accompanied by a disabled Guest Account.

In addition to those three, there are another three hidden accounts:

Default User, LocalService and NetworkService.

The hidden accounts occupy 6.3 MB, not a big problem!?

As I understand it, any account created by Yourself can be safely removed but all others should be left alone.

There was a topic on this issue a while ago in which someone wanted to do changes. Remove and/or merge accounts. Maybe if You do a search in the XP forum, Youīll find the topic.

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Christer

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Old 27th October 2003   #3
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Always being willing to experiment, since I am the only user of my computer, I long ago deleted all account folders in my (XP Pro) Docs & Settings folder except All Users and JSS (my personal folder). The only hidden folders are Local Service and Network Service.

This can be achieved by setting up only one user account, and not creating a password when initially installing XP. Whether it will work with XP Home, I can't say.

Because I am the administrator, I always log into Safe mode using my own account, as it uses my settings. If I click on the Administrator button, it uses system default settings and creates a new Administrator folder in Docs & Settings (which I delete after rebooting normally).

So far, no problems (knock on wood) doing it this way, and it makes for a much cleaner work environment.

Comments invited.

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Old 27th October 2003   #4
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Christer--I am using XP Home, and I did do a search before posting and there were several posts on the subject, but all seemed confusing--some said you can delete others said don't do it--etc, etc.
Gene

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Old 27th October 2003   #5
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Hi Jim!

Quote:
Always being willing to experiment, since I am the only user of my computer, I long ago deleted all account folders in my (XP Pro) Docs & Settings folder except All Users and JSS (my personal folder). The only hidden folders are Local Service and Network Service.
Those correspond to two of my "visible" folders and two of my hidden folders. I checked my third hidden folder (Default User) and nothing has happened in it since I installed XP Pro. That is if Iīm correct in XP changing the time stamp on a folder when its contents is changed/updated.

Quote:
If I click on the Administrator button, it uses system default settings and creates a new Administrator folder in Docs & Settings (which I delete after rebooting normally)
Thatīs my third "visible" folder and I noticed that it was created the first time I logged in to Safe Mode by choosing "Administrator".

It seems to me like the Administrator folder could be deleted since it is recreated on demand and the Default User folder too since it isnīt used.

In Control panel > Administrative tools > Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users, I have five users: Administrator, "My User Name", Guest (disabled), Help assistant and Support_388945a0 (disabled).
The disabled accounts were disabled by default and not by me.

It has been recommended by someone on here not to remove any of the default accounts even if they are disabled because XP expects them to be there. Any account created by oneself can be deleted (apart from the first user).

The question is which folder in Documents and Settings is connected to which account? Well, some are obvious but the rest such as Default User which I have but You donīt.

Gene,

Quote:
... there were several posts on the subject, but all seemed confusing--some said you can delete others said don't do it ...
Well, thatīs the result of the answers to many questions and You have different opinions from Jim and me too. He says "get rid of them and make the system nice and tidy" as opposed to me who say "it is only a few MB so why bother".

Christer

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Old 27th October 2003   #6
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Also did a search. To my understanding, the gist of it was, "the double accounts are the result of a CD "on_top re-install" as opposed to the recovery console "repair install". Some of the accounts will be active and others will be "dead/orphaned". You must determine which is which. After doing so, the dead ones can deleted. Some quirky got-cha also seemed to involve the registry and possibly copyNmoving files and folders from one account to another.

This type of install detects account profiles with the same names and has to make new profiles with slightly altered names, since it cannot use names already in use.

Some opted for a clean install. Others decided to live with it rather than risk the loss of data access or have to go through the measures needed to straighten out any registry path/name glitches. They considered it a minor nuisance compared to risk.

Sorry about the synopsis. I didn't pay close enough attention to the specific steps. You can head to google and use the "Group" tab to do a study-up or wait for someone, who has done this, to find out what sort of mine fields to watch out for.

If you decide to jump in with both feet, please be cautious and make sure your backups are current.

If no one, with personal knowledge, offers help soon or you can make no heads or tails of the nfo found on a "search quest", just give a shout. I will pay closer attention to the specifics and see if I can make sense out of it and offer further help.


Last edited by goddez1; 27th October 2003 at 23:25.
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Old 27th October 2003   #7
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Christer--
I don't have this:
In Control panel > Administrative tools > Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users

(I don't have the Local "Users and Groups" or "Users")

Any idea why? Also when presented with the "Welcome" screen the only name available to click on is mine "Gene"
Thanks

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Old 27th October 2003   #8
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Quote:
"the double accounts are the result of a repair attempt by a re-install"
Being a Ghost addict, it never occurred to me that this could be the reason for "double folders". If it is the reason, then I would try to clean it up.

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Old 27th October 2003   #9
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Genestoy,
I think you don't have the other accounts because you are using Home and the rest of us have Pro.

Johanna

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Old 27th October 2003   #10
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Gene,

Quote:
(I don't have the Local "Users and Groups" or "Users")
Thatīs probably a difference between Home and Pro.
Letīs hope that someone using Home chimes in!

Quote:
Also when presented with the "Welcome" screen the only name available to click on is mine "Gene"
I am the only user of my computer and have no password for my account which means that I get started without seeing anything but an empty Welcome Screen go by.

If I remember correctly, when starting XP Pro in Safe Mode I have two or three accounts: Administrator, My User Name and possibly Guest (disabled) but Iīm not sure about the last one.

Christer

Sorry Johanna, was typing (and Iīm slow) while You were posting.


Last edited by Christer; 27th October 2003 at 14:56.
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Old 27th October 2003   #11
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Hi Christer,

One of the benefits of being retired is that I have the time (and the inclination) to experiment with my system, to see what I can and can't do. If I foul things up, I can always start over at square one (which is the most important reason that I back EVERYthing up on a daily basis).

In Control panel > Administrative tools > Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users I show the same five folders, with all but Administrator and JSS (my user folder) disabled.

The only folders in C:\Docs & Settings that Windows will not let you delete are All Users and "Username". If you open TweakUI > My Computer > Special Folders, you'll find that nearly all of them are assigned to various folders within the "Username" folder, but you can reassign them anywhere you want. For instance, I have "My Documents" re-assigned from C:\Documents and Settings\JSS\My Documents to E:\Documents, and "My Pictures" assigned to E:\Images. Why? Because it allows me to store my data on another partition, separate from the OS.

At one point, I assigned everything except My Documents and My Pictures to the All Users folder and tried to delete the JSS folder. I couldn't do it of course, and one reason is that any time you install a program, the Start menu and Desktop shortcuts go into either All Users or "Username", and it's an unusual installation that will allow you to decide which one.
Quote:
If I remember correctly, when starting XP Pro in Safe Mode I have two or three accounts: Administrator, My User Name and possibly Guest (disabled) but Iīm not sure about the last one.
I have just Administrator and JSS, and JSS allows me to do anything I could do in Administrator, so far as I can tell.

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Old 27th October 2003   #12
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Hi again Jim,

Quote:
One of the benefits of being retired is that I have the time (and the inclination) to experiment with my system, to see what I can and can't do. If I foul things up, I can always start over at square one (which is the most important reason that I back EVERYthing up on a daily basis).
Well, I have a few years to go before retirement but since I use Ghost I can afford to be a bit hazardous too.
However, itīs so nice talking to You all ...... ...... so I prefer coming here to discuss the issues.

Quote:
If you open TweakUI > My Computer > Special Folders, you'll find that nearly all of them are assigned to various folders within the "Username" folder, but you can reassign them anywhere you want.
I donīt use TweakUI but I have relocated the My documents, Favorites, Address book and the "Outlook Express" folders manually to my D drive. This was to make the C drive void of "user files" not suitable for inclusion in Ghost Images of the system partition. The only one needing a registry edit was the Address book, the rest updated the registry automatically to reflect the new locations.

Quote:
any time you install a program, the Start menu and Desktop shortcuts go into either All Users or "Username", and it's an unusual installation that will allow you to decide which one
Iīve noticed that too and I see no logic behind this "random" behaviour and I have yet to have a choise presented to me by the installer.

Quote:
I have just Administrator and JSS, and JSS allows me to do anything I could do in Administrator, so far as I can tell.
Then my guess is that the same applies to my computer.

Christer

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