Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...


My problem is, a few years back when I purchased my main development machine I made the huge, horrible, stupid mistake of just using the Administrator account as my account. It has bitten me time and again in more ways then I ever thought possible. More than once I?ve attempted to find a way to rectify this without having to spend a week completely redoing everything? I?m looking for a shortcut!!

?Everything??? Understand, I am not lazy, I?m a 3D animator/CG artist and my entire studio lives on this system -- I have well over 204 programs installed -- this is just the folder count in Program Files -- MS Office, Adobe and others have as many as a dozen programs in their respective folders. These all have user files in the user directory and I?m guessing entries in the registry which are tied to the Administrator user, perhaps links that will be broken and Lord knows what else.

Does anyone know how I can get the Administrator user to another user name without losing the setups and customization of all my programs as well as other things I probably not even thinking about.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Why not?

In reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...

Why not create a spare administrator account for a rainy day and not change your account?

Collapse -
No, I need to change it from administrator...

In reply to: Why not?

This time I need to use the same user name and password on the PCs I want to share an application on. I'd have to change 2 other PCs (a notebook and another desk top) to Administrator!

Collapse -
Application sharing is not usually possible in Windows.

In reply to: No, I need to change it from administrator...

That's a new one. Can you share that app's name?

But for now you can create your new admin capable accounts and copy shortcuts from the old account to the new.

Collapse -
MS Office OneNote

In reply to: Application sharing is not usually possible in Windows.

An interesting app -- I write sci-fi stories and also produce 'trailers' for the stories using 3D Animation. I have scripts, storyboards, character profiles, project planning and management files and a zillion other files to deal with so I'm trying OneNote out to see if I can centeralize it all. Of course OneNote is not shared but the notebooks are and I switch from my desktop to my notebook several times a day.

<But for now you can create your new admin capable accounts and copy shortcuts from the old account to the new.>

I'm not picturing that at all... perhaps you know more about what exactly is in all those system folders under the user name.

Perhaps I should just create a 'Rusty Williamson' account (like on all my other systems) and see what doesn't work. Ha! What a joke. First none of my custom menus or keyboard shortcuts... next none of my application setups... I'm already getting sick LOL.


Collapse -
"Shortcuts" is part of your Windows 101 class.

In reply to: MS Office OneNote

Not that I can write tutorials here.

So I won't detail what a shortcut is (you can research that.)

In short:

1. Create that new account.
2. Copy the shortcuts to the apps you need in the other account to the All User's Start menu. See
3. Try the other user.

Remember I can't write a tutorial but will guide to the right area to read from the usual places.


Collapse -
I read all this, but I am not sure what the situation is.

In reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...

Are you saying that the "System Administrator" account on this PC, the only Admin account it has, is corrupted in some way?

I assume it isn't otherwise you wouldn't still be able to use the PC as an Admin. Bob's advice about creating a new Admin account is the proper way to go. You need to know that once you have done that, the next time you reboot, Windows will not display the System Administrator account at the log-on screen. It becomes a hidden account for logging on. However, no files, applications, shortcuts, etc are lost and the System Administrator Documents and Settings folders and files are still available to be seen in Windows Explorer.

Copying application shortcuts from the existing "Administrator" Documents and Settings > Start Menu folders to "All Users" or to your new Admin account Start Menu couldn't be easier.

There is another way to do this. If an account becomes corrupted, you can create a new account and 'copy the data from the corrupted profile to the new profile'. The good thing is, you can also do this even if the old account is not corrupted. The Microsoft Knowledge Based article below explains more;

Note what it says though, if you are using Outlook Express as your email client, those settings and email files will not transfer across.

Since the System Administrator account 'hides' once you have created a new Admin account, it is advisable to create yet another Admin account as well. Why? If your first new account ever does become corrupted, you will still be able to log on to Windows with that 2nd Admin account far easier than looking for that hidden System Administrator account.

I think you need to ask yourself the question. What would you do, at the moment, if that System Administrator account ever did become corrupted? How would you recover from that?

There is something else I should ask. You say your entire studio lives on that system. That tells me the work you do on the computer is important and is everything to you. Where are your backups? What happens if the hard drive fails?


Collapse -
I was just wondering . . .

In reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...

if you are the only operator. If so, why multiple accounts?

Collapse -
I see it.

In reply to: I was just wondering . . .

The "administator" account is usually not shareable etc. It's covered in Networking 202 classes?

Collapse -
Answers... Questions...

In reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...


First I want to thank each of you for replying and for all the suggestions and references (which I have not yet attempted or looked at? but I will!)! I will reply to each remark, kind of in order.

My specific problem right now is sharing MS Office 2007?s OneNote?s notebook (not the application but the data file) between my desktop and notebook. To do so I must have the same username and password on each and on my notebook I correctly setup an acct (with admin privs) for myself. In either case, I?ll lose much to switch and since my 8 other PCs are like my notebook, well? I don?t want to switch to using the admin acct on the notebook (my studio is a rag-tag affair, these other pcs are my render farm).

For 20 years I was everything from a systems programmer to MIS (GE Retail Systems) and for 10 years I?ve dabbled in CG but my expertise dries up in many areas including what constitutes a Window?s user. BTW, I use a little app called BackUpMyPC and BU to external hard disks (been there, done that) and cut disks for a system restore. I have tried kind of what you suggest before? twice in fact and I wish I could remember the problems I encountered. What I did was? I created my usual user account (always with admin privs? habit) plus a 2nd admin priv account to work from then, from that 2nd account I copied the admin files from the ?Documents and Settings? folder to my new user account.

FYI: I use Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 on 3 PCs, Outlook shared on all via and shared w/my Pharos phone. I have half a dozen common network file systems across all 10 PCs and use the network rendering capabilities of several animation apps. I have many many apps with lots of customization and many many plug-ins. My desk top is customized to my work flow. I have a HW firewall. I can connect to and control most of my PCs from my main system via netmeeting. Pretty sure none of this will impact what you suggest but thought I?d mention.

So? a few questions (beyond exactly ?where? you think I can link to):

You suggest I make links instead? at exactly what level (hopefully at the C:/Documents and Settings/Administrator level or not too far below that) or to what?

Is there no user references in the Registry that will trip me up?

Aren?t some applications only executable by the user who installed them (and there?s that ?use by only you / used by all? question during some installs which I have answered randomly) and how would I get around this?

Will the links take care of IE favorites, cookies, <what else???>?

My Outlook contacts, calendar, tasks and email? export/import the data files?

A God-zillion apps automatically check for updates ? is this any concern?

What are all the questions I?m forgetting to ask?

I will pursue the reference links provided by some of you. I will also setup an admin user I can use to do this (that administrator acct going away is a real pain).

Again, my heartfelt thanks for taking the time to help? I have an IE tab group with a dozen or more Windows forums. Of the first 3 I made queries on this was far and away the most helpful.


Collapse -
I'm stepping back from here.

In reply to: Answers... Questions...

I see you have an extensive network fully customized to your needs, and that's way above my meager intellect, so I will step back and let others here with the knowledge guide you.

Good luck, and glad to see you also have your backups in hand.


Collapse -
I don't see what the problem is...

In reply to: Answers... Questions...

Unless I missed something in your post (always a possibility!), Microsoft has very simple instructions on how to share your existing notebook. See here:

Scroll down to the "Share existing notebook" section. I don't see anything about having to setup a duplicate account with the same credentials.

Collapse -
I know what's going on you know....

In reply to: I don't see what the problem is...

I tried the directions on the link and test everything and... it worked!

After blinking away the egg on my face I decided I'd better post the help file instructions which clearly said I needed the same user name and password. Of course you already know what happened -- nowhere could I find that statement in the help file instructions!

I know what's going on you know... its a conspiracy which includes everyone on this and other forums who answered me, my wife and even my dog Danny. God will get all of you for this. Happy

I'm going to go home now.


Collapse -
Conspiracy theory

In reply to: I know what's going on you know....

Looks like we've been found out!

Next we'll be saying they didn't land on the moon. Ohh wait! They already say that, Devil

Glad you got it fixed, and thanks for letting us know.

Surely your dog wasn't duped as well? My mutt is far more intelligent than me. (Definition of mutt).


Collapse -
"To do so I must have the same username and password on each

In reply to: I was stupid and I paid for it... looking for help...

"To do so I must have the same username and password on each..."

Let me check the NET USE command one more time.


Yes, you can use a network share that is not the same username and password. I've done this before and it still works.

Is using the command line or batch files not allowed?

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Best Black Friday Deals

CNET editors are busy culling the list and highlighting what we think are the best deals out there this holiday season.