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Q: Computer Problem ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Computer Problem
Category: Computers
Asked by: lester19-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 22 May 2004 00:24 PDT
Expires: 21 Jun 2004 00:24 PDT
Question ID: 350282
I have User1 in Documents&Settings as well as normal My(name)accts.Can
I make user1 inactive/delete without affecting other items.I am on
Microsoft XP Professional & have only 1 individual system (no network
etc).This is doubling up on things e.g.My Documents,if I create
/Delete/move files etc.the action happens in both lots of folders
Subject: Re: Computer Problem
Answered By: netcrazy-ga on 22 May 2004 02:14 PDT
Hello lester19,

Thanks for using GA for your question.

Windows 2000 and Windows XP uses the Documents and Settings folders to 
store data for each user (such as the contents of the desktop, 
favorites, your document folders, etc.) as well as one for the 
Administrator and for All Users. If you are attempting to make any
kind of change to these folders, make sure that are taking a backup of
that folder to have a restore option available for any issue arising
due to the change.

I?m assuming here that you?ve administrative rights on your computer.
If not, then you can perform the following actions with the
Administrator id login.

I?d like to start here by making sure that the user1 folder is a real
folder and NOT a shortcut to your <user id> folder. To find this out,
right click on user1 folder and click on Properties. In the General
Tab, look for "Type of file". If it is showing as "Shortcut" then
click on tab "Shortcut" and then click on "Find Target" button. This
will give take you to the folder for which you?ve this shortcut. Also,
you can see the location of the folder in the field "Target" under 
"Shortcut" tab. If "user1" is a shortcut, then first rename this
folder to "temp" to make sure that we are not going to delete any data
but shortcut. Before you rename this, make sure that all your
documents and applications are closed.
Once you are done with the renaming and if you don?t get any error,
then you can easily delete "temp" folder (shortcut) now.
Try creating some temporary files under your id and see if everything
is working fine.

If from above step you find out that the folder "user1" is not a
shortcut but a folder, then that means that it is a shell folder for
the user "user1".
"Shell folders are special folders that Windows uses to indicate the
default location for many types of settings and data"
Some interesting tweaks on shell folders can be found here -

To find out what are the local user ids on your system, press
Start->Settings-> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer
On the Left hand side pane, click on System Tools -> Local Users and
Groups -> Users. On the Right hand side pane, you should see a list of
all the local users having access to your computer. If you see a user
with the id "user1", this confirms that such a user id exists on your
computer and hence you are seeing the folder "user1" under Document
and Settings. If you don?t need this user id at all, then you can
delete it by right clicking on this user id, and selecting Delete and
then clicking on Yes, when prompted for confirmation.

A word of CAUTION here: Once this user id is deleted, it cannot be retrieved back. 

After you see that this user id doesn?t show up anymore in the right
pane, take a backup of the folder "user1" under a different location
(e.g. Copy it to D: drive) and then you can safely delete the folder
"user1" under Document and Settings. Once everything is working fine,
you can delete your backed up folder after some time. This is just to
make sure that if anything happens, you can just move this folder back
to its original location.

There is one more interesting article on these shell folders -

Another thread on Google groups -

Even though this question is not very similar, it does talk about how
to check which folder is being used by the current logged in user.

Search terms used -
Document Settings folder+XP

Let me know if this fixed your problem. In case of any questions, feel
free to request for clarification.

Subject: Re: Computer Problem
From: realegor-ga on 22 May 2004 05:02 PDT
More easy but not sure if works at XP(but should work)
Delete user's folder at docs& sets.You can ignore the message about
deleting system file *user.dat because its a copy.

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