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Removing Multiple Users

Posted on 1997-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
My system was previously configured to allow multiple user profiles. I now want to "unconfigure" multiple users, using one of the user profiles as the default.

Disabling multiple user profiles through the password section of setup returns the computer to a "pre-m.u." state, where several programs will no longer run.
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Question by:billselk
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10 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:khare
ID: 1745878
Everytime a newuser logs on a new directory is created under c:\windows\profiles\USERNAME.

Before you do any of the following, from each of the "c:\windows\profiles\username\Start Menu"  directories copy all the folders you want to appear in your default start menu by cutting/copying them and then pasting them to "c:\windows\start Menu" folder.

Next, if you dont want to use profiles:
1] delete all subdirectories in c:\windows\profiles
2] change the extentions of all the password (*.pwl).
3] reboot the computer.
4] when the dialog box for you to login comes up, PRESS ENTER IN BOTH THE USERNAME AND PASSWORD BOXES.  IF THERE IS SOMETHING IN THESE BOXES DELETE IT AND THEN PRESS ENTER.
5] Once you do this windows will not ask you for a password.
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Author Comment

by:billselk
ID: 1745879
This solution copied the start menu, but did not transfer any of the desktop settings (sounds, graphics, icons, cursors). Additionally, programs that were set to "autorun" (not through the Start/Programs/Startup menu) no longer run.

Steps 1]-5] did not work for disabling the users/passwords. Windows still requested one on startup, and would not load until a name was entered.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:stratari
ID: 1745880
You MUST enter a username and you MUST NOT enter a password to stop windows from asking a logon/
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Author Comment

by:billselk
ID: 1745881
Not true -- No password is currently configured for any of the users. Logon names are all that are used.
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
smeebud earned 300 total points
ID: 1745882
From http://www.microsoft.com/kb/articles/q156/8/26.htm
How to Disable and Delete User Profiles
                   Article ID: Q156826
                   Creation Date: 01-OCT-1996
                   Revision Date: 15-NOV-1996
              The information in this article applies to:
                        Microsoft Windows 95
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, you should first make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat). Both are hidden files in the Windows folder.
                   MORE INFORMATION
Note that following the steps in this article will disable and remove user profiles. All users of the Windows 95-based computer will see the same ,desktop and menus.
                   Disabling User Profiles
1.Restart the computer. At the Windows logon screen, click Cancel.
2.In Control Panel, double-click Passwords.
3.On the User Profiles tab, click "All users of this PC use the same preferences and desktop," and then click OK.
4.When you are prompted to restart the computer, do so.
                 Removing Existing User Profiles
NOTE: For information about how to edit the registry, view the Changing Keys,And Values online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). Note that you should make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat) before you edit the registry.
1.Use Registry Editor to remove the appropriate <user name> keys from the following registry key:
                             HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
ProfileLst\<username>
To remove all profiles, remove the ProfileLst key.
When you are done, quit Registry Editor.
2.Double-click My Computer.
3.On the View menu, click Options.
4.On the View tab, click Show All Files, and then click OK.
5.Use My Computer or Windows Explorer to remove the appropriate
Windows\Profiles\<user name> folders.
To remove all profiles, remove the Windows\Profiles folder.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1745883
billselk,
 if you have problems,
get back with me and we can get into it deeper.

bwil@erinet.com
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Author Comment

by:billselk
ID: 1745884
This solution disables the multiple users, which is half of the solution. I've done this already -- what I am having problems with is taking one of the user profiles created while multiple users were in effect and turning it into the default when multiple user profiles are disabled.

In essence, I want the same start menu (khare's solution), desktop, fonts, sounds, icons, and autorun programs for the "default" user. Be advised that some programs that load automatically on startup are not a part of the Start/Programs/StartUp folder.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1745885
Quoting stratari, "You MUST enter a username and you MUST NOT enter a password to stop windows from asking a logon/".
  If I may be so bold as to explain what he was trying to tell you; You must have a user name to establish a profile. You undoubtly know this. Then use that profile for you desired settings.
As far as programs being loaded automatically. Make sure you do not have any unwanted "RUN=...." in you win.ini.
Also in your registry at:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
You Profile list should be the key right above that at:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProfileList]
From there, I would use khare's solution, as you said that's what you what to do and proceed from there.

I hope I'm being clear, and I hope I understand what you're after. if not let me know in no uncertain terms. Talk to me as you might a child that you're having trouble communicating with.
Communication is the #1 problem in the world. or maybe #17???
bwil@erinet.com
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Author Comment

by:billselk
ID: 1745886
Perhaps I need to clarify the situation a bit. Right now there are three user profiles defined on my computer. However, since I am now the only person who uses this computer, I want to remove all of the user profiles from the system so that I no longer have to deal with the logon screen when I turn the computer on.

That in itself is easy enough. The problem occurs once I remove the user profiles from the system. When I remove the profiles, the computer "reverts" back to the state it was a year ago when multiple users were first defined (I'll refer to this as the default state). An easy way to get to this "state" is to leave the name and password lines blank when you login and click on the cancel button instead of the OK/Login button. Several software packages were added under one of the user profiles, and have problems running in the default state. There are also programs that autoload (probably through "run" lines in the registry, I haven't looked yet).

Since everything works perfectly under the "Bill" profile, I want to copy all of those settings (start menu, autorun files, desktop, fonts, icons, etc) to the default state. Once this has been accomplished, disable the multiple user option. I suspect the easiest way is to copy the "Bill" profile in the registry to the "Default" profile in the registry. I know where the "Bill" settings are, but I don't know where the "Default" settings are.

Let me know if you need further clarification.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1745887
OK, I think you are on the right track,
It Starts at
[HKEY_USERS\.Default]
                   ---------------------
Then here's a little more to show you what mine look like:
[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software]

[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft]

[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Multimedia]

[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Multimedia\Audio Compression Manager]

[HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Multimedia\Audio Compression Manager\MSACM]

If you know what you want to take from Bill to Profile; export those keys|edit the Bill out of...fot instance:
[HKEY_USERS\Bill\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Extensions]
"cal"="calendar.exe ^.CAL"
"trm"="terminal.exe ^.trm"
"txt"="write.exe ^.TXT"
"ini"="write.exe ^.INI"
"wri"="write.exe ^.wri"
"rec"="recorder.exe ^.rec"

Then import the edited version.

Two things that would come in handy. A good file compare utility, and a good text editor.. I use "Nextpad". It would, if i did a 'global search and replace" remove all instances of bill from the profile export. You could then simply import that same file.

I hope this is clear.
 1. know and comprehend the nature or meaning
 2. perceive mentally, as of an idea
 3. make sense of a language
 4. believe to be the case
Opps, got carried away there.
Match32 is a very good file compare utility.
if you need either. e me. I'll send them to you.

bwil@erinet.com


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