Logged on to win2K machine and it created a new profile for me. How do I recover the old one?

Posted on 2004-11-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
It was as if I had never logged on before. How do I recover my outlook files? It created a new user profile with my username.machinename
Question by:hmharveysr
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

Wayne Barron earned 500 total points
ID: 12641624
Accessing old account / with new user

This is a simple process.

  Do the following exactly:
First off, you need to do the following.
In Explorer (Not IE, But Windows Explorer: i.e. Open My Computer
And then Menu, click
Tool | Folder Options
Choose the [View] Tab.
Choose to [show hidden files and folders]
Display the full path in the title bar
Display the full path in the address bar

[Apply] [ok]

Open 2 windows of:  C:\Document and settings\
On window will have your New User
The other Window choose {Old User Profile}
Go to:

C:\Documents and Setting\ {Choose the Older Profile User}\
Choose what folders that you want to bring over.
First we have:

Desktop = this is your old desktop, with all your shortcuts and so forth
Favorites = Your Internet Explorer Favorites
My Documents = This is all your Documents. My Pictures, My Chat Logs & My received files (From MSN Messenger, if you have it)

Next to get "Outlook Express" mail & Folder
In the Old User Profile, choose the [Local Settings] Folder.
( The entire string will look like this)
C:\Documents and Settings\Old User\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{F085B46C-5D07-4D36-AC8B-716021D3552F}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

This is all the Outlook Express items that you have

Your Address book is located here:
C:\Documents and Settings\Old user\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book

Your Quick Launch is located here
C:\Documents and Settings\Old User\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

If you need any more information please let me know.


Expert Comment

ID: 12644625
This things happen because registry settings go corrupt...

or simply...

login with local administrator account...

then go to...

c:\document and settings\{old account folder}\

RENAME ntuser.dat file...
copy it from ... new folder created in the name of username.machinename...

then open regedit...
go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

and found out where value of "ProfileImagePath"  is %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\username.machinename

change it to reflect the old ... name i.e.    %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\username

login with your id to see...how it is working...
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 12646731
Kapes has some good information here.

Not sure about the registry settings being corrupt.
If the registry settings become corrupt, then it will
Cause you not to log onto Windows at all.
So not sure about that part.
But good information none-the-less.

usually when you have you username.computername as a User-Folder.
This happens when you create or join a "Workgroup" with the same "Username"
Did you try to perhaps create a workgroup?
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Author Comment

ID: 12647160
Is it the same for outlook files? I do not use Outlook Express

Author Comment

ID: 12647274
The machine is in  a workgroup with three other XP machines. The last yhing I did was run spysweeper from my administrator account on that machine. Logged on as regular user and it did not see the user account and created another one
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 12647488
You need to log back in as "Administrator" and check the "Event Viewer" and see if it may show you something about "why" the account was not successfully found?

  To get the Outlook Inbox folder.
Go To:
C:\Documents and Settings\Old User Profile\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

In your New User Profile
C:\Documents and Settings\New User Profile\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Create the following Folder:
Move both of the files that are located in this folder, into the Backup Folder.
Then Copy the Contents of the "Old User Profile" Outlook Folder into the "New User Profile" Outlook folder.

Restart Outlook.
It will popup a Dialod window.
Click [Yes] on it.

It will then load all your Messages, Your Shortcuts, your Folders,
Basically everything that you have in the older profile.

LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 12647512
Forgot to mention:
There is going to be "3" files in the Old User Folder

In the "New User Profile"
You will only have:

Take Care
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 12647743
Think about it this way?

  With the "New User Profile"
It is like working in a freshly installed system :-)
So basically you get to do everything over from scratch.

But please do this though?
you mentioned that you had to run "Spysweeper"
Download "Adaware SE" Freeware

Install it, and run the "Live Update"
And check your system out very throughly.
For anything that might have jumped over from the old account.

Run your Virus Protection software (Live Update) then on your "C:\" Drive only.
Run a Virus Scan.
And make sure that nothing is in the old folders.

Basically, you want to make sure that your system is nice and clean.

Take Care

Expert Comment

ID: 12651774
ya... its problem with user's registry settings...

by default...  HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive of individual user is kept in  ntuser.dat file in each user's profile directory...
so when system is not able to read that file...
it goes on and creates new profile directory ...

So just changing that file helps.... I have done that numerous times....

by the way,, glad that you got what you wanted.... :-)

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