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Silly profile naming question


billtodd
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While generally content with trailing-edge technology (I migrated to Win2K from Win98SE a couple of years ago but have yet to convince my wife to do so), we recently inherited an XP Home system from her parents and I figured I might as well try to resurrect it (its disk was dying and its other hardware was antiquated) to handle the occasional instance where some stubborn software demands XP or Vista rather than Win2K and can't easily be fooled about that. To my surprise, after using xxcopy to migrate what was still readable on the disk and preserve 8.3 names the transplanted system seemed to run OK (after a bunch of missing driver files were reextracted from the driver cabinet; I'm still missing sysdm.hlp, since no installation disk came with the inheritance) and Microsoft didn't complain about activating XP on the new hardware (WGA even accepted it without demur). SP3 and drivers for the new hardware installed without a hitch, and here I am.

I'm fond of my father-in-law but didn't particularly want to have the machine address me as 'Marvin' for the rest of our lives with it, so I renamed his user account to something I'm more used to. I'm not offended at all to have his name still appearing in the Documents and Settings profile directory, though - which is just as well, since a bunch of third-party program Registry entries are hard-wired to that directory. But there's one remaining problem: while the machine addresses me by the new name during logon and after returning from standby, when reawakening from screen-saver mode it still calls me 'Marvin'. I've gone through the entire Registry changing every system-related user-name instance of Marvin to the new name, and even looked through the 'Marvin' Documents and Settings directory to see whether there might be something squirreled away there that's getting used, but to no avail (and some of those Registry changes seem to get changed back after every reboot).

The user profile entry (reached through My Computer properties) is named Marvin, and there's no option to change that which I've been able to find. I understand why just changing the Documents and Settings directory name would not be a good idea, but as I said above that's not what bothers me: I mostly just want the screen-saver exit screen to stop calling me 'Marvin', and that really shouldn't be tied to the directory name (nor should the profile name - in fact, while trying to research this problem I think I encountered information that suggested that the directory name could be anything one wanted it to be if one had the foresight to change it during installation).

As I said in the title, this is a silly issue - but if anyone happens to know how to resolve it without creating a new profile, migrating the old one to it, and in the process breaking all those third-party Registry links I'd be grateful for the information.

Thanks,

- bill

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Wow, long post.

The name is linked to the login. You can change the name, but you can't change the login. I wouldn't try anything else than creating a new profile, it's far easier and quicker than trying to edit directories names and reg keys, which will leave you in a mess with a corrupted profile.

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Thanks, but it's a bit more specific than the login (perhaps the length of the post made that easy to miss). The name reflected in the login screen is the new account name, as is the name reflected in the screen presented on return from standby: *only* the screen presented on return from the screen saver uses the old name, so it's getting its information from somewhere different (which seems a bit odd to me).

Is my (decidedly superficial) understanding incorrect that creating a new profile would create problems with all the existing hard-wired third-party Registry references to the old 'Marvin' Documents and Settings directory?

- bill

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No clue as to whether this would work... Files and Settings Transfer Wizard. There is a method of manually "moving" a profile's "stuff" under a new profile, but I can't dis-member it (fixed a young lad's PC once). It may have something to do with the Internal ID's (e.g. Identities) given to a given User-ID that "locks" the info (NTUSER.DAT).

DOH! Look here -

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811151

However, since you already "fiddled", I don't know if this would work...

Google on "transfer user-profile XP" (sans quotes) for a wealth of info. ;)

Edited by submix8c
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Thanks. From Microsoft's descriptions it's not clear that the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard would work in this case, and the manual method that's described in KB811151 certainly wouldn't since it doesn't handle any of the hard-wired third-party references to the old Marvin directory (nor, for that matter, necessarily any of the applications that make them). The 'fiddling' that I already did may not be a problem (and indeed hasn't affected any subsequent use of the system), since I only changed 'User Name' kinds of entries rather than anything likely to affect linkages rather than display properties.

I had hoped that someone here might happen to know where the screen saver code gets its user name, or perhaps more generally how to change the profile name (which might be where it's coming from) without affecting any of the profile's linkages (e.g., to the existing Marvin directory). But it's really not that big a deal just to tolerate the current situation if no one knows how to fix it.

- bill

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Build your new user (making it an admin will make this easier)

log out, log in with that user

goto

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\yourNEWsid

in profileimagepath change the path from:

%systemdrive%\documents and settings\YOURNAME --> %systemdrive%\documents and settings\marvin

its not the prettiest solution but now his profile contents are tied to your login. I hope it works, my stuff was all default and it appeared to.

I believe the logon names are in the protected portion, you would have to get another tool to browse those.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

****Just made 4 profiles and they all share the same docsandsettings including a shared desktop. I know it was not the OPs question but still a convenient find while playing.****

Edited by iamtheky
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From the information you have given it seems that the advice of transferring the profile to a new user is almost exactly the OPPOSITE of what you are trying to do.

However, I am confused by what you have done already. In your first post, second paragraph you wrote "so I renamed his user account" but in the next paragraph you wrote "The user profile entry (reached through My Computer properties) is named Marvin" which suggests that the user account still has the same name.

If you open up the Computer Management console (which can be reached in several ways, includingreached via My Computer -> Manage... ) and look in the Users sub-section of Local Users and Groups, what do you have in the First and Second columns?

From the information given in your post, it seems to me that you still have "Marvin" in the first column and the new name in the second column. Is that the case? (If not, then I have misunderstood what you have done). If I am right, then renaming "Marvin" is done by right-clicking on it in the first column and selecting Rename

.

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Alas, this is not XP Pro but XP Home, where Microsoft in its infinite wisdom has decided that users should not have access to security information or even to user/group management - so there is no Local Users and Groups section in the Management Console. Control Panel has a User Accounts section which allows one to rename an account, which is what I used.

I agree that switching to a new user (even with the same profile contents) does not seem to be the way to accomplish what I'd like to, which is my main reservation about trying iamtheky's otherwise interesting approach - since that presumably would leave the old SID as the owner of all the existing contents of the profile (not necessarily much of a problem as long as those contents allow full access by any administrator, but still a bit awkward given the lack of readily-available security functions in XP Home that could change the ownership if necessary). I suppose I could create the new account, use it to copy the contents of the old profile directory (presumably leaving the new SID as the owner of the new copy's contents), modify the profileimagepath entry in the new SID's entry in the profile list as described, then delete (or just in case perhaps merely rename) the old profile directory and rename the new copy to Marvin (this last perhaps from the safety of a co-resident Win2K installation) - but while this might be an interesting experiment I'm not sure it's worth the risk (though taking a backup image beforehand could eliminate that) just to change the name used by the screen saver.

At this point the annoyance of not being able to fix this problem without potentially risky Registry manipulation is starting to exceed my annoyance with being called Marvin once in a while. I seem to remember seeing some reference recently to being able to add the XP Pro security plugin to the XP Home Management Console, which your post suggests might do the job: does anyone happen to know where I might be able to pick that plugin up to try it (as I said, I don't have an XP installation disk of any kind, but do have my Win2K disk if the one there would work)?

Thanks once again,

- bill

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Alas, this is not XP Pro but XP Home, where Microsoft in its infinite wisdom has decided that users should not have access to security information or even to user/group management - so there is no Local Users and Groups section in the Management Console. Control Panel has a User Accounts section which allows one to rename an account, which is what I used. ...

Aaaaah! My mistake, I forgot about the crippled console in XP Home. The User Accounts app in Control Panel only does half the job (as you already know) so a quite easy and relatively safe task in Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro becomes very difficult. I don't know whether the Win 2000 version (lusrmgr.msc) would work or not but, like you, I wouldn't even try without an image backup.

To try the "shuffle the profile" idea surely needs a total of THREE accounts: (1) the old account; (2) the newly created account; and (3) an account that is used to switch the profile in the ProfileList registry key from the old account to the new account whilst neither (1) or (2) is logged-on. Or at least, that is what Microsoft advises when copying a profile. Instead of (3), however, another copy of the OS can be used to load the SOFTWARE registry file into Regedit and it can be edited (and unloaded) from there. Once again, I wouldn't try this without an image backup.

.

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malmal - Yes, I'd already changed the RegisteredOwner value.

James - It was indeed imprudent for me to have thought of trying to get away with changing profileimagepath as the last act of the user using it before logging off. However, it might be safe to switch back to the old account and change the new account's profileimagepath from there, then perform the directory renames from the Win2K installation which shares the system, log into the new account, and change the old account's profileimagepath to the renamed old directory before deleting the old account just in case that deletion might affect the target profileimagepath directory (which would otherwise now be the new account's directory).

Ponch - There's no separate 'Administrator' Documents and Settings profile directory (nor for that matter any separate Administrator profile listed under the My Computer properties sub-menu), so I suspect that account uses the Marvin directory. Whether this would create problems making the change in Safe Mode as you suggested I don't know.

Again, thanks to all who responded. At this point the better part of valor may be to leave well enough alone unless I can find a security plugin to use in the more-or-less supported manner to change (the rest of) the existing account name - since I'd like to limit the amount of required rigmarole should I ever have to rebuild the system from the original image.

- bill

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in xphome the administrator account is only created when there is not another user with administrator rights. Even if Marvin was the alias of the default administrator, the documents and settings folder would still say 'administrator'

You can check to see if the default administrator is aliased (or alias it to yourself at)

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

DefaultUserName

AltDefaultUserName

I think if the new user is going to be an administrator you have no need to worry about owning SID. nothing a little CACLS cant fix.

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in xphome the administrator account is only created when there is not another user with administrator rights.

In XP Home, there is always an other user with administrators rights. An administrator account is created in every XP at install, wether there are other users created or not. The difference in XP Home is that the system will have you create a second user with admin right (at OOBE) that comes along the administrator. That user is the only one you see (it auto logs on until you create other accounts) and you can only log in as "admnistrator" (the hidden one) in safe mode.

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true, I totally meant visible not created - and mine was visible until I added a password. and then..

http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/c...wertoySetup.exe

administrator only being able to logon locally in safe mode is more a safety net, XP home should always=xp home w/ powertoys. There are manual ways, but tweakui does it simply.

Totally should have recommended that earlier.

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