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Changing the Profile Folder of a Single User

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Lakario, Apr 11, 2009.

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  1. Lakario

    Lakario Thread Starter

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    First let me provide a little background... The computer I am using was previously a university laptop and because of that it remained a member of the university domain long after I left the school (and the physical network). Last night I decided to separate my machine from the domain by changing it to a Workgroup instead. After doing this (which required I clear the 'administrator' account password from the machine) my primary user 'ntaylor' which was imported from the domain was removed from the list of available users on the machine and I became unable to log into it because it did not represent a valid local profile. I have since created another 'ntaylor' and Vista created a profile folder for it called 'ntaylor.V2' under 'C:\Users'.

    If at all possible I would like to remap the profile directory 'C:\Users\ntaylor.V2\' to 'C:\Users\ntaylor' so that I may resume using my account with all of my settings. I haven't reformatted in almost a year so manually migrating my settings would force me to reconfigure a completely unreasonable number of applications.

    I read this guide: http://joshmouch.wordpress.com/2007/04/07/change-user-profile-folder-location-in-vista/ and it is kind of the right idea except for the fact that I am not moving any directories and I am only remapping registry data for a single user. I'm thinking if I just do a find and replace 'C:\Users\ntaylor.v2' with 'C:\Users\ntaylor' in the registry I might maybe be okay... but I can also see this going horribly wrong. I'm not too sure. The ntaylor.V2 account has no settings or data I need to maintain so protecting that data is irrelevant, I just need it to load from a different directory.

    Any ideas?
     
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  3. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Welcome to TSG!

    About all you can do is copy the domain profile to the local profile. See this post for the steps and some potential problems:

    How do I Rename a User Profile?
    For Vista, after getting to Control Panel | System, you have to click the link on the left for Advanced system settings
    You can view the entire thread by clicking the link in the upper right corner.

    I haven't tried copying a domain profile to a local profile, only local to local, but this should work for that as well.

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  4. Lakario

    Lakario Thread Starter

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    Oh God no.... I updated a value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\ProfileList\{SSID}\CentralProfile to map the new ntaylor to the old ntaylor folder and somehow Windows managed to delete every single file in my ntaylor folder. The folder structure is there but 70 gigs of non-recoverable data is gone. Just plain gone. What in God's name do I do...?
     
  5. cybertech

    cybertech Moderator

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    Best option is to take the machine back to the University and have domain admin rejoin it to the domain. Once that is done you should be able to access the data if you have not destroyed it with your actions.
     
  6. Lakario

    Lakario Thread Starter

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    It doesn't seem like there is any possibility that would be successful... the data was all stored locally and Windows removed it without so much as a confirmation dialog. God.. :'(
     
  7. cybertech

    cybertech Moderator

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    NTFS has securities built into it. You may have breached those and caused a deletion of the data.

    As I said the best option is to put it back on the domain and try to log in as the user.
     
  8. Lakario

    Lakario Thread Starter

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    So I ran GetDataBack NTFS on my disk and didn't manage to find any of my deleted files. Ran Undelete Plus and it found everything. It's been recovering data for the past 5 hours and it's 9% done. So far everything it has restored seems to be intact. I am so freakin lucky.
     
  9. cybertech

    cybertech Moderator

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    Ok, thanks for sharing your solution.
     
  10. Lakario

    Lakario Thread Starter

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    So it's been hit or miss so far. I've checked some of the files it's managed to recover and some have been good while others have been damaged- my Resume.docx contains a bunch of MP3 file titles... I made the error of continuing to use the damaged drive after it fried all that data so that has been somewhat unhelpful to my cause. Grr...

    I wouldn't really call this solved... I still don't know how to safely do what I originally asked :(
     
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