Retrieving WinXP "default user" preferences/settings/desktop/taskbar/etc

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Richard Owlett, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. I have been using WinXP Pro for several months ( later updated with
    SP1 accepting all defaults).

    When doing the original install, I did not bother to set up any users
    as this is my personal home system which no one else has any access.

    LAST WEEK, I friend who uses WinXP Home approached me with a problem.
    I figured the easiest way to verify my solution was to create a new
    user with essential parameters set to mimic his system. That was
    successful.

    _HOWEVER_ , I managed to do something such that I only have access to
    the two "experimental" users [ both created with administrator
    privileges].

    I have lost access to my original setup including:
    1. > 20 files/folders stored on the original "Desktop" [ The 'desktop'
    still exists on my hard derive, i just can't have it come up
    automatically]
    2. I do not have access to my heavily customized task bar [ I haven't
    searched yet to prove it exists. But, I feel safe in assuming it does
    as a corollary to 'desktop' still existing.]
    3. I have effectively lost my "view" settings for "Windows Explorer".
    I had it set up for show details and show ALL files and ALL extensions
    on ALL directories and ALL subdirectories. There used to be an option
    for setting up a 'view' of a directory the way you wanted it and
    FORCING ALL other directories to displayed in same format. I can not
    find it :{!
    4. Some programs [ in particular Mozilla ] can not find preferences as
    they are tightly associated with "user" that established them. I can
    tediously recreate, but I want back what I spent much effort on already.

    In summary, three questions:
    1. How can I retrieve my original operating environment?
    2. How can I create a new user with administrative privileges which
    EXACTLY duplicates my original set up?
    3. How can I force "Windows Explorer" to show ALL
    directories/subdirectories in desired format?

    Thank you one and all for any assistance.

    P.S. Guess what I always harp on. MAKE BACKUPS!
    Guess what I have NOT done :{
    Richard Owlett, Aug 21, 2003
    #1
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  2. Hi
    Reboot your computer in "Safe mode" and delete the new user accounts. Then
    reboot normally and you should end up as the old "Administrator".

    Hallgeir

    "Richard Owlett" <> skrev i melding
    news:...
    > I have been using WinXP Pro for several months ( later updated with
    > SP1 accepting all defaults).
    >
    > When doing the original install, I did not bother to set up any users
    > as this is my personal home system which no one else has any access.
    >
    > LAST WEEK, I friend who uses WinXP Home approached me with a problem.
    > I figured the easiest way to verify my solution was to create a new
    > user with essential parameters set to mimic his system. That was
    > successful.
    >
    > _HOWEVER_ , I managed to do something such that I only have access to
    > the two "experimental" users [ both created with administrator
    > privileges].
    >
    > I have lost access to my original setup including:
    > 1. > 20 files/folders stored on the original "Desktop" [ The 'desktop'
    > still exists on my hard derive, i just can't have it come up
    > automatically]
    > 2. I do not have access to my heavily customized task bar [ I haven't
    > searched yet to prove it exists. But, I feel safe in assuming it does
    > as a corollary to 'desktop' still existing.]
    > 3. I have effectively lost my "view" settings for "Windows Explorer".
    > I had it set up for show details and show ALL files and ALL extensions
    > on ALL directories and ALL subdirectories. There used to be an option
    > for setting up a 'view' of a directory the way you wanted it and
    > FORCING ALL other directories to displayed in same format. I can not
    > find it :{!
    > 4. Some programs [ in particular Mozilla ] can not find preferences as
    > they are tightly associated with "user" that established them. I can
    > tediously recreate, but I want back what I spent much effort on already.
    >
    > In summary, three questions:
    > 1. How can I retrieve my original operating environment?
    > 2. How can I create a new user with administrative privileges which
    > EXACTLY duplicates my original set up?
    > 3. How can I force "Windows Explorer" to show ALL
    > directories/subdirectories in desired format?
    >
    > Thank you one and all for any assistance.
    >
    > P.S. Guess what I always harp on. MAKE BACKUPS!
    > Guess what I have NOT done :{
    >
    Hallgeir Johansen, Aug 21, 2003
    #2
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  3. Richard Owlett

    Tarin Maere Guest

    "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have been using WinXP Pro for several months ( later updated with
    > SP1 accepting all defaults).
    >
    > When doing the original install, I did not bother to set up any users
    > as this is my personal home system which no one else has any access.
    >
    > LAST WEEK, I friend who uses WinXP Home approached me with a problem.
    > I figured the easiest way to verify my solution was to create a new
    > user with essential parameters set to mimic his system. That was
    > successful.
    >
    > _HOWEVER_ , I managed to do something such that I only have access to
    > the two "experimental" users [ both created with administrator
    > privileges].
    >
    > I have lost access to my original setup including:
    > 1. > 20 files/folders stored on the original "Desktop" [ The 'desktop'
    > still exists on my hard derive, i just can't have it come up
    > automatically]
    > 2. I do not have access to my heavily customized task bar [ I haven't
    > searched yet to prove it exists. But, I feel safe in assuming it does
    > as a corollary to 'desktop' still existing.]
    > 3. I have effectively lost my "view" settings for "Windows Explorer".
    > I had it set up for show details and show ALL files and ALL extensions
    > on ALL directories and ALL subdirectories. There used to be an option
    > for setting up a 'view' of a directory the way you wanted it and
    > FORCING ALL other directories to displayed in same format. I can not
    > find it :{!
    > 4. Some programs [ in particular Mozilla ] can not find preferences as
    > they are tightly associated with "user" that established them. I can
    > tediously recreate, but I want back what I spent much effort on already.
    >
    > In summary, three questions:
    > 1. How can I retrieve my original operating environment?
    > 2. How can I create a new user with administrative privileges which
    > EXACTLY duplicates my original set up?
    > 3. How can I force "Windows Explorer" to show ALL
    > directories/subdirectories in desired format?
    >
    > Thank you one and all for any assistance.
    >
    > P.S. Guess what I always harp on. MAKE BACKUPS!
    > Guess what I have NOT done :{
    >


    Try installing something like TweakUI for WinXP, there you can always enable
    all users during the logon process (including Administrator account, which
    was propably your 'default' accaunt). Another way is to change in control
    panel/user accounts the way users logon. Just disable Welcome screen and
    during next logon you'll have the name and password tab. There you can just
    type user name (most likely: Administrator).
    Good luck.

    Tarin Maere.

    BTW: this is my first post on this newsgroup, so... HELLO WORLD :>


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.510 / Virus Database: 307 - Release Date: 2003-08-14
    Tarin Maere, Aug 21, 2003
    #3
  4. Hallgeir Johansen wrote:
    > Hi
    > Reboot your computer in "Safe mode" and delete the new user accounts. Then
    > reboot normally and you should end up as the old "Administrator".
    >
    > Hallgeir
    >
    > "Richard Owlett" <> skrev i melding
    > news:...
    >
    >>I have been using WinXP Pro for several months ( later updated with
    >>SP1 accepting all defaults).
    >>
    >>When doing the original install, I did not bother to set up any users
    >>as this is my personal home system which no one else has any access.
    >>
    >>LAST WEEK, I friend who uses WinXP Home approached me with a problem.
    >>I figured the easiest way to verify my solution was to create a new
    >>user with essential parameters set to mimic his system. That was
    >>successful.
    >>
    >>_HOWEVER_ , I managed to do something such that I only have access to
    >>the two "experimental" users [ both created with administrator
    >>privileges].
    >>
    >>I have lost access to my original setup including:
    >>1. > 20 files/folders stored on the original "Desktop" [ The 'desktop'
    >>still exists on my hard derive, i just can't have it come up
    >>automatically]
    >>2. I do not have access to my heavily customized task bar [ I haven't
    >>searched yet to prove it exists. But, I feel safe in assuming it does
    >>as a corollary to 'desktop' still existing.]
    >>3. I have effectively lost my "view" settings for "Windows Explorer".
    >>I had it set up for show details and show ALL files and ALL extensions
    >>on ALL directories and ALL subdirectories. There used to be an option
    >>for setting up a 'view' of a directory the way you wanted it and
    >>FORCING ALL other directories to displayed in same format. I can not
    >>find it :{!
    >>4. Some programs [ in particular Mozilla ] can not find preferences as
    >>they are tightly associated with "user" that established them. I can
    >>tediously recreate, but I want back what I spent much effort on already.
    >>
    >>In summary, three questions:
    >>1. How can I retrieve my original operating environment?
    >>2. How can I create a new user with administrative privileges which
    >>EXACTLY duplicates my original set up?
    >>3. How can I force "Windows Explorer" to show ALL
    >>directories/subdirectories in desired format?
    >>
    >>Thank you one and all for any assistance.
    >>
    >>P.S. Guess what I always harp on. MAKE BACKUPS!
    >> Guess what I have NOT done :{
    >>


    Thank you, that got me partway to my destination.

    I was able to delete ALL BUT 1 of the new user accounts.
    AND
    While in "Safe Mode" I can now access my original settings ( with some
    obstructions).

    By following suggestions of Tarin Maere (below in thread) I've been
    able to progress slightly further. I've more questions which I'll post
    as sub-thread to his message as he seems to have hit on state my
    machine ended up in ( Heard of "Murphy's Law" ;?)
    Richard Owlett, Aug 21, 2003
    #4
  5. EUREKA "sort of" WAS [Re: Retrieving WinXP "default user" preferences/settings/desktop/taskbar/etc]

    Tarin Maere wrote:
    > "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>I have been using WinXP Pro for several months ( later updated with
    >>SP1 accepting all defaults).
    >>
    >>When doing the original install, I did not bother to set up any users
    >>as this is my personal home system which no one else has any access.
    >>
    >>LAST WEEK, I friend who uses WinXP Home approached me with a problem.
    >>I figured the easiest way to verify my solution was to create a new
    >>user with essential parameters set to mimic his system. That was
    >>successful.
    >>
    >>_HOWEVER_ , I managed to do something such that I only have access to
    >>the two "experimental" users [ both created with administrator
    >>privileges].
    >>
    >>I have lost access to my original setup including:
    >>1. > 20 files/folders stored on the original "Desktop" [ The 'desktop'
    >>still exists on my hard derive, i just can't have it come up
    >>automatically]
    >>2. I do not have access to my heavily customized task bar [ I haven't
    >>searched yet to prove it exists. But, I feel safe in assuming it does
    >>as a corollary to 'desktop' still existing.]
    >>3. I have effectively lost my "view" settings for "Windows Explorer".
    >>I had it set up for show details and show ALL files and ALL extensions
    >>on ALL directories and ALL subdirectories. There used to be an option
    >>for setting up a 'view' of a directory the way you wanted it and
    >>FORCING ALL other directories to displayed in same format. I can not
    >>find it :{!
    >>4. Some programs [ in particular Mozilla ] can not find preferences as
    >>they are tightly associated with "user" that established them. I can
    >>tediously recreate, but I want back what I spent much effort on already.
    >>
    >>In summary, three questions:
    >>1. How can I retrieve my original operating environment?
    >>2. How can I create a new user with administrative privileges which
    >>EXACTLY duplicates my original set up?
    >>3. How can I force "Windows Explorer" to show ALL
    >>directories/subdirectories in desired format?
    >>
    >>Thank you one and all for any assistance.
    >>
    >>P.S. Guess what I always harp on. MAKE BACKUPS!
    >> Guess what I have NOT done :{
    >>

    >
    >
    > Try installing something like TweakUI for WinXP, there you can always enable
    > all users during the logon process (including Administrator account, which
    > was propably your 'default' accaunt).


    As I said in previous post [ which got truncated ] "dangerously
    powerful". Will try less drastic measures first -- see below ;)




    > Another way is to change in control
    > panel/user accounts the way users logon. Just disable Welcome screen and
    > during next logon you'll have the name and password tab. There you can just
    > type user name (most likely: Administrator).
    > Good luck.


    With one modification, THIS WORKED !!!!
    After having changed how users logon, on next reboot I chose "System
    Restore" option. Fortunately I could easily identify a valid restore
    point.

    NOW, I only need answers to my last 2 questions ;}

    Once again thanks to one and all.
    Richard Owlett, Aug 21, 2003
    #5
  6. Richard Owlett

    Tarin Maere Guest

    "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > <SNIP>
    > Now on to questions 2 and 3 ;}
    >

    Glad to help with the first one, as for the second one. Well, I'm not 100%
    sure about my idea, but it somehow worked for me when I tried it 5 minutes
    ago. I'm just not sure how well it works, and will it work in your case, as
    I'm using WinXP Pro.
    Anyway, after creating a new account, with the privelidges you want, you
    have to log on it for at least once, you don't have to do a thing, just log
    on and log off. The reason for that is, Windows must create paths and
    folders for a new account. Than, using your old account, you have to start
    System Properties and in Advanced tab you should have something called user
    profiles. Opening settings will lead you to a list of profiles with size,
    type and so on. Here simply, select the 'mother' account and Copy To. You
    have to select a correct path on your hdd. That's why you had to log on and
    log off the new account. On your hdd, accounts are stored $\Documents and
    Settings\"Account Name". So, using Copy To, copy the 'mother' account to
    'child' account. It will be most likely HDD\Documents and Settings\"child
    account name". I belive it should be enough.
    And as for the third part, what do you mean by desired format???


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.510 / Virus Database: 307 - Release Date: 2003-08-14
    Tarin Maere, Aug 21, 2003
    #6
  7. Tarin Maere wrote:
    > "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >><SNIP>
    >>Now on to questions 2 and 3 ;}
    >>

    >
    > Glad to help with the first one, as for the second one. Well, I'm not 100%
    > sure about my idea, but it somehow worked for me when I tried it 5 minutes
    > ago. I'm just not sure how well it works, and will it work in your case, as
    > I'm using WinXP Pro.
    > Anyway, after creating a new account, with the privelidges you want, you
    > have to log on it for at least once, you don't have to do a thing, just log
    > on and log off. The reason for that is, Windows must create paths and
    > folders for a new account. Than, using your old account, you have to start
    > System Properties and in Advanced tab you should have something called user
    > profiles. Opening settings will lead you to a list of profiles with size,
    > type and so on. Here simply, select the 'mother' account and Copy To. You
    > have to select a correct path on your hdd. That's why you had to log on and
    > log off the new account. On your hdd, accounts are stored $\Documents and
    > Settings\"Account Name". So, using Copy To, copy the 'mother' account to
    > 'child' account. It will be most likely HDD\Documents and Settings\"child
    > account name". I belive it should be enough.


    That will apparently work in all cases BUT MINE ;{
    It appears you can copy from any "CREATED" user to any other "CREATED"
    user. BUT, you can not apparently copy from the 'special'
    "Administrator" account to a "CREATED" user.



    > And as for the third part, what do you mean by desired format???



    In Windows Explorer under View you options of how a
    directory/sub-directory is displayed. I want to set up one directory
    the way I want and FORCE all others to look the same.

    For right now I've been up for last 19 hours and up >40 of last 48.

    Will read comments in morning ;)
    Richard Owlett, Aug 22, 2003
    #7
  8. Richard Owlett

    Tarin Maere Guest

    "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Tarin Maere wrote:
    > > <TOTAL SNIP>

    >
    > That will apparently work in all cases BUT MINE ;{
    > It appears you can copy from any "CREATED" user to any other "CREATED"
    > user. BUT, you can not apparently copy from the 'special'
    > "Administrator" account to a "CREATED" user.
    >


    To tell you the truth, I actually tested it on Administrator. The reason for
    testing on Admin, and a 'might be' sollution for you, was that, my private
    user was to big. I had 2Gigs free space and my user was about 3.5. Simply
    check if that's not a reason. If your 'special' account is bigger than your
    free disc space, than... well, you know what to do.

    >
    >
    > > And as for the third part, what do you mean by desired format???

    >
    >
    > In Windows Explorer under View you options of how a
    > directory/sub-directory is displayed. I want to set up one directory
    > the way I want and FORCE all others to look the same.
    >


    Well, the trick is, you have to customize one directory, but it cannot be
    any of main dirs, like C: or My Computer. Choose one folder, any on, and in
    view you'll get Customize this folder option. There you can set Also apply
    to all subfolders. But, I don't know how to make it work for other folders,
    in older Windows it was one click or something like that.

    > For right now I've been up for last 19 hours and up >40 of last 48.
    >
    > Will read comments in morning ;)
    >


    Happy resting.



    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.510 / Virus Database: 307 - Release Date: 2003-08-14
    Tarin Maere, Aug 22, 2003
    #8
  9. Sentient Fluid wrote:
    > "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>Tarin Maere wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:...
    >>>
    >>>And as for the third part, what do you mean by desired format???

    >>
    >>In Windows Explorer under View you options of how a
    >>directory/sub-directory is displayed. I want to set up one directory
    >>the way I want and FORCE all others to look the same.
    >>

    >
    > Open Windows Explorer. Click Tools at the top of the window. Choose Folder
    > Options. Click View tab. Click "Apply to all folders" near top of dialog
    > box.
    >
    > Is that what you are looking for?
    >


    YES! In older versions of Windows it was under View where you were
    doing the actual adjustments to how the directory displayed, a much
    better location.
    Richard Owlett, Aug 22, 2003
    #9
  10. Tarin Maere wrote:

    > "Richard Owlett" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>Tarin Maere wrote:
    >>
    >>><TOTAL SNIP>

    >>
    >>That will apparently work in all cases BUT MINE ;{
    >>It appears you can copy from any "CREATED" user to any other "CREATED"
    >>user. BUT, you can not apparently copy from the 'special'
    >>"Administrator" account to a "CREATED" user.
    >>

    >
    > To tell you the truth, I actually tested it on Administrator. The reason for
    > testing on Admin, and a 'might be' sollution for you, was that, my private
    > user was to big. I had 2Gigs free space and my user was about 3.5. Simply
    > check if that's not a reason. If your 'special' account is bigger than your
    > free disc space, than... well, you know what to do.
    >


    Another diet :{ Actually something IS hogging more space than it
    deserves. Also, if I want to have multiple users, there is much that
    should be moved to "shared" directories.

    >>
    >>>And as for the third part, what do you mean by desired format???

    >>
    >>
    >>In Windows Explorer under View you options of how a
    >>directory/sub-directory is displayed. I want to set up one directory
    >>the way I want and FORCE all others to look the same.
    >>

    >
    > Well, the trick is, you have to customize one directory, but it cannot be
    > any of main dirs, like C: or My Computer. Choose one folder, any on, and in
    > view you'll get Customize this folder option. There you can set Also apply
    > to all subfolders. But, I don't know how to make it work for other folders,
    > in older Windows it was one click or something like that.
    >


    Still is one click. BUT MS moved the click to under Tools rather than
    View :{
    Richard Owlett, Aug 22, 2003
    #10
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