Windows Legacy OS forum

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Question about user accounts

by iwoolle / July 3, 2006 1:18 AM PDT

I've been working on setting up individual users for my family on my computer and I was wondering if it was possible to create indidvidual startup preferences for each account. i.e. to be able to have quicktime load as a startup item on one account and not on another. Don't know if you can through msconfig or not. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Sort of
by jnbhoward / July 3, 2006 2:09 AM PDT

Windows is an operating system that is designed with a single user in mind, with some multi-user features added on later. Usually in a quick and dirty sort of way to make some large client happy.

So, you don't have very fine grained control over these sorts of things. A lot of settings are shared among all users, and that includes some programs like QuickTime, that will load before any user even logs in. You could disable it using msconfig and then add it to individual user's startup folders, but this would quickly become a nuisance if you need to do it with more than 2-3 programs for more than 2-3 users.

The ultimate result is that there is no good way to manage these sorts of things. It's a result of the very design of Windows, so until that changes, you're stuck. If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time trying to fight these things. You might want to limit the number of them, but don't waste your time fighting a losing battle.

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Any user specific...
by Edward ODaniel / July 3, 2006 2:59 AM PDT

application should be in that user's account.

for instance if you do not want QuickTime available for all users you can either move it from the All Users account into only the spicific user account(s) you want it in or you can control its use with User Rights and Permissions.

When Windows boots (all versions of Windows NT which have always been designed as multi-user systems) it loads a default configuration right up to the point that a specific user logs on. At that point it loads that user's profile. (vastly simplified)

This link might assist you in better understanding how you, as an administrator, can configure and control user settings, profiles, and policies. (the specific item you want, although all would be benificial, is the link for Module 7 which is a PDF file you can download).
http://www.vibrantbootcamp.com/training/mcse_270.html

Anyone who thinks multiple users is a "new" or recent addition to Windows is more familiar with Win 9x than NT which is what XP is based on.

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You can't do it through MSCONFIG
by NickMets7 / July 3, 2006 4:23 AM PDT

MSCONFIG affects all users - most start-up programs do. I just tried it myself, and those are results at which I arrived. Limited options are available, however, for example you can select which folders to share with other users, and you can select special privliges (i.e. admin, guest) when setting up an account. Otherwise, individual start-up prefrences don't seem possible. Of course, you can always ask Microsoft via their website. They have very good
e-mail support.

Hope this helps

- Nick

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Other options?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 3, 2006 5:23 AM PDT

All of the ideas already given are good, and Ed's link to the MSCS Training guide is one I hadn't seen before, and is very good.

But isn't there a better and easier way?

I just wonder that setting up each individual user account with their own particular software loading at startup may not be the right way to go. I have always been in favour of reducing startup times, and I keep my startup programs to a minimum. For instance, I don't allow media players like Real Player, Quicktime, WinAmp etc to load at startup. If want to use them, I have an icon on my Desktop I can click, (double click if your Desktop is not activated as a web page).

Similarly with Instant Messengers. I have ICQ and Trillium but I don't allow them to load on startup. In fact, I don't have their icons on my Desktop now as I use them rarely, so I have relegated their shortcut icons to the Start Menu > All Programs list.

Would this not be a better way to organise your individual user accounts? Don't load everything at startup, but let the users decide when they want to use the programs by placing shortcut icons onto their Desktops or in their All Programs list.

Another thing I do. I have organised my All Programs list into folders. For instance I have Games, Sight&Sound, (for Quicktime, WinAmp etc), Office, (for Microsoft Word, Excel, etc), Utilities, (for anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc), and others.

Just a thought.

Mark

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My solution
by iwoolle / July 3, 2006 8:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Other options?

What I ended up doing was deleting the reg key for any program that I didn't want starting up for all users (I deleted the reg key just so I could keep msconfig on normal startup) Then I put shortcuts in the Startup files of those users that needed the programs. So, essentially I did what mike_omally suggested.
In my case, it was a fairly easy task as I was only dealing with three users in all. Thanks for all the suggestions though.

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