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Logon goes to wrong account

by azwriter / August 19, 2008 3:26 AM PDT

Windows XP Tablet Edition (SP2) on a Fujitsu T4215.

System Restore ended with a message saying that it could not complete. Now, in addition to the usual entries, Documents and Settings has a new one - "Richard.RCR-T4215". My regular account is "Richard". My computer name is "RCR-T4215". The tree of folders under "Richard" in Documents and Settings is apparently still intact. The new entry contains only the files and folders that one would see in a newly created account.

At the Welcome screen only one name is displayed - "Richard". However when I enter my password I am taken to the "Richard.RCR-T4215" desktop in Documents and Settings. During Safe Mode there are two names displayed - "Administrator" and "Richard". Logging on to the "Richard" account in Safe Mode also gets me to the wrong account.

Since I had a Complete Backup on an external hard drive, Fujitsu tech support had me run their Recovery and Utility CD to recreate Windows XP on my C: drive. They do not have a Windows repair function. Instead of formatting my C: drive their program formatted my external hard drive and wiped out my only Complete Backup plus numerous other backup files. Somehow all of the System Restore points have been deleted except for the one that could not complete normally.

I have run CHKDSK /F and fixed several errors.

I can see all of my data folders and program folders. When I try to execute a program it thinks I am a new user. None of the settings in my Registry are available since I am actually logged on to the new (erroneous) account. There is an NTUSER.DAT file under the "Richard" folder in Documents and Settings and another one under the "Richard.RCR-T4215" folder. The one under the "Richard" folder is 4 times as large as the other one. The Program Files folder contains all of the programs that I created prior to this problem.

I think that my entire user account (desktop, registry, programs, favorites, etc.) is still intact. If I could trick Windows into letting me get into my own account I think everything would be back to normal.

I am sending my external hard drive to a lab to see if anything can be recovered from it. It can take up to four weeks before it is returned to me. There is no guarantee that they will be able to recover the Complete Backup.

I have copied both the Program Files tree and the entire file structure under the folder "Richard" in Documents and Settings to a separate external hard drive. I am willing to take ANY actions on the C: drive to try to recover my account. As a last resort I can reinstall Windows and start over again.

Anybody have any ideas?

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Should be able to do this
by Steven Haninger / August 19, 2008 5:06 AM PDT

Recreate the exact account you had before. Do so as the administrator. Make sure the username and password are identical. Then, copy the entire contents of the new "richard" into the one you just created. You may get some resistance from a few files. Then, try logging in to the re-created account. With a little luck, your profiles and data will be as before. Once done, delete the other richard using the control panels user accounts function. Make sure you ask for all files to be deleted with it. This should make you as good as old again. Good luck.

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Re: Should be able to do this
by azwriter / August 19, 2008 9:14 AM PDT

If I understand your suggestion...
1. I should log on as Supervisor.
2. Delete the "Richard" account. This should then delete the user "Richard.RCR-T4215" from Documents and Settings and all those sub-folders.
3. Create a new "Richard" with the same password as before.
4. Copy the sub-folders from the "Richard" folder in Documents and Settings on top of the folders in the existing "Richard" folder.

In order to do this I will have to rename the "Richard" folder in Documents and Settings to another name - no problem.

But won't Windows then prevent me from copying the NTUSER.DAT file from one user to another?

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Wrong sequence
by Steven Haninger / August 19, 2008 9:42 PM PDT

Create the new account first. Make sure it's identical to the one that's been lost in both username and password. Move the entire contents of the bad richard folder found in Documents and settings to the newly re-created folder with the name you want. Once that works, delete the bad richard user account including all files and folders. Don't do it through explore but through the control panel/user accounts function.

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It seems hopeless
by azwriter / August 20, 2008 2:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Wrong sequence

Thanks for the suggestions. Since your last post I have tried dozens of things, including what you described, but have had no luck.

I created a new account with the same name and password. However, I cannot move the entire contents of the Documents and Settings folder since Windows is protecting the NETUSER.DAT file.

I found that the WinXP CD repair function won't work on my drive since it says that I don't have a hard disk in my laptop! Something seems to be more corrupt than I thought.

At this point it looks like I am going to have to re-install Windows and then re-install each program separately.

Thanks for your help.

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