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Spawning user folders?!


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
I have just noticed something wierd happening on a machine I recently formatted and am working towards SP2 as it's final upgrade - not something I have seen before and I have no idea if it is a cause for concern....

There are a number of accounts on the machine - mine is called Paul and as you'd expect under the "Documents and Settings" Folder there is one with that name BUT there are also a couple more - Paul.compname and Paul.compname.0001 (where "compname" is the name of the computer)!!

These seem to have the basic sub-folder structure there, cookies, desktop etc etc but not the actual "My documents" data.... I am guessing these somehow maybe got created as part of shares I was trying to put in place, but that is pure guesswork and really I have no clue what they are nor if I can delete them without screwing things up.

Anyone else seen this and know the cause? Would sort of like to tidy this away, but for the moment leaving them in place.... At least until I have a DriveImage of my newly fromatted and tweaked system....

Howling Wolf

We did not deserve this !
I guess it's not the case, but last time I've seen username + username.0001 on a W2k machine, it was because W2k had been reinstalled over itself and the same username had been entered during the normal setup...
But you said you formatted it, so I presently have no clue as to how it can be possible...


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Hey, yeah I did format, but then reinstalled over the top as well I think (had to because I used the wrong key first time!) - guess I must have done that more than once too! I was just in a hurry and didn't want to wait for the format :p If I had known this would be result I might have thought twice..... Of course you know my next question, which can I delete to tidy up this? I am guessing it will kinda stop me from deleting the current one because the files are in use? Would like to remove all "spawned" onex with .compname - is that right?

Guess I may find out by trying it, but would hate to screw up machine at this stage, just got it all sweet :s ;) Anyways - have some rep, and TY.... errr merci!


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Right - I found, naturally enough, that the one in use is Paul.compname.0001 and no, I could not rename it.

I could delete the prior ones no problems, so it is a little tidier.

Anyone know if I could rename from Safe mode? Or would I need DOS boot disc and if I rename will it screw windoze? Maybe a repair install? Any other ideas?

Maybe I'll just have to live with it until the next format (which may be a LOOoong time - was two years before THAT one ;) )

Howling Wolf

We did not deserve this !
Maybe you could log in as administrator and then try renaming Paul.0001 to Paul ...
I never tried as it didn't bothered the persons I know it happened to. Tell us then ;)


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
right - just tried from another account (admittedly not in safe mode) and no joy - suspect it woulkd screw with registry - so going to live with it - basically should only be using my account on that machine for trouble shooting anyway so no biggie - plus you already have the rep points for diagnosing the cause (if not the cure, which is probly a refreomat!)


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
hehe it gets kinda funny if you go to safe mode from another admin account - then you CAN rename the folder back, but (as you can guess thinking about what I said earlier with registry) if that is ALL you do when you next go back to the account it does not use those - instead it creates another new Paul.compname one to use! And what is worse, thanks to the rename you loose any tweaking and program groups etc from your menu etc. and desktop and everything - probably the mydocuments too I am guessing.

However System Restore came in handy (looks like checkpoint is done automatically when you boot in Safe). On returning to Paul.compname with my menu etc restored I could delete the old original Paul - so at least there is only ONE even if the name is non-standard. I can live with that.

I might have been able to do it with some intensive registry editting, but given chance of missing something and making unstable decided not worth the risk - in future formatting is something I think I will ALWAYS do with an install, n ow that I know what heppens when you install over previous installs!


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
It is technically possible..

We ran into this issue when we migrated user accounts from our old NT4 domains to Active Directory.. when users logged into their systems with the new AD accounts, it generated a new SID and created new profiles on the clients.

On winXP at least, you can find the regkey that stores the profile locations at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\<SID>

You would need to find the user <SID> to replace (or you can browse through the list until you find the directory). You can change the directory that it refers to from there

My word of caution and warning:


This change should be made with extreme caution. We made this change on some machines and it ended up completly deleting the old profiles and all the data associated with it (ie: all the docuemnts in the users "My Docuemnts" folder, their Outlook PST files, etc.. etc..)

So, be careful when/if you change these keys.


Howling Wolf

We did not deserve this !
Might be a good solution

I've been thinking about it...

1- save My Documents / e-mails & accounts / favorites / whatever else... ;

2- save "Start Menu" tree: Start > right clic on Programs > Explore All users > in the new window, right clic on folder "Start Menu" and copy it to a safe place (where you put 1- saved files);

3- Log in as Admin, delete all accounts you created yourself (Paul and such), accept the warnings, then delete all accounts folders associated.
Reboot, you should log in automatically as Admin.

4- Re-create Paul's account with chosen rights (Admin I guess...) and restore everything you previously saved to the appropriate place.

This should work properly and safely. Let us know ;)

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Perris Calderon wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS

Been running around Quora lately, luv it there https://tinyurl.com/ycpxl
Electronic Punk wrote on Perris Calderon's profile.
All good still mate?
Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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